If China does it why can’t we do it too.


Timor president, Xanana Gusmao learning the “correct posture” when negotiating with Australia.

Things are not right in the Timor Sea. Gallant little East Timor has taken Australia to the International Tribunal in the Hague over our interpretation of the Timor Gap Treaty. An exasperated Xanana Gusmao, spoke of his despondency outside the tribunal; “Australia used to tell others to respect international law,” he said. “They must now show us that they also abide by international law.”


“Treaty Schmeaty” what’s the difference?. Alexander Downer talks realpolitik

Clearly Mr Gusmao has no sense of humour. Which reflects in some part the Australian Government’s sense of humour in dealing with the fledgling nation. A spokesman for the Australian Government was quick to define our position. “ We’ve always tried to help little Timor. Incredibly they just don’t understand how diplomacy works. In the most recent round of Timor Gap Treaty negotiations, we bugged their embassy. We then extracted the most unfair agreement from them, and when they complained about our bugging, high handedness and bloody mindedness, we raided their ambassadors headquarters in Canberra in the middle of the night and confiscated all their papers. Papers, which would have shown us in a very bad light. Would’ve really damaged our international reputation.


Mates in Murder. Evans and Alitas sign a treaty in blood.

What East Timor doesn’t understand is that being bullied is pivotal in any big state versus small state relationship. We’ve tried to make it quite clear that the old diplomatic maxim, ‘there’s no such thing as a fee lunch” is an eternal truth. We dumped them when they were invaded. O.K’d the execution of our own journalists. Committed the people of East Timor to twenty five years of unmitigated suffering. Baled them out, screwed them to the wall, and then they still want fairness and open handedness. This is ridiculous! It’s like asking China, who incidentally is wanting most of the South China Sea as their own to back down. How degrading would that be? China is a big nation status country. They want their backyard. That’s why they took Tibet. It’s why Germany took Poland back in 39, and why we, took this country back in1788. Real-politic. If you want to play footy with the big boys you can’t go screaming off to the umpire every time there’s a dodgy decision.


Santa Cruz cemetery. Another daily massacre. The good ol days for the Indonesia Australia realpolitik partnership.

Look what Timor did in the Olympics. On that index alone they can’t expect much more than pity and the honour of knowing that as our nearest neighbour, they’ve earnt the MSS status. ‘Most screwed status’ . We have an acronym for everything in the department of Foreign Affairs. East Timor should be proud that we even talk to them. And besides it’s not their oil and gas anyway. And if we gave it t them they’d only spend it on their people and elevate them from poverty. WE like to give oil and gas to the companies that make Australia great. They pay no taxes, make no contribution to the general population and make us proud. You can’t expect a tin pot democracy to do that! And even if they did they’d still not get OGMS’.

We asked the diplomat what OGMS meant. He laughed; ‘Oh that’s another popular diplomatic acronym used to define a country’s real position amongst advanced economies. It means “Olympic Gold Medal Status”. Its the gold standard of important world ranking countries. It’s axiomatic with EBBNS’. EBBNS we enquired; “Entitled Bullying Bastard Nation State”. That’s us. It’s a good un. Invented by our former Minister for Foreign Affairs. He invented the BAC. BAC we enquired, “ Busted Arse country”. Timor is a BAC, but they don’t know it. Alexander tried to tell em but they wouldn’t listen. Even when we bugged their confidential national security meetings they didn’t get it. That’s the problem with BAC’s, their totally unrealistic. They think that treaties bind. That’s why we don’t have a Treaty with our first peoples. It’s all about interpretation. Best to keep it open. And find a suitable WRS. WRS we enquired? Oh, another fundamental in trade negotiations ‘Wriggle Room Situation’.

A history of treaties in the Timor Sea (ABC News)

In 1989 Australia and Indonesia signed the Timor Gap Treaty when East Timor was still under Indonesian occupation. East Timor was left with no permanent maritime border and Indonesia and Australia got to share the wealth in what was known as the Timor Gap.

In 2002 East Timor gained independence and the Timor Sea Treaty was signed, but no permanent maritime border was negotiated. East Timor has long argued the border should sit halfway between it and Australia, placing most of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in their territory.

In 2004 East Timor started negotiating with Australia again about the border. I

n 2006 the CMATS treaty was signed, but no permanent border was set, and instead it ruled that revenue from the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field would be split evenly between the two countries.

Investing in our future. Adani gets big tick.

Dear reader it is with some considerable excitement that we report to you of the Federal Court’s decision to allow Adani’s big new mine to proceed. Just this week the Federal Court dismissed an Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) case against Adani’s $16 billion Carmichael mine.


