Friday Evening Raffle Post – Plus an Apology

(Image Credit: Sydney Pet Rescue & Adoption)

As you will have noticed, there was not the usual new post at the beginning of this week.

My sincere apologies to everyone, and most especially Vote1Julia, about this.

I’ve been in a dark place for the past week and a half. Things are starting to get a little better, however, and I will work on your post this evening and tomorrow, V1J.

The Boss is not around at the moment, which is why I’m doing this post.

Let’s make it a convivial Friday evening, Order your numbers, your drinks, and put on your favourite music. Here’s one piece that’s very special:

289 thoughts on “Friday Evening Raffle Post – Plus an Apology

  1. I don’t think HoJo is capable of thinking at all. He just says what he’s told to say.

  2. The accepted natural order of things in my life has been turned somewhat upside down since the cyclone. The abject terror of the experience, the overwhelming sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of your family during the event and the total feeling of helplessness that overtakes you when you realise that you are more or less in the hands of fate and the sensation that your life has been changed for ever after something like that, takes some coming to grips with.

    I’m not there yet and would appreciate a little latitude.

    Fiona, I know where you are coming from with your dark place. They can be very comforting but not very useful in the end. Mine is very familiar.

  3. Time for me to head for the cot. I was sure there was more comments on this page the last time I visited. 😉

    Night all, sleep tight & well and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

  4. Scorps,

    I wish you a peaceful night.

    Take care.

    You have a wonderful real life family. As I have been reminded over the past day and a bit, we also have a wonderful family here at The Pub.

    I am grateful to all of you.

  5. Fiona : Edge matching…Back in the days of my first marriage, when we were “young and in love” , I remember one day at lunch time sitting in a close group with two other tradies..the plumber and another chippie..and we took out our prospective lunches and I placed mine innocently, still wrapped on my lap while I put the paper bag it came in back into my carry-bag alongside of my seat…I turned back to see the other blokes staring at my sandwich pack…”What’s that?” the chippie asked and he pointed with his ham and cheese sanga at my lunch…
    There, neatly cellotaped to the outside of the pack was a tiny, tight-curl of “familiar” dark hair…it took but a second for me to comprehend…I said nothing, but gently removed the “offending” (but pleasant) object of the query, and placed it silently into my top pocket…the plumber, talking with his mouth full of sandwich, grunted and sighed :”Humph!..I only get corned beef…”

  6. Jaycee,

    Just gorgeous!

    That sends me off to bed with a smile on my face.

    Again, thank you to everyone for your love today and yesterday.

    Getting better slowly, and will try to be awake and out of bed at a respectable hour tomorrow.

  7. Hi Scorps
    That stuff takes some getting over. Take it slowly and be gentle with yourself. It is enough to knock the stuffing out of anyone for a while.

  8. But the radical idea – which represents a significant rethink of the role and nature of the superannuation system – threatens to inflame tensions with the super industry, and has been quickly slammed by Labor and some economists.

    Name and shame the “economists” who didn’t slam it.

    [Hacker has just had a stormy cabinet meeting over a sudden financial crisis.]
    Hacker: Bernard, Humphrey should have seen this coming and warned me.
    Bernard: I don’t think Sir Humphrey understands economics, Prime Minister; he did read Classics, you know.
    Hacker: What about Sir Frank? He’s head of the Treasury!
    Bernard: Well I’m afraid he’s at an even greater disadvantage in understanding economics: he’s an economist.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Good luck Mike and Alan! You’ll need it.
    I don’t know quite what to think about this. Either way it’s objectionable.
    Charles Waterstreet asks some good questions.
    Morrison extends an invitation to “talk” about pensions.
    Hockey gets little support for his latest brain fart.
    Peter FitzSimons reviews the week that was.
    Adele Ferguson says NAB is not worthy of trust with respect to financial planning.
    The difficulty in changing people’s mind.
    Michael Danby – the costly persecution of Peter Slipper.,7452
    The thirty worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    Peter Martin wonders why there are so few female CEOs.
    Mark Knight reckons Abbott is resurrected,

  10. Scorps…The cyclone’s not a matter of what one can or cannot do…it’s simply a matter of geography!…when one lives on a stretch of coast that is in the eye of the storm !?
    Man!..I hate the wind too!…the rain…I can handle that..but it’s the wind that shits me off!

