Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY CELEBRATIONS FOR YOUR TRADITION OF THE SEASON.

We send overtures of joy and merriment to all our Pubsters, lurkers, supporters, and everyone in general.

It is the traditional season of celebration and of family, friends, and connection. We hope everyone gets the best they can from focusing on enjoyment and thankfulness and finds some joy

However, we know this is a Christmas in the shadow of the Covid19 pandemic. It will be, as always, not a happy time for everyone. Many people and families will be spending this Christmas-time dealing with feelings of grief, loneliness, and a sense of loss.

Irrespective of one’s beliefs or none, Christmas traditionally is a season to seek some happiness and joy. It is supposed to be the time of year to suspend the worries of the world, to put aside that which causes us and others pain, in favour of finding the best of ourselves. Just for a short while, we have social permission to experience happiness, connectivity, and charity rather than be worn down by ongoing difficulties.

Just by absorbing the social feeling of the season, we have an opportunity to suspend our cares and focus on the moment, rather than outer and future dilemmas. Every society has a celebration, historically they were based on religious and/or agricultural reasons. Everyone needs a good knees-up, singing, food, and exchange of goodwill, after all.

Christmas can also be a time when the absence of connection and sense of loss is more acute. The toll of human life from Covid19, the feelings that governments are not in control, and frustration at blocks to progress in applying scientific rather than superstitious responses to this plague can be overwhelming.

In this time, it is also wise to be patient, gentle and caring of others. Overworked shop assistants, exhausted health workers, worried people … a smile (smiling eyes over your mask), a friendly word and phone call to a friend, finding happiness in little things, all can make someone feel good.

We love to pay that extra attention to family, especially the kids. If ever a lockdown was ever to occur, this time is the best. We live in an age of electronic communication miracles. We can see, hear and join in with our loved ones, see our young ones, especially grandkids!, happy faces and make our connections. We no longer have to wait for a sailing ship to deliver a letter 11 months old.

We are coming from a hard year, 2021. In a lot of ways, we have been left to our own devices in this Pandemic, as our Federal and some state governments fumble their responses and then back away from the hard tasks, or fob them off onto others (Looking at you, PM Scott Morrison!). Mostly the quieter majority have tried to act as a community, wearing our masks, getting tested or staying home, and social distancing. Vaccination rates in the 80%. Regardless of the few loud complainers or rule-breakers, most have pulled their weight. We have much to be proud of here in Australia.

So we can make the best of our Christmas, even if it means enjoying a Bah Humbug or cancelling it altogether for a good lay-in or watching TV with your favourite snacks!

The Pub invites you to raise a glass with us to wish all the best of Season’s Greetings.

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PANTS ON FIRE!

PANTS ON FIRE!

Tony Burke’s 5 and 5.

The 5 Best and 5 Worst of the week in Australian politics, written by Hon Tony Burke MP. Member for Watson NSW, Manager of Opposition Business for the Australian Labor Party in the Federal House of Representatives.

We need to talk about Scott.

Usually when someone makes a terrible mistake you can see the embarrassment on their face. But Scott seemed happy. He felt invincible, like a genius. After one of the worst weeks I’ve ever seen a government have.

So as you read this week’s #5and5 just remember this: Scott thought he did really well.

BEST

  • The Muppet Show Sequel
  • Morrison’s character
  • Cost of living
  • Same job, same pay
  • Tony Smith’s farewell

WORST

  • Hawaii lie
  • Civil disobedience
  • Corruption
  • “Made up issue”
  • Christian Porter

The Best:

1. Chaos. Everywhere. And Anthony Albanese summed it up beautifully in a speech at the end of the week. He recalled when Mr Morrison described his own side as a Muppet show: “Well he is now the Muppet-In-Chief. And the theme song to The Muppet Show goes like this: it’s like a kind of torture to have to watch the show.”

2. Every day this week we zeroed in on Mr Morrison’s character. The challenge when we were organising question time each day was choosing among the long list of Morrison lies.

Why did he and his office repeatedly lie about going to Hawaii while the country burned?

Why did he lie about electric vehicles?

Why did he lie about battery power?

Why did he lie about vaccine mandates?

Why did he lie about inviting his friend Brian Houston to the White House?

In response Mr Morrison just ducked and dissembled – and even bowled up some brand new lies. As Richard Marles asked on Thursday: “If the Prime Minister has no regard for what he said in the past why should Australians have regard for what he’s saying now?”

3. While the government was focused on itself we focused on the economy and the cost of living – things that matter to everyday Australians. Anthony, Amanda Rishworth, Kristy McBain and Susan Templeman asked why under this government petrol prices were surging by $900 a year for an average family – but real wages have fallen by $700. Josh Frydenberg tried to pivot to the government’s economic record, so Jim Chalmers asked: “Can the current Treasurer name any other Treasurer in the last 100 years that has a worse record than him on waste, rorts, debt, deficits, annual growth and real wages?” Frydenberg could not.

4. On Monday Anthony and Labor’s Meryl Swanson introduced a “same job, same pay” Private Members’ Bill to crack down on dodgy labour hire firms that are undercutting wages and conditions in mining and across the economy. Throughout the week we presented real life examples of labour hire workers getting ripped off to the tune of hundreds of dollars a week. We need to stop permanent jobs being replaced with lower paid casual jobs.

5. Monday was Tony Smith’s last day as Speaker. He’s from the other side of politics of course but few would dispute that Smith brought order, fairness, dignity and integrity back to the chair after the Bronwyn Bishop days. He belongs in the “best” column even though we’re sorry to see him go.