Adani Mine. Bigger than the Lesser Barrier Reef. And Better!

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Malcolm Roberts M.P. ” show me the evidence behind global warming’. And besides, my shirt is way more colourful than a coral reef.

According to the ABC; The ACF had brought the case arguing that former environment minister Greg Hunt failed to consider whether the impact of burning coal and climate pollution would be inconsistent with international obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef.The challenge was contested by representatives of Mr Hunt, along with lawyers for Adani.It follows another dismissed challenge brought earlier this month, relating to a Native Title determination.

Adani welcomed today’s decision in a written statement. “Over six years, there have been multiple approval processes, some two years of cumulative community consultation and submissions as part of those processes, and over ten appeals and judicial processes brought on by activists,” the statement read. “There can be no question that there has been more than ample opportunity for consultation, input and appeal and for activists to have their say. “Clearly, the time has come for the will of communities who are crying out for these projects to proceed to have their voices heard — not just those of activists from out of town.”

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Real Men MINE! Though, the orange safety jacket is quite colourful. Arguably more colourful than a silly reef system.

On hand were Ms Coral Bleaching, and her four trillion children, who applauded the decision to give the Adani mine the go ahead. Citing the Federal Court’s decision she said; ‘seriously folks it’s time we moved on, for millions of years we’ve just had it too good, and with the approval of this great big mine, we have two choices either move out or die. It’s simple really, we’re just not doing the heavy lifting that will make Australia great. It makes sense, as most biota in this system make absolutely no contribution to the tax burden. Arguably although Adani, like all the big mining companies pay bugger all tax, and despoil systems like us, they do employ some people. Not as many as were employed in the Great Barrier reef I’ll admit, but big mining attracts big men. Environment jobs were so 1970’s, floral shirts and caftans. We’re proud to be extincted, and everything we associate with the worlds most unique eco system, because deep down we knew that we lacked the anointment of ‘manifest destiny’ and god given certainty. Happy to die to make Queensland progressive. I’ll be blunt, it’s an honour’.

ACF chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy decried the approval claiming; “It is absolutely incredible that the Federal Government could approve a mega-polluting coal mine in this day and age of climate change without being able to determine what impact that coal mine will have on climate change or on the Great Barrier Reef,”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche was more even handed. “We’re another step closer to getting the Carmichael coal mine out of these courts, and into making jobs for Queenslanders,” Mr Roche said. And that’s what Queensland needs; Certainty. The newly minted MP Malcolm Roberts, applauded the decision; ‘all this alleged despoilation of the reef was not evidence based. I fail to see what all the fuss was about. It’s axiomatic with being a Queenslander. Unless the environment is tamed, quarantined, and crushed, we feel let down, and letting all Queenslander’s down by association. And to be perfectly frank it’s time we got tough on Coral’. Asked for a response, Ms. Bleaching was unable to reply. She is allegedly suffering a condition. The technical term is dead.

Marriage plebiscite. Anyone for tennis?

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Dollar Bill. Rumours are he’ll be returning to promote the marriage plebiscite. ” If it works for Ben Hur it’ll work for Dollar Bill’ ( Treasurer Scott Morrison)

The plebiscite aint happening. The timing is all out. Nothing on the plebiscite front. Labor and the Greens wont have it. A hugely divisive waste of money. Malcolm hoped to have it later in the year, then it blew out till 2017, and then really early in the new year. Hopefully, and then some…and now it’s stuck. Stuck fast just like tax reform and the innovation revolution.

There may be adverts in the pipeline, probably already paid for and due to be rolling in January. “Authorised by the federal government” Smiling lesbian couples and gay bachelors, with the odd bit of multiculturalism thrown in. Nothing stereotypical of course. We tried the lesbian muslim couple sent to us by the advertising agency, but the focus groups rejected it out of hand and the same went for the muslim gay couple. Had problems with the Chinese gay couple, worried about blowback from China, and input from the Property Council. Problems also with the ‘straight’ couple, as they were deemed too straight. Ended up with the cartoon imagery. Figured it worked with ‘Dollar Bill’. So might be given a safe re-run.bill 2

The advert we saw begins with a  nice fireside voice, not overtly masculine, but not necessarily feminine. Indeed a sort of LGBT hybrid, and the voiceover goes something like this; “ Australia is a changing dynamic country, and it’s time all of had a say in how we view marriage’, (camera pans to smiling couple, beatific kiddies, and the odd “ foreign type person’, perhaps even of darker skin hue smiling for the camera).

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Lasy time we had a plebiscite it was a complete disaster.

