Bushfirebill,Fiona, and some Other Bloke CANBERRA 22/02/2015

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A big Bonus Fiona will be attending as well as at least 1 SA Pubster









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Fúzy Fashionista Friday Raffle

And now for something completely different.

Earlier this week I was wondering whether the sideburn was going to return as an indispensable part of the well-groomed man. (Don’t ask me why I was wondering – moi’s brain is capable of all sorts of quirky thoughts. Besides, I think the sideburn is one aspect of facial hair with a very high degree of difficulty – many men, if I remember the 1970s correctly, just don’t have the follicles.)

Anyway, meine Freunde und Freundinen,


Time to grow something new: to put a new twist on things, to trim, to train, to wax (lyrical or otherwise).

Time to consider the merits – or lack thereof – of the fúzy (yes, it’s all Slovak to moi too).

It is, after all, Movember, so I thought it would be fun to find interesting examples of the moustache throughout history (and any other hairy facial adornments that tickle your fancy or whatever).

I’ll start the twirling with . . .

(Image Credit: Rebels in Tradition)

This, from the World Beard and Moustache Championships:

(Image Credit: Oddee)

And the man who donated his name to the sideburn:

(Image Credit: Oddee)

Over to you, mes amis. The bar is open, the jukebox is on, and no doubt Maestro CK Watt is sharpening his baton in readiness for tonight’s draw.

Shorten Playing a Blinder


Well, I think the jury’s in.

Bill Shorten has played a blinder. He’s written the text book, or at least Volume I of it, on how to counter Abbott’s maniacal mis-government.

Shorten is way ahead in the polls now, leaving Abbott behind. Abbott’s shot off just about the last bullet in the bandolier – anti-Red hysteria – along with all the usual suspects – Debt & Deficit, Royal Commissions, Evil Millennial Apocalyptic Death Cult Jihadis (and massive police raids to match, which netted one suspect and a plastic sword), Shirtfronting, Team Australia (heard that used lately?), anti-Obamaism (who ever told him that would work? Australians love Obama!), Dole Bludgers, Entitlement Mentalities, Knighthoods, a poncy “bizoid” comb-over, Blue Ties and has repealed the dreaded Carbon Tax (as well as Stopping the Boats…ho hum).

If 55-45 to Labor is the result of this, Abbott had better hope that asteroid the Euro spacecraft is on changes course and heads for planet Earth. Because salvation from the heavens themselves is about all that’ll help him now.

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He has no ideas, and no idea that he has no ideas. He’s got a dud in a Treasurer, a Nazi as Immigration Minister, a half passable Trade and Foreign Affairs combo, and dunderheads for the rest of the ministry. Unemployment is up, the economy is in the doldrums (and sinking lower), the dollar is down but there are far fewer exporters to take advantage of it, our telecommunications network is ratshit, R&D is gutted, growth industries are in hibernation and may not ever wake up, and those old 3-word slogans just don’t have the elan they used to have.

None of the above will create one nett job or put dinner on the table for the unemployed. None of the above will revive a defunct manufacturing industry. Digging holes and milking cows certainly won’t, either.

Frankly, except for Big Dairy (now substantially owned by another usual suspect, Gina Rinehart), who gives a shit about the Dairy Industry being the big winner from an FTA with China? I mean, who really cares? It’s embarrassing. Other countries do FTAs and hi-tech is the big winner, or aeronautical manufacturing or some other sophisticated secondary industry.

What do we get?

Contented cows.

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Good on ‘em for trying, and good luck to our tenacious milkos, but it’s hardly the thing that’s going to lead the recovery we need. The Budget is blocked, locked and stonewalled in the Senate with a maddie running around vowing she’ll never pass another government bill until they give the ADF a proper pay-rise (I forgot… so much for our brave troops).

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Meanwhile the Quiet Australian, Bill Shorten, has scored big in the polls without hardly lifting a finger in dispute. He has stuck to Abbott like a limpet, but he’s only stuck to him in things that can easily become unstuck once Labor wins back government. Troops in Iraq? Pull them out. Jihadi Laws? Repeal them. Same for the journo laws. On the latter, once he does that, or even hints at it, will Billy be the darling of the media or what?

OK, OK, I know that the fearless Fourth Estate is only whingeing about something they’ll never do, and wouldn’t recognize if they trod in it – investigative journalism – but you never know, promising to repeal an anti-media law can’t possibly be a negative, can it? Would even The Australian write an editorial denouncing a freeing-up of reporting on security matters by thundering that what we need now is MORE censorship? Yeah, well, maybe they would, but I don’t think it’d stand the laugh test. And that’s if they have any readers left.

Where we are now is that the government is coming up to Christmas and a rumoured ministerial reshuffle. Even Bolt has chimed in on that, telling Abbott to clean out the deadwood, with Joe Hockey first up the 13 steps to the gibbet,whimpering “Why me?”

Why not you, Joe. You’ve done eff-all and wasted our precious time doing it.

You can’t cancel Christmas – or in journo parlance… “The Killing Zone” – and Abbott can’t squib the hard yards for much longer. One is reminded of deck chairs and the Titanic, for all the choice he’s got.


Sailor” and shuffleboard competitions, rather than actually doing anything. Promotion has triumphed over perspiration. And there’s an iceberg ahead.

This farce cannot go on for much longer. Australia is essentially un-governed. While the Captain is in his stateroom preening himself, hair-spraying that cowlick back off his forehead and adjusting his Windsor knot, working out which side makes him look more statesmanlike, the ship of state drifts rudderless. As does its cargo… the Economy… and its passengers… us.

