Sunday Funday

Embarrassing moments. We’ve all had them.

One embarrassing moment had me running for cover.

About 20 years ago I attended the opening of a new restaurant in North Adelaide. People just stood around eating finger food while being served free drinks of all descriptions and chatted to whoever walked past.

One fellow kept calling me Imran. Yes, I was young and good looking once :mrgreen: and struck a familiar look to Pakastani cricketer and heartthrob Imran Khan. So naturally, I didn’t mind being likened to him.

But this fellow started to become very obnoxious after an hour or so and the thrill was starting to wear off. “Hey, Imran” he’d shout across the room. Once or twice is OK, but not 15,000 times.

Slightly bored I told him he reminds me of Skull Murphy. Some of you might remember Skull (pictured); a mean, nasty SOB wrestler from the 1960s. He was the ultimate bad guy.

“Why did you say that?” he asked, somewhat seriously.

“Your bald ugly head has something to do with it” I replied.

At that point he pulled out his card. The name on it chilled me to the core: Detective Richard Murphy.

“Skull was my uncle” he glaringly and frighteningly announced.

That’s when I announced my departure.

A photo of Canadian wrestler Skull Murphy whic...

Skull Murphy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tony Abbott Defends His Position!

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,
I’m a big tough palooka,
Who hates all gazookas……….
And here is my master plan.

I’ll push conservation
So most of this nation
Has clear new contour lines
To protect precious mines.

So it’s cheerio, NBN!
I’ll start it over again,
Making sure it employs
All our special good boys.

My parental leave dream
Is a great part of my scheme.
Soon gals won’t get chosen
For jobs with promotion.

I’ll remove the vexation
Of all Labor’s taxation
To ensure that the wealthy
Stay happy and healthy.

Then with hospitals empty
There will be beds aplenty,
So the poor near old age
Need no pension or wage.

Though I am happy to say
That my dear sister is gay,
I agree with George Pell;
Real queers all go to hell.

Same for that witch Julia!
She’s got no right to rule yer!
Get her out! Let’s shove’er!
And her live-in lover!

What’s up, Robb? ‘Course we can’t sink!
My policies do not stink!
And this boat’s got no holes!
Just read the bloody polls!


As is pretty obvious this pome, well jingle really, was inspired by Alan Moir. His Popeye, rolling out that jingle, with its immediately recognisable beat, is so obviously Tony Abbott! Particularly now when he needs to reassert his authority. He must be aware, after all the ALP shenanigans over the past weeks that there are murmurings of challenges to his own authority. Here’s my take on how he might defend his position against possible challengers. He wouldn’t mention the names we’ve heard – Malcolm Turnbull? Joe Hockey? – but simply stand his ground and boast his credentials.

His and the Coalition’s ‘policies’ have not changed an iota in the year since Alan’s drawing first appeared in spite of those rumors that business leaders and others are concerned about the LOTO position and his low personal rating in the polls. They make no reference to a rapidly changing world’s environmental problems or Australia’s real economic status. This brilliant cartoon says all there is to say about Tony Abbott and I found the jingle irresistable so I just had to carry on with it. Alan has forgiven my slight modification of his rhyme. Tony Abbott is indeed a big Palooka, and he probably does hate all gazookas, but he’s all washed up ashore, on an unsailable boat full of holes and he is so punch drunk on his ‘spin’ that he doesn’t know or care what he’s saying! The polls are all he cares about – what have policies got to do with anything?

For those who may not know, a gazooka is another word for a kazoo, a flute sized tin whistle type instrument which adds a “buzzing” timbral quality to a player’s voice when the player talks or sings into it. The flute shape perhaps explains how the term being gazooka’d came to mean having a “torpedo like” object shoved in your anus forcefully!!!! It has the additional colourful connotation of things like big hooters or big titties, e.g. “Look at those huge gazookas!”

Whether Alan Moir wanted us to think Tony hates big busted women or the thought of a big sharp instrument shoved up his arse is unclear, but I think we all understand his allusion to palookas who are incompetent or easily defeated athletes, especially prizefighters. The name derives from Joe Palooka a one time comic strip figure. The word “palooka” has now become somewhat of a negative term usually preceded by the word “big” and it describes a large man, a clumsy man, an oaf, a fighter, a bully, a brawler.

Having explained all that, I think the cartoon and the pome speak for themselves!

The Great Manipulators


Another great post from The Pub’s very own Janice!

(Credit: Democratic Underground)

The kingmakers

Power hungry controllers of society – The Media


The Fourth Estate is a societal and political force or institution, whose influence is not consistently or officially recognised.

Supposedly, the Fourth Estate consists of professional men and women who are trained in the art of journalism, whereby they gather information, without fear or favour, and disperse same to the people.

Supposedly, these journalists abide by a Code of Ethics (regulated by themselves)

When media hyenas gather, someone is torn to pieces. The carcass is fought over so that every morsel is consumed in a feeding frenzy that serves only to quiet the hunger pangs for a short time.

In this country, journalists have always been rated below the used car salesman in the trustworthy stakes. I suspect this is because truth is never…

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Libs to axe Abbott after poll shock

Following the success of his article of the same name on Independent Australia, Alan Austin has kindly offered it for publication at Café Whispers.

Today’s horrific opinion polling for Tony Abbott has forced moves to replace him as federal Opposition leader.

“We have no choice,” a prominent Coalition power broker told journalists in a private backgrounder. “We must act now. Going to an election with Tony would be suicide.”

Newspoll today shows Abbott’s personal approval still only 39 per cent despite having risen 11 points since December.

This continues the run of negative poll results since Abbott narrowly beat Malcolm Turnbull for the Liberal Party leadership in 2009. That vote was 42 – 41.

Turnbull’s approval remains above 60 per cent.

“Tony’s numbers are disastrous,” a senior Liberal Party strategist admitted. “Never been above 40 per cent. And that’s with all the media constantly pumping him and bagging Julia.”

The strategist concedes that on current polling the Government would win the September election if Abbott remains Opposition leader. “Keating won in 1993 from a worse position than Gillard’s now,” he said. “And the little lying rodent won in 2001 from even further behind.”

“Abbo is a nice bloke,” said a Coalition frontbencher who declined to be named. “He got Fairfax in lockstep with Murdoch by promising whatever media laws they want. And the ABC is giving us an incredible run. God knows what he promised them. So kudos to Abbo for that. But we can’t expect the media to conceal the fact forever – the guy has no policy clue.

“Sooner or later, someone’s going to read his book,” the frontbencher said. “Talk about falsehoods and fantasy! I don’t know who wrote it. But he didn’t get a fact right.”

“If Laurie Oakes or Paul Syvret found it, they’d rip it to shreds. We’ve begged him to take it off the website.”

A source close to the Shadow Treasurer agrees. “If you think Joe Hockey is an economics moron – don’t quote me on that, will you? – just look at what Abbott says. I mean, everything about tax is wrong, everything on growth and productivity is wrong. It’s like he’s never read a briefing paper in his life.”

“Eventually someone’s going to notice the economy,” the source said. “We can only lie about that for so long. Reality will dawn – Australia’s books are the best in the world. By a street. The media all keep trying to credit Costello. But the punters won’t buy that forever.”

A National Party shadow minister in a marginal country seat confirmed the move is on. “Gotta face it,” he said. “We can’t win with Tony. He’s not just a policy buffoon but a compulsive liar. Switch now, and we have a chance.”

The frontbencher said the continual falsehoods were a central problem to conservative rural voters. “Like when he denied meeting George Pell. Stone the crows! And denying he organised the anti-Pauline Hanson slush fund. Geez, that’s going to bite us on the bum. His crazy claim he won’t do deals to gain office. Strewth! His lies about the carbon tax. His insane idea that China’s CO2 emissions would increase 500 per cent. His stupid porkies about why he didn’t visit the troops in Afghanistan with Julia. The ridiculous claim that BHP deferred Olympic Dam due to taxes. His absurd insult to all our allies that ‘the rest of the world was not going anywhere near emission trading schemes.’ Calling asylum seekers ‘illegals’. And his lies about Government spending. Fair dinkum! They just keep on coming.”

“Tony’s a good mate,” the shadow minister said. “Just no integrity. This is all off the record, by the way.”

According to another Coalition insider the move could come as early as next week. “We are just waiting for Tony to go overseas. Like the Country Libs in the Northern Territory.”

Asked if he believed the switch to Malcolm Turnbull would be a positive, the insider said, “Anyone but Abbott. But you didn’t hear it from me.

“Look, we gave him a go. Got in front in the polls for a while. But let’s face it. There’s only one reason for that – the media continually concocting stories about the Gillard Government with fabricated quotes attributed to anonymous sources.”