‘Isn’t it time we all had a say, (and then joyously), make your voice count, on February the 28th, for the national marriage plebiscite? Whether, gay and lesbian, straight or lbgt it’s a chance to make this your special day’. (Anthemic musical interlude depicting smiling kiddies with adoring parents flying kites, blowing dandelions and being read to in bed). Voiceover; “It counts because we’re all in this together’, (camera pans obliquely at happy androgynous couple) ‘So do your bit and make history’. Camera, then zooms upwards and al the smiling people are shown grouped like big map of Australia. And in the background, slightly ‘gay’ music, perhaps techno fusion, with strings to symbolise traditional values.

The other advert being trialled doesn’t mention the vexed issue of gays or lesbians, but just suggests it obliquely. Camera pans across the shining dome of Eric Abetz, with the caption; ‘Australia, the decision is yours’!

Sound of Anthemic backing track that suggests, laughably that you, (the voter) may still count in the scheme of things.

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Typical gay married couple.

Either way, time is running out, we can’t procrastinate any longer . Or can we? What’ll change? Where’s Malcolm? Missing?. Bill Shorten, Team Xenephon and the Greens say we should just vote in parliament, that’s what parliaments are for. But in the long run will it happen? Well not in the short run. But eventually. Soonish, some time, long time, your time. my time. The PM for innovation and thought bubbles will run out of innovation space. Get out. Or be gone.

His Prime Minister-ship as an interesting experiment will soon be over. What will come first? The plebiscite? or Malcolm?

The odds are firming on the PM. Who cares. Parliament wont vote on it.

Proof enough that the system is broke.

Anyone for tennis?

Poetry Sunday 28 August 2016

Remember by Christina Rosetti.

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Comments by Ira Maine Esq, Poetry Editor

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of religion in 19th century England.  Whitefield’s Methodism, in the late 18th century, had almost single-handedly created ‘The Great Awakening’ in the US and his partner John Wesley was pulling them in, hand over fist, at the same time in Britain.  People wanted Jesus.  The ‘lower orders’ wanted their own ceremony and sanctity: they wanted their own sin and absolution: most of all they wanted their own certainty.  There was nothing for the working classes in the upper crust antics of the Church of England.  The working class wanted to know, wanted to be assured that their lives, despite grinding hardship, were worthwhile in the sight of God.  People believed.  The reason for this need, for this great revival, had probably less to do with God than church historians might have us believe.  Exploitation of the man in the street, in the cause of the Industrial Revolution, had reached industrial proportions.  People had been driven off the land, broken  and used as easily replaced cannon fodder in the factories that Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ describes as ‘dark, satanic mills’.  The man from the land, in being deprived of the land, had lost his independence, his spirit and his soul.  Industrially, his hard-earned rural expertise, even his very existence, meant nothing. He was, industrially speaking, simply expendable. He needed, in extremis, to believe in something, and the Church of England, a private club for the middle class, simply wasn’t available to him. Wesley stepped into the breach and provided hope, massive open air revival meetings and Methodism.  Vast crowds, numbered in their thousands and made up mainly of the working class, attended these meetings.  Unquestionably the  C.of E. as a result of their petit-bourgeois attitude, (which included a massive contempt for the working classes) had only themselves to blame for Wesley’s success. Despite this, they have, almost to this day, not yet forgiven Wesley for his appalling presumption.

In the midst of all this there arose in England a group of artists, writers and poets who called themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Very briefly the Pre-Raphaelites (PRB) rejected the influence of Sir Joshua Reynolds and the Royal Academy (which Reynolds had founded) in favour of the style of the early Renaissance (the Quattrocento) when painting seemed, to these young artists, to more vibrantly reflect the natural world.

Probably the best known of this company was the PRB founder, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti was the son of Gabriele Rossetti, the artist, an Italian political exile and Frances Polidori, whose father, John was both doctor and friend to Lord Byron.  The PRB,  founded by the young Rossetti in 1848, boasted as co-founders both William Holman Hunt, who later famously painted ‘The Scapegoat’, and John Everett Millais whose painting of ‘Christ in the house of his parents’ was described as ‘blasphemous” by no less a personage than Charles Dickens.

This is the type of illustrious company that Rossetti’s sister Christina enjoyed as a young woman. She posed for her brother’s paintings, wrote articles, devotional pieces and poetry for the PRB journal The Germ and rejected at least three proposals of marriage.  When Elizabeth Barrett Browning died, Christina was looked on as her natural successor. Although she never enjoyed the level of recognition accorded Browning, her place as a first rate Victorian poet is not in doubt.

As was common in those times, Christina was addicted to laudanum (opium) for most of her life.  She lived well into her nineties and was admired by Tennyson, Hopkins and many others.  Her work would go on to have a major influence on writers of the calibre of Virginia Woolf, Phillip Larkin and apparently even Hopkins himself.

