Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Saturday, January 14th, 2017   |   37 comments

Why He’s Called The Iditor – Ben ‘Bogan’ English’s Thigh-Slapper On Daylight Saving

He may be from down south, but Ben Bogan gives us an echo of the Joh days of Queensland with his goofball take on daylight saving.

Also, state Labor’s massive leg-up for One Notion …

Watch out, Messagebank, you’re in danger of suddenly becoming the second biggest dope on the council …

And as usual, we start with Bentley’s view of matters.

Gene Kelly, Eat Your Heart Out

Seems the rain gods have a cruel sense of humor, with what a friend calls ‘pollie clouds’ – like politicians, promise everything, deliver bugger all – teasing us throughout the week. Nothing to write home about, but Bentley reckons Mayor Mullet will see it as a win … just so long as she doesn’t have to answer any tricky questions.

Rain fin

Donald Of The Dolls

Russian dolls that is. Oft has The ‘Pie said that, as Bentley proves every week, a good illustration can sum up a situation that would take the proverbial thousand words and more to explain. One such effort came from The Guardian’s Steve Bell during the week.

 steve bell

It need not be pointed out that these are not the sort of dolls that The Trumpet is reputed to have cavorted with in Moscow in the days when he had a real job (Miss Universe convenor and wrestling promoter).

Another Neat Illustrated Summation

The ‘Pie liked it for it’s cleverness so much, he kept this ‘toon from the Courier Mail from last year, but with Labor’s astounding policy announcement about juvenile crims this week, now seems a good time to revisit our dilemma.

Leahy in the Courier Mail

Leahy in the Courier Mail

Labor’s Death Wish

It is not too much of a stretch to think Labor will be happy to hand over its mess at the next election, but the big question is to whom will it pass the poisoned chalice? In the words of a very senior LNP back-room official during the week to The ‘Pie ‘the party is fucked’. There was a good illustration of this when the party’s initial response to the defection of one of their members to One Notion during the week came from LNP president Gary Spence. His open letter to ‘members and supporters’ – i.e everybody – came from someone not elected and who most people wouldn’t know or care about. People wanted to know what leader the elected Tim Nicholls had to say, a video of which was included at the end of Spence’s intrusive missive. The less one hears of unelected party string pullers, the more inclined one is to not give up completely to machine politics.

But if the LNP is cactus, who gets the entrails left behind by Labor?

It’s starting to look like the minors, independents, and above all, One Notion, the party to whom Steve Dickson defected.

sam cox

There is a good chance ON will have a strong candidate in Sam Cox – but despite what you may have read elsewhere, Sam is still to decide if another gallop in politics is worth it. He’s hungry for the game, no doubt, but he knows ON has its pitfalls, and he may still go down the independent path. The seat of Burdekin, as tipped early this week in this blog, is the logical target. Worth remembering Sam got kicked out of pre-selection for the LNP for sticking up for a fairer deal for Townsville.

Jackie Trad

Jackie Trad

The announcement by deputy premier The Treacherous Trad that Labor’s policy was that kiddy crims on remand automatically get bail until their matters was determined in court (weeks if not months later), all but sealed the fate of the already the deservedly dead-in-the-water three stooges from Townsville. The police, the community, and the media are unanimous in their scorn for this out-of-touch attempt to be all things to all people.

So Big Red Hanson must be licking those lupine lips in anticipation of a feast of balance-of-power proportions.

Curtain Fade Or Brain Fade?

Astonisher iditor Ben English

Astonisher iditor Ben English

Hilarious quote of the week goes to Astonisher iditor Ben ‘Bogan’ English, penning a squeaking attempt at righteous indignation about daylight saving. Quoth The Bogan in Wednesday’s iditorial: ‘Here in the north, where sunshine and heat are in no short supply, most people have no desire for more daylight hours.’

‘More daylight hours’? Those southern swine, sneaking in another extra hour of Old Sol, what a thoughtless cheek!

Bogan, m’boy, we well know you think Rupert is God, but even he might have a problem with finding that extra time in the sun. FYI, Einstein, there will be, no matter DS or not, the SAME number of daylight hours in any given day. It’s the clocks that change, clothhead.

The Bogan’s sentiment ranks with historic claim that the ‘extra sunshine’ from DS would fade the curtains, and put those pernickety clock-watching cows off giving their milk. There may well be arguments against DS up here in the north, but extra hours of daylight ain’t one of them. And they wonder why the rest of Australia think of us as Tasmania with crocodiles.

