Menzies: I did but see her passing by

MenziesQE2FixKEOGH1000x1000

In retrospect: What he said and what she might have thought. 

It was at Parliament House where Prime Minister Robert Menzies, a devout royalist, was to quote the 17th century words of Thomas Ford: “I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die.”

Sir William Heseltine Private Secretary to HM the Queen 1986-1990: “It was one of the very few occasions I think Sir Robert misjudged his audience. And I can remember that there was a frisson of embarrassment and this was perhaps reflected on the Queen’s own look on that occasion.”

Was Her Majesty squeamish? Take a look at the video

Rebekah Brooks: What, Me Worry?

Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.
Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.

6 June 2013

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.

Looking up from reading a copy of Mad Magazine, the former editor of the now defunct News of the World, indignant at being interrupted, blithely entered pleas of “What, Me Worry” to five charges relating to her time running two national tabloids.

Ms. Brooks then left the court with her spiritual advisor, Alfred E. Neuman, who spoke to the awaiting media throng saying, “What, She Worry? She is planning to move to Australia to take up a prestigious position at the Poowong Post.

 

The Editor
Poowong Post
Victoria
Australia

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to apply for the position of Journalist, as advertised in your esteemed newspaper.

I received a cutting of the advertisement in the mail, sent to me by a former colleague who fled to Australia seeking a better climate. You might know her; she works as a barmaid at your pub and goes by the alias of Sheila.

I am not sure where Poowong is located, but it sounds like a lovely place. According to Sheila, it is in a dairy farming district in Victoria, but I have been unable to ascertain the exact whereabouts because I donated my laptop to the police as a contribution to the Scotland Yard Christmas Raffle. Those police do such a wonderful job protecting we Brits from the low-lives who attempt to undermine the very fabric of our society, so I was more than happy to have it confiscated.

I have had extensive journalistic experience and have even been editor/chief executive of two major British tabloids. In fact, I have become quite a celebrity, but have tired of the limelight. I want to migrate to Australia with my husband to live a simple rural life and slip into obscurity.

That is not to say that being appointed as a journalist with the Poowong Post is slipping into obscurity. I believe it to be a highly prestigious position. I would be delighted to be at the forefront of breaking news in your town.

In fact, Sheila has already given me a few leads. She says that the Easter Billy Cart Derby was fixed by the local s.p. bookie, that judges of the Country Women’s Association annual cake decorating competition were bribed with cases of whisky, and that the prying telephone exchange operator is having an affair with the Catholic priest, who is enjoying three other sexual liaisons.

This presents me with the opportunity to illustrate my extra-journalistic talents and pro-activity, which I am sure you will applaud. I could bribe the phone exchange lady for all the local gossip she eavesdrops on, in return for keeping mum. I could pay the local policeman for inside information; that would be easy because it was his wife who won the CWA cake decorating competition. And as for the local bookie; well, let’s just say I am very handy with secret tape devices and could get some inside running on your next picnic race meeting. And the Catholic priest might be surprised to read transcripts of his expressions of lust, by courtesy of a device hidden under his bed by yours truly. Yes, pressing the flesh is what it is all about.

I will be the biggest thing to happen to Poowong since electricity was connected. You do have electricity don’t you?

I can guarantee that I will quadruple your circulation within a month and even turn the national spotlight on your little backwater which I would turn into a tsunami. The media will swarm like flies to a Poowong cowpat.

However, that brings a minor point to mind. A shy, shrinking violet such as myself does not desire any adulation for stirring up media frenzies. I have had enough of that. I would prefer to go by the nom de plume of Verity Virago, and not be available for any interviews, especially television.

I must stress that you should not fear for your position of editor. I am known for my loyalty and integrity; just ask any of my former employees at the now defunct News of the World.

Do not bother to reply. I will simply assume I have been successful in this application, and will be there in three weeks time to commence duties. If there are any unforseen circumstances, such as bail complications or passport seizure, I will let you know with plenty of advance notice.

Yours sincerely,

Rebekah Brooks

PS: Does Poowong have mobile phone reception?

REFEREES

Rupert Murdoch

James Murdoch

David Cameron

 

Coverage by ABC Online: 

Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty to phone hacking charges

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.

The former editor of the now defunct News of the World entered pleas of not guilty to five charges relating to her time running two national tabloids.

The 45-year-old is charged with offences including conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The scandal led to the closure of the tabloid, and eventually to the Leveson inquiry into press standards in the UK.

