So This Is Christmas 2014.

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Well Pubsters,we have survived our first full year under the prime ministerhip of the idiot.

First-Year-Done

WE have had ups and downs but we are still pretty lucky to be living here compared to a lot of other countries.

Labor hold a commanding lead in all the opinion polls and barring any monumental blunder I fail to see how the Idiot can recover. He has blown what little trust he had with voters and his miserable henchmen and women are not popular as well.All in all I am a lot happier this year at this time than I was 12 months ago.

The Christmas theme was the original theme when the Pub first opened it’s doors over 2 years ago so I thought it would be nice to revisit it at this time of year.

To each and everyone of you ,commenter’s and lurkers alike, I wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a happy wondrous new Year.Like the man said “Lets Hope it’s a good one”

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298 thoughts on “So This Is Christmas 2014.

  1. We survived the teenager onslaught. It was really lovely. Sent a care package home for their Dad, told them to put the dinner in the freezer and the plum pudding in the fridge. Hopefully they absorbed the instructions.

  2. Joe6pack,

    On the old Hume Highway, south-west of Gundagai. Part of the old “Tarcutta Horror Stretch” and I think the bridge crossed Snowball Creek. The bridge was between those two massive cuttings. Still is – just not part of the new road.

  3. Joe6pack,

    True. However, it’s still pretty visible when you are descending either of those cuttings into the valley, especially in winter when the trees are bare.

  4. OH told me a tale – it may be apocryphal – that enterprising motor bikers would sometimes try to cross on the arches. According to him, eventually spikes had to be put up.

  5. I thought that brdge looked familiar, then I remembered – its twin is on the north coast of NSW, the old Shark Creek bridge at Maclean. Once part of the old Pacific Highway, now by-passed and abandoned.

  6. Leone,

    Good find – nice to know where the twin is.

    Joe6pack,

    The Hume Motorway was/is at risk too, near Mittagong:

    In the late 1990s, engineers detected subsidence under part of the bypass where it runs along a steep slope near the Nattai River. This was caused by features of the local geology, and mining activity at the adjacent Mount Alexandra coalmine from the 1950s to the 1970s.[43] The problem was remedied by closing one carriageway at a time and building a pair of ‘land bridges’ across the unstable section of the slope.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hume_Highway

    Coal mining.

    Surprise me.

  7. Irene and Curdie were married. The old king died, and they were king and queen. As long as they lived Gwyntystorm was a better city, and good people grew in it. But they had no children, and when they died the people chose a king. And the new king went mining and mining in the rock under the city, and grew more and more eager after the gold, and paid less and less heed to his people. Rapidly they sank toward their old wickedness. But still the king went on mining, and coining gold by the pailful, until the people were worse even than in the old time. And so greedy was the king after gold, that when at last the ore began to fail, he caused the miners to reduce the pillars which Peter and they that followed him had left standing to bear the city. And from the girth of an oak of a thousand years, they chipped them down to that of a fir tree of fifty.

    One day at noon, when life was at its highest, the whole city fell with a roaring crash. The cries of men and the shrieks of women went up with its dust, and then there was a great silence.

    Where the mighty rock once towered, crowded with homes and crowned with a palace, now rushes and raves a stone-obstructed rapid of the river. All around spreads a wilderness of wild deer, and the very name of Gwyntystorm had ceased from the lips of men.

    (My emphasis)

    From The Princess and Curdie, by George MacDonald.

    When will we ever learn?

  8. Fiona
    Not a good find, just some memory jogging and a bit of a search for a photo. I lived at Ballina for a while, a long time ago when that bridge was in use. I must have driven across it dozens of times on trips down the coast, that’s why your bridge looked so familiar.

  9. I’ve been catching up and just read BB’s marvellous work, but I’m disappointed. He forget to mention drop bears.

  10. Leone,

    drop bears

    He also neglected hoop snakes.

    Oh well, I just hope that poor young registrar – when he finds out how he has been misled – forgives BB and HI sooner rather than later.

  11. Just back from an afternoon out at HI’s ex-husband’s family home. All Liberal supporters, but don’t mind an argument.

    Today’s subject was disability pensions.

    “They’re all on them. And they’re all bludgers,” would sum up their position. Also the Old Faithful: “Anyone can get a job if they want it,” and “Why has Byron Bay got the biggest Centrelink office in Australia?” (I don’t know if this is true).

    They believe it is about time Scott Morrison “cleaned out the bludgers”, that he WILL do so, and that the Abbott government will ride a wave of electoral popularity as a result and will easily trounce Labor at the next election because of it.