(The ’Pie can’t resist repeating the timeless DS joke around in Joh’s time. They said he opposed daylight saving because he knew the sun shone out of his arse, and he wasn’t getting up an hour early for anyone.)

But The Astonisher’s isn’t Alone In Its Wrestle With Reality.

Clr Mark Molachino

Clr Mark Molachino

During the week, they were joined by one of the more vacuous city councillors, Mark Molachino.

The vexed and perennial question about free versus paid CBD parking was raised again during the week. The council, trying to take advantage of the fact that many ratepayers are still out of town on holidays, announced the blatant cash grab of converting 106 free CBD parking spaces back to paid spots.

Parking front

Now, for any thinking person it is quite obvious the TCC is broke as can be, and we will be in deficitland for as long the financially illiterate Mayor Mullet is in charge of the budget. Even the somewhat more financially astute CEO, Adele The Impaler Young will be able to sack just so many people, and probably not enough to finance the personal political agenda of the mayor’s office.

Enter Mark Molachino, who ranks with TEL chairman Kevin Gill in the gormless stakes. The good councillor clearly demonstrated this when he neatly shot down his own argument against the conversion being described as a ‘cash grab’.

‘Any revenue from parking fees and fines will continue to go towards the cost of regulation (i.e machines and parking wallopers) and improvements to parking facilities in the city … in some areas we have paid parking alongside free parking, which is totally inconsistent, and in some cases confusing.’

On that last point, councillor, confusing to you, perhaps, but to anyone who passed Year 5 reading, there is no problem.

Parking story

But the real idiocy is making a statement so easily disproved when official figures (as reported accurately in the paper by Christie Anderson) showed that in the last year, parking garnered the council $2.925 million ($825,000 of which was fines). In the same period, the council spent ‘about’ $2.2million on regulating parking. So Mark, there is around a $750,000 surplus there already (coincidentally, exactly the same amount of ratepayers money that goes annually to that dollar sinkhole Townsville Enterprise), so no desperate need for the extra estimated $175,000 this change will bring in; no need, that is, if things are all tickety-boo in the council cash register.

Politics 101: If You’re Going To Lie, Make Sure It Can’t Be Disproved.

But Clr Molachino can only be straight-out porkifying when he said the council decision was taken ‘based on feedback from the community’. Mate, if you’re going to tell whoppers, at least get someone down in the media department to give you hand, they know how to make it detection proof. The ‘Pie challenges you to name one relevant person, organization or authority which gave feedback that called for eliminating free spaces and converting them to paid spaces. Just for starters, the respected Chamber of Commerce is dead against the idea. Whether the move is justified may be open to debate in an overall sense, but ‘community feedback’ sure as hell isn’t one of the reasons.

And a naughty mark for reporter Christie – asking these questions is what a reporter does, ma’am, what you did was just typing.

Junket – An Old-Fashioned Dessert, And An Old-Fashioned Rort

On Friday, the Astonisher told us:

‘A DELEGATION of city leaders will travel to Singapore before July in a bid to ensure the North gets the most out of the $2.25 billion Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.’

So it seems we are back in the junket business, brought to fine art of political patronage in the days of His Radiance, Mayor Tony Mooney – who happens to be short-listed on this trip too, by the looks of it.

But there’s the first question raised about this pointless joyride. The Astonisher story names members of the recently formed Singapore Economic Development Advisory Committee – the usual suspects, including that dill Gill, Mayor Mullet, JCU’s Sandra Harding, Macca Macdonald and Mooney – and coyly adds that Bulletin iditor Ben English is also on the committee.

What the story doesn’t bother to tell us is that the delegation is yet to be named for this jolly jaunt. Which brings two questions.

The first is, when will Jenny Hill stop trying to be a being a comedian? The mayor, whose council will obviously be funding all or some of the costs of the trip, and who is also deputy chair of Townsville Enterprise, which is organizing the knees-up, was obviously playing for laughs when she told reporter she ‘hoped to be one of those on the delegation’. The ‘Pie would like to see who would nix her nomination, especially when she is in the totally unethical position of the voting go-between for the council and TEL when the Dudley’s get out their annual begging bowl for totally undeserved ratepayers dosh. Anyway, she’s probably the one choosing her travelling companions.

