A tale of two Commissions

Shut the gate, the chutzpah has bolted…

“I am not prepared to allow this to become a distraction for the party or the government,” Baird said in a statement.

This is the NSW Premier talking, on the day that he lost his 10th Liberal MP for dodgy dealings. There they are. One more and we can have a cricket match: Barbarians v. NSW.

Perennial Liberal drinks waiter, Arthur Sinodinos, seems chuffed to think that because Geoffrey Watson didn’t fly across the lectern and strangle him on the spot and that he left on his own two feet and not in a paddy wagon, he’s been cleared by ICAC. But however confident his kerbside doorstops make Arthur out to be, Howard’s bovver boy, the standover man who terrified half a generation of Public Servants, is now finding out what the blowtorch feels like, when applied to his own belly.

He teamed up with a bunch of Catholics from St. Pat’s, Strathfield, in the form of the Sinodinos clan, and that other St. Pat’s boy, Nick di Girolamo, only to be put on the skewer by yet another SPC Old Boy, Geoffrey Watson SC, Counsel Assisting ICAC. Arthur is only just starting to find out that a Greek lad from Newcastle went to all the wrong schools (and came from the wrong town) for the Liberals to offer him anything more than the odd bone from High Table. He was never really one of them. Useful, true. Feared, certainly… but never part of the inner Liberal “Our Thing”.

Arthur should have listened to another St. Pat’s Old Boy, School Captain emeritus Rod de Aboitiz, when he complained to Arthur that something was crook with AWH, and in particular with his large investment in the aforementioned firm. Arthur should have realized a lot of things, like you don’t get paid $200,000 and get to hold lofty Party positions given as Liberal favours just because you’re a good bloke.

In short, there is a difference between giving evidence, smugly denying everything, and the judge believing you.

To be fair, Julia Gillard is technically in the same holding pen. The media has cleared her, but not Dyson Heydon… yet.

Some of the (now) “Nothing to see here” press brigade weren’t so charitable back in 2013, when they wrote up the AWU business as Labor’s “darkest hour”. But swift and seemingly random changes in direction and focus are what you expect from a herd. The Press Gallery’s new-found decency and committment to fairness is just a passing fad for them. Like yo-yos, or hula hoops, facts for the hacks will end up in the back of the media garage with all the rest of the fetishes, crackpot ideas and issues-of-the-hour they told us they were experts on.

The difference between Gillard’s “I can’t recall” and Sinodinos’ was a case of chalk and cheese: Gillard couldn’t remember whether she had the meat or the fish at a dinner on a Wednesday night in 1992.

Arthur couldn’t remember whether he noticed that $700,000 dollars had passed through his own finance committee just a couple of years ago. Even if it had, Arthur boldly asserted, it wasn’t his problem. He was only Chairman of the Finance Committee.

But of course that leads to Arthur’s REAL problem. Can you imagine him in charge of billions of dollars, not just hundreds of thousands?

“Oh, I dunno. Yeah, there was some money went in and out of the Reserve bank, but I wrote a letter to someone, so it’s none of my concern that it disappeared.”

I guess it all boils down to how you define “stupid”.

To put a guy like this in charge of a large swathe of the nation’s finances would be a very stupid mistake. He seems to think his various job descriptions, for which he naturally expects to be paid a very large salary, are primarily ceremonial. No question of them being hands-on, or anything coalfacey like that. Arthur “has people” who look after the details.

He’s read Management For Dummies, where it specifically states that the job of The Manager is to pick the best people, and then let them get on with their job. The only problem is that Arthur seems to have dredged his own people from direct descendants of the Rum Corps.

I’ve heard of “delegation” but to make Arthur Sinodinos the Assistant Treasure for the Commonwealth of Australia would be an insult to the voters. Especially when his boss, Joe Hockey, is floundering at the next level up as well, and the Finance Minister struggles with an uncannily box-headed resemblance to Boris Karloff. All they need now is the Eager Boy from the ranks, fresh from a round of self-delusion at ICAC (and the delusion that Tony Abbott is his friend), who sheds memories and responsibilities like confetti brushed from a shoulder at a big fat Greek wedding.