    The women – HI’s ex’s new wife, her sisters, her sister’s lesbian girlfriend etc. – all work in IT recruitment, so they class themselves as experts on the subject of people not wanting jobs, especially Lebanese people plotting Zombie Jihad while “on disability”.

    Then in walked one of their daughters. The daughter is disabled, with a relatively middle range case of cerebral palsy. There are some indications of savantism as well. She can remember the name of every town in the atlas of every country (hamlets and villages included) and their geographical co-ordinates.

    But she can’t get a job.

    She’d heard our conversation and joined in. I can’t understand a word she says, but her aunt translated their conversation for me. Roughly: “I’m too disabled to get a job, aren’t I?”

    “Yes, of course you are, darling.”

    “I have to go to school, don’t I?” (Inala school, a Steiner organization for mature-aged people with disabilities).

    “Yes, of course you do. And you have to visit your friends. You simply don’t have time to go to work. You get tired too, don’t you?”

    “Yes I do.”

    So, I thought, this was a case of these people having a disabled daughter in their household, who was of course (in their minds) genuinely incapable of work in leafy Hornsby, Sydney, NSW, but those Lebbos… they’re all bludgers and rorters. They don’t *personally* know any Lebbos “on disability”, but they know they are bludgers and rorters. Just not their daughter. She’s the real deal disabled.

    I’m very fond of their daughter, and she of me, so I didn’t want to embarrass her any further by continuing the argument, but I have a horrible feeling that this family – with their Inala school, and their trips for their daughter to see her friends and all the rest of it – is in for a rude shock when Scott Morrison turns his heartless eyes in their direction.

    The truth of the matter is that she could work, even for a day a week, but they have organized it – “rorted” it, if you like – for her to be “not available” when the time comes. They don’t see the irony of their position, but I think they are going to, real soon.

  12. Bushfire Bill,

    My closest friend’s son – same age as Darling Daughter – has ASD. Limited fine motor skills, no productive language unless you are prepared to learn, and offer, FC (facilitated communication). But he’s a fine, strapping young man, so surely he could do something like labouring?

    I think not.

    In fact, I cannot think of any work he could do.

    If Grecian 2000 targets him (as Napthine has already done, by seizing yet more of his DSP for rent), he (Grecian 2000, that is) will be even more worthy of hellfire.

  13. I have no idea how big the Byron Bay Centrelink office might be, but from a quick look at Google maps it seems to be much smaller than the Port Maquarie office.

    I do know that Byron is a very, very expensive place to live. Rents are far too high for anyone on a benefit to be able to afford.

  14. Oh come now, Leone – you know how these bludgers are so good at forming collectives and affording expensive property.

    Not to mention caviar and fizz.

  15. Fiona the Byron Bay hippies have been priced out of the district. They have sold up in Byron Bay and used their ‘profit’ to ther new abodes in Port Macquarie hippy communities

  16. Speaking of which I am heading up there tomorrow for as long as my body can cope with the primitive life

  17. Scotty morrision will sort the bludgers and scum out. He will be harsh and I for one will be cheering on every measure he takes. The harder the better .

    Cuts to pensions.harder centre link laws, stop the single mothers getting knocked up so they don’t have to work and we won’t be paying for their bastard kids who will grow up to be druggies.hookers homeless anyhow. Another drain on us decent law abiding folk
    Sterilise them all Scotty . Go you good thing.

    Sit back with a esky full of sarsaparilla. I will be urging him on.

    Because the harder they go now against these people the more it will make them hate the Libs.
    Terror and reffos only go so far. when they start getting hit big time in the back pocket bye bye Abbott.

    Some short term pain for a longer happier gain.

  18. Fiona
    I know you have just tried to call me.
    Once again I have broken my phone. I know calls are coming in but for some reason I cannot answer them.
    Sorry.

    Another new phone tomorrow I guess

  19. Goodnight, all you little cherubs.

    May your cheeks be pillowed on the softest of clouds, and your dreams wafted with the sweetest scents and music.

  20. Full Table
    http://resources.news.com.au/files/2014/12/26/1227167/481924-aus-file-federal-newspoll.pdf

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/newspoll/newspoll-coalition-dives-but-alps-joy-limited/story-fnc6vkbc-1227167497445

    Newspoll: Coalition dives but ALP’s joy limited
    THE AUSTRALIAN DECEMBER 27, 2014 12:00AM
    Phillip Hudson Bureau Chief Canberra

    THE Abbott government has suffered a sharp plunge in support across all states over the past year and is significantly behind Labor in two-party-preferred terms everywhere except in Western Australia.

    In Victoria, the Coalition’s primary vote has tumbled to a six-year low while the ALP’s support is at a four-year high in Tony Abbott’s home state of NSW, where Bill Shorten ranks as the better prime minister.

