MDFF 30 April 2016

Habari za asubuhi marafiki zangu

Lawa is a Warlpiri word that means both ‘no’ and ‘nothing’.

Such as lawa-jarrija: ‘It was made into nothing’ in other words it was used up or emptied or finished up.

The word ‘no’ often evokes a memory I have of an anti-sexual harassment poster from a few decades ago: “which part of N O don’t you understand?”

Some decades ago the Northern Territory Government had a campaign going to get local councils to register as Community Government Councils under NT legislation. Back then many councils were registered under Federal (Commonwealth) legislation. The then NT Government, run by what were known as the “CLP cowboys” (the CLP is the Country Liberal Party), inter alia spent a vast amount of money opposing Aboriginal Land Claims lodged under the federal Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern TerritoryAct 1976.

Warlpiri people knew on which side their bread was buttered.

I attended several community meetings at which some unfortunate wearer of long white socks had to try and sell the concept that Community Government Councils would be so much better, to unconvinced antagonistic crowds. I can still picture two Jungarrayi brothers (who sadly are no longer with us) who took it in turns to point at the poor fellow and in a loud voice proclaim: “We are saying LAWA, we are saying LAWA, LAWA means NO”

So did the Government take NO for an answer? NO they didn’t.

Sometime later another unfortunate long white sock wearer would organize a community meeting and the whole scene would repeat itself. “We are saying LAWA, we are saying LAWA, LAWA means NO”. Several meetings later a less unfortunate wearer of long white socks turned up at a time many Yuendumu residents were away at some event. The small group that attended the meeting, caved in and we got our Yuendumu Community Government Council. A long convoluted history ensued. The YCGC thrived for a while at the height of Self Determination. Not even a pretence of an opportunity to say LAWA came with the 2007 Intervention which heralded a new heightened level of disregard. They had all the power.

On the coat tails of the Intervention, so called council amalgamations took over local councils (and I might add their assets) at the stroke of a pen. Yuendumu became part of the Central Desert Shire, since renamed the Central Desert Regional Council, possibly for the same reason that the RJCP (Remote Jobs and Communities Programme) has been renamed the CDP (Community Development Programme). CDP sounds just like CDEP (if you say it quickly enough). CDEP were the increasingly successful Community Development Employment Projects, which had the rug pulled from under them in 2007.

CDEP for example employed a number of young people who worked as teaching assistants, at no cost to Yuendumu School, in the bilingual programme. This was at no additional cost to the long suffering ‘Australian taxpayer’ in that these teaching assistants would otherwise have been entitled to unemployment benefits. It was a win-win situation.

In the last Dispatch I waxed lyrical about song lyrics. Who could fail but be seduced by such as ….you don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows…?

As I said, a song can say things that it would otherwise take volumes to say.

Such a song is Bo Diddley’s He’s got all the whiskey…

It epitomises the Aboriginal Australia / Mainstream Australia relationship in a few simple and repeated words.

…he got all the money, he got all the money, but he won’t give me none….
…he got all the whiskey, he got all the whiskey, but he won’t give me none…
…he got all the women, he got all the women too, but he won’t give me none…

And last but not least:

…he got all the power, he got all the power, but he won’t give me none…

Do yourself a favour, listen to this song, the words may be simple but this is a brilliant piece of music.

Quoting from an ABC News article (on Adolf Hitler’s birthday 20th April – I know, completely irrelevant):  “…He said, with the approval of the local people, the climb could be a ‘great opportunity for the local Anangu to participate in a lucrative business and create much-needed local jobs’. Mr Giles said he would ‘like to hear from the traditional owners, the Anangu people, and start a conversation’ …”

The traditional owners have been saying WIYA (LAWA in their language) for decades. They simply don’t like people climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock). Possibly for similar reasons to those that the many who would object to people clambering up St. Peter’s Basilica or the Alhambra might give. Yet our Chief Minister, Adam Giles, wants tostart a conversation!

Well may we ask:
What part of NO don’t you understand Mr. Giles?

hadi wakati mwingine 


Sophie. από την ύβρη προς Νέμεσις ‘from hubris to nemesis’

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A political wedding made in heaven. One of the guests alegedly did not get there by helicopter.

There’s been much talk recently about the future of the former member for Indi Sophie Mirabella. Reports of her demise politically may be premature. But we felt obliged, as we are committed to transparency and in depth political analysis to provide our readership with three easy pieces which suggest that rather than dispirited, there is rejoicing and dancing in the streets. And also, (we suspect) her former colleagues in the Federal Liberal Party don’t seem to be working overly hard in rescuing her. The first is from that esteemed satirical publication, The Shovel.

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Image offered to PCbyCP readers as an alternate Anti Terrorist fridge magnet. As the product endorsement states;’ Even the flies wont go near her’.