Forget the multiculturalism. There’s an old Aussie phrase for Arthur: “Tell him he’s dreaming.”

Baird must be amazed that the polls haven’t tanked as far as they might have, yet. That’s why he still thinks his government has spare capacity to be further distracted by the ICAC findings. It’s distracted alright. Has been for months now, as a conga line of developers, lurk merchants, sleeve tuggers, commission agents and dodgy MPs do the Walk Of Shame onto the Castlereagh St. footpath outside ICAC.

Baird only got his job because his erstwhile boss, Barry O’Farrell, crashed and burned after “misleading” ICAC.

That’s not a bad basis for distraction, right there. While Barry was pontificating about how naughty Labor was, and about how he was going to clean up NSW, he and his troops had their snouts in the trough so deep that pigs gave them standing ovations.

As Mike Seccombe posits: why did they bother? They were going to win in a canter.

Mike then answered his own question: greed.

It’s what they do.

In this tale of two Commissions – and the two slush funds they are investigating – we have one that was run by a couple of union chancers who couldn’t believe their luck, and another, from the other end of town, that shovelled hundreds of thousands of dollars through an elaborate conduit of trusts, dodgy companies, false invoices, and a spivocracy that reaches to the heart of the Liberal Party.

No-one in either case is accepting responsibility for the ultimate results of their actions, but we have already seen how one of the slushy scandals broke a government, even though the case is at heart circumstantial. In between various scraps of paper, documents with faded signatures and the equally faded memories of those alleged to be involved over two decades ago, a snail’s trail of inference and innuendo has been drawn that might add up to something.

Whether it does – or does not – is up to Dyson Heydon. But even Julia’s enemies are conceding it’s not looking good for their own demented wet dream of Jail Time For Julia (or should that be “Jail-iar”? You wouldn’t put it past them). They had their chance, several of them. The “Who? Us?” media joined in the kicking. Each time they ended up claiming that there were more questions that needed to be answered they only highlighted their own inability to ask them. Hedley Thomas, Ace Investigative Reporter for The Australian was a no-show on both occasions. He had to resort to texting Sid Maher the questions. You can see why The Oz is losing so much money now, can’t you?

However lazy and unprepared the Press Gallery has been, however aggressive and now sympathetic their hive mind ever was, the time for “more questions needing to be answered” is past. They’ve had their go at getting the facts and they botched it each time. Pub talk and Photoshop isn’t enough anymore. The time for answers needing to be printed, and for this issue to be put to bed, once and for all, is nigh.

Baird, on the other hand, has yet to see his own government fall. So far it’s only lost some skin in the polls (not counting the Terrible 10 languishing in the Sin Bin).

Unfortunately for Baird, the trail of documentation that might lead in a more downhill direction is better decribed as “superhighway” than as “snail’s trail”. The unlawful funding of a simultaneously morals-campaigning and money-grubbing Liberal Party by avaricious developers and polluters with Bentleys and helicopters gives the phrase “Public-Private Partnership” a whole new meaning. The superhighway has been well and truly funded, complete with credibility by-pass.

The difference between the two Commissions is this: call it the ubiquity of email, or just changing times… the Liberal rorters couldn’t resist not only bragging about their exploits, but bragging in writing… electronically, archived and precisely dated.

Wilson and Blewitt were far more discreet. The chain of evidence in their case is a lot more uncertain and open to doubt. Compared to your average Milennium Foundation or Eight-by-Five email saying “Here’s another $50k from a property developer. Who-hoo!”, Wilson and Blewitt are the ones who look like the professionals, with the Liberal Party’s wide boys showing up as rank amateurs. Wilson and Blewitt kept their heads down, while the Liberals have been yodelling from the rooftops. That’s what I mean by “chutzpah”.