  11. ” Islamic State militants have destroyed ancient remains of the 2,000-year-old city of Hatra in northern Iraq, the tourism and antiquities ministry says.”

    The repercussions over these acts of vandalism will be enormous.

  12. I’m sick of all the begging and pleading for sparing the lives of Chan and Sukamaran – not because I think they deserve to die (I do not) but because it smacks of hypocrisy.

    Here’s why.

    Australians have an annoying tendency to think we are the only pebbles on the beach. Whenever there is a major disaster or tragic air crash our only interest is in how many Australians were involved. If there were none then the national reaction is pretty much ‘Meh! Who cares.’ If just one Australian has been killed it is a national tragedy, we are told we, as a nation, are in mourning. Prime ministers rush to get their mugs on TV, talking up the event and expressing their feigned deep sympathy and concern. We do not care about other grieving families around the world who have also suffered loss, they are foreigners, not worth bothering about.

    So it is with Chan and Sukamaran. Right now there are thirty-eight foreign nationals awaiting execution on Nusakambangan Island. Are we protesting about their looming deaths? Are we begging Widodo for clemency for them? Do we care about the ninety-six Indonesians awaiting execution along with Chan and Sukamaran? Of course not, we have no interest in begging for their lives to be spared. Why would we? They are just foreigners, brown people, probably Muslims, they are not like us. Only Australians matter.

    Are we, as a nation, against the death penalty wherever it may still be practiced, or are we only against it only when it comes to Australians who have been stupid enough to break the law in another country? We need to decide where we stand on the death penalty. If we protest about some executions but allow others to go unchallenged then surely that means as a nation we support the execution of those accused of crimes.

    If we are genuine in our cries for mercy then surely we have to be against the death penalty no matter where it is used. That means we should be begging for clemency for the thirty-six other foreign nationals on death row in Indonesia right now, and a further twenty who have had their appeals rejected and will face execution later on. We should be begging for mercy for the ninety-six Indonesians awaiting execution, and the others who have lost appeals but are not yet on Nusakambangan.

    Being against the death penalty also means taking on the United States, where so far this year there have been eight executions. Last year there were thirty-five. I was told by someone who will remain unnamed that it doesn’t matter if the US has the death penalty because ‘they only kill their own’. That is not true. The thirty-five executed last year included three foreign nationals, Mexicans. So Why aren’t we lobbying for the end of the death penalty in the US?

    And –
    I can’t help thinking that Abbott, Bishop and Morrison have so infuriated the Indonesians – both the current and previous governments – that there was never any possibility of a reprieve for Chan and Sukumaran. I can’t help thinking that with a different government, prime minister and foreign minister, and without the stupid, over-bearing actions of Morrison and his boat returns, there might have been a chance that a new Indonesian president, wishing to strengthen ties between his country and Australia, might have been willing to listen, negotiate and spare two undeserving criminals. If anyone has blood on their hands in this whole sad affair it is the Terrible Three – Abbott, Bishop and Morrison.

  13. Barrie Cassidy predictable in his opening remarks on Insiders.

    “Who’d have thought that just a week ago Abbott was on the ropes?Now he’s bounded back and all’s well again.”

    He wasn’t on the ropes then and hasn’t bounded back now. It was all a media confection, groupthink sex, and they got all the wrong bits in all the wrong holes.


    There goes Andrew Probyn.

    “I just hope that this Labor scare campaign in NSW doesn’t mean that Baird loses… because he’s so good on the telly. He is so brave, proposing privatization. This should be rewarded.”


    “There seems to be some crazy idea around that prices go up under privatization. This is rubbish, and the whole thing’s a scare campaign.”