    Country voters have also put the opposition ahead in two-party terms for the first time since 2010.

    An analysis of Newspolls conducted exclusively for The Australian from October to this month reveals that, over the past 12 months, the Coalition’s primary vote has tumbled 10 points in Victoria and South Australia, nine points in NSW, eight points in Queensland and seven points in Western Australia.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/not-quite-cooked-but-abbott-feeling-the-heat/story-e6frg6n6-1227167411033

    Not quite cooked but Abbott feeling the heat
    THE AUSTRALIAN DECEMBER 27, 2014 12:00AM
    Phillip Hudson Bureau Chief Canberra

    THIS month, Tony Abbott quietly reached 450 days in power and overtook Joseph Cook to be Australia’s 21st longest-serving prime minister.

    It means Cook keeps the unwelcome title of the shortest-serving elected prime minister.

    Cook came to power 100 years earlier than Abbott, in 1913, and like Abbott never controlled the Senate. In frustration, he called the nation’s first double dissolution election, which coincided with the outbreak of World War I, and he lost.

    Abbott is not yet halfway through his term and is unlikely to rush to a double dissolution, but the latest Newspoll showing heavy swings against the Coalition in Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Queensland suggest he is at risk of matching Cook’s fate.

    While there hasn’t been a one-term government since the hapless James Scullin lost in 1931 in the shadow of the Great Depression, there have been a surprisingly long list of prime ministers who have won only one election: Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Paul Keating, John Gorton, Harold Holt, Ben Chifley, John Curtin, Edmund Barton, Scullin and Cook. Seven others ruled without ever winning an election.

    A sobering thought for Abbott is that, in the past 50 years, only John Howard, Bob Hawke, Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam have won more than one election.

  21. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/women-rate-tony-abbott-poorly-on-all-fronts-20141226-12dgit.html

    Women rate Tony Abbott poorly on all fronts
    December 26, 2014 – 10:15PM
    Jacqueline Maley
    Parliamentary Sketch Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald
    Poll highlights deficiencies but also provides clues as to how women might be wooed.

    The magnitude of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “woman problem” has been underlined in new research which shows women rate the government very poorly across all policy areas and are harsher than men in their assessment of the government’s overall performance.

    Female voters are also more pessimistic about the economic outlook, according to the new polling analysis.

    By JWS Research, the analysis also shows women’s satisfaction with their standard of living has declined much more precipitously than men’s over the last year, a year the government has been under fire for failing to “get” women.

  22. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/jobless-numbers-rise-in-coalition-seats-but-fall-for-alp-electorates/story-fn59niix-1227167411215

    Jobless numbers rise in Coalition seats but fall for ALP electorates
    The Australian December 27, 2014 12:00AM
    Stefanie Balogh
    Canberra

    COALITION electorates are ­experiencing the biggest rises in unemployment while jobs growth occurs in Labor-held seats, as part of a demographic wave that threatens to hinder the Abbott government’s electoral ambitions.

    John Black, a former Labor senator and now head of demographic profiling firm Australian Development Strategies, writes exclusively in The Weekend Australian today that, in the past three federal elections, “men and women without a job tended to be found in Labor electorates’’.

    “In the past 12 months, these residents of Labor seats have been finding jobs, while residents of ­Coalition seats have been losing theirs,” he writes. “If this is … a clever economic and political strategy by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Treasurer Joe Hockey to secure re-election, it needs a little finetuning, perhaps, sooner rather than later.’’

    The Australian Jobs Profile for November Quarter 2014 report prepared by Australian Development Strategies used statistical modelling to project an estimate of regional unemployment ­figures onto federal electoral boundaries.

    The results revealed 28 electorates had been hit by rises in unemployment rates greater than 1.5 percentage points in the past year and therefore could be considered “to be in a regional recession’’.

    The top five electorates for ­rising jobless numbers were the Liberal National Party-held Queensland electorates of McPherson and nearby Moncrieff as well as Fisher, along with the Liberal seats of Gilmore in NSW and Flinders in Victoria. In fact, 24 of the 28 electorates with the biggest rises in unemployment rates are held by the ­Coalition.