We are yet to see how much of a distraction ICAC will ultimately be to Baird’s, and even Abbott’s re-election chances if there’s any justce, but if we’re talking “distraction”, I get the feeling the Born To Rule gang ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.

673 thoughts on “A tale of two Commissions

  1. Tony putting his hand on a child of whom he has ho quittance.That may not be what that the child, and anyone else would approve of.

  2. I wonder if PMBO has an up-to-date Working With Children Check in place? He claims his trip to Arnhem Land is work, he seems to have mauled a lot of the kids there………..

  3. TLBD

    ‘If you want know what TV in your Nation’s Capitol is exposed to’

    Television is absolutely appalling isn’t it, what with the ubiquitous crap “reality” shows that seem to be on every day when you do find something to watch on commercial tv the add breaks take more time per hour of tv than the programmes do.

    I usually record everything that I want to watch so that I can either skip the adds or watch at my leisure. Whilst setting up programmes to record during the day I have actually seen black and white 4:3 ratio movies and old tv programmes on the dedicated HD 16:9 ratio channels. It beggars belief that people get paid to do this.

  4. My comment from this morning got stuck in moderation all day. I’m not sure why this keeps happening. Is it because I sometimes post comments from different computers, or the number of links?

  5. http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/senate-update-democrats-draw-almost-even-is-it-the-money/

    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2563445/school-scripture-figures-an-utter-fiasco/

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/victorian-police-win-beefedup-asiostyle-terror-powers/story-e6frg6n6-1227060756820

    http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/federal-mp-bob-baldwin-linked-with-developer-buildev-he-sold-a-block-of-land-to-company-executives-wife/story-fnii5s3x-1227060877793

  6. Even The Guardian is pushing the lies about Abbott’s ‘promise’ to visit an indigenous community, a promise he broke, flagrantly, after the election. I’m sick of reading media lies about Abbott’s ‘election promise’ visit to Arnhem land. Let’s look at what Abbott actually promised before the election.

    First, at last year’s Garma Festival, he promised to spend his first week as Prime minister. ‘on your country’ His exact words –
    Why shouldn’t I, if you will permit me, spend my first week as Prime Minister, should that happen, on your country’.

    I think that’s perfectly clear – ‘my first week as ‘Prime Minister’. Not ‘one week a year’, not ‘in my first year as Prime Minister, but ‘my first week’.

    In a presser not long after, on 10 August 2013, Abbott said this –
    “I think it would be a very instructive thing for a Prime Minister and senior officials of the government to spend a week here, to learn what it is like to live, to train, to study in this area”
    Just ”spend a week’. not ‘one week a year’ or ‘one week in my first year’, just ‘one week’ at an unspecified time in the future.
    http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/22487/20130903-0148/www.tonyabbott.com.au/LatestNews/InterviewTranscripts/tabid/85/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/9369/Joint-Press-Conference-Northern-Territory.html

    Abbott broke his promise, he did not spend his first week as PM in Arnhem Land. Instead he told us lies and could not even keep his lies consistent. He said he promised to spend a week every year in an indigenous community, he said he promised to spend a week in his first year as PM in an indigenous community, he told us we must have misheard his original promise, but we have the video, we know what he really said.

    Now the media are also pushing Abbott’s lies, telling us he is keeping an election promise, a promise he did not make.

    Would the ladies and gentlemen of the media please stop the garbage, stop tellin lies, stop protecting our liar of a Prime Minister?

    Leone, sorry about this – I only just found you in Pending.

  7. Leroy,

    The problem might be with the embedded links – that’s just my suspicion.