    Baird isn’t brave. He has no Plan B. He’s said that himself. He has no choice but to plump for privatization. He’s boxed himself into a corner on this policy, and the NSW election is going to get a lot nastier before it’s over.


    Katharine Murphy:

    “Abbott turned Shorten’s question around quite brilliantly.”

    These are the same people who have been telling us Abbott was in the Death Zone and would be gone a week ago.

    They are quite desperate to reassert their dominance over the political debate. They really want us to believe that you can go from the Dead Zone to Nirvana because of one, rather untested poll.

    Now trying to explain their irrelevancy. They sound like stock market spivs attempting to makes excuses for the market going in exactly the opposite way to the one they predicted.

    The answer for the stock market, and for political commentators is this: it’s just noise, fellas.


    Insiders are in the process of airbrushing away the last three or four weeks of opinionista frenzy: their own.

    Suddenly, all is sweetness and light. The past month of Death Zones and Killing Grounds has evaporated. “Turnbull, PM”, a mere chimera. Scott Morrison is a nice guy. Julie Bishop is a serious contender. Tony Abbott is more relaxed (and can it be long until we hear “Prime Ministerial” again?).

    Katharine Murphy admits that the IGR was “Dodgy Brothers” in all aspects, but still should be discussed seriously. How is that possible? How can Abbott be so brilliant in Parliament last week, but desperate and dreadful the week before? On the Yellow Brick Road of Insiders, and of the media in general, anything is possible.

  14. BB
    You deserve a whole chestful of Gold Echidnas with oak leaf clusters for sitting through Insiders and reporting on it so we don’t have to endure it ourselves. I haven’t been able to stomach Insiders for years.

    The MSM mob must think we are all goldfish, forgetting everything they said a week ago about Abbott being a dead man walking and believing everything they say now.

    With Baird saying his good friend Abbott is welcome to take part in his campaign it’s vital that NSW voters believe that Abbott has changed. We have to be conned into believing he is now a cross between Pope Frank and Santa Clause, a creature of sweetness and light. I’m not falling for that. I know – we all know – Abbott hasn’t changed, he’s still the same thug, liar and bully he has always been. i don’t think he can last through this week without some sort of outburst, gaffe or new, disastrous captain’s pick, especially now Peta can’t be with him constantly to keep him under control.

    It should be an interesting week or three, before NSW gets to vote.

  15. Leonie, once again you have put together an excellent exposition that shows how well you understand the positives and negatives of what makes us humans.

    You point out how so many of we who live on this continent have, incited by the dog-whistling of partisan political leaders, taken the attitude that we are the chosen race and the rest are scum. It’s a pity that many tens of thousands of years of evolution development of homo sapiens has not got so many of us past the early stage where we live in our little village on the side of the creek and all that live on the their side of that hill over there are not-us and their men should be killed, their women despoiled and their children yoked into slavery.

  16. What I find more offensive that the Abbott “bed-baths” by the MSM. is the attacks by those very “tongue douches” in the MSM on Shorten and Labor…as if HE and THET are expected to come to the party and sing the “school hymn” in support!…EFF off!….Like Baird’s one trick pony, the whole LNP. is infected with the delusion that kicking people out of jobs, cutting wages, stopping welfare will give Gerry Harvey a fat bottom line!…
    Not ONe LNP. policy has worked, that I can see..not one in it’s original format….not ONE!

  17. Well said Leone. Your post says what I’ve been thinking all along. Why on earth would Indonesia not look upon Australia as anything but a mob of hypocritical thugs?

  18. I appreciate the good wishes of fellow Pubsters towards my difficulty to come to grips with the trauma due to the cyclone.

    I never imagined it would affect me like it has & I expect most people in the region would be similar.

    The actual event is terrifying enough to go through, but I think what hits you the most is looking outside and seeing all that destruction and realising that the world as you knew it for so long and felt so comfortable in, is now gone forever.

    The reminder is there every time you look out your windows or venture outside and go anywhere and see the havoc that is everywhere you go. Footpaths still piled up with broken & shattered trees, piles of water damaged personal belongings & smashed remains of parts of their houses & fences.