‘Softer, Calmer Sophie Mirabella Pushes Cathy McGowan, Rather Than Punching Her In The Face’.

By The Shovel on April 21, 2016

’In a sign of the new gentler image she’s developed since losing the seat of Indi two years ago, Sophie Mirabella politely shoved sitting member Cathy McGowan out of the way at a recent event, rather than planting a right hook on her jaw. “I’ve learnt a lot these past few years,” Mirabella said today. “I’m more relaxed, that’s for sure. “If the fucktards in this electorate want to vote for some loser independent over me, well they’re absolute dickheads. But I’m not going to get all worked up over it,” she said.

The former Indi member said the event would have ended very differently if it had been held three years ago. “It would’ve ended with McGowan on the fucking carpet. That’s how it would’ve ended. But that was the old Sophie Mirabella. Now I know that a quick elbow in the stomach is a more collegiate response”.

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Happy in HATE

12 October 2011 The passion of Sophie Mirabella.

Then this excellent portentious piece from the press reform blogger.

“The rise and fall of Sophie Panopoulos Mirabella MP involves more than just one person and those who care about her, who have watched her go από την ύβρη προς Νέμεσις in such a short time. It involves the death of several big ideas: that you have to be accepted for the front you present to the world; that you accrue class and status for yourself by defending those with class and status; that you can reshape the Liberal Party and the country any damn way you please, and that anyone who doesn’t like it can just piss off; that intensity makes up where integrity falls short; and that ferocity conquers all. Like Andrew Bolt, she’s still not sorry. She never will be, because she can’t be.

She’ll think that her failure came because she wasn’t intense or aggressive enough, and there will be enough of those who support her in that, to the point where the rest of us who point and jeer won’t matter one bit. When you’re like her, as many Liberals are, you can’t self-examine and apologise without unravelling. If you thought the unhinging was bad, just you wait for the unravelling.

από την ύβρη προς Νέμεσις “ From hubris to nemesis’

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Sophie mouths a perfect zero.

And the final word from our very own Ira Main.

‘Bear in mind chaps that Sophia is Greek for wisdom and before she was Italian  our favourite Liberal was of the Hellenic persuasion. This gave her a good start in the great race but I suspect the mistake she made was marrying a person of Italianoid extraction. This brave lady, in doing this, and in order to achieve her lofty aims, was then required to take on her new beau’s monniker. This proved to be an unfortunate stratagem and instantly suggests (at least to me) that she was (and is) the sad author of her own demise.

Allow me to explain. ‘Mira’ suggests the word ‘mire’ which in turn suggests something ghastly, something festering, something brown, bilious and bubbling, like vast, malodourous  lakes of pooh or ordure. ‘Bella’ brings to mind a sense of  ‘ bounty, bountiful’  or ‘plenty’.. an adjective deliberately calculated, in this case, to multiply the stench already rising in one’s nostrils. Tie these two together and one is led inevitably to the conclusion that her new surname, translated into the argot of the common man, most decidedly means  ‘Deep Shit’.

Am I entirely wrong in this? Am i being unfair? I would be delighted to find my conclusions questioned by you chaps, and be possibly even disabused of my heretical notions regarding this poor woman. In the hope of a more reasonable explanation,’

Charities. Learning from History


A meaningful Treaty?

For some time now, (over three years) we at PCbyCp have been worrying about the vexed issues of justice, truth, representation for the oppressed, and equality for all. And within this knotty matrix of imponderables we’ve looked at institutions of governance, funding, taxes and sovereignty. We’ve challenged and cajolled. We’ve called for fairness and equality. We’ve cried out loud for compassion. We’ve pleaded for understanding. And yearned for basic intelligence. And often we hoped beyond measure that dignity and respect should sustain all peoples in their right to freedom of expression and equality of opportunity. And utmost, the timely reminder that to give the first Australians dignity it is beholden upon us to develop a fair treaty. And thus a true measure of self determination that must follow.

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Keeping us safe!

But the reality is, more often than not, we’ve laughed ourselves sick. With Malcolm Abbott at the helm, who followed on from Tony Turnbull, Kev, Julia, Kev again and Johnnie, it’s just been a cavalcade of laughter. We must laugh as Russians do. How do we create a better society? By closing science, education, healthcare and manufacturing down. How do we get there? By closing our minds and borders. And what do we do when we get there? Be fearful of change and everything. And with god given certainty blame anyone other than ourselves for the stagnation we have chosen. That’s why we invade and reinvade the first Australians. They’re the collective whipping boy. That’s what they’re their for. To make us feel, strong, resolute, powerful and SAFE!!

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What’s good for you.