    Because I have multiple work things happening at the moment, I have very little time to visit The Pub during the day. Perhaps for tomorrow and Friday if you could post your “big” collection round 1pm, I will check between 1pm and 2pm and make sure it goes up.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    There are massive anti-terror raids taking place over NSW and Queensland. Here’s the ABC live blog.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-18/live-blog3a-anti-terrorism-raids-in-sydney-and-brisbane/5752074
    All it needs now is for Alan Jones and his scabby mates to foment things even more!
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-church-targeted-by-islamic-state-death-threats-20140918-10ige1.html
    Should we be asking who ISIL are?
    http://www.independentaustralia.net/article-display/who-are-isil,6906
    Airports – particularly Sydney – are ripoff merchants.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-government-digs-in-its-heels-on-airport-travel-fares-20140917-10husb.html
    Syphilis is making a puzzling come back.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/venereal-disease-mystery-as-syphilis-hits-record-high-20140917-10iaar.html
    Paul Sheehan says that Brandis’ new terror laws will allow ASIO to conduct torture.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/george-brandis-new-antiterror-law-allows-asio-to-torture-20140917-10i9hv.html
    What in the heck!
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/haircut-costs-student-marks-in-chemistry-exam-20140917-10icva.html
    Medecins Sans Frontiers tell Abbott it’s boots on the ground that are needed to fight ebola, not money.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/aid-organisation-to-refuse-ebola-cash-from-australia-20140917-10ifd0.html
    “Team Australia” and nationalism.
    https://theconversation.com/team-australia-a-nationalism-framed-in-terms-of-external-threats-31630
    The three worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2014/09/16/the-three-worst-things-the-liberals-did-yesterday-31-2/

  9. Section 2 . . .

    Independent Australia with the latest on “Ashbygate”.
    http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/wyatt-roys-ashbygate-revelations-send-christopher-into-a-world-of-pyne,6905
    Abbott plays with words just like he plays with lives.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australian-special-forces-in-iraq-to-gather-intelligence-direct-air-strikes-20140917-10i57e.html
    Peter Costello is still a bit of a bighead.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/former-treasurer-peter-costello-criticises-governments-debt-levy-20140917-10ic3o.html
    The hidden underclass – how underemployment is hidden.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/17/the-hidden-underclass-how-australian-underemployment-is-concealed
    Michelle Grattan – Splits over indigenous referendum benefit those who want it to fail.
    https://theconversation.com/arguments-run-both-ways-on-timing-of-indigenous-referendum-31797
    Some governance problems for Victoria’s Water Minister.
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/leaked-letters-reveal-water-minister-peter-walshs-grip-on-abolished-agency-20140917-10ibhs.html
    Greg Jericho on Hockey’s “lazy analysis”
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2014/sep/17/hockeys-lazy-analysis-may-be-the-suggestion-house-prices-wont-fall
    What happens if Scotland votes “No”?
    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/scottish-independence-what-happens-if-the-vote-is-no-20140917-10hzq1.html
    Why the Scotland vote has Brussels spooked – regardless of whichever way it goes.
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/9/18/europe/why-scotlands-vote-has-brussels-spooked
    Things that cold void your insurance cover.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2014/09/16/five-insurance-pitfalls-pays-avoid/

  10. Section 3 . . .

    If Abbott used the same ranking method for NAPLAN as he does for rating his ministers our education problems would seem to vanish overnight.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-gives-top-marks-to-ministers-saying-all-deserve-as-or-a-pluses-20140917-10i4jd.html
    Look at the comments underneath this article on Abbott’s ministerial gradings!
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/17/tony-abbott-assures-ministers-annual-review
    Elizabeth Farrelly – War on trees: Time to kill old attitudes.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/war-on-trees-time-to-kill-old-attitudes-20140917-10hzqv.html
    G20 – Time to halt the flow of illicit money. It’s time for real and effective action.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/g20-time-to-halt-the-flow-of-illicit-money-20140917-10hzw3.html
    Changes to Sydney Council voting rules are an assault on democracy.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/double-votes-for-business-in-city-of-sydney-an-assault-on-democracy-20140917-10i7k6.html
    Hoe innumeracy aids fearmongers. And doesn’t Abbott know it! But there is no excuse for the lazy journalism that aids and abets it.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/whos-counting-how-innumeracy-aids-fearmongers-20140917-10ha7o.html
    The pressure is building on Abbott and his desire to cut the RET. He was too smart by half in appointing that Luddite nonce Warburton to the job.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/pressure-builds-on-abbott-government-to-relent-on-renewable-energy-cuts-20140917-10hy4e.html
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/17/renewable-energy-target-coalition-and-labor-no-closer-to-compromise
    This tells us all we need to know about the ideology driving this government of ours.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/union-fears-job-losses-as-telstra-takes-over-medicare-centrelink-call-centres-20140917-10i5ku.html