  23. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    I am sure the impressive Dutton will handle this with aplomb.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/more-than-62000-people-living-illegally-in-australia-20141226-12dxod.html
    Jacqui Maley looks at how Abbott’ is really on the nose with women.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/women-expect-a-better-half-from-team-abbott-20141226-12d2rp.html
    One can certainly empathise with these thoughts.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/forget-the-detox-emails-and-exercise–you-really-do-deserve-a-break-20141226-12c428.html
    A thoughtful reflection from Pau McGeogh on his time covering MH17.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/my-christmas-offering-sunflower-seeds-for-mh17-families-from-the-fields-of-ukraine-20141226-12dily.html
    Morrison will stand by these tenants, won’t he.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/how-the-top-end-of-town-muscled-in-on-welfare-street-20141226-12ddlw.html
    John Birmingham has his say on this matter.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/promise-worth-little-when-they-want-you-gone-20141226-12dljz.html
    Ross Gittins – Material success has come at the cost of the environment.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/materialist-success-has-come-at-the-cost-of-the-environment-20141225-12dh0d.html
    Some movement on the mental health front in NSW.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/an-unsexy-health-problem-awaits-its-fair-share-20141226-12dgin.html
    Richard Glover weighs up the merits of staying at home for the holidays.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/richard-glover-gets-rental-as-anything-for-the-holidays-20141226-12cutj.html

  24. Had a great Boxing Day on the shores of and in Lake Bonny. Played “football” with two 6yo great nephews and am paying for it now—but would do it all again if I could, but going home today.

  25. That Jacqui Maley story puts the emphasis on how women rate Toxic, but if you look closely, the men aren’t so far behind in a lot of the issues.

  26. http://www.farmonline.com.au/news/agriculture/general/politics/new-political-voice-for-country-voters/2720196.aspx?storypage=0

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/25/business/race-to-deliver-nicotines-punch-with-less-risk.html

    http://taia.global/2014/12/taia-global-linguists-establish-nationality-of-sony-hackers-as-russian-not-korean/

    http://www.gnh.net.au/

  27. I say again: if Newscorp newspapers are writing letters, via op-eds to Tony Abbott, then that is the clearest sign of all that he has gone feral.

    Newscorp made the Monster out of various spare parts lying around the laboratory – a head here, a brainfart there, a “Statesman” comb-over added for respectability pulled from the bottom drawer – and now it stalks the land, free of its creator’s shackles.

    Plaintive notes posted on forest trees – “Please come back Tony”- are falling on deafer and deafer ears. It has always been thus with Abbott. Many have trusted him, but few have trusted him twice. Forgiving him his indiscretions only encourages him to push the envelope further. Take your eyes off him for even a second and he’s through the door and out the window.

    Now he has a whole nation to feed his ego. He’ll suck it dry and spit it out. His self-obsession cannot admit error or revision, or doubt. If he goes down, he’ll take what he sees as an ungrateful Australia, not worthy of his time, with him.

    They are *still* blaming Labor as the preferred alternative to doing something, anything. This is the culmination of 450 days of spin and excuses. It’s not a policy. It’s scorched earth. They’re hoping to wear us out with their obstinacy, not prepared to admit there might be another, better way.

    My rellies-in-law yesterday, with their disabled daughter, swore blind that everyone else was working and rorting the Disability Pension system… except them. Their girl was a special case. She lives a life of breezy happiness, comforted and cosseted by her adoring parents. And why not? She is an adorable girl, not like those Lebbo bludgers taking from the taxpayer while they plot Jihad against their benefactors.

    But this young woman can walk, and (after a fashion) talk. If she can master communication, even at her rudimentary level, she can work. Morrison and Andrews will be after her. No more Inala school. No more parties with her friends, getting dropped off and picked up by Dad. No more of the aunts telling her how special she is. Now she’s an economic unit, even if she doesn’t realize it yet, and perhaps cannot even understand the concept.

    There’ll be reassessments, reviews and ever longer forms to fill out. It won’t be so easy for her to live the carefree life she’s been living. Even if it’s one or two days a week, she’ll be out there stuffing Christmas stockings, or assembling widgets in a sheltered workshop. It won’t matter that she gets tired and distracted after half an hour of having to concentrate. Her beloved maps won’t be with her. Knowing all the names of all the towns and villages in the world won’t mean anything to the bean counters. Her usefulness will be measured only in her capacity to increase Abbott’s poll numbers by reducing Social Security numbers, numbers grafted from a rich vein of Joe Hockey “leaners” and Daily Telegraph-style “bludgers”.

    Her aunt, a wealthy, retired recruitment specialist, will soon have her easy declaration that “there are plenty of jobs out there for anyone who wants to work” tested. Her mother (in the same game) will see her daughter subjected to stresses that her parents have tried to shield her from all her young life.

    The angry Murdoch readers will feel better about their own miserable lives, having this poor kid to pick on. Morrison will be able to kneel at the front of the temple, beating his breast in self-congratulation at a job well-done.

    Australia, if Abbott succeeds, is about to get nastier. He’ll be hoping for Australia’s forgiveness. I’m not sure he’s going to get it. They all become sick of him in the end, when they realize what makes him tick. The only problem is whether it will be too late.

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