    Something that helps in dealing with the shock of the experience & aftermath is realising how fortunate you are that you & your family survived at least physically unscathed & that you didn’t suffer major damage to your house & personal treasures like many others did.

    We had no electricity for 8 days. (there is still a number to get reconnected) You get a shock when you find out that your 2 burner gas cooker that was lovingly stored won’t work but are thankful that a neighbour lends you a single burner and 4 cans of gas. Fortunately, my neighbour didn’t need it. (his solar panels survived & he shared a generator with his brother) We used it sparingly because stocks of pressure pack burners & replacement cans became available the day we got the electricity back on.

    The first three days after the cyclone we had 40c, 39.5c, & 39c which meant that the keeping capacity of fridges & freezers was severely curtailed & food was spoiling faster than you could eat it. Once ice was available, it was not very cold and because so many people were getting it at the same time, it was already partly melted & didn’t last very long in your eskys.

    The only benefit from the high restaurateurs was the cold showers weren’t all that cold but it was murder trying to sleep with no aircon or fans. Night time was weird & confronting to some degree, for when you blew out the candles, it was the darkest of dark. No street lights, no lights to speak of from neighbouring houses & no moon & star light getting through the thick cloud cover. Scary black.

    I could write a book about it without any difficulty. I bet some already are but will feel at the completion of it that they have left out more than they put in due to the enormity of the event & its aftermath.

    I have seen numerous times over the years, accounts of people who expressed a wish to experience what it is like to live through a cyclone. A few that have done so have recorded that it was a stupid wish on their part & that it was a far more terrifying experience than they ever imagined it could be. All the ones that I have read about have been category 1 or 2 storms. I wonder how they would have handled a category 5 one? 😉

  19. I’m no expert on the psephology of NSW.

    But there’s a feeling in the air. I’m hearing a lot of criticism of the pending privatization of electricity infrastructure in NSW.

    The history is that we had to endure huge price increases for the past number of years in order to “fatten up” the poles and wires for sale. First the infrastructure was amputated from the generation arm into a government corporation. Then, whatever the proprietors wanted to build, they got a guaranteed payment for… by us. Egregiously, most of this was blamed on the Carbon Tax, disguising the true source of the extra expense.

    Now that the calf has been fattened, there is some noise about reducing the rate in increase. But of course, if privatization goes ahead, that’ll all be forgotten. It’ll be in private hands. There’ll be some guff about how they have to get their investment back somehow.

    As economists have pointed out this goes, against the principle of Market Capitalism, where a reduction in demand is supposed to cause a reduction in price. But we don’t have Market Capitalism in NSW. We have Crony Capitalism. It’s a whole different ball game, a Bizarro World were up is down and losses mean more profits.

    This is the core problem with privatization: where a government-owned corporation doesn’t need to produce growth and profits every year, private firms do. A government-owned Australia Post can deliver snail mail at a loss. A privatized APO can’t. It’s really as simple as that, with the added cherry on top that not only must profits be made, but they must increase over time.

    Seeing as electricity consumption is slated to decrease over time – both with more efficient appliances and with more alternative energy sources attached to domestic dwellings – the few remaining consumers of mainstream electricity will be hit doubly hard. It’s the Reciprocity Principle: divide consumption by half, double the rates, plus a premium for “growth”.

    The NSW government wants the cash now. Therefore it is – despite all the guff to the contrary – a buyer’s market. To sweeten the deal the government will have to throw in guarantees: regular price rises; profits linked to time, not productivity; the stifling of competition. This has happened with the privatization of motorways, where previously perfectly fine roads have been emasculated into one-lane goat tracks, tolls rise based on a formula that owes more to the calendar than to efficiency and incredibly chaotic bureaucracies are constructed to make the life of the tollway user a living hell if anything goes wrong.