  11. Section 4 . . .

    Alan Moir shows us just how empty Abbott’s words are.

    Beautiful work from David Pope.

    David Rowe with Abbott’s mission creep.

  12. Off-topic, BK, but still a bit stunned over Brenton Sanderson’s sacking. I do hope Roo knows what he is doing.

  13. Good morning from Terror Central, Beecroft NSW, 2119.

    “In Sydney, officers have raided properties in Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/terror-raids-carried-out-across-sydney-brisbane-20140918-10igft.html#ixzz3Dc7zxN4P

    Not only is my home suburb on the Big List, but it is first in the List.

    In the wee small hours, helicopters were heard, and they weren’t pissy little ones like my Phantom quadcopter. They were big, fat, black ones that went “budda-thunka, budda-thunka, budda-thunka”. This was the real War On Newspoll Terror, writ large and flashy.

    In my bed, I woke suddenly, listened for a few seconds, yawned and went back to sleep. It was THAT terrifying. On his blankey next to me, Cozzie, the Black Shi-Tzu of Beecroft, continued snoring right through. He knew Tony Abbott would keep us safe. There was no cause to be alert or alarmed.

    At 6.10am I turned on Early AM. It was confirmed. Chris Uhlmann, the right man for the job, sounded serious. Bloody serious. They even had a local crime reporter out in the wilds of Western Sydney talking to sheepish Muzzie “community leaders”, who clearly, from their shocked responses, knew the Game was up.

    In the chilling light of day I ventured down to the local village shops to gather some essential provisions in case of a suburb-wide lock-down. I was surprised to see normal traffic, people walking their dogs, waiting at pedestrian crossings and generally going about their daily business as if nothing had happened. You have to hand it to the Beecroft-ites; they’re an unflinching lot. THEY were not about to let Jihadists In Our Midst interrupt their daily lives. Good for you Beecroft!

    After parking my car, I must admit I was apprehensive about walking past Mustapha’s Fruit Shop, as Mustapha is one of them. I now look upon his cheery “Good Morning Bushfire!” greetings with grave suspicion. But there was no police tape around the bananas. No “Evidence” stickers affixed to the potatoes. The Brussels Sprouts were stacked as they had been the evening before (so long ago now!). Even the frozen gourmet pizza bases appeared to be undisturbed. As I hurried past, I ignored Mustapha’s hello, thinking, “They’ll probably all be arrested tomorrow. I don’t want to be seen talking to them. Or I might be next.”

    I hurriedly snatched a few groceries, 18 cans of Tom Piper braised sausages in vegetables being chief among them, as Tom Piper cans can be easily pierced with my Swiss Army Knife and then heated up over a spirit stove if the power is cut. In a pinch even Cozzie the dog will eat them, if there is no sawdust available. However, contrary to my expectations, the shelves appeared to be as fully stocked as they always have been (which was puzzling).

    There was a lady customer at the checkout smiling and chatting with Trish the Checkout Chick. Neither seemed either alert or alarmed, so I decided to emulate their brave constancy and assumed a manly stance, as befitted my position as the only “male person” (as the cops like to put it) in the shop. If there was trouble, I wanted these women, and the gaggle of innocent schoolgirls buying lollies behind me, to know that I could be relied upon when the time came.

