Political Infamy

A little earlier this evening there was a short debate that seemed to have at its core the origins of the worst ever Australian politicians.

This is my contribution.

State and Territory rivalry when it comes to appalling politicians?

Nah, every, but every, bit of Oz has produced them.

Queensland? “Sir” Joh has to take the pumpkin scone,


but he may even have been excelled by Sir Russ Hinze,


not to mention Candont:

Gladly, the Cross-eyed Bear

New South Wales? Ladies and gentleplums, I gives ya The Rum Corps in all its manifold manifestations up to the present day.


Especially Robert Robin Askin.


Victoria? Bolte goes without saying (pity he didn’t go without hanging someone else).

Australian Screen



The so appropriately-named Sir Thomas Bent?

Kingston Historical Website

Mania? The prize pig at the moment is obviously Erica, but


Andrew Nikolic

Launceston Examiner

and possibly Joe Lyons

Australian Prime Ministers

should get a mention. Or a guernsey. Or a life.

South Oz? Laydees and Gemmum, I gives ya Corgi Bernardi.

Daily Mail

Enuff said (but sure, there’s more – XXXXX).

Sandgropers? Brian Burke


Noel Crichton-Brown:


Ross Lightfoot (and light other things):

Penny Bradfield; Fairfax

Don Randall:

Perth Now

. . . need I continue?

ACT? Kate Carnell,

Harm Reduction Australia

Zed Seselja,

Canberra Times

but in spite of everything I adored Gus Petersilka (yeah, well, once upon a time self-government seemed to be a good idea):

Libraries ACT

Northern Territory? Hard to know where to start, given the astonishing fluidity of politics there.

Of course my bias is showing. I would be delighted if you would share your own particular biases with The Pub!

288 thoughts on “Political Infamy

  1. Trying to pay some motorway tolls for a friend in order to avoide the “admin fee” by using my toll account to rack up his tolls (it’s OK, he’s given me the cash up front).


    There is NOTHING more frustrating than trying to pay an overdue toll notice off a tag account (thus saving over $1,000 in “admin fees”) than if your account is not with the particular toll company that you are trying to pay tolls to.

    You’ve GOT the money.

    They WANT the money.

    But is there a way to just PAY the bloody thing?

    Oh no, THAT’S complicated…

    • Why are so many simple things like this so complicated? The My-Gov website comes to mind. It might be Their-Gov, but I doubt that it’s mine and god only knows how people with english as a second language cope. The ATO portal is as about friendly as a hungry tiger. The Health Dept one no better. Just had similar experience with bank, with foreign money transfer for half the cost of a house – bank wanted to give me some exchange rate that wanted to convert Oz $ to some ludicrous low amount (yeah-yeah, white middle-class bloke problem). Well, as wise uncle Darryl Kerrigan would say, “tell ’em their dreamin Trev”.

      I’ve mentioned this before. When it comes to road-tolls, parking, public transport, why can’t we have a national single pre-charged debit type card? No more “Opal”, “Action”, “MyKi” etc. Single Card. Recognised (including concessions etc) in every state/territory etc. “One Nation One people One Card”. Bloody federalism. Yes, I know some of you would see it as an intrusion – I’m willing to live with it. Is it any wonder it took nearly 150 years to unify rail gauge links between mainland capital cities.

  2. tlbd

    When I saw a tweet about Shorten, I went aph.gov.au and slide the white thing to about 15:15. Bill starts after abbotts rant. Although it probably won’t work if they’ve up and left.

  3. Another one Malcolm Roberts’ “empirical evidence” mob

    Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm says Australia’s tough gun control laws are not based on data and were an “emotional reaction” to the Port Arthur massacre that left 35 people dead.

    Senator Leyonhjelm says the majority of Australians have no experience with guns and therefore do not realise that when used safely, they can be a lot of fun.


    Let’s give everyone guns and let them enjoy themselves.

    • So how do we know who is lying? Turnbull, Dutton and Keenan. all habitual liars, or Abbott, another liar, or are all of them telling porkies?

      And of course Dutton and Keenan would never, ever tell lies to back up Fizza, would they. Never ever.

    • Truffles will lose that battle. He’s a bastard but he’s a nouveau bastard compare to those of long bastardy.

    • No way to prove murder. It should never have gone to trial.

      Did he do it? Will women want to date him, now?