Charities don’t push for change. Outbreaks of trachoma in outback communities are worse than ever. Imprisonment for first Australians since the Deaths in Custody Royal Commission have gone through the roof. And employment opportunities are stagnant for those who “ excercise their choice in staying in their communities”. In spite of all the NGO’s and charities on the job! So what’s wrong?. It’s apathy, and remoteness. A yawning abyss. We watch. Charities grow and grow to fill the abyss. We offer tax incentives, and indulgences to the wealthy. The elite who know what’s wrong and have a cure for poverty. Hard work.

That’s what philanthropy is. The desire to direct at one own discretion the destination of their hard earned, and in doing so, a hefty subsidy from the taxpayer, the worker ordinary, who struggles and is for all intents and purposes kept happy on beer and circuses. Surely as a pubic we deserve better. We deserve a tax reform process that is equitable and fair, and for charities and philanthropic institutions, we should divest them in preference for a truly publicly funded support system, that takes the “Me’ out of meritocracy and put back the WE into Welfare. It wont happen. Those who give the money at their discretion like to feel special. That’s why they like plaques and naming rights. So much more noble than just paying tax, and allowing bureaucrats to determine where it’s spent.

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Camp Coniston. The banality of banality.

That’s why we’ve developed Camp Coniston. Camp Coniston is a not for profit charity, in which the wealthiest Australians are selected for a week long camp. For an entire week, ( the approximate duration of the prime minister for aboriginal Australia’s stay in the top end) they share the real experience of camping out. Then, just when they’re settled, they’re moved on, moved on, and with a bit of towel flicking as they run the gauntlet, they learn about being socially responsible.

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Welcome to Camp Coniston, a fresh start, stronger futures, moving forward. Freedom of choice.

They are congregated in a reserve, and their assets, funds, and investments are liquidated. Their names are erased, and their language and traditions rebuked. For this they receive the bounty of monitored religious expression and charity. They are then let loose, and fined, imprisoned and processed for being contrary to societal norms. After continued imprisonment they are forcibly removed, and told how grateful they must be via a corps of non elected commissioners. They also receive no income other than that determined by a business management group, and cannot convert that income into anything other than staples. Their diet shall consist of coke and chips, and occasionally, they are allowed to search refuse site for sustenance. In doing so they achieve the Coniston apotheosis. Their names, unrecorded, will be celebrated on little plaques, to be admired by some educationalists and anthropologists.

Welcome to Camp Coniston, a fresh start,stronger futures, moving forward.

All donations to this cause are tax deductible.

And as our motto firmly states, ‘Do unto others’ with true christian values.

Non performing charities

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War is CUTE!

Occasionally there are some charities that underperform.

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You can flavour a crown most effectively with poppy seed and rosemary. Suggested regulo temp 250 for three hours. Turn occasionally.

Their charitable indices are un-met. That’s determined by what is achieved on the ground. Often this is hard to determine by any standard metric. After the charity has raised the money, often by a corps of underpaid or voluntary fundraisers, the proceeds are funneled into administration. After administration there’s the running costs, the overheads, depreciation and servicing costs. Sometimes the charity hardly makes any money at all, that’s why they need more funding.

They tell us that there’s no more efficient way to achieve their objective aims, in delivering funds to the needy because it’s all upholding a public spirit of giving. And even giving can be onerous.

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Genuine Camp Gallipoli bed roll. (made in China)

Is there a charities regulator? I’m not sure, but recently the famous spin bowler was de- charitised, and more recently still a charity possessed with all the hallmarks of public spirited-ness got into a spot of bother. Apparently though ostensibly raising money in honoured and sacred memory to those who died in the cause of maintaining God, King and Empire in winning the war for Civilisation no less, this charity failed in their capacity to deliver the trickle down effect. The RSL and other beneficiaries aint received a cent. They’re a bit cranky about that, and angered that the charity (there are opportunists out there) has used the sacred name ANZAC, Gallipoli, and Digger, to secure their income stream.

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By Jingo!! The noble sacrifice of staying up all night with a crowd of nationalistic flag wavers, and wearers.

‘Camp Gallipoli’ has a noble ring to it. And i’m sure as the name suggests it’s inclusive of LGBTI folk who also serve.  Apparently the idea is about camping on an oval with thousands of other people. It’s squalid, overcrowded, and is meant to equate to what the diggers may have endured for one night at Gallipoli. It  happens on ANZAC eve. It doesn’t matter that at that stage the diggers were either on a troop transport, or embarking at Lesbos. Comfortably settled in a khakhi tent tent and sleeping bag without the stench of corpses, sand, flies, lice, and Johnny Turks’ imprecations approximate to the real deal. Wake up in the morning and you’re converted into a true blue ANZAC.

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An alluring inducement to go camping.