    Hurrying home in my beat up old Subaru, my fresh copy of the Daily Telegraph on the seat next to me, complete with interactive Terror Strikes Sydney Heartland lift out, I breathed a sigh of relief as Chateau Bushfire loomed into view. I had survived!

    In case youse do not hear from me in the next little while, don’t worry. As we eat our braised sausages and warm our hands over the Trangia camping stove, we are singing patriotic songs and are in good spirits. HI and I, no longer concerning ourselves with her petty problems at work with B1, B2 and B3, are taking it one day at a time. It’s the only way to make it through to the end of this terrible period in our – in ALL our – lives.

    Our Prime Minister (blessings and peace be upon him) will keep us safe. Only He can Stop The Boats, Bomb The Jihadis, and Save The Aborigines… all at the same time, if necessary. This guy really can walk and chew gum simultaneously. I don’t know how he does it. Thank God we have Tony as our Leader, and not that pissant Bill Shorten, whose only talent seems to be threatening the sainted Kathy Jackson.

    If we never meet again, youse and I, farewell, but shed not tears for me. I am – we are – doing our bit for Beecroft, for Australia and for the Free Enterprise Foundation.

    Up the coal miners!

    Up Rupert Murdoch!

    Down the Jihadis!

    Long live Tony Abbott!

    Over… and out.

  14. BB

    Wow, don’t the people in your suburb know the danger they’re in? Unbelievable, what with saturation coverage for weeks and weeks, and they have the gall to go about their daily visits. My only question to you is, have you ever really eaten that stuff that you have bought? I will dob you into the RSPCA if you even think of offering Cossie that reprocessed bile.

  15. Terror Bulletin: Pol Air hovering over South Beecroft now. Have closed windows and locked doors.

  16. Terro Bulletin: A Virgin plane flying over Beecroft on glide path to Mascot Airport.

    This is outrageous! Why haven’t the police re-routed civilian aircraft? Don’t they know the danger from RPGs?

  17. Hi all

    Haven’t been around much lately. My old man kicked the bucket a few weeks ago so I’ve been a bit all over the place organising the funeral and stuff. It wasn’t a huge surprise as he’d been in bad health for a few years now, and was a committed smoker and drinker for way too many years. Still, he went out on his terms, in his own house. Anyways, here’s a few tidbits I thought I’d share:

    He lived alone on the central coast, my brothers and I are all in Sydney. The day after he was found we headed up there to look for will/wishes/contact details etc, and (as advised by mum) to make a start on cleaning out the flat.

    So the first thing we find on his desk is a manila folder containing everything and I mean everything we need – will, funeral wishes, birth/death/marriage/shares certificates, a list of all his accounts, Medicare, pension etc to cancel, solicitors details, even a draft of the fucking pamphlet he wanted at the service. The last page of which was a collection of quotes like “wear a g-string, try the experience”, “never lie, always tell the truth”, “never ever ever lose your sense of humour” and “Never trust a politician, decide for yourself, vote Labor”. Ha!

    So onto the cleaning up bit. It’s a bit of a mess, we get rid of the fridge and liquor cabinet contents. By get rid of I mean take home. And then we get stuck into the clothes. There’s bugger all of sentimental value so pretty much all of it goes into garbage bags and is dropped off in the charity bins at Marrickville Metro. Fast forward a few days, we’re at the funeral place organising the service and the lady says “Now, what clothes are you going to bury him in”. My brother and I look at each other and go ooohhhh shiiiit. Ended up we had to go Fathers Day shopping after all. For socks & undies. And a shirt. And pants. And shoes…

    Oh yeah, and I got back a few books I’d bought him over the years – Bob McMullins “The Light On The Hill”, Susan Mitchell’s Margaret Whitlam bio, “Men & Women of Australia” speech collection, and a few Fitzsimmons ones.