Cleaning out the deadwood will be like those guys with a screwdriver and a bleak look on their faces that you get out of the Yellow Pages to come and inspect your floor joists for termites. “Geez mate, it just goes deeper and deeper.” It’s why those other bringers of bad news, dentists, commit suicide so much more than the rest of us: the more they drill, the more rot they find. What’s the point of capping teeth and putting in implants if your paying customers hate your guts and fear you like nothing else?

“This won’t hurt a bit,” say Tony and Joe.

“Yeah, sure,” say the voters. “We’ve heard that story before.”

Elected to govern, Abbott’s mob are not governing. It can’t be put simpler than that. They have a few ideas, but nobody likes them, because most of the ideas they have are either broken promises, or promises they were too gutless to make in the first place.

The crew have deserted their posts, more interested in running “Best Dressed


Captain Smith went down with his ship, but you can bet Abbott will be looking for a lifeboat. Unfortunately there are none left. It’s time for Tony to put up, or piss off.

He wanted the job, and now he’s got to do it. But we know he can’t.

Exeunt, stage right, Tony Abbott.

Hello Little Bill Shorten, the man who everyone said was a boring wimp, but who has slain the mighty dragon by essentially doing nothing except staying right behind him, in his blind spot. You have to take your hat off to Shorten. He has shown remarkable cleverness is NOT doing the bleedin’ obvious and is now reaping a just reward for it.

Game of Moans

Today’s Guest Poster is Puffy The Magic Dragon. Thank you, Puffy, for sharing – and please don’t hesitate to let us know sometime what you really think of Our Dear Leader . . .

(Image Credit: SBS)

The birds were chirping, the Adelaide sky was a lovely blue with fluffy white clouds floating, a cool breeze chasing away the heat, the next door’s dog was engaged in the usual slanging match with one of my terriers. It was a glorious Sunday morn that greeted my wakening. A sense of unease tugged at my lazy morning comfort. I had the feeling that there was a blemish on the face of the beauty but I could not quite pinpoint it. Did I have a bad dream; were its tendrils displacing my comfort and lassitude?

I am a slow waker. The warmth of sleep and the weight of terriers delay my rising; I rarely leave that cocoon without a twinge of regret. It is very primal, finding a secure and comforting sleeping place, where cold, wet and danger are at bay. I love the sound of heavy rain on a corrugated iron roof while I wriggle further down under the covers, and throw their warmth over my dogs as well.

Then it hit me, that thing, that crawling up the spine feeling of acute embarrassment, much like remembering that you blundered at the vegan dinner by asking if the fantastic roast spuds were cooked in duck fat.

In Lock Down Brisbane there was a knees-up for all the world leaders. The populace displayed great courtesy and grace by deserting the city for the weekend. Restaurants were empty. The brothels worried that the visitors would not make up for the regulars who would stay away. The roads were like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film set. I expected at any time to see a Mad Max rage across the empty roadways. The protesters were polite, refusing to start a riot for our media (won’t someone think of the headlines!) with a few token arrests of people for refusing to give their names to a police officer without being suspected of a crime, or some such right that we have had since the Magna Carta or some such. The police overtime was fantastic, just in time for Christmas spending.

OH CRIPES. Now I remember. Oh dear, oh my, oh NOOOOOOOO! This chance to bring twenty of the world’s leaders to our beautiful country, to showcase our innovation, our commitment to justice, our fair dinkum-ness, our willingness to lead in the face of overwhelming odds in areas of global significance just because it is right and needed, this chance of the decades, was torpedoed. It was blown out of the water by an egotistical, petty, small-minded, weak-willed, inept fool.

This man, who styles himself as a Man’s Man while the Women of Australia Do Their Ironing, The Abominable Shirtfronter, this Theon Greyjoy of Australian politics, whinged, in a stirring reminder of the epithet applied to unwary English migrants of the post WW2 who expressed their separation anxieties through complaining of the shortcomings of their new antipodean home. Jokes about jet engines come to mind. He whinged that the true blues of the Great Southern Land would not accept his ideas of a discredited economic theory. The colonials object to the dismantling of Medicare and university education fee increases that would impoverish a generation.

He boasted, as a school bully boasts about blocking up the school toilets, to the world leaders wondering how to avert a millennium climate disaster, that he dismantled Australia’s earth-saving carbon pollution reduction scheme, and replaced it with a free and unaccountable handout to our biggest polluters, all funded through whatever taxes are left after his expenses for various weddings, bike rides and office fit-outs are paid.

This little man, Tiny Abbott, who prevents people from attending the funerals of their friends, belittled our guests. These very important people, the most powerful in the world to ever visit Australia together, were guests in our country, but Tiny likes to pick leaners and lifters, likers and losers. Like a bad host he made sure some were seated below the salt, visibly so, when an experienced diplomat or dignified wedding planner would have ensured salt cellars at every setting.

How clever to demonstrate to the world that petty vindictiveness and infantile scheming are the heights of one’s skills, and the shallowness of one’s character.

Tony Abbott is a man who believes he is the Imperial Governor of Australia, the man sent to teach the colonials how to live, to put away their grandiose ideas of a peaceful, fair and progressive land that attends to its inequalities and recognises their First Peoples, and strives for something better than all the countries that its immigrants left behind in sadness and hope.

I remembered what was spoiling my pleasant Adelaide morning: that boil under the Australian armpit, Tony Abbott, the Prime Miniature of Australia.

But then, I remembered. Nothing is forever.

(Image Credit: Getty Images)