She is due to stand trial in September.

Her husband Charlie Brooks also pleaded not guilty to allegations of covering up evidence.

Other senior staff, including the tabloid’s former managing editor Stuart Kuttner and former assistant news editor James Weatherup, also pleaded not guilty to charges related to phone hacking, while her personal assistant pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Brooks was arrested in July 2011 along with other members of staff over charges related to the unlawful interception of mobile phone messages to generate front page news stories.

The scandal, which prompted the closure of the mass-selling News of the World and a year-long public inquiry, sent shockwaves through the British establishment as it revealed the close ties between the country’s media, police and politicians.

 

 

Christopher Pyne – the tenor is on-pitch for a no-confidence accompaniment

WARNING! Repetition and monotony may cause drowsiness.
WARNING! Repetition and monotony may cause drowsiness.

 

1 April 2013  – coincidentally April Fools’ Day

If you are suffering from insomnia – here’s a sure-fire cure – just read this post:

I’m dreaming of an early election
just like the ones I used to know
Where the Liberals glisten and voters listen
to hear good news on election night

I’m dreaming of an early election
with every press release I write
May your days be merry and bright
and may all your preferences be right

Repeated ad nauseam – with no accompaniment – that might come later

Still awake? This should do the trick:

Christopher Pyne joins Insiders – Manager of Opposition business in the House Christopher Pyne discusses Labor’s spill and the likelihood of an early election.

You really are a hard case aren’t you! Well, read this news.com.au piece and you will be off to nod-nod-land on no time:

Liberal Christopher Pyne says ”progress” made in no-confidence motion

Negotiations with key independents are ”making progress” to secure support for a no-confidence motion in the Federal Government, Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne says.

Mr Pyne says he has talked with crossbench MPs since the Opposition announced a motion of no-confidence had been placed on Parliament’s notice paper.

”I am confident that we are making progress, but that remains to be seen when the debate is held and the motion is put,” he told reporters in Adelaide today.

 Mr Pyne said at least one crossbench MP had indicated that budget week would not be an appropriate time for such a debate, effectively pushing it into the following week.

 ”We want to maximise our chances of bringing the government to an election and that means we’ll listen very closely to the crossbenchers and what they want,” he said.

 Independent MP Tony Windsor said Mr Pyne had not spoken with him about the no-confidence motion.

 ”He hasn’t raised it with me,” Mr Windsor told AAP.

 ”They will be trying to milk it for the next five to six weeks to try to create some pressure in the electorate, but that sort of stuff doesn’t have an impact on me.”

 Mr Windsor said he was happy to listen to ”legitimate argument” on the matter.

 Another crossbencher, Craig Thomson, said he would be meeting with other independents in coming weeks.

”But at this point I am not inclined to support the motion because I believe Tony Abbott would be bad for the central coast and for Australia,” Mr Thomson told AAP.

ENDS

 Sleep tight!

Here’s an amended cover version of Christopher Pyne’s Early Election by Bing Crosby on YouTube 

 

 

 

 

 

Crean – Simple Simon or Saint Simon?

Tragic irony - hanged by his own halo - by an executioner to whom he has done the greatest service
Tragic irony – hanged by his own halo – by an executioner to whom he has done the greatest service. Photo source: abc.net.au

 

24 March 2013

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Kevin Rudd is a cunning character whose game-playing had not been seen through by even his own supporters.

Kevin Rudd‘s sole aim has been to fiendishly plot the ruination of the party that dumped him from the prime ministership – and if his own supporters lose their seats, so be it.

He routinely authorised his supporters to leak damaging stories to the media with the singular purpose of destabilising Prime Minister Julia Gillard. And it worked.

He made many and varied media appearances, clearly designed to bolster his own popularity – as if to be a pretender – in both senses of the word. And the polls had him way ahead of Gillard as preferred prime minister.

He knew that Gillard was becoming increasingly unpopular in her own party and that numbers were shifting his way.

He could see that Labor would be massacred in the September 14 election and that only he, as leader could save the party from that.

He continued to set the trap.

The bitter Gillard/Rudd divisions within Labor were sinking the party and destroying the credibility of both sides.

The Gillard government had become dysfunctional.

And so, as if following Rudd’s script, Labor veteran Simon Crean decided that something had to be done to save his beloved party from ruin.