You’d think all those people celebrating the soon to be dead in the name of noble sacrifice would be a bit forthcoming, but the CEO of Camp Australia, said that after overheads, agency costs, maintenance, medal wear, and camp licenses he’s barely breaking even. In actual fact he’s doing it for free, and anyone else is welcome to it. He’s received funding from the feds, government grants and generous donations, including a hefty lift from anonymous donors, and he still can’t tell us where the funds have gone. And each poor bugger on the oval pays $160 per person. And i’m not sure if they get bully beef for breakfast. Charity is like war, send you broke and you’re never too sure where it’s going to lead, and before you can say Gallipoli you’re in shtook!

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Products not made in Australia

That’s why we at PCbyCP are planning our own charitable event. ‘The eternal sons of the glorious few who’s noble sacrifice upon the fields of Asia Minor and Western France achieved, precisely nothing event’. This charitable event will be held on the anniversary of the most significantly futile attack on the Somme. It was to be Passchendaele, but as we know that the POMS had nothing to do with the glorious allied victory on the western front, it will be on the anniversary of Pozieres, in which we distinguished ourselves above all others. People will camp in the show grounds and after it has been prepared by a flotilla of monster tractors, the surface will be conditioned to a treacle-like consistency. Then with shovels they will dig a trench system and endure a night of indescribable filth. We are indebted to the local abattoir for offering an entire months offal to be strewn over the surface, and the CSIRO ANZAC industry research division for supplying rats, flies and lice.

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Much more fun. Participants revel in Camp Pozieres. Real mud, corpses body parts and live rats.

In the morning at five ack emma, the participants will charge at each other with sacks of wet mice, and ultimately achieve nothing. As this battle royale ensues their bank accounts will be liquidated, (and this is in the name of charity) and their entire monetary worth will be redirected to our prescribed notable cause. They emerge, broke, buggered and bereft, (a victory of sorts) and discover they have lost all, for a dubious cause. This is their elevation, their apotheosis in to being upholders of the ANZAC tradition. Now cleansed of everything, they must join the dole queue, their enthusiasm, passion, nobility crushed. And their ensuing generations destroyed by failure and the train wreck of broken optimism. Then they too will understand what it is like to be a hero, and we, at PcbyCP, will spend the money on attractive floral clocks to adorn every town, to remind us all that time waits for no one.

But for charities, time is eternal. And their spirit endures.

A small flame of un-fracked methane shall be burnt in their honour.

Charities. More on building a better society

charitee 1Dear reader, last week we talked about charities getting financial incentives from government for doing the heavy lifting that governments were less inclined to do.

We regret if any inference was made disparaging the sterling work done by charities in the more remote communities of Central Australia. The recipients of all these worthy NGO’s, are immeasurably better off for assistance provided for problems that just never seem to go away. We also may have suggested that the charitable mechanisms (and there are numerous worthy examples) once initiated are self perpetuating and don’t ever seek to solve the core problems. Thinking beyond the square is not part of being a charity. Their lot is to serve. That’s why there always more and more good work to be done by charities. For problems that cannot be fixed, just assuaged. That’s what makes them noble and tax free.charitee 2

Religions are also tax free They are entitled to tax free status in order to propitiate their message and help those in our community who require spiritual, (adherence to a monotheistic judeo christian god) nourishment. Curiously most adherents to the monotheistic god tradition believe that (as is stated clearly in the texts) that women are subservient to men, that an almighty deity created the world in several days, and that the animal kingdom, the biota and ecological systems we require to sustain life are secondary to human-kinds destiny to use and exploit. This also makes them intolerant of all other belief systems. It’s a kind of spiritual tribalism. These practices and the ideology it sustains are contrary to the principles of evolution, ecology and science, yet they receive a tax incentive paid for by us to maintain their exclusivist belief system. It also allows them to develop and grow a real estate portfolio, (often a corollary of religion), and notions of preferment in the ongoing process of lobbying government to achieve their justified aims.

charitee 3Education is also an interesting subset of the charity industry in that private schools are allowed to be discriminatory. To maintain a gender bias, uphold patriarchal or exclusivist belief systems based upon material and economic entitlement, and uphold a value system which is conformist, anti social and isolationist. The fundamentals are that government funding is required to balance certain other inequities in the education system, namely access to disproportionate amounts of taxpayer cash, and the right to develop, (bit like religion) the ancillary benefits of real estate, material and economic growth in pursuit of ensuring that a disproportionate amount of students gain access to preferred tertiary institutions. And as most private schools are church based, their moral authority is unquestionable. And through maintaining these artificial disparities based upon wealth, access and entitlement, the system perpetuates itself by reinforcing the notion of “ preferment ” within an exclusive hierarchical subset in which all decisions within society are invariably made from within that clique.