    So, we’re at the service. The older brother does the formal stuff about his life, I do the anecdotes. One of which is that he was a big fan of Gough & Margaret, as am I. Every time I’d find myself in Canberra I’d go to Old Parliament House and give him a ring from the steps and we’d recite together “Well may we say, God Save The Queen, because nothing will save the Governor General!” and every time he’d get very excited by this and cack himself (aside: I bunged on the Gough voice and got quite a laugh out of the nieces & nephews, which was sweet).

    After all that was done the minister was wrapping up (we’re not a religious mob so we just used the local Anglican). He mentioned that it was a shame he never got to meet my dad and discuss politics with him, for his grandfather was a minister in the Whitlam Government – Rex Connor! I reckon we got the right one.

    Cheers

  18. Narns,
    He sounds like a great bloke, one of those who makes the world a decent place for the rest of us. I am laughing at your description of finding the clothes. My hubby wore his lucky red soccer club socks, and a Manchester United top under his favourite formal outfit, a cream safari suit. (which had lots of pockets for his stuff and was machine washable and drip-dry). Then at the service his daughter, who hated his guts, (and has never stopped running him down for moving them from England to Australia in her teens, even after he passed,) just about rugby shoved my son out if the way to get in first to place a flower. Instead of weeping I was going around with our dog on a lead sharing stories with people. For the cost of the service (hubby would have been horrified and would have rather we just tip him in hole and have a big party at the soccer club with the money, we got tea, coffee and a few biscuits for our six grand,

    OH always told me he had done the funeral stuff, and when it happened it turned out the ‘done the funeral stuff’ was a typical male view of things, he had put money in a funeral bond years ago. I thought that meant planned the whole thing, Nope, I was doing a crash course in farewelling the departed,

    If I had the time again I would not have spent 2grand on a box that ended up as ashes, One of those cardboard things for 400 bucks decorated to order, in Manchester United colours with dog paws on it would have been better than the cheapest thing offered in the funeral home showroom, It looked good enough to turn into a sideboard and coffee table. OH would have totally got that.

  19. So sorry to hear about your Dad, Narns. Sounds like he was a great bloke, and he got the send-off he wanted, and that he knew the end was nigh.

    Good on you for doing it the way he wanted, and that seems to be the way you preferred it too.

    When my own mother died (thankfully in her sleep), my sister and I went to the funeral parlour determined not to be ripped off on expensive paraphenalia in our time of greatest vulnerability.

    When the funeral lady showed us the caskets, ranging up to $30,000 for the one with platinum plated handles and hinges my sister asked if they were all made of wood.

    The funeral lady hesitated and said that the ones on page 1 were “cellulose-wood”, i.e. some form of cardboard. My sister, dripping with expensive (but understated) jewellrey and in top shelf designer clothes, picked the second one from the top of page 1, saying, “Well take the second cheapest. That’s what Mum always said. She was always careful with money. It’s going to be a cremation anyway.”

    The look on the funeral lady’s face was a combination of disappointment and shock. I wish I’d had a camera there.

    We’d looked like such a nice pair of well-heeled rellies to suck dry.

    Mum’s ashes are still on the mantle piece over my office desk. We talk often.

  20. Good morning all.

    800 police involved in raids in NSW and up here in Brisbane.

    It will be interesting to see once all the froth and bubble subsides how many people actually get arrested,on what charges and what evidence the police had for these raids.

    A few days ago up here police raided a home and a Islamic bookshop in force. One or two people were arrested and a cross bow recovered.

    ATM I am trying as hard as possible to limit being sceptical over the firepower involved so it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

    Also interesting also that some sections of the media appear to have had a heads up the raids were going to happen.

    Potentioal for a huge breach of security and a recipe for a big cock up I would think but time will tell.

    Have a good day all.

  21. Many thanks to some alert person on Facebook for this – Abbott is copying Howard’s ‘terrorist raid’ tactics from 2005 to the letter, and for the same reason. Distraction.