    • Should it have gone to trial as murder? No.
      Manslaughter? Yes.
      Sundry lesser charges? Hell yes.

      Enough said.

    • Enough said.


      Manslaughter is not 2nd prize in a murder trial – it’s a serious crime, and should be treated as such.

      Any prosecutor that thinks “aim for murder, settle for manslaughter” needs a good kick up the arse.

  4. Their ABC news had Ooohmann commenting on Is there an Adler in the House?

    Punch line? The NE took Labor to task.

  5. Sitting in a waiting room today I started in on Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day.

    A good read.

  6. Geez, I can relate to this quote below. It was about 2004 that I came out of ‘don’t care about politics’ closet, and it was the Lying Rodent that did it.

  7. I just saw Shorten’s MPI. Truly magnificent.

    It kind of makes me wonder if Paul Keating was that entertaining in opposition. It gives me hope that in 3 years Shorten will be on the other side of the table and make the coalition wince in pain in such an entertaining way.

  8. I watched most of last night’s ACA criticism of Four Corners, just to see if my suspicions would be confirmed. They were. Tracey Grimshaw whined about the ABC not asking to use ACA’s four month old (allegedly) footing taken for the whitewash program they did a few months ago on Nauru. She whinged because the ABC had not asked for her or ACA’s help. As if!

    The report said the photos of the hospital and the school were old and things were just so much better now. They showed this photo of the new primary school, cleverly taken to make it seem much bigger than it really is.

    They forget to mention this school opened only two weeks ago, and so was not operating when Four Corners were making their program. It wasn’t operating four months ago when ACA were there either, but they didn’t mention that embarrassing little fact.

    I don’t see anything to admire in a school that has fifty kids per classroom.

    ACA also had not noticed that the teachers speaking on Four Corners referred specifically to Nauru College, not Nauru primary school. The college is a high school. The filthy toilets shown on the Four Corners program were photos of the facilities at Nauru College.

    There was more whining about the way the hospital was shown. The ABC says the new wing of the hospital was not functioning when they made their program, parts of it are still not open.

    ACA also had a brief interview with Baron Waka (the female presenter pronounced his name incorrectly, great research there, girls) which was more whitewash. Waka is as corrupt as they come. ACA did not mention Waka’s machinations to get rid of a troublesome opposition and his ousting of the Australians working as chief magistrate and chief justice in 2014.

    Everything ACA said can easily be refuted. I don’t know why they persist in pushing put their rubbish. It must be aimed at people so braindead they can’t manage to hop online and find out the truth.

  9. Damn yanks – now they have discovered fairy bread, or should that be ‘fairy toast’. This is enough to make us throw away the ANZUS treaty. How could we possibly want to defend such barbarians?

    American magazine gets Aussie fairy bread very wrong

    The beauty of fairy bread is its simplicity.

    But US magazine Epicurious doesn’t seem to have received that memo. It has published a piece suggesting the childhood party food is made with (preferably homemade) cultured butter and crusty sourdough, and frequently eaten by adults.

    In the post, published on Tuesday, writer Katherine Sacks makes another grievous error in claiming that Australians sometimes substitute the snack for their morning Weetbix.

    According to Sacks, “Fairy bread, which Aussies also call ‘Fairy Toast’ [No, Katherine]” isn’t “considered fancy food.”

    “It is usually eaten as breakfast, as a snack in between meals, or after dinner to finish off the meal.”


    The article itself, in all it’s ludicrous glory. Two tablespoons of butter per slice? Yuck!

    Australia Invented the Original Rainbow Food

    Is nothing safe?

    • He is just happily reminiscing about his days interrogating suspects when he was a Qld copper.

    • Brian,

      Unfortunately, the coal miner is as thick as a couple of anthracitic bricks, so it won’t have altered his opinion/belief/certainty one iota.

      Which just goes to show what it is to be the revealed suppository of all revealed truth.

  10. I’m just glad the debates are over and they didn’t go as far as I was fearing.

    And I was fearing something occuring like Trump just snapping and physically attacking Clinton because of his unhinged thin-skinned temper.

    If that happened, going by the depravity of his fans that I’ve encountered on the internet, many of them would have approved of.

    • I mentioned earlier what a forbearing Moderator was in charge of this one. In the reports today I discovered he was from Fox News.

      Seems to be a very long tolerance of the lunatic fringe in MSM events. That said, he was almost impartial compared with some of their more famous suspects like O’Reilly and Hannity.