Crean, a long-time supporter of Gillard had also become disenchanted with her, and could see that Rudd resuming the leadership was the only possible hope.

“Saint” Simon did the honourable thing and called for a leadership spill for the good of the Labor party. He announced his support for Rudd, knowing that he would be sent to the back benches if Rudd lost.

Simon had received assurances from the Rudd camp that Rudd would contest.

But Rudd did not contest!

Why?

Because Kevin knew that by not standing, he would throw the party into absolute chaos, making it look an even more farcical shambles with a greater likelihood of being sent into oblivion come September. And it worked!

Rudd’s own supporters are furious with him. Why had they bothered to support someone who would back out of a challenge? Gillard has now relegated them to obscurity.

But Kevin doesn’t care. He never intended to become Labor leader again and has achieved what he set out to do – destroy the whole party.

Now, the even-more-damaged Gillard, who has lost a swag of pro-Rudd talent from her ministry, is looking more vulnerable, no longer from Rudd, but from the electorate which is more than fed up with the dysfunction and bizarre power plays, which are due in part to Rudd himself.

Cunning Kevin!

SIMPLE SIMON OR SAINT SIMON?

Saint Simon? The spill was initiated by Simon Crean who was saint-like enough to put himself on the line for the good of the party.

Simple Simon? He was silly to believe Rudd, who he decided to support, and who was delivering directives to him via his supporters.

BUT …

As it turns out, Crean has done Gillard a huge favour – but he has been sacked by her. As Michael Gordon wrote in The Saturday Age on 23 March 2013:

“The bitter irony of the coup that collapsed is that the man who did Julia Gillard the biggest service pays the heaviest price. Simon Crean has not only removed the threat of Kevin Rudd, he has done more than any other individual to end the destabilisation of Gillard and give her prime ministership a fresh start. Now he’s in exile.

Thanks to Crean, Gillard is more in charge of her destiny than at any point since her 2010 campaign was sabotaged from within and by some poor judgment calls. The upside is that she can govern with more confidence and less concern about being undermined; the consequence is that she will be held singularly responsible for Labor’s performance at the looming election.”

The Michael Gordon article

Crean points finger at Rudd

 

Of Julie Bishop and Bob Carr – Frog Mouths Emu Bob

Emu today, feather duster tomorrow, if  Tawny Frog Mouth has her way. (With apologies to Atrhur Boyd)
Emu today, feather duster tomorrow, if Tawny Frog Mouth has her way. (With apologies to Arthur Boyd)

 

22 March 2013

Related Sky News Julie Bishop interview with these excerpts plucked out:

Julie Bishop: He should certainly step down. It is untenable for the Prime Minister to have a Foreign Minister that she cannot trust. Senator Bob Carr was a prominent although covert supporter of the Rudd camp …… If Julia Gillard has a shred of authority left she should sack Senator Bob Carr immediately …… It’s untenable for him to continue as Foreign Minister. There shouldn’t be a slither of light between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister and yet there’s this yawning chasm and Bob Carr while-ever he remains in that role will be undermining Julia Gillard, she knows it, everybody in Parliament House knows it. He should go.

aph.gov.au …

This painting by Arthur Boyd (1920-99) was commissioned in 1984 by the Parliament House Construction Authority as the design for a tapestry to hang in the Great Hall. Arthur Boyd, one of Australia’s greatest artists, was approached by the Parliament House architects, Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp, to conceive of a work of art for this key position on the south wall of the Great Hall – a space intended for ceremonial and state occasions ….. The architectural vision for the Great Hall was that it would convey a sense of the Australian land, emphasising the importance of the physical environment in shaping Australian values.

Imagine that! Parliament House and “shaping Australian values” – presumably good ones – in the one sentiment!

Imagine even remotely linking parliament with its hatreds, vitriol and duplicity with the spirit of the Australian bush! Banjo would turn in his grave.

australia.gov.au …

What is it about ‘the bush’ that is so special to Australians? The bush has an iconic status in Australian life and features strongly in any debate about national identity, especially as expressed in Australian literature, painting, popular music, films and foods.

The bush was something that was uniquely Australian and very different to the European landscapes familiar to many new immigrants. The bush was revered as a source of national ideals by the likes of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson. Romanticising the bush in this way was a big step forward for Australians in their steps towards self-identity. The legacy is a folklore rich in the spirit of the bush.

And so, with inspiration from Banjo, we have Julie’s poetic take, as she covets Bob’s job:

CLANCY OF THE AFTERGLOW – J.B. “Bishop” Patters-on

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better

Knowledge, sent to where I saw him in Washington, weeks ago,

He was fraternising when I saw him, so I sent the letter to him,

Just “on spec”, addressed as follows: “Clancy, of The Afterglow”.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,

(And I think the same was written in a thumbnail dipped in tar)

‘Twas his secretary who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:

“Clancy’s gone to New York crowing, and we don’t know where he are.”

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy

Gone a-dining “down the UN” where the western delegates go;

As the limos are slowly stringing, Clancy rides with them singing,

For the Senators life has pleasures that the Opposition never know.

And the UN hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him

In the murmur of the dealings and the shimmer of its brass,

And he sees the vision splendid of the Security Council extended,

And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting bars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy

Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the chambers tall,

And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty polity

Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

And in place of foreign tattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle

Of the cameras and the mikes making hurry down the hall,

And the language uninviting of the media scrum fighting,

Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of gall.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me

As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,

With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,

For Liberals have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,

Like to take a turn at Foreign Affairs where the seasons come and go,

While he faced the round eternal of the doorstop and the journo –

But I doubt he’d suit the Opposition, Clancy, of “The Afterglow”.

PS: I want your job Clancy.

Signed,

J.B.

Shadow Minister for Foreign Matter

 

 

 

 

Stephen Conroy versus seething media convoy

Paying the price for daring to equate media freedom of speech with undue and irresponsible influence of public thinking?
Paying the price for daring to equate media freedom of speech with undue and irresponsible influence of public thinking

20 March 2013

As if re-living the dread of having school assignments returned by the teacher with red-pen-gone-haywire cross-outs, corrections and comments, journalists now fear  Stephen Conroy‘s plans to have a government appointed watchman, red pen in hand, overseeing every columnist, commentator, contributor, correspondent and reporter in the country, making sure that nothing disparaging of his government will reach the eyes and/or ears of the sensitive electorate which is so easily influenced by adverse press.

That’s what some sections of the media would have us believe as they rail against this so-called draconian threat to press freedom and freedom of speech.

Senator Conroy, whose proposed media legislation to introduce regulatory powers over the media’s existing independent and self-regulating bodies, has at Julia Gillard’s apparent last-minute instigation, effectively pointed a toy pop gun at the cannon power of the media, News Limited in particular, as if in protest that they are using their heavy artillery to damage the government. Silly sausage Stephen!

One of most vociferous opponents of the legislation has been News Limited’s Sydney Telegraph papers, and if Conroy had his way, the vitriol in the following Sunday Telegraph article (17 March 2013) would have been duly moderated with the proverbial red pen – in the public interest of course!

FEDERAL Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is a (sook). sensitive new age guy.

(In fact, it is you people at the Telegraph who are the sooks because you are upset at the prospect of being forced to moderate your blatant bias against the Gillard government.)

His (attack) proposed legislation on media freedoms is an emotional reaction to what he perceives as a (section of the media out to get him and the Gillard government). valuable initiative in the public interest. Normally a (dummy spit) bill of this monumental proportion would be nothing more than (a minor amusement). due democratic process. But this is a case of a federal minister (manipulating) enhancing public policy to exact a personal (vendetta). moral and ethical stance.

And that makes him a (sook) nice bloke with a (dangerous) principled agenda.

The government’s drive to introduce regulatory control over our media began with events in the UK. According to Prime Minister Gillard, phone hacking conducted by British papers owned by News Corporation somehow implicated publications in Australia. Gillard said the British breaches caused people to “ask some questions here in our country, some questions about News Ltd here”.

The Prime Minister has never explained what those questions might be. (Isn’t it self evident?) Even this week, Mr Conroy’s office declined to cite examples of media behaviour that supported the move for greater control. because they were too numerous to detail before the deadline of this article going to print. We would submit, yet again, that phone hacking is a British media phenomenon without local parallel. (I’ll let that one go through to the keeper.)

Following a (pointless) valuable and albeit expensive media inquiry, which Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood (correctly) incorrectly noted had no reason to exist, the government now (proposes) provides more than 200 pages of legislation to (rule) assist your newspapers and the wider press. Citizens in totalitarian states are familiar with the results of government control over media. (Just as trees are green and the sky is blue.)

Conroy was (upset) amused over last Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph front page humourously linking him to historically oppressive government figures, but he cannot deny the essential truth behind the (potent) tongue-in-cheek image: any level of government control over media represents a diminished level of media freedom. to rightly maintain fairness, accuracy and privacy in reporting, and to preserve the imperatives of balanced and objective journalism. After all, Conroy could see the ironic parallel between historically oppressive government figures and manipulative modern-day media barons.

(As) If media freedoms are diminished, so too are the freedoms of readers and consumers. who deserve to be informed in an honest and objective manner. That is why this issue is so very critical, and why Australia’s collective media organisations are aligned in (opposition) support of Conroy’s proposed legislation. This is not a News Ltd issue, as much as Mr Conroy tried to make it thus. All the media recognises the huge social and democratic importance of its onerous responsibilities. Those few commentators who dismiss the (concerns) support of media organisations over the government’s plans should ask themselves how they might enjoy life under a regulatory-free framework that (interfered) gave them free rein with their own misguided rights to free expression. Such commentators tend to be unfriendly towards the present government, but the true (menace) beauty of media regulation is that it may well not change depending on the government of the day. What is considered acceptable by one government may not be considered so by another.but the regulator will be impartial.

According to Conroy’s proposed legislation, a Public Interest Media Advocate would be appointed by the government to consider, among other things, the connection between media coverage and as yet undefined “community standards”. The Minister has argued the advocate would be “benign”, which of course immediately begs the question why one (is needed). has not already been appointed. We believe community standards are better judged by the community, who are already able to voice concerns via any number of channels, including media outlets themselves. , however we accept that “community standards” require clarification. Adding a (needless) valuable layer of government (intrusion) involvement would (damage) enhance the relationship between media and the public. Forget Mr Conroy’s tears. of joy. If this legislation is passed, Australians will really have a reason to weep. for those less fortunate countries where the media is more powerful than democratically elected governments, able to bring down governments it disapproves of by indoctrinating its audiences.

HOMEWORK

Write a piece on the following proposition:

Media freedom of speech is tantamount to freedom to unduly and irresponsibly influence public thinking.

Plibersek lampoons Victoria over “stunts and spin”

Tanya ‘Florence’ Plibersek to the rescue: "The cash injection will be paid directly to local hospital networks ... and will not pass through the hands of the Baillieu government which has proven itself to be a cruel and incompetent manager of the Victorian health system.”
Tanya ‘Florence’ Plibersek to the rescue: “The cash injection will be paid directly to local hospital networks … and will not pass through the hands of the Baillieu government which has proven itself to be a cruel and incompetent manager of the Victorian health system.”

21 February 2013

First came the announcement of the Commonwealth’s $107 million cut to Victoria’s health funding this financial year, based on population forecasts. The cut, which coincided with the state government cutting about $123 million a year from its health budget, had caused more than 300 hospital beds to close

After scathing criticisms of the Victorian government’s management of it’s health system – “the Baillieu government which has proven itself to be a cruel and incompetent manager of the Victorian health system … has engaged in a politically-driven campaign of stunts and spin” – Federal Health Minister Tanya Pliberseck has been forced to bail-out Victoria’s hospitals.

To the rescue – Tanya Pliberseck, the lady with the lampoon aka Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp:

“The Victorian Government made some savage cuts to local hospitals in Victoria, and as health minister, I can’t stand by and see patients suffer. So, what we are doing is taking money that would have otherwise have gone to Victorian Treasury for a range of programs and redirecting it directly in to the hands of hospital administrators.”

As the Sydney Morning Herald reported:

Minister considers reversal of fortune for hospitals

The federal government will consider restoring $404 million cut from hospital budgets around Australia this financial year following the reversal of a cut to Victorian funding and threat from the Prime Minister to bypass state governments and fund hospitals directly.

Health minister Tanya Plibersek said Prime Minister Julia Gillard had written to other states to say she would consider restoring funding to hospitals after a readjustment of population forecast figures in October had resulted in a $404 million shortfall this financial year.

The restoration of $107 million in funding to Victoria would be made directly to hospitals, bypassing the Baillieu government.

Full SMH article including video

Tanya Pliberseck MP Media Release

Give us our game back, Mr Demetriou

You know you have a big problem when you can’t sell a pie at the footy
You know you have a big problem when you can’t sell a pie at the footy

 

14 February 2013

Wouldn’t it be funny if they held an AFL season and nobody came! Supporters, that is. Players are another story pending the outcome of the current ACCC, ASADA investigations into illicit drug use.

The ugly face of modern footy is a turn off – profiteering, widespread doping, organised crime activities, poker machine revenue, duplicitous tanking for draft picks, gambling on a massive scale, and maybe even match fixing – it’s enough to make you choke on your pie – if you can afford one – if you bother to go to the footy in 2013.

Australian Rules is our game – loved, revered and worshipped by we true believers. It has soul. We live for our teams and hold our players in the highest regard. They are our heroes, performing their feats of athleticism and courage, with undying loyalty to their clubs. And they do it for the love of the game, not money.

That’s our game – as it was.

Their game has been to take our game, turn it in to big business and sell its soul. And they have succeeded. We have been treated like fools. More fool them for killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

They have abused the very people who made the game great – us. The mass appeal was their green light for exploitation of the masses – us!

We have been ripped off, conned, cheated, gouged, deceived and kicked in the guts. We have been sold out by greed – and they think we will continue to accept it.

Corporatised and commercialised – that’s them.

Disillusioned and disenchanted – that’s us.

The divide between them and us is a chasm.

There is nothing left for us to believe in. Nothing left to have faith in. No sporting values to justify any passion or loyalty for the game at the so-called “elite” level. There is nothing elite about cheats and crooks.

But so many true believers seem to just accept the sad reality. Maybe not for much longer! Maybe we will all vote with our feet and just stay away from this dubious, amoral, charade they call the modern-day AFL.

LET’S BOYCOTT THEM. DON’T GO TO MATCHES.

Let’s hit them where they have hit us – in the pocket. (Not to mention the heart and the guts.)

Let’s give them a big fright. That is the only way they will give the game back to its rightful owners – us!

YES! GIVE US OUR GAME BACK, MR DEMETRIOU.

 

Bob Katter – TRUE GRIT OR NITWIT?

With apologies to John Wayne
With apologies to John Wayne

25 January 2013

John Wayne often portrayed larger than life cowboy characters who were quintessential heroes in white hats. Wayne was known for his conservative values and repeatedly expressed a personal distaste for homosexuality.

Kind of brings Bob Katter to mind doesn’t it? Although the hero aspect is highly questionable. We can ascribe his larger than life status to his boofhead. “If I wasn’t a boofhead, no one would know who I was” are indeed Katter’s own words as cited in a Sydney Morning Herald column by Phillip Thomson.

In this column, online opinion writer Tory Shepherd is quoted: ”Bob Katter wants a return to some mythical Wild West frontier land where decisions are made at 10 paces, gays are chased out of town with their pants around their ankles, and they kindly let the natives work the plantations”

Kind of reinforces the parallel, doesn’t it?

On 24 January 2013, following comments equating homosexuality with pedophilia made by two dumped Katter’s Australian Party candidates, Bob Katter appeared on Network Ten’s The Project. When pressed by host Charlie Pickering for his views, Katter unskilfully shirked and sidestepped the issues.

The Australian, 25 January, reported on Bob Katter’s appearance on The Project and also gave some Katter background snippets.

Enter John Wayne, aka Rooster Cogburn from the 1969 western film True Grit, with some of his notable quotes from that movie.

Are you ready Rooster? Here we go …

BOB Katter has refused to repudiate comments equating homosexuality with pedophilia made by two dumped Katter’s Australian Party candidates.

The normally outspoken federal MP has refused to say whether he agreed with Bernard Gaynor and Tess Corbett, whose KAP memberships were yesterday suspended for arguing gays should be banned from working with children.

Rooster Cogburn: So I won’t shoot my foot off.

“These issues are not relevant to what I am about in politics,” he told Network Ten’s The Project last night.

Rooster Cogburn: Young fella, if you’re looking for trouble, I’ll accommodate you. Otherwise, leave it alone … you get cross ways of me and you’ll think a thousand of bricks have fell on you!

Mr Katter said “I don’t know and I don’t care” when asked about the future of Mr Gaynor, who was vying for a spot on KAP’s Queensland Senate ticket for this year’s federal election.

Rooster Cogburn: I ought to paddle your rump!

He said he was concerned by the problem of suicide by farmers but clashed with interviewers when he played down the issue of suicide by gay and lesbian Australians.

“I am not aware of a single person of that persuasion committing suicide amongst the people in Queensland,” he said.