    Howard deflects nation’s gaze away from the ball

    By announcing the existence of a specific terrorist threat yesterday, John Howard successfully shifted attention away from Labor’s favoured focus and onto the Government’s.

    But in the process he used a megaphone to give suspected terrorists notice of raids. With two big, transformative bills coming before the Federal Parliament, Labor wanted to focus debate on one of them – the proposed changes to Australia’s industrial relations system.

    But Howard preferred attention to be on the other – the counter-terrorism legislation that proposes a drastic increase in police powers over suspected terrorists

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/howard-deflects-nations-gaze-away-from-the-ball/2005/11/02/1130823281903.html

  22. Quiz.

    The Budget Emergency lasted approx 3 months. Given that this Terrorist Emergency will last a bit longer, but surely not 2 years, what will be the next BIG Emergency?

  23. Hilarious headline, even if it IS true (get the pun?).

    Reflects the Daily Telegraph’s understanding that their readers usually don’t get past the headlines. Put the whole story at the top, then no need to tax their few remaining brain cells.

    Brides of evil are teenage jihad baby makers:
    Extremists across the globe using social media
    to encourage teen beauties to become
    wives of Syrian and Iraqi terrorists
    .

    I want to know whether blondes or brunettes are preferred and where’s the obligatory “(League star named)” tacked onto the end of the headline?

  24. Meanwhile, in the Real World, Beyonce has been a naughty girl… again.

    Beyonce accused of photoshopping her thigh gap
    September 18, 2014 – 11:55AM, Sarah Mackenzie

    She’s no stranger to Photoshopping controversy, and it appears Beyonce has been at it again – this time touching up her most recent snaps to make her thigh gap more pronounced.

    The superstar singer spent her 33rd birthday on a swanky private yacht and was quick to upload some envy-inducing bikini pics to her Tumblr page.

    Wearing nothing but a tiny snakeskin two-piece and some stylish tattoo jewellery (the latest must-have beach accessory), she looked nothing short of flawless.

    However, on closer inspection one particular image definitely seems to have been tampered with.

    The shot shows Beyonce smiling as she struts down the stairs of the yacht, and while her body isn’t obviously doctored, it’s the angle of one of the stairs between her legs that gives it away.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/beyonce-accused-of-photoshopping-her-thigh-gap-20140918-10ikui.html#ixzz3DdReVQz5

    It’s either read crap like this, or endless “We dodged a Jihadi bullet” stories covered from all angles, including some angles even crazier than the Photoshopped gap between Beyonce’s thighs.

  25. The front page of today’s Daily Telegraph. The fools who did this don’t seem to realise that just about every cartoonist in the land has been drawing Morrison like this for a year.

  26. Raids in Beecroft confirmed as occuring in Murray Farm Road, on the “other” side of the M2 Motorway from where Chateau Bushfire is located. About where the helicopter was hovering this morning.

    Doesn’t surprise me. They’re all wooftas on that side of the M2. Never liked any of ’em.

  27. Leone:

    Many thanks to some alert person on Facebook for this – Abbott is copying Howard’s ‘terrorist raid’ tactics from 2005 to the letter, and for the same reason. Distraction.

    And as we all know it did wonders for Howard in the 2007 campaign. Let’s hope Abbott has a similar outcome.

  28. 2gravel – I imagine the next big emergency will be some kind of ‘scandal’ involving an ALP member. Wouldn’t surprise me if they’re setting that one up right now. No idea what it might be, but I reckon it’ll happen around 8-9 months out from the election.

    The other possibility is that, if frightening the bejeezus out of us works, Abbott could go to the polls as early as possible to capitalise on the one short window he has. I think that’s all they’re thinking about right now – any machination at all to get them a second term, no matter how slim the majority. They’re short-term thinkers; there’s no plan to win sustained support from the electorate.

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