Alan (pictured below) is an Australian freelance journalist currently living in Nîmes in the South of France, but who returns to Australia regularly. His interests are religious affairs, the economics of development and integrity in government and the media. He has been published in many print outlets and worked for eight years with ABC Radio and Television’s religious broadcasts unit. He has also worked as a journalist with the aid agency World Vision and the Uniting Church.

Come back, Paul!

Are there any retired politicians you’d like to see back in the halls of Parliament?

I’d love to see a return of Paul Keating; in my opinion one of our best Prime Ministers, Treasurers and Parliamentary performers we’ve had the pleasure to witness. And silly me voted against him in both 1993 and 1996. Just goes to show how politically ignorant I once was.

History has shown the extent of my ignorance.

Australia’s booming economy owes much to him, for example. By introducing compulsory employer based superannuation in the early 1990s he has now added over $1Trillion dollars into our economy.

But despite his previous accomplishments, more than anything I’d just love to see him hanging the likes of Abbott out to dry during Question Time. 😉

Which (living) politician would you like back?

English: Paul Keating in 2007.

Paul Keating in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Big Mac and a Coke: No Thanks!

A Big Mac and a Coke have not been some Australians’ idea of happiness in recent months. Something about the fast food and drink mob inflames the passions. Two of my posts this week for Global Voices Online look at activists’ responses to the two biggest global names – McDonald’s and Coca Cola Amatil.

Firstly, some old-fashioned protest action:

Residents’ opposition to a new McDonald’s in the Melbourne hills suburb of Tecoma has linked direct action with online campaigning. In October 2012 an administrative tribunal overturned the local Council’s unanimous decision to reject a Maccas’s proposal for a new fast food outlet.
Australia: Locals Fight to Stop McDonald’s in their Hills

Plenty of fire on both sides. In a rare response to the increasingly personal debate, Global Voices closed comments at 293, after removing a few that had been flagged.

In separate action, Coca Cola has faced a national campaign:

A nationwide campaign against Coca Cola has followed their successful legal challenge on March 4, 2013 to container deposit legislation in the Australia’s Northern Territory.
Coca Cola Machine ‘Out of Order’ in Australia

An anonymous Facebook group ‘Out of Order’ have been encouraging people to put the signs on vending machines. The Australian Coca Cola facebook page has nearly a million Likes. Can’t help feeling that the protesters are just nipping at the heels of the transnationals.

First Dog on the Moon responded at Crikey:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself

I love watching TED Talks videos on my iPad when I get the rare chance, especially those that are about science and technology. One I watched last night, on smartphone apps of all things, referred to an article from The Guardian: Top five regrets of the dying. It was teasing enough to deserve a look. The article was about a palliative care nurse who, through her caring of patients during the last weeks of their lives, had recorded the most common regrets of the dying.

Here are the top five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

And now I’ve turned it into a blog post. 🙂

I have one thing I’d like to do, and that is finish my PhD. I’d get nothing out of it career wise, but I’d hate to die wondering whether or not I could have completed it. Dr Miglo does have a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

A set of testicles, anyone?

A guest post by Inga Leonora

“… If she [Julia Gillard] was less concerned about herself and her own survival, there would be an election.” said Tony Abbott in his press conference minutes after the outcome of the ALP leadership spill was announced this afternoon.


Mr Abbott seems to have momentary forgotten that Ms Gillard called an election for September 14 2013.  In February. And what’s even more strange is his unusual consideration of Ms Gillard’s need to be concerned with her survival.

Quite without reference to the importance of today’s earlier events for thousands of Australians as the PM delivered an apology to victims of forced adoption and completely overshadowing a moving speech by Ms Gillard, (and the unfortunate event during which Mr Abbott was heckled) Simon Crean had a tanty in the halls of Parliament House. And the hero of his tanty fairytale, Kevin Rudd, elegantly smiled and short termed his way out of the looming epic leadership challenge shortly after. Which left us with a fat load of nothing, according to most everyone.

It’s not completely clear why Crean decided to call his little press conference, and put himself forward as a candidate for Deputy PM. He’s probably wondering the same thing now he’s moved to the backbenches. I have my suspicions that it has to do mostly with the MSM, who have been talking about it until finally, someone, like Crean, bought it. Points to them, proving that some people still read newspapers. But he admitted he hadn’t spoken to Kevin Rudd in over 48 hours. So, he just thought he had that level of clout? Certainly the ABC commentators several times referred to him as an ‘elder statesman’ of the ALP during their coverage. Possibly a reference to his growing confusion, rather than the influence Crean is under the impression he wields.