  11. Kirsdarke,

    While I understand and share your relief, I must point out that his fans’ depravity still means that anything – anything – could happen.

    Before the election or after it? What would they care? Provided . . .

    If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
    It were done quickly.

    By co-incidence I am re-reading Ngaio Marsh’s brilliant last novel, Light Thickens.

  12. And you do not sprinkle sprinkles on the Fairy Bread. you swipe a bit of butter or marg on a slice of white bread. Bog standard sliced white loaf. You then DIP the buttered slice in a plate of Hundreds and Thousands. Thus making sure there is a good coating of 100s&1000s. It is then cut into four neat triangles. Keep going until the platter is full. Sprinkles are allowed if you run out of 100s&1000s. Kiddies get to help make them.

    These are not for breakfast or general snacking. These iconic Aussie treats are for reserved for that major celebration in a child’s life; the Birthday Party.

  13. Puffy,

    Early in the second-last decade of last century, I worked for the exploration arm of a certain Australian (now international) mining company.

    My immediate superior was a man whose marriage was not going all that well.

    We could always tell when there had been a falling-out the previous day. There would be an anguished cry of:

    “S***, hundreds and thousands sandwiches again!

    His spouse’s attitude was that if he was behaving like a child, he should be fed like one.

    Fair enough, in my well-informed opinion.

  14. Dat’s Dame Ngaio Marsh.


    Her appearance, speech and mannerisms have become part of New Zealand folk memory, much imitated and easily recognised (as in, for example, Mervyn Thompson’s autobiographical play Passing through ). She was very tall, with a deep voice, ‘cultured’ accent and patrician manner. Her success as a writer and the financial rewards it brought enabled her to indulge in a taste for expensive designer clothes, often of a strikingly dramatic style.


    What a Ngaio is

    Ngaio, Ngaio tree, Mousehole Tree

    Myoporum laetum

    A quick growing and hardy small tree with an open habit.

    It is found in coastal areas throughout the North Island and the South Island as far as Otago.

    It has large fleshy green leaves that have oil glands and small white flowers in summer followed by red berries.

    Particularly suitable for providing shelter and shade in exposed coastal areas.

    All parts of the ngaio are poisonous to livestock.


  15. Jaeger

    Schiaparelli Mars probe’s parachute ‘jettisoned too early’

    Telemetry data recovered from the probe during its descent indicates that its parachute was jettisoned too early.

    The rockets it was supposed to use to bring itself to a standstill just above the ground also appeared to fire for too short a time.

    The European Space Agency (Esa) has not yet conceded that the lander crashed but the mood is not positive.


    • Thanks! I heard that they lost had contact with the lander prior to landing, but not the details.

  16. A history prof looks at Iraq+Vietnam.

    Op-Ed The baby boomers’ monumental quagmire in Iraq

    ……………………………..Leaders of the so-called Greatest Generation failed the test. We can fix the date of that failure: It occurred just about 50 years ago, in September 1966, when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concluded that the Vietnam War was unwinnable — and then acquiesced in its further escalation………………………………

    ………………………………………… .Yet these parallel stories of military malpractice are by no means identical. Among the differences, one in particular stands out. In the 1960s, angry Americans, led by baby boomers, rose up in protest. Demanding accountability, many fingered McNamara as the very embodiment of Vietnam-era strategic myopia and moral indifference. Even today, among those who fought in that war and those who opposed it, he remains a reviled figure. Haunted by Vietnam, McNamara himself belatedly conceded the point, expressing remorse for his misjudgments while in office.

    Today accountability and remorse are in short supply. Whatever capacity the public once possessed to rouse itself when faced with a military enterprise gone awry has apparently dissipated. With the normalization of war, Americans have learned to tune out events occurring on distant battlefields. Public malaise frees Congress of any obligation to exercise serious oversight. Why ask difficult questions when rote expressions of supporting the troops suffice to win votes?