To offset this gnawing sense of entitlement and exclusivity these institutions invariably go to quite a bit off effort in presenting very elaborately constructed credentials of their social conscience. Like charities, they are very keen to let the public know that they’re hard at it on assisting the wretched, the dispossessed, the poor in maintaining a sub-level of dignity. Sometimes, and this has proved quite popular recently, scholarships are offered to the poor and indigent among the first Australians, so that they “can be like us”. It is rumoured that other public spirited individuals go one step further and assist first Australians in achieving the anointment of a Rhodes Scholarship so that the conversion to our value system is complete. charitee 4Such is the communication dynamic between these charitable belief systems. Invariably the superior belief system, based upon property entitlement and material and monetary wealth offering salvation to those without. This is often conditional and its value in broader societal terms unquestioned. And besides there’s the overarching charitable principle, “It’s good for them”. And who would be churlish enough to question that?

Lest we Forget. 25 April 1917.

A day that shall live in infamy.

Dear reader, some startling news, We at PCbyCP lift the lid on the devastating Zeppelin raids that wrought havoc on Melbourne during the dark days of World War One. Hushed by the official secrets act, this villainous act has only come to light after a tip off from none other than those entrusted with our national security within the National Defence Establishment. The raid, hushed until now occurred on a Sunday, and as a consequence Melbourne, (then officially deserted) suffered only material damage whilst the civilian population escaped unscathed.

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Artists impression of Melbourne under attack from Zeppelins and Albatros fighters. Until now kept secret but referred to unofficially as ‘The Black Sunday prior to the other Black Sunday”.


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Official Site of New memorial. Sailor is standing on precisely the spot where Miss Irene Twaddle (RVNR) died in service to her country.

The entire complement of aircraft then available from RAAF Point Cook (then the Royal Flying Corps) were committed to intercept the raid by Zeppelins from Luftflotte V1 and fighter aircraft from Kampfgeshwader 1XV which as the official enquiry suggests; “came from nowhere” and in ‘seconds flat’ the aged Be2’s and Se5A’s were ‘shot from the skies’. Those who sacrificed their lives in valiant defense, two pilots, their trusty mascot “snuffles”, and a Ministry of Air Defence stenographer, (Miss Ira Twaddle), who died when hit by a falling typewriter (hurled from Zeppelin 264 by an over-excited war correspondent) shall be remembered in a memorial to be constructed under the portico of Flinders Street Station.

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‘Snuffles’ mascot to RFC Point Cook.

The memorial designed by the “Lest we Forget” Anzac, Gallipoli and Eternal Flame sub-committee of the National Perpetual Remembrance Office have instigated an international competition, with prize money of several hundred million dollars to design construct and install a memorial to commemorate this historic event. The memorial is to be placed at precisely the exact spot where the typewriter fell. After extensive consultation it was agreed that under the arch of Flinders Street was a perfect place to signify another significant episode in the glorious martial tradition of Australia. As the official citation suggests; “there is just no more room along St Kilda Road nor along Anzac Avenue in Canberra as those sites are already chocka-block with grand memorials commemorating the heroic landing at Gallipoli, the sacrifice of all world wars and the proliferation of glorious heroic involvement that must be celebrated by Australians for all the wars we’ve obligingly got ourselves involved in service to our more powerful and intelligent allies  ever since’.

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Proposed memorial plaque to Funnel Web Spiders. Volunteer Observer Corps. ” They also Serve”.

As a consequence of this raid, “the first ever invasion on Australian soil”, border security was significantly upgraded with the establishment of an early warning system of observation posts ringing all capital cities. Until recently this network, as precursor to radar has operated to ensure that Australia remains, ‘Safe” from surprise attack. The cordon of early warning stations, code named, ‘Stealth’ consisted of ingeniously constructed platforms in trees. The platforms camouflaged by official war artists were manned by an observer, a greyhound, a homing pigeon and a funnel web spider. In the event of an approaching Zeppelin, the observer would throw the greyhound “overboard” release the pigeon, and activate the funnel web spider release mechanism to protect the platform from enemy agents. Thus by air and land the authorities would be warned.

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‘Chocka Block with remembrance’. No more room for memorials along Anzac Avenue.

There is to be a memorial constructed on each site to commemorate the sacrifice, as yet unsung, by pigeons and greyhounds who also served. As yet there is nothing planned to commemorate the service of the funnel web spiders, who ultimately expired in service to their country and remain un-remembered in un- marked graves.

Lest we Forget.

Poetry Sunday 24 April 2016

Hi-Falutin’ Poetry Sunday. by Ira Maine Esq.

I knew..Oh God I knew, seeing him coming up our road, I knew just why he was here, and it was all my stupid fault. He was the local borrower and I was his latest victim. His absence, his failure to present himself recently at my doorstep,  had been a singular source of relief to all who slept, ate and gave thanks at our Tolmie household. Yet here he was, bold as brass and  right as ninepence, bowling up our road, hand raised in amicable salutation, and prepared, undoubtedly, to enter into yet another form of abstruse negotiation which would, equally undoubtedly, involve my being left without some other essential bit of small farm equipment, not for a day or two but for frustrating weeks on end.