But whilst the media will continue to focus on a plethora of  opinions on the events, least of which Mr Abbott’s, and break down the ‘timeline of events’ in blue graphic glory, they will fail to highlight the most important aspect of today. And that is Gillard’s behaviour in the face of the absurdity.

Gillard was not ’emotional’. Aggressive. In minutes she announced a spill, catching all off guard, and threw down in front of Abbott, who managed nothing more than to deliver a loop of previous statements and sound bites, and my absolute favourite (because I am convinced this is the only thing he actually understands in terms of the procedure in the House) motion to suspend standing orders followed by a no confidence motion. That was never going to happen. And always seems to be accompanied by circus music in my head. In response though, the PM delivered a list of policy, legislation and commitment to that policy and legislation. Without skipping a beat. The House divided, Abbott lost, and within seconds, QT was over. Because the PM said so. 5pm rolled around and Gillard emerged from Caucus, and not one of her colleagues contested a single leadership role.

Oh yes, I see what you mean! Here is a woman on the edge, completely out of control, desperately moving for numbers in her own party to cling hopelessly to the leadership. Fighting for her survival. Maybe you saw this too, the pained, strained and emotional women in front of the cameras pleading for her job? The men emerging to tell the tale of their compromise and pity? No?

No. What I saw was a bunch of time wasting men who for whatever reasons declared the instability of the government from both sides. The instability was caused entirely by Simon Crean, who Abbott lauded as respected college in his little number in the House (and the Press Gallery, let us not forget, they’ve been convincing people of whispers of rumours of unnamed sources regarding the ALP leadership for over a week now). Is it possible that these men hoped you would not notice? That in fact the desperate, unstable behaviour in the Parliament today came not from our female PM, but the ol’ boys?

If any of these men had clipped, contained and felled a leadership spill in the time, manner and elegance that the PM did today, with her almost air of disdain for their tomfoolery, we would call him a ‘real leader’. We would say, here is a ‘bloke you don’t mess with’, and perhaps that ‘these other ‘Nancys’ should go have a lie down’. We would say, ‘well he sorted that out.’ But we don’t when it comes to our current PM. And I am beginning to believe we won’t for a long time yet.

There is no prowess this woman can demonstrate, there is no complete deftness at debate and confrontation, no skill in adversarial situations this woman can show in real time, that could possible overcome the fact she is in fact a woman. This is the only concrete difference I can pin point to the complete failure to apply the standardised terminology in these cases. And here is a talent in those situation if ever there was one. Over and over and over again Gillard has demonstrated some of the most brilliant ad hoc speeches the House has seen. Journos and pollies alike who have no where near her skill scoff and blunder about her ineptitude. The woman is quick, aggressive and I would not want to find myself in a court room where she was on the other side. An elder statesman of the ALP called for a spill, and she handed it to him, just like he asked, and not one person in the caucus contested either leadership role. Someone in that room got served, and it was not the ‘desperate and unstable’ Julia Gillard. It would seem Crean was handed several things by Gillard today.

Ms Gillard is not fighting for her survival. It would appear that she does not have to fight at all. And does more than simply survive, Kevin Rudd survived, just. No, she is leading, and not even breaking a sweat in situations that would cause me and most people to have an anxiety attack. And that’s comforting. This fills me with a sense of stability. I know I can rely on Gillard to always deliver in the House, under pressure, with the same aptitude, every time. She always does. Like a leader. Dare I say it, like a man.

No male leader who behaved like that in the house today would be described as anything other than decisive, strong, effective, squashing dissent, demonstrating his skill at demolishing those who oppose him. Peter Reith is busy telling ABC24 that people have seen Julia Gillard in action and they don’t like what they see. Even as I type this. Compared to what? Christopher Pyne only this week and his “a desperate comment from a desperate prime minister” outburst?

Drama, shambles, instability, chaos, failed. These are the terms of today. I must’ve been watching the wrong channel or following the wrong hashtag, because I saw a leader who was decisive, infinitely capable of conquering a House and caucus within minutes, and it seems to me that this level of aptitude must be why they have managed to get so much legislation through the house. The “failed experiment” according to LOTO Abbott. And she didn’t have her head fly off in a rage to do it.

Am I wrong? Is this all about policy? I don’t even like ALP policy, as a whole, nor intend to vote for the ALP in the coming election. I have a long time thought the ALP was in function and premise two parties, that should divide and separate, but I would not call Gillard’s behaviour weak or desperate or shambolic. The continue disparity between the terminology applied to our first female Prime Minister and what we would apply to any other male political leader was never so obvious as it was today.

The problem continues to appear a biological one. So let me suggest that perhaps Simon Crean has what the Australian people and the media are looking for, now, detached and useless, and maybe even still on the platter they were served to him on, that the PM might borrow for a bit.

Tony Abbott: high anxiety


It seems that politics in Australia exists in some sort of parallel world. Is it that the Australian media is completely disconnected from reality, or is it that it chooses to be so?

From reading or listening to little but mainstream, it would seem that the media and the Liberals would prefer the impression that nothing has changed since the last election. The rhetoric remains stagnant: the Gillard government it is repeated, is in deep trouble. Julia Gillard’s hold on power is tenuous we are told; and we have been told the same thing since 2010. As Rossleigh so ably put it in his topic at The Australian Independent Media:

A leadership spill is speculated to occur tomorrow, and on Thursday . . . Friday at the latest. If not Friday, certainly sometime before or after the next election.

Yet strangely, little is forthcoming from the Opposition to enlighten us as to why this is “a bad government”. Where is the rhetoric, the photo ops, the hard luck stories to back up the imagine which Tony Abbott wishes to convey?  It seems that it exists in this parallel world, in the imagination of Tony Abbott and the media.

If The Master (and I do not use this term as a compliment) John Howard was in charge today, then by God we Aussies would know we were in strife as not a day would go by without pictures of Howard’s “Battlers”; photos of Aussies “doing it tough”. Mums, Dads and kiddies would be out there on the streets displaying their ragged and torn Nikes while mum sobs into her somewhat bedraggled pure silk Ralph Lauren hankie. The headlines would read: This is what has become of Howard’s Aspirationals under a Labor government.

Yet where is Tony Abbott? Tony is on the beach with a daughter or two, Tony is hard-hatting it with the workers, Tony is downing a cleansing ale. Empathy with Howard’s Battlers does not exist for Tony.

Tony (not) empathising with workers and unhappy domestic situations, and yes he managed to do this all in one brief sentence:

Bad bosses, like bad fathers and husbands, should be tolerated because they do more good than harm…

Tony (not) empathising with the gay community:

Well, there is no doubt that it challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things…

To me, this is a WTF moment on indigenous issues:

Racism used to be offered as the complete explanation for Aboriginal poverty, alienation and early death. Racism hasn’t disappeared. Still, if racism caused poverty, why hasn’t poverty declined as racism diminished.

Tony yet again (not) empathising with the indigenous community:

There may not be a great job for them but whatever there is, they just have to do it, and if it’s picking up rubbish around the community, it just has to be done.

Tony (not) empathising with the difficulties facing Australian businesses:

To be honest, I think that Australian-made campaigns are feelgood campaigns at best.

Tony (not) empathising with mental illness:

…we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice…”


We can’t stop people drinking; we can’t stop people gambling; we can’t stop people having substance problems; we can’t stop people from making mistakes that cause them to be less well-off than they might otherwise be.

Is this the picture of public anxiety which the Liberals wish to convey? If there is community anxiety, it should be that a person with these opinions might become Prime Minister.

However, onward Tony Abbott hastens all a’flurry on a road back to nowhere in particular, and all the while providing constant visual images that just perhaps Australians aren’t doing it all that tough after all. Yet again and all the while, glossing over and trivialising the many important issues which Australia has been facing, and will face in the future.

So here is our parallel world where Whyalla, the government and our society are about to collapse in chaos and despair we remain where we started, with a photo op and little else.

It is with some gratification that an article in the Herald Sun announces that:

TONY Abbott’s budgie smugglers have been replaced with ”stopping the boats” and ”people smugglers” in an analysis of the most used political words in mainstream media.




LEMONs – Liberal’s Endless Mantra Of NO


Video Arcade

Labor’s Ad Pulled by Liberals 2013 Election

What Abbott won’t EVER say on Marriage Equality

If Abbott wins – NO School kids Bonus

Rupert Murdoch & News Ltd do NOT choose OUR Government

Aussie Works – Aussie Rights

Well-Off versus Needy – Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave vs Pensions *

Sedition – Palmer, Brough & Slipper (& Hockey?) – Ashbygate

Penalty Rates – if Abbott wins, you lose

Proof: ‘Medicare Locals will be cut’

Election Morning After – Hilarious

Abbott the Cutter!

If Abbott wins, YOU lose!

If Abbott wins, Australia LOSES!!!



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