    Anecdotally, one of our toll tags had an intermittent fault. This meant that we scored infringement notices each time it didn’t work. Sometimes we couldn’t hear whether it worked or not. Sometimes we thought it HAD worked. Sometimes we thought it was our imagination. The toll notices – each with a $20 “administration fee” added to the standard toll – started arriving 6 weeks later. They don’t even register internally at the toll company admin level for three weeks. This meant we had racked up hundreds of dollars worth of “infringements” without really being aware of it. Of course you are assumed to be guilty as charged.

    When you phone the company that issued the tag (there are about 6 potential suppliers) and expalin the situation, they search your records and give you the news that your tag has a “low signal strength” flag. In other words, they knew your tag was faulty, but didn’t bother to tell you. Why not? “We just don’t do that,” was the answer. Nobly, your own toll tag company forgives the administration fees and just debits your toll account for the tolls themselves.

    THEN they tell you that you have to phone the following companies – remember this is six weeks after the malfunctions occurred – to explain it all to them, all over again: M2, Lane Cove Tunnel, Eastern Distributor, M7, M5, and the Mosman Off-Ramp company. Each call involves listening to music and dire warnings about your privacy being shredded for at least half an hour. They all have different protocols. You have to repeat the same tedious information to each of them. Explain the battery failure. Get them to check with your own toll provider (in our case the RTA).

    But there are still the toll notices for the last three weeks to come. So, in another three weeks you’ll have to do it all over again. And in another three weeks, until all the infringements are gradually erased and stop arriving in the letter box.

    The joys of privatization! They could co-ordinate their resources. They could do it all by computer. They could have web site where ALL you infringements were listed, no matter where you incurred them, and you could pay them all off in one go without having to wait on the phone for hours. But they don’t. They are all private companies.


    It’ll be the same with electricity privatization. These commpanies will be in it for profit, not pleasure. We’ve already paid to have their poles and wires made more attractive a proposition to purchase. Now we’ll have to pay again for the “investors” to recoup their “investments”.

    Is it any wonder that privatization has a bad smell about it?

    The Victorian election was lost by the Liberals over a motorway deal. The Queensland election was lost over privatizing electricity and other asset sell-offs. The voters in those states got shitty with their Tory governments selling off perfectly productive assets, whose annual profits were ploughed back into infrastructure.

    Voters in NSW will have seen these reactions to privatization in other states, and may feel that objecting to it is now permissable, that voting out a first-term government is not against the rules after all. NSW would complete a neat trifecta.

    There’s a mood about, one that involves retribution against governments that ignore the wishes of their voters, who in the case of NSW on this point, are against privatization by a factor over over 2 to 1.

    There’s a mood about to stop the madness.

    There’s a mood about to vote against Liberals because of the Abbott government, which is pushing the privatizations.

    These moods are starting to show up in the polls. Labor is not far behind, and Antony Green tells us that traditional methods of calculating voting intention based on primary votes have been wrong in the cases of Victoria and especially Queensland.

    The Baird government is offering the usual beads and trinkets, pots and pans and so on to the natives in return for flogging off what THEY own already, and will have to pay for all over AGAIN.

    Motorways (more privatization!), essentially going nowhere in a big loop, that lay waste whole suburbs of the Inner West of Sydney and add to congestion and pollution in those that are left. All so a few bizoids and delivery van drivers can get into the CBD fifteen minutes quicker.

    Which of course leaves a question for The Bush: what do THEY get out of privatization? Not much, as far as I can see. But they all vote Liberal or National already, right? No need to worry about them, even though Green points out that many of the gains in the ladt election went against history: these seats had been Labor strongholds since time was. Just look at the Hunter seats. After ICAC Baird didn’t even bother to contest them. He said it was because the government should show contrition for the corruption. In reality, he didn’t care… those seats were disposable anyway….or so he thinks.

    Possum Commitatus wrote eloquently, but relatively obscurely about how they won Queensland.

    In April 2013 he wrote this, a blueprint for the Queensland campaign:

    In January 2014 that blueprint was finally completed and commissioned. It had all worked: extensive mega-polling to find the issues, cross-linking of localized poll results with booth returns from the last election, boots on the ground (actual real boots, with steel caps and hi-viz vests, warning voters in the selected areas of the dangers of privatization).

    All the time Campbell Newman had been bragging and boasting about being “strong”, with the Courier Mail publishing heroic images day after day on its front page, the white ants from the unions and ordinary Labor party members had been busy undermining him, voraciously eating through the foundations.

    If that campaign, or something like it, can be translated to the NSW scenario which I believe they are trying to do), and if the polling figures really are as soft for Baird as Antony Green says they are (and it’s a rare day that Green admits he’s shocked at an election result and has to rethink everything), then NSW can fall to Labor.

    My own anecdotal conversations with various punters around the traps, including my mother-in-law who’s dyed-in-the-wool Liberal (but says she won’t vote for them this time) tell me that the perception of there being a vengeful mood out there, especially against privatization, isn’t my imagination.

    My observations of the campaign so far – with Labor’s brilliantly simple and direct TV commercials dominating the airwaves, linking all privatizations together, from motorways, to electricity to Health – and Baird’s response (just announced this morning) to employ Alan Fells as the safety net – can anyone imagine if lefty Alan says “No way!” that they’ll take any notice of him? – plus the polls, plus my conversations arounf=d the traps, lead me to think NSW is winnable.

    If the Daily Telegraph goes feral that will confirm it.

    The Liberals are constrained to argue a case for privatization that they thought they could sneak in under the radar of Labor corruption and Baird’s pretty face. As Antony Green points out they have to argue policy for a change, not fulffery and cute, touch-feely stuff. They are defending a position, not attacking Labor, who paid the high price for their sliminess last election. Baird is defending a policy that he has admitted has no “Plan B”. There’s no way out for him but to push through on it. He’s painted himself into a corner. He thought that admitting there was no Plan B was a boast that would sober-up the punters: if they wanted Baird they’d have to put up with privatization. But instead it’s angered them.

    All the seeds are there. I’m just hoping Labor doesn’t drop the ball.

  20. BB, speaking with Mick Pilbrow, recent candidate for Labor in Hume, he has been with Ursula Stevens campaigning in Goulburn and also helping in Cootamundra. Seems quite upbeat about knocking Pru Goward off ddspite nominal 26% swing needed. Pru has been caught napping by a canny and capable opponent. Having met Ursula and spoken to her a few times in places like Crookwell and Yass, they are focusing on the National Party voters by handing out leaflets pointing out to them that they are no
    Once able to vote for Katrina Hodgkinson, the darling of the photo-op and the LNP’s answer to Sarah Palin.

  21. If anyone has blood on their hands in this whole sad affair it is the Terrible Three – Abbott, Bishop and Morrison.

    And also the previous LNP govt under Howard, Ruddock and Andrews, and of course the ADF.

  22. At the front of our house is a huge Racehorse tree. This tree had quite a lean towards the house and has been of concern to me as a threat to the house during recent severs storm events.

    During the cyclone this became more so as some of the gusts, as the eye moved ever closer to us, were truly ferocious and this tree, which towered over the house was bending right over the roof line.

    I thought we were gone if it let go, which it must with this much force being applied to it. I moved everything valuable & precious away from that side of the house & waited with my daughters (Mrs Scoroio was at work) for the inevitable craaash!

    A particularly fierce gust hit the house with a roar. The next thing there was this loud crashing sound over the roar of the storm and we looked out to see a huge branch had broken off the tree and had landed parallel with the front of the house. In the process of falling, it took out two pencil cedars & two palm trees & the foliage just brushed the rear of my daughter’s Suzuki Jimmy.

    If it wasn’t for the largest of the Pencil Cedars holding the branch from rolling over, it would have crushed the car & damaged the house. The top foliage just brushed my neighbour’s vehicle also.

    This tree is 2.5 metres circumference at the base & the branch which broke off, would be about 1.8 metres in circumference and when still attached to the tree, towered over my roof line on a two storied house. It landed about 4 metres away from where it broke off. Blimey that wind was strong.

    I have wanted to be rid of it for a long time but I would have had to get a permit from the Council to remove it and we were quoted in excess of $2,000 to have it removed. Beyond our financial ability unfortunately.

    We will still have to get the remainder removed and now in addition to that, there are two towering trees at the rear that will have to have their remains removed also. I’m unsure about my relationship with my neighbours at the back & on one side now, as they had quite some damage due to falling branches in their properties.

    Off my trees. I was doing well for the first part of the cyclone with branches breaking off & landing in the neighbour’s yards, but when the eye went over & the wind came from the other direction, a pile of weakened branches landed in huge piles in my own back yard with some extras from the next street behind me. 😉

    Here’s a picture of a Racehourse Tree.

  23. BB,
    Re; your comments on Insiders.
    One poll, IPSOS, goes against the trend. It’s clutched at like a drowning man. They’ve ignored all of the other polls.
    Above all, they’ve ignored the fact that TA is seen as a mad joke by the electorate. Eveyone I’ve spoken to and I mean everyone thinks he’s a lunatic not fit to run a country.
    No matter what distractions the Libs put out there, people have stopped listening to Abbott and Hockey. People don’t like them, they don’t trust them and they will vote to kick them out.
    All of the other stuff is “insider” rubbish that might interest the so called MSM commentators but means jack shit to everyone else.

  24. I was at Ciaran O’Briens fundraiser last night at the Bradman Museum in Bowral. Ciaran is our Labor candidate for the Wollondilly electorate, and needs a 20%+ swing.

    Anyway, there was a raffle. Second prize was won by guess who – moi. The prize: wait for it, a pair of Bob Carr’s shoes from 2005, all neatly packed in a beautiful mahogany box with a plaque and a photo of Bob. Real Italian leather shoes.

    So I was talking to John Faulkner, and I held up the box with the shoes and said that if I kept the shoes in the box for ten years, the item might become quite valuable, and I could then raffle it off in some Labor fundraiser.

    John interrupted me and said: “I thought you were going to say that in ten years the shoes would increase in value and you could sell them for $5.”

    Another wag added that I should fumigate the shoes in case Bob had tinea.

  25. Whenever our toll tag doesn’t beep we get an infringement form sent to us within 2 weeks. If we fill it within a week – there are three alternatives – and tick our e-way account, then send the form back, we don’t have to pay any fine.

  26. Bob Carr’s shoes as second prize – what on earth was first prize? Bob’s budgie smugglers? I’d be donating the shoes to Vinnies, burning the photo and keeping the lovely mahogany box – without the plaque.

    As you might guess, I am not a Bob Carr fan.

  27. And for those who missed it, FPMJG taking part in #TBT – Throwback Thursday – by posting her school photo.

  28. Scorpio

    I find it hard to really appreciate how awful it must have been for you and your family and what you all went through. I hope that by writing it all down here at The Pub you can work through some of the horror and distress you are suffering. Have you thought of writing chapters, getting the bosses here to put up each chapter every now and then?

    I must say the clarity of your writing today has been easy to read.

  29. Dedalus

    Who has the ego larger than a whale the even think that anyone would want a pair of his smelly old shoes. I would have felt insulted winning something pathetic.

  30. There are at least three comments here today that I’d like to put up as Guest Author posts.

    Would anyone mind if I did one now, one tomorrow, etc?

    (Bushfire Bill can fend for himself!)

  31. Opposition to privatization – especially of electricity – in NSW is very high at around 67%. Anecdotally this is observed, too. Labor is pummeling this issue, linking it to Health and Tollway privatizations.

    The last election’s margins were inflated. It was overkill.