(Even Rooster Cogburn would have been speechless at the insensitivity of this.)

At the time he was interviewed, Mr Gaynor’s KAP membership was still current. Victorian candidate Tess Corbett had earlier withdrawn her bid to run in the House of Representatives seat of Wannon.

Rooster Cogburn: By God. She reminds me of me.

The party later issued a statement saying it would not be used by candidates to talk up their “personal preoccupations”.

Rooster Cogburn: I never shot nobody I didn’t have to.

Mr Katter is on record as being anti-gay, once saying he would “walk backwards from Bourke to Brisbane” if a homosexual could be found living in his north Queensland seat of Kennedy.

Rooster Cogburn: Backward. I always go backward when I’m backin’ away.

But he tempered his position last May, telling the Sydney Writers’ Festival that he regretted the KAP had run anti-gay ads during the Queensland election. Mr Katter’s gay half-brother Carl condemned the campaign ads as offensive.

Rooster Cogburn: (Brother), I was born game and I intend to go out that way.

Question: Bob Katter – TRUE GRIT or NITWIT?

Answer: If you live in Katter’s electorate of Kennedy, the answer is apparently: TRUE GRIT

 

Anthony Albanese: Yabba Dabba Doo To You And You And You!!!

It's all been easy - it's Albanese!
It’s all been easy – it’s Albanese!

24 January 2013

AUSTRALIA must fast-track new roads, railways, bridges and ports to secure prosperity as the mining boom fades, key members of the Reserve Bank have warned
– Courier Mail 24 January 2013

This article introduction inspired this cartoon depicting Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, as Fred Flintstone – from MINING BOOM to NATION BUILDING.

It was impossible to resist!

There is quite a likeness, don’t you think?

Coincidentally, just as Fred Flintstone is an animated and funny character, so too can Anthony Albanese be – as you may well have noticed!

As a prime example, let’s go back to the last day of parliament for 2012, when Albanese rose to his feet to deliver his Christmas Valedictory (Hansard).

The speech did include serious reference to his portfolio, so let’s get that out of the way first:

In my portfolio, this year we got the largest, most significant shipping reform done across the board. We had legislation relating to national regulators for heavy vehicles, maritime and rail. We have continued to roll out the largest Commonwealth investment in infrastructure in Australia’s history, with the doubling of the roads budget, the increase of the rail budget by more than 10 times and a commitment to urban public transport greater than all governments combined in the previous 107 years from Federation up to 2007.

Now for the droll and dry witticisms (with interesting insights) that interspersed the speech:

As much as I would appreciate everyone waiting for my valedictory, there is no need ……

To the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard—as she said, I do like fighting Tories. The Prime Minister and I have worked together on a basis of five or six meetings a day. I thank her for her trust in my judgement. From time to time, that has to happen as Leader of the House ……

To my mate, the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, we have a meal together every Sunday night, which probably means I have more dinners with Wayne than I have with my own family on Sunday nights. We have enjoyed a close relationship in portfolio also. I find it is always good to have the Treasurer on side when you are the Minister for Infrastructure ……

To the Chief Government Whip, the member for Hunter, we had a very enjoyable night at the end of the year when I attended the Souths versus Newcastle game with him. It was almost a good night until Greg Inglis took out Uate, and that made sure that the Newcastle home based crowd were disappointed that night ……

To the crossbenchers I say that I spend perhaps more time with them than is healthy for any of us. But the fact is that we have a relationship in which we trust each other’s words ……

To my opposite number, the member for Sturt, I say that I got an email the other week—and I do not know if he got this—that showed us in a photograph being friendly towards each other in spite of the fact that it was taken on a particularly rancorous day in the parliament. The member for Sturt is someone who is of good spirit ……

I wish all the other members of the opposition a good and safe festive season, particularly the Leader of the Nationals, as he is the shadow minister for infrastructure and transport ……

I also thank my branch members, party officials and supporters—in an election year, which is coming up, it is always wise to remember your base …..

In terms of my own family, to my wife, Carmel Tebbutt, and to my son, Nathan … My son starts high school next year. He has had an experience whereby for a majority of his life he has had two parents who are ministers, one in state government and one in federal government … Carmel certainly has a great deal more political support both within and outside the Labor Party. I do not think she has an enemy in politics, which is something I am not in a position to claim ……

I wish the House all the best.

 Yabba Dabba Doo!!!