Christina Rossetti died of breast cancer  on the 29th December, 1894 and is buried in Highgate Cemetry, just a few yards away from the grave of Karl Marx.

Apart from Christina’s poem ‘Remember’, her “Goblin Market and other poems’ is where some of her best work is to be found.

The PRB, with its emphasis on the medieval, went on to considerably influence William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement and the work of painter and stained glass artist, Edward Burne-Jones.

All of this gentle medievalism, this romantic backward glance, this attempt to reject the horrors of Industrialism, died quietly in 1914.

‘Remember’ requires little elucidation. How wonderful that somebody who is dying might offer this wholly unselfish advice to perhaps a well loved partner left behind.

I might make one or two more comments on this work, but I feel that having begun that I might not be able to finish.

MDFF 27 August 2016

Today’s dispatch is Liyarn Ngarn.  Originally dispatched on 20 February 2015

Hola amigos,

In 2000 there was a brilliant BBC TV series called ‘The Sins’. The main character Len Green (played by Pete Postlethwaite ) is an ex-con trying to get straight, and confronted by temptation (one deadly sin per episode). Whilst I can’t remember much of the series, the final scene, in which Len Green leads a horse drawn hearse in a funeral procession, is one that I doubt has been forgotten by anyone that saw it. Such emotional solemn splendour! Cinematographic art and acting at its finest.

LibrarySome considerable time ago someone gave or sent me a DVD ‘Liyarn Ngarn’. I can’t remember who someone was, but whoever you are ¡Muchisimas gracias!

I finally got around to watch it and what a true pearl was enclosed in that video casing!

For those that can’t enlarge this image, this is what it says:

“Our language is like a pearl inside a shell.
The shell is like the people that carry the language.
If our language is taken away, that would be like a pearl that is gone.
We would be like an empty oyster shell”

“When you lose a language,” he told a reporter, “you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work of art. It’s like dropping a bomb on a museum, the Louvre.” Ken Hale

Liyarn Ngarn is like a Musical Dispatch. Songs by Archie Roach, and pearls of wisdom from Patrick Dodson are interwoven into Pete Postletwaith’s story telling. It is a story of more than language loss.

It is a story of injustice and resilience. Beautifully told. All Australians should see it. I’m glad I did.

Archie Roach- Beautiful Child…

One of the musicians featured in Liyarn Ngarn is Patrick Davies.

Rocky Old Road:

It’s a rocky old road that we travel
All the tricks that are tried are not new
They’re just wrapped in gift wrapping paper (Mr.Barnett)
And handed as favours to you
And no you can’t take all that you’re given
Oft times it means selling your soul
And all they can take has been stolen
…find you are the last one to know

This was posted to Youtube two years ago.

“And all they can take has been stolen”

Alas Patrick Davies could not know that the assimilationists hadn’t finished:

The latest they’re taking is people’s life style choices.

Que les vaya bien






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Australia’s future is GOLD

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P.M demonstrates his adroitness. “See no strings”.

Good thing the Turnbull Government won the election. Things are really shaking up in Canberra. Just the other day Mr Turnbull had a press conference spruiking the mantra of jobs and growth. He talked a lot about some things we are now quite familiar with, and then he spoke some more, and in the end justified his presence at the leaders table by doing nothing.

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Murray Gouburn CEO celebrates 2 mil payout after rooting company and farmers on milk futures.

Next we had Mr Turnbull confronting the board of Murray Goulburn. They’ve sent dairy farmers broke. It was bad enough when Coles and Woollies pegged them to subsistence, but Murray Goulburn made a big mistake. Thought milk would be really big. Milk, as gold in the future exchanges. And it didn’t turn to gold nor milk. It tuned to shit. Still nice to know the CEO of Murray Goulburn got a golden handshake, the farmers got a shit sandwich and will now be paying Murray Goulburn as indentured slaves back for the the crisis they didn’t make. That’s free enterprise on the level global, ideas boom international playing field. Poor dairy farmers . Should’ve been bankers, they do nothing, and screw investors, send mums and dads broke, get huge payouts, are answerable to no one. Some even get Australia Day gongs. Its all good, and no sign of an enquiry either. They have offered to do one themselves, and the P.M quite likes that idea.

Still, the board of Murray Goulburn must’ve been squirming, and the tip off was that heads may roll. But being a free enterprisey sort of government Mr Turnbull and Mr Joyce, confronted them with a stern look and the meeting concluded. Nothing happened, (again). All in a days work. Same with tax reform, the stinking inequity of negative gearing, tax payer superannