Well hit me a wet fish and call me Fred,Friday night is once again upon us.

fish slap

Not sure where the week went but time seemed to fly by.


Raffle tickets are to be had .


Music to be played.


Drinks drunk

Scorn to be heaped upon the incompetent buffoons

who lied their way into government .



Announcement about Melbourne Cup Sweep will be made after the raffle. ( Hopefully)

melbourne-cup-barriersGood luck.


Gullible Guru Gulled Again

(Image Credit: Muck&Brass)

To quote the (then newly appointed) editor of the SMH, Darren Goodsir, in 2013: “Hold the front page! Hartcher Has Spoken!”

When political savant and genius commentator Peter Hartcher opines profoundly about the Abbott Budget, the nation sits up and listens. So what was Pete’s Delphic Saturday SMH pronouncement in the on The Budget?

“It’s too early to abandon hope.”

You DO have to laugh, don’t you?

He then goes on to discuss, po-faced, one of the main reasons why Tony Abbott would not promote Turnbull to the office of Treasurer.

Abbott’s jealous.

So let’s let Joe “Misery-Guts” Hockey stay in charge of it. There’s years of trash-talking in him yet: how bad debt is, how they’re going to strip away benefits, lifter, leaners and, of course, “It’s all Labor’s fault!” THAT’ll get the punters back into the empty aircraft hangers they used to call “Harvey Norman” (been to one lately?), and let’s not forget Joe’s “glum” look and that special “cranky” one he saves up for important occasions… all this with the added benefit that Joe has been absorbing king-hits from Abbott since Tony first decked him on the rugby playing fields of Sydney Uni.

Hartcher today is back to his old tricks: writing-up restaurant gossip about leadershit. He even admits it was the drink talking. A group of Ministers, in their cups, sipping Scotch, reckon Joe should go, in favour of Malcolm Turnbull.

The Abbott government is already doing so brilliantly on Foreign Affairs and international diplomacy (says Perspicacious Pete), now all they need is Turnbull in as Treash to fix up the economy and they’ll surge ahead in the polls. The Nation will breathe a sigh of relief. Consumer confidence will soar.

He doesn’t tell us who’ll take over Communications after Mal’s bumped upstairs. That’s a shuddering thought if ever there was one. Bronnie, come on down!

And here’s the kicker: when all is said and done, Pete tells us, “It’s not gunna happen.”

Yes, it’s deep, deep, deep analysis from the International & Political Editor of the august Sydney Morning Herald. Youse can see why they pay Peter Hartcher the Big Bucks.

What next? Maybe he’ll whip around to the back alley and go through the skip? Then he can tell us what the Anonymous Senior Liberal Power Broker was doodling on his paper napkin. Maybe he can even suss what the fortune cookie said?

Thank God we have the likes of Hartcher to guide our thinking. Mr Goodsir was right: whatever Big H writes, Goodsir will print and say, “More please, sir”. There’s plenty of it, too. Goodsir’s Editor Of Many Things writes everything that everyone tells him. Oh, the insight! Celebrate the context! Praise the profundity!

The poor man has a desperate need to be relevant. To show he’s still connected and gets the good goss. Forever an insider etc., etc. And to prove it, he peddles plutocratic piss-talk from out the back door of the Greasy Spoon. “I am a camera,” says Peter (and he doesn’t mean “Box Brownie”).

Pity for Pete, he supported Rudd. That kinda cruelled the ground for later Liberal licks. He’s shut out now. Maybe he thought they’d thank him for the regular Ruddstoration Routine? Sadly, all the advice he’s offered Abbot on how to deal with everything from travel rorts to Oriental potentates has been ignored. Cassidy doesn’t even invite him onto the show anymore (has he ever been on it? Even when he was there?).

Look what his Rudd Love did for him and the country. Abso-bloody-lutely nothing. Rudd’s “triumph in the polls” lasted all of, oh, about a fortnight, and now Pete’s relegated to passing on Chinese whispers and leftover noodles from a Liberal doggy-bag.

It’s a shame that nobody – either in politics, or on the receiving end of it – takes any notice of Peter Hartcher.

Then again… thank God they don’t. His only fan, Darren Goodsir, should take the hint.

Fully Flushed Friday Raffles

“It was said of Caesar Augustus that he found a Rome of brick and left it of marble. It will be said of Gough Whitlam that he found Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane unsewered, and left them fully flushed.”

Neville Wran

From Laurie Oakes’ book Power Plays: The Real Stories of Australian Politics:

Happy 80th, Gough! Now, about your funeral

16 July 1996

Here’s a cheerful thought for Gough Whitlam as he celebrates his 80th birthday – a spectacular funeral is being planned for him. Not that anyone is in a rush, mind you. Fortunately, the great man is in such robust health that official approval of arrangements for a state funeral fit for such a legend will very likely not be required until well after Prime Minister Mark Latham, a former Whitlam staffer and protégé, moves into the Lodge. But it is best to be prepared. Something special will be called for – not at all the sort of thing that can be thrown together overnight. So an informal group of family and friends has been discussing the matter, on and off, for some years. The plans are stowed away in a file kept by the former prime minister’s eldest son, Nick. Big, wonderful, over-the-top plans, like the man himself; mostly serious, but with an element of tongue in cheek, as you’d expect.

Winston Churchill issued instructions for his own funeral. Whitlam is not that involved, even though the plans are of Churchillian proportions. In fact, apparently he goes uncharacteristically quiet when the matter of funeral arrangements is mentioned in his presence. But he has made one major contribution: his wishes on the music that should be played are part of Nick’s file.

* * * * * * *

So . . . the funeral plans. One of the pieces Whitlam has selected is Va, pensiero, the slaves’ chorus from Verdi’s opera Nabucco which gave expression to the Italian people’s aspirations for liberty and self-government. Va, pensiero became the theme song of Garibaldi’s followers during the Risorgimento – the uprising to unite Italy. The second piece he has nominated is more esoteric, but no less Whitlamesque – The March of the Consular Guard at Marengo, by an obscure French composer, celebrating one of Napoleon’s great victories. Whitlam was fascinated by Napoleon even as a child, but his sister, Freda, once told me that it was not so much the warlike side of Napoleon that appealed to young Gough as the French emperor’s civic achievements and the legal system he established.

Abraham Lincoln’s funeral is the loose model for what is being planned. The idea is that the main ceremony would be held in Sydney Town Hall, after which a catafalque bearing the coffin would proceed to the historic Mortuary Station, built in 1869 and heritage-listed. Lincoln became the first president to lie in state at the US Capitol rotunda before being carried home to Springfield, Illinois, by train, with stops along the way for people to pay their respects . . .

Not surprisingly, the funeral will be private. But I bet the memorial service on 5th November will go close to breaking records for attendance:

This evening, then, let’s charge our glasses and drink to the memory of one of Australia’s greatest-ever prime ministers. Let’s have music, dancing, merriment, and celebration of the light that has been, and the light that will come again as long as the men and women of Australia keep the faith.

(Image Credit: Australian War Memorial)

(Image Credit: Sydney Morning Herald)

(Image Credit: Bytes)

(Image Credit: News Limited (sorry))

(Image Credit: ABC)

(Image Credit: Courier Mail)

(Image Credit: SBS)

(Image Credit: ABC)

(Image Credit: Wentworth Courier)

Ave et vale Gough Whitlam