The kids looked at me wonderingly. Georgina, the light of my life, on the other hand, also looked at me, but with an infinitely more demanding, more suspicious eye.

‘How on earth?’ she exclaimed, watching our visitor through the window, her eyes wide, her expression a trifle startled. When she’d calmed, she turned her gaze in my direction, her expression inquisitorial.

‘We have’, she began, her teeth just beginning to grit, ‘just bought a very expensive, all mulching, all mowing, top of the range, whizz around the paddock mower.’

I swallowed hard, nodding, already consumed with guilt.

“Yesterday, you spent an hour at the local hostelry, if I’m not mistaken?’

I nodded abjectly, clenching my fists in preparation.

‘Was Jock there?’ she asked, her stern crochet needle indicating our still outside visitor.

I tried a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders, but instead found my fists pounding minutely and penitentially against my guilt-ridden chest.  Consumed with it all, I broke down.

‘He was… He was…’ I sobbed.

‘And you, ‘ she went on remorselessly,’ perhaps happened to mention…?

Choked with guilt, I could barely speak.Sobs of the smothering variety beset me on all sides. (Why is it that wives can induce guilt in us even when there’s not the slightest thing to be guilty about?)

Abruptly there was a pounding on the door. The Light of My Life looked me in the eye, her gaze fixed and resolute. I quailed in the face of such righteousness. There was only one reason why Jock might be here; he wanted the mower.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, from the Gogolian lower depths, I realized I’d had enough of this bloke’s presumption. I knew, absolutely knew that I had not even mentioned our latest acquisition whilst at the pub. I also knew that I had hardly exchanged two words with him during my relatively abstemious visit. And now, despite all of the foregoing, I still found myself  preparing to invent well-mannered, plausible excuses why this particular person couldn’t bloody well waltz up and expect me to accede to his demands.

Across the kitchen table, cups empty, he stood up, hat in hand, ready to depart. There had been no mention of the mower. At the last moment he turned, as if struck by an afterthought, a matter of little consequence

‘Ah,’ he said, ‘I almost forgot…’

My heart, as I held the door open, began to beat a little faster. He grinned apologetically.

“Do you mind if I borrow your mower  for a couple of hours? If I shove it on the ute now I can have it back here by six.’

I looked him straight in the eye, not quite unflinchingly, and with all manner of weak and well rehearsed excuses still battling to burst out of my hypocritically well mannered mouth.

I took a deep breath, heart pounding and shook my head.

‘No, sorry,’ I replied, as casually as I could, ‘I don’t lend it out.’

Shocked, he stopped and glared at me in stunned disbelief. This had never happened before. He had been so sure of himself. His expression was, in rapid succession, surprised, then dumbfounded then just a smidgin angry. He looked at me again, checking to see if I had been joking. Finding no change there, he hesitated, looked as if he was about to argue then, nodding abruptly, turned on his heel and left. His body language was very much that of the thwarted man. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him, either. He’ll be back, on the off chance I was having a bad day but we haven’t seen him for some time now.

The Light of my Life was very pleased with me, I’m glad to say and I’m now officially back in the good books. All creature comforts have been restored.

In the same vein, I very much enjoyed the poet Adrian Mitchell’s attempt to deal with the same situation. Mitchell’s poem is entitled;

Ten Ways to Avoid Lending Your Wheelbarrow to Anybody

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I didn’t lay down my life in World War II
so that you could borrow my wheelbarrow.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Unfortunately Lord Goodman is using it.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
It is too mighty a conveyance to be wielded
by any mortal save myself.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
My wheelbarrow is reserved for religious ceremonies.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I would sooner be broken on its wheel
and buried in its barrow.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
I am dying of schizophrenia
and all you can talk about is wheelbarrows.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Do you think I’m made of wheelbarrows?

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
It is full of blood.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
Only if I can fuck your wife in it.

May I borrow your wheelbarrow?
What is a wheelbarrow?

MDFF 23 April 2016


Walpa is the Warlpiri word for wind.

When we lived in Calgary, we became familiar with what they call ‘chinooks’. A chinook is a mass of warm air that descends at great speed down the slopes of the Rocky Mountains resulting in a rapid increase in temperature.

Reading Joseph Conrad’s ‘The Nigger of the Narcissus’ I learned about the ‘roaring forties’. Hobart-wardingki (a Warlpiri suffix which means ‘denizens’) know all about the roaring forties, as do New Zealanders.