  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Gasps from MPs as Turnbull comes off the top rope sat Abbott.
    Mark Kenny says that Turnbull chose the truth defence knowing that it meant war with Abbott.
    Katherine Murphy reckons “gunslinger” Abbott has shot himself in the foot. Another article of Turnbull adoration from her.
    Michelle Grattan writes that a game-changer gun has changed the game between Turnbull and Abbott. “To say Turnbull has had yet another bad week doesn’t tell half of it. It’s been little short of disastrous and there will be more fallout”. This is one of her better efforts.
    The other front from the Abbott/Turnbull war. Google.
    Trump has modified his refusal by now saying he will accept the election result IH HE WINS. He’s barking mad and dangerous.
    Why Trump is a danger to America itself.
    The Trump abortion comments that had people reeling.
    Trump again shows why he is unfit for office. Google.
    And yet another brave woman comes out about being sexually assaulted by Trump. And there’s still 19 days to go.
    John Foot says that we have seen Donald Trump before. His name was Silvio Berlusconi.
    Turnbull’s flawed plan for unpaid internships. The spivs will be the only winners.

  18. Section 2 . . .

    Jonathan Holmes writes that it’s Australia’s fault, not Nauru’s, and that 4 Corners is only doing its job.
    Matthew Knott homes in on the Australian National Audit Office’s report that says the Abbott government misled the public on advertising and may in fact have broken the law.
    Now the Department of Human Resources is going after the pay and conditions of its thousands of part time workers. What is this country coming to?
    Full time work is collapsing as casualisation takes hold. It’s a terrible trajectory. Google.
    I don’t think King’s School will come out of the CA Royal Commission too well.
    Meanwhile another Maris Brother goes down.
    The public are already turning against Brexit. When will Theresa May listen?
    More on the raw deal that regional travellers are getting at Sydney Airport.
    Just as Minister Porter puts up his “Double Dipping” bill this pops up. Not a good look fellas!
    The debate section where it all turned bad for Trump.
    Trump’s clueless debate performance spawned some hilarious Twitter responses.

  19. Section 3 . . .

    How Hillary flipped the script and became Trump’s tormentor.
    Morgan Stanley has issued a dire warning that our housing construction bubble could burst affecting up to 200000 workers. Probably the CFMEU’s fault we’ll hear today.
    John Hewson writes that our leaders have forgotten how to deliver effective government.
    Tis disgraceful, exploitative behaviour must be stamped out. Come on Michaelia, do it!
    Ha! The producer of the brilliant doco/movie :Spotlight” is planning to make a series on Roger Ailes.
    The NSW government is looking at outsourcing school camps to religious organisations. Really?
    There is a question begging to be asked of James Packer by Baird – what if he opens a big casino in Sydney and nobody came?
    Conservatives and The Australian are not happy with the “activist”ABC for showing a voluntary euthanasia death. Google.
    Some seismic activity has been detected within the ACT Liberal Party.
    The plebiscite bill gets through the lower house. Now for the Senate. I wonder if the government will go for the gag.
    Quite a quiet backdown from the government over the gag order on doctors from detention centres. I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it was due to file its defence to the High Court shortly.

  20. Section 4 . . .

    Woolworths’ CEO is changing focus from prices to stores. Google.
    Australian nurses who spread anti-vaccination messages are facing prosecution.
    There’s a war of words between Bob Day and Tom Koutsantonis in SA. Google.
    It seems areas with the highest concentration of poker machines have high levels of domestic violence. I can’t say that the statistical evidence is overwhelming though.
    The shocking number of illegal guns in Australia.
    It’s been a massive mistake to have allowed gambling to become part of everyday life.
    I certainly agree with the thrust of this article on the demise of our auto industry. i have often described the auto industry as Australia’s de facto University of Manufacturing.

  21. Section 5 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Ron Tandberg on yesterday’s great Adler debate.

    David Rowe gets into the car with Donald and Melania on the way home from the third debate.

    Andrew Dyson on avocados’ bad rep.

    Alan Moir on Turnbull’s continued brilliant career.
    David Pope just LOVES balloons after the appearance of the Sky Whale. This time we have a Trump dirigible.
    Matt Davidson with the difficulties facing the RBA.
    Mark Knight and Trump’s comment on accepting the result of the election.
    Bill Leak must be on right wing piece rates.
    First Dog on the Moon on Adlers and avocados.

  22. kk

    Public malaise frees Congress of any obligation to exercise serious oversight.


    The civilian public treat the the military (and the State and Defense Departments) as a separate state.

    ‘9/11’ came as a big shock to many – “Are there people out there who hate us this much?”

    The idea that there are some with a reason to retaliate doesn’t seen to have sunk in.

    • The ignorance encapsulated by Dubya’s “They hate us for our freedoms” bulldust.

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