    Abbott is disliked. If he turns up during the election, reinvigorated by the Press Gallery’s new meme of “Brilliant, Relaxed Abbott”, expect fireworks. The Press Gallery is just changing tack because the last campaign of Death Zones and Killing Fields didn’t work out so well for them. It had been easy in their minds to get rid of Gillard, even though it took them a three-year concerted, co-ordinated campaign to do so. They thought getting rid of Abbott would be a doddle: a few disaffected backbenchers, lots of planted (and false, as it turned out) stories from the likes of frat-boy Craig Laundy and some intense inter-panel exchanges on political game shows would do it. Not so easy, was it? Bottom line is: Abbott is electoral poison.

    Baird has restricted himself to promoting one hugely unpopular issue which will dominate the airwaves between now and the election. He has admitted it’s either his way or no highway.

    “Good!” say many voters, “No highway (and no electricity and Health sell-offs) it is!”

    Voting for Baird today, simply because he has attractive dimples, a fresh face and uses hair-gel, in exchange for a future of traffic jams, expensive, ever-rising tolls and the privilege of re-purchasing our electricity assets from protected investors, only has so much momentum. Electing a cute little button nose doesn’t bring back your home that’s been demolished to make way for a freeway carrying trucks to Botany Container Terminal; or compensate you for just missing the buy-back cut along the route of West Connex, and then having to put up with an attractive 16 foot high noise wall that doesn’t stop noise, right outside your front door. Read the West-Connex FAQ (its all there in the fine print) and you’ll see what I mean:

    We have a media that – in the space of 7 days – has gone from a howling mob of jackals to a pet-shop display case full of cuddly puppies telling us that Tony’s “OK”. 18 months of non-governance has been shrugged off with a casual “Reset”. 18 months of nothing happening, an abandoned Budget, the gaffes, the unemployment, the uncertainty and loss of confidence, the butchering of Alternative Energy, Automotive, Education, Health and Communications infrastructure has been explained away as Abbott “not selling his message”. A brief, all to rare, clever riposte in Question Time is signalled as “Brilliant!” (as Kath Murphy said on Insiders this morning, forgetting that, sheeplike, just a couple of weeks ago she’d written Abbott off as “lost forever”). As a wise man once said, “It all depends on your point of view.”

    Electors do not throw away their futures, and commit themselves to years of heavy expenditure based on Press Gallery political games and exhibitions of insider savvy or smartarsed dot-connecting. They don’t consign their homes to the bulldozers because Baird is cool and cruisey.

    Usually elections are about spin and image. Baird would like this one to be. But he’s going to be tested as Labor hammers the point that there’s another way of doing things. Another way that doesn’t involve flogging off our income producing assets now so that we can then continue to pay for them – pay more for them, forever – all over again, as if the last ten years of over-the-top electricity price rises wasn’t enough punishment for ignoring privatization the first time.

    The election won’t be won in the safe seats. Expect no visits from local members if you live in one of those, of either persuasion. Even the marginal seats, as whole seats, will be ignored. It’s the individial wards, the areas tied to swinging booths that will be targeted.

    While Baird is doing Hollywood Boulevard (that’s if he doesn’t wake up in time), Labor will be doing Struggle Street. And that’s where NSW will be won.

    The campaign was a set-piece. The polls said Labor didn’t have a chance. Despite ICAC and the Hunter massacres, despite Abbott and all the toxicity he presents wherever he goes, baby-faced Baird would romp it in.

    There is an air of fin de siecle about the state: the Empire is strong, the enemy is contained, our battleships are bigger than theirs. What could possibly go wrong? State elections aren’t decided on Federal issues. But privatization is a Federal issue. Our “Infrastructure Prime Minister” wants to build roads, and he wants to flog off the furniture to do it so that truckies will have an easier time dropping off their loads.

    Well, maybe not. The opening rounds have already forced Baird to panic and bring Alan Fells into the equation. The nurses are out there whispering in every patient’s ear. My experience in NSW Health (through my wife’s admin job there) is that the wind-down has already begun. They can’t get new staff because the privatization’s going forward in 2017, and there’s no guarantees you’ll still have a job after that. Great time to start a career, or further one… NOT.

    By 2019 it’ll all be too late to reverse. The time is now, if you want to stop the rot. NSW is by no means a foregone conclusion for the Liberals.

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