The second question is: will she push for iditor Ben Bogan to come along? This pair are the talk of the town for their embarrassing (professional only, one trusts) pillow plumping and goo-goo eyes for each other (again in the professional sense only – he’s not blind), and he may end up on the plane out of Cairns or Brisbane for the Singapore trip.

Should he succumb to such blandishments and become a delegate, there two questions he must answer. One is who is paying for your trip? News Ltd? Yeah, right – not a chance! TEL or the council? The latter two add up to the same thing – ratepayers money. So why would we foot the bill for your jollies?

Which brings us to the far more serious question? Why would you go, Mr English? As the putative boss of the newspaper, there is a big ethical elephant in this particular room. What chip can you bring to any bargaining table in Singapore, Bogan? A pledge of favorable coverage of any proposed business deals, whether or not they are in the community’s interest? Taking the federal government side when the defence Department force a buyout of prime agricultural land from under families who have worked that land for generations? All to make room for the Singaporean troops on manoeuvres? Or maybe a promise to go easy if there’s any mayhem involving the visitors down on Via Vomitorium? Indeed, what would be the point of you – especially an editor – going on a junket which is usually assigned as a perk to a favoured reporter, like, say, Ando?

Anyway, just what any permutation of local lights could possibly achieve anything worth the money is something even the Astonsher’s famously shonky maths couldn’t answer. Let’s just hope they don’t sent the REAL boss of the Astonisher, the Sales and Marketing chief. Then all bets – and credibility – are off.

We await developments.

Speaking Of Ando – And The F Word

The ‘Pie’s high regard for John Ando is well known, so it is surprise to read today something so out of touch for a usually well informed political commentator (he used to work for Bob Katter).

Discussing the LNP’s candidate for the state seat of Townsville, Casie Scott, Ando weirdly says she will be up against ‘the personable (Scott) Stewart, who has had pretty much had a faultless first political innings’.

Personable maybe, but ‘faultless first innings’?

Ando, mate, know you have a demon work ethic, but you should make time to glance at your own paper occasionally. Stewart has been widely ridiculed for – inter alia – suggesting, without any foundation or research that drones could be used to stop kiddy crims, (they would more likely just provide target practice for the little snots), that apprentices could go in a raffle for free tickets to the opening of the CBD stadium IF they talk their bosses into applying for contracts on the project, and even in today’s paper …

Screen shot 2017-01-14 at 8.20.09 PM

… looking anything but faultless in a goofy and ill-thoughts story about starting a petition to ensure the first game at the CBD stadium is between the Broncos and Cowboys. The laugh here is that he is doing this through a Change.org on-line petition. These increasingly popular petitions gather signatures, and are then generally sent along to … your local member. So is Scott going to send it to himself, and then claim a spontaneous demand for the fixture?

On top of that, he has done bugger all to stand up for his constituents, which is not surprising really, having been a card-carrying ALP member for decades. One gets used to doing what one is told.

Faultless, Ando? Maybe it was a slip of the keyboard, did you mean foolish? Fatuous? Fuckwit?

Road Rage

The ‘Pie sees that quite a few people are getting their dander up to dangerous levels over the delays and leisurely attitude of contractors to the disruptive construction of a roundabout at a Townsville western suburbs shopping centre.

Well, jokes about the four-to-one rule … one bloke working while at least four others watch on … is a world wide trope.

Road workers

But it sure as hell doesn’t apply to the tiny West Australian shire of Moora, which decided as a council promotion to send up a drone to catch the surfacing of a stretch of outback road. This mesmerizing video has gone viral world-wide, and it’s easy to see why. Enjoy … and be amazed.

Ramming Home The Message To Ewe, My Little Lambkins

Some of the biggest issues facing Australia – land rights, immigration, boat people, the right way to have a BBQ, are all covered in a new ground-breaking, political TV ad for … LAMB.

Worth a look – watch for familiar faces.

Finally, One Door (Or Window) Closes, Another Door (Or Window) Opens

Never give up is the message … things go, and things ,,, err … come..


That’s it for this week’s blog, but remember, the comments are open 24/7, for you to have your say. On anything, doesn’t have to be something mentioned here.

And if you feel like helping out the old bird with a couple of hefty bills that landed over the holidays, you can be the generous soul you know you really are by checking out and activating the How To Donate button below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-1428Days -5 -42 -51