One of the most engrossing Spanish language books I’ve read, is Carlos Zafón’s gothic tale ‘La sombra del viento’ (‘The shadow of the wind’). It features a book-lover’s ultimate ‘hook’- ‘El cementerio de los libros olvidados’ (‘The cemetery of forgotten books’)

When wardapi (goannas) hear the sound of the karapurda they wake up from their hibernation slumber. Wirlititi (Emu-chicks) break out of their eggs and wildflowers begin to blossom.

Karapurda is a warm westerly wind which signals the end of the cold season.

During hot weather wirnpirliyi commonly form. In Australian English they are known as willy-willies. These are vertical columns of air that kick up a lot of dust and create a strong whirlwind and are also known as ‘dust-devils’.

Windhoek is the Capital City of Namibia. In Dutch ‘windhoek’ means wind or windy corner.

It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. The same can be said about song lyrics, many of which are rich veins of meaning. Meanings either intended by the composer, or divined by the listener, or both.

Maggie’s farm- Bob Dylan:

he hands you a nickel then he hands you a dime,
He asks you with a grin, if you’re having a good time…
Then he fines you every time you slam the door….

Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan:

Look out kid, it’s something you did,
God knows when but you doing it again…
…Walk on tiptoes… keep a clean nose…
You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows…

Some years ago two academics did a study on incarceration focusing on Yuendumu and Lajamanu. They concluded that fully 25% of Warlpiri people in gaol (or jail if you prefer) were there for victimless traffic offences such as unregistered vehicles and non-payment of fines (for slamming doors). Two days a month, court is held in Yuendumu. Fifty or so Yurntumu-wardingki  spend an average of a full day waiting their turn to appear. Never mind if they have a job to do. If they’ve ducked away when their name is called, they are charged with “failing to appear” and an arrest warrant is issued. They’re in trouble for being in trouble. I recall one occasion when a group of men who had just finished a driving course went to apply for driving licenses at Yuendumu police station. They all got arrested and ferried to Alice Springs gaol. They had no ‘get out of jail’ cards, neither did they get to collect $200 when they went past ‘Go’ They had warrants out for them for something they did (God knows when). They soon learnt to know which way the wind blows. 

The authorities avoid words like gaol or prison. They euphemistically refer to ‘Justice’ and ‘Corrections’. ‘Corrections’ is a loaded word like ‘reform’. It implies that something is wrong and needs correcting…. Again- Maggie’s farm:

Well, I try my best to be just like I am,
But everybody wants you to be just like them
Catch the wind- Donovan:

The cold strong winds of change are blowing over the Warlpiri Nation.

Some Warlpiri are trying to catch the wind. Many have given up. They know which way the wind blows.

Blowing in the Wind- Bob Dylan:

How many years must some people exist,
before they’re allowed to be free?
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
The answer is blowing in the wind.

Ngaka-na-nyara nyanyi,


Being Charitable

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‘the new CEO of the CSIRO Mr Larry Marshall, talked without irony, erudition, or imagination on how the CSIRO needed to be more geared to the needs of Industry. Which Industry?’.

Being charitable is catchy.

Every now and then, the editorial department at PCbyCP gives a nod to charitable works. We feel it balances the somewhat sordid, predictable sarcasm we direct towards politics, and occasionally we feel depleted by the reality that seems to out-satirize, our efforts. It’s a thankless task and increasingly frustrating, when the Prime Minister in full swing with the “Ideas Boom’, talks of innovation and closes down the entire climate science apparatus of CSIRO. We can’t trump that for satire. We tried, and then the new CEO of the CSIRO Mr Larry Marshall, talked without irony, erudition, or imagination on how the CSIRO needed to be more geared to the needs of Industry. Which Industry?. Australian Industry. We couldn’t top that. Laughed so much it hurt. That’s why we want to devote a whole week, (cepting Paddy’O’s installments on the non election) devoted to Charities.

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Peter’s brother

Charities are really useful. And in our experience they are usually fronted by ‘vital people’. Vital People are people who are willing to ‘give it a go’. Do the heavy lifting that government just cant do. Often the vital people are quite proud to sit at the very front of the charity they represent. Some of them, (was the salary of the CEO of the American Red Cross reputed to be 600 K?) are quite happy to be really really well remunerated, and have to shoulder the onerous responsibility of doing all the things that charities are required to do. Sign off on annual reports, ensure that fundraising grows, and gee up the army of volunteers who do the grunt work of sustaining the charity for free. They tell us that without these vital, socially conscious charities our society would be poorer, bereft and moribund. That’s why we have charities, to do the bits that governments can’t do.