The Worst:

1. Mr Morrison’s character was on full display on Monday. Labor’s Fiona Phillips asked: “When my electorate was burning the Prime Minister’s office told journalists he was not on holiday in Hawaii. Why did the Prime Minister’s office say that when it wasn’t true?” Mr Morrison responded by trying to blame Labor – claiming he’d told Anthony Albanese ahead of time where he was going. If that was true it would be irrelevant. But it wasn’t true at all. Mr Morrison was trying to wriggle out of his lies by telling more lies. He had to have two goes at correcting the record because he’s pathologically incapable of admitting fault or taking responsibility.

2. The LNP’s George Christensen stood up in the House on Wednesday and likened state premiers to “Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot” – and then openly encouraged “civil disobedience” against their pandemic health orders. A few minutes later we asked Mr Morrison about these inflammatory and dangerous comments and he refused to even condemn Mr Christensen by name. Watch here.

3. On Thursday things went from bad to worse for the government. Supported by Labor, independent MP Helen Haines moved a motion to suspend standing orders to debate her bill for a federal anti-corruption body. In a totally unprecedented move a Liberal MP, Bridget Archer, seconded the motion and crossed the floor to support it. That means we had the numbers on the floor. After the vote the new Speaker Andrew Wallace declared that we’d won – but then saying we needed to vote again. That led to complete chaos on the floor as the government tried to get its act together and figure out what to do next. There was around ten minutes where we all sat in the chamber and nothing happened. No one spoke. Just. Nothing. Eventually the vote happened again and this time the requirement to have an absolute majority of 76 votes was invoked which mean even though we had more votes, we didn’t win. There’s one simple take out from all this, the only way to have an anti-corruption commission is to change the government.

https://www.tonyburke.com.au/view5and5

4. We asked the government about the Same Job Same Pay legislation that Anthony Albanese had introduced on Monday. What was the government’s response? Paul Fletcher – who represents the Invisible Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash in the lower house – just arrogantly dismissed the labour hire rorts as a “made up issue”. I bet it doesn’t feel “made up” to the workers getting paid less every day or the families struggling to pay the bills. It only feels “made up” to a Government that is completely out of touch with the concerns of workers.

5. A few weeks ago the government took the completely unprecedented step of voting against a parliamentary inquiry into Christian Porter’s anonymous donations even though Tony Smith supported a referral. With a new Speaker in the chair I gave it another go. Mr Wallace rejected our request. So we are left with a situation where MPs can take large anonymous cash donations to pay for private bills. It’s beyond belief.

We’re back next week for the final sitting week of the year.

‘til then,

Tony

PS Song of the week goes to one of the early punk albums. It includes the perfect line “broke a confidence just to please your ego”. The song is called Liar. And while I never thought I’d say this: in honour of Scott Morrison, here’s the Sex Pistols

https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=D

From Tony Burke’s Weekly Email., thank you Mr Burke.

Courtesy CK Watt who found this. In this political week

CK Watt, Tony Burke’s ‘5 and 5’ is too good to leave buried in the comments!

Jonathon Pie: Comedy, Satire, and Some Very Colourful Language!

Thank you to Pubster CKWatt who put this excellent comedy sketch from England in the comments.

Pubsters, please indulge me. 

British comedian Tom Walker created the satirical character, Jonathon Pie. Jonathon Pie is a television news presenter who broadcasts live from outside locations. The sketches show Mr Pie between takes, saying what he really thinks about his subject.

I really like Mr Walker’s work, as the frustrated and angry Jonathon Pie. I particularly like his political satire. Jonathon Pie says it in a way I can never equal.

The Jonathon Pie advertised tour of Australian theatres has some changes, due to this Plague.

I would love to see his live show.

This comedy sketch is about Mr Pie’s’ opinion of the priorities of the UK government,  led by The Esteemed PM Boris Johnson, in the area of Social Care.

Language Warning.

In this sketch Mr Pie swears. A lot. A very lot. It’s kind of swearing I am sure most of us felt like shouting at the TV screen at times when listening to politicians and various commentators.

Let Jonathon Pie do it for you. Just keep the kiddies out of the room.

Now, this is a satire about British politics. There is no resemblance to any Australian politician, or persons or groups or any other entity. Any appearances of such are purely coincidental, misinterpretation or karma, and does not reflect, imply or otherwise anything about anyone by anyone for anyone, against anyone, to anyone or anyone’s anyone or their pet, or garden gnome.

You are free to draw your own conclusions, of course.

This is a bit of laughter to ease the minds of locked-down Aussies.

No animals, plants, or microphones were hurt in this production . . . as far as we can tell.

In what ways our once-strong culture of political satire will be impacted by recent developments here in Australia remains to be seen.

Can you name others? Elephant Stamps are up for grabs!

So enjoy what can still be produced and broadcast on social media, in the Now Brexited Olde Blighty.

Remember I warned you, his language would burn the ears off of a marble gargoyle… but I think it’s worth it.

‘The News Is Mad’ (T. Walker, 2020.)

Tom Walker is very interesting in this CNN interview from June 2020 which is posted on YouTube. Tom discusses the creation of Jonathon Pie, and the differences between the himself and his creation, along with his observations of our current poltical and social ⁷scene.

The interviewer, Bianca Noble, is excellent.

Tom Walker has a sharp political sense, and using humour, exposes the  contradictions, the hypocrisy, and the mendacious stupidity of our modern democratic leaders.

Jonathan Pie has us laughing through the dawning realisation that our only other choices are to howl at the darkness, or cry. Or both.

Australia on Fire.

Our Prime Minister Scott Morrison does not escape his dose of Mr Pie’s satirical medicine.

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