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Happy is the recipient of charity

The people who head the charities don’t mind getting a bit of publicity, and often are very keen to ensure that their “unbiased, objective charitable’ viewpoint is heard above the clamour of politics and vested interests. That’s why charities are invariably NOBLE. There’s nobility in heading up a charity and distributing largesse to the poor, the bereft, the needy, the infirm, the voiceless, because that’s what charities are there for. To help those who cannot help themselves. Like churches, charities are tax free. That’s right, they don’t have to pay tax, because they’re working so hard at improving the lot of society. Doing the stuff that governments wont do.

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A fun charity to be a board member of. Killjoy regulator closed it down.

Occasionally the odd charity falls foul of the regulator. I don’t know who the regulator is, but recently a very famous spin bowler, (retired) got into a bit of trouble about spending all the money raised in his charity on entertainment, overseas travel and grog. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, because at least the individuals within that charity had a a bit of fun in exercising their noble responsibilities. Whereas, a lot of charities, and this includes most NGO’s seem to be DEADLY EARNEST.

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Tis charity specialises in magic, real estate and tricks for the kiddies.

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This charity pretends to be a religion. Spiritual leader looks skyward to God the Spaceman.

I suppose they have to be deadly earnest because of the things they see and do. In Central Australia the charities are chock a block , like flies on a carcass, helping the wretched, destitute, hopeless first australians, because as the charities will tell you, ‘they can’t help themselves’. That’s another thing about charities, once you’ve got em, there’s no ‘Mission Completed’ as George Bush announced, they’re stuck with you forever. That’s because doing good is ongoing, Doing the stuff that governments can’t do. We could make governments do that stuff, but I don’t think it suits government either, and keeps things at arms length. You need to be at arms length to get a perspective when you’re in a charity. Being objective, helps you stay focused on maintaining that tax free income stream, and growing the charity, which a bit like missionary work, is endless, and unstoppable.

Hooray for charities, and happy must be the poor, the dispossessed, the disenfranchised to receive the bounty of charity. They have no choice, because it’s for their own good. Next week we may talk about the other tax free organisations, (the churches) that do good works and occasionally cross the line between church and state and tell government what they should do. For the good of us all. Charity invariably know what’s good for us, and thats very comforting.

There has never been a more exciting time…

Dear reader, glad we are to have another election installment from Paddy-O.

Sadly though, we hasten to add that this piece is just a little bit cynical. We get the impression that Paddy-O thinks that our P.M is a little short on substance. We politely disagree. Not since Churchill has a PM been so forthright in changing the very fabric of Society with his vision, perspicacity and extaordinary intelligence. One day the ideas, Boom, next the Tax  reform thought bubble, then, the re- funding of Asic, the high speed rail link, the carbon base line, tax cuts for coroporates who don’t pay tax and now the requirement for a double dissolution to change the industrial landscape forever. We need men of character and vision, and the PM clearly knows an awful lot about everything, and we must breathlessly keep up with him, for the pace of change and thirst for reform is self evident.  That’s why we’re having an election to sort out once and for all the ‘thought bubbles’ from mere hyperbole. Read on….( breatlhessly)

There has never been a more exciting time….

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War and Peace, retreat from Moscow. No such retreat from the principled, innovative, exciting, forward- thinking Turnbull/Abbott Government.

74 days to go. The galling prospect of an election campaign that makes War and Peace look like a novella is now before us, although no-one has visited the Governor General yet. That’s because there is governing to do – like threatening the Banks with the bill for the cost of restoring the cuts made by the Abbott Government to ASIC.

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Top shelf talent. The Abbott front bench. ‘Continuity with Change’. (No sheilas need apply.)

Apparently the Banks are to be punished for not being good by bolstering the corporate watchdog, with the strange assumption that had the cuts not been made ASIC would have prevented them ripping off pensioners and the sick and injured. Forgive me for being naïve, but if we accept the assumption in this argument doesn’t that mean the Government is to blame?

And of course there is the Budget. Today we read of one measure likely to be included: Higher tax on those earning $180,000 or more a year on their superannuation contributions. Again I may be naïve, but given the capacity of the rich to minimise their taxable income will anyone other than PAYE taxpayers be caught in this net?

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Lord Hopetoun our first GG. ‘Plus ca change, chest la meme chose”

There is the clear impression of a government trying to nullify popular policies proposed by the opposition, playing catch up, trying to create a clear space to project ……well there is the problem, what is the story that they are trying to tell?

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Justin Trudeau. ( Ed). ‘he does look a little bit like Mick Jagger’

Recently the world’s most attractive Prime Minister, and I am referring to Justin Trudeau of Canada, not alas Malcolm Turnbull, gave a cogent and succinct answer to a question on Quantum Computing.

I may be being mean, but I couldn’t help but remember George Brandis and his attempt to explain meta-data. Comparing the clips below is very illuminating.

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Most intelligent man on EARTH! HUGE library proves it, and he proudly boasts; ” I’ve even read some”!



It’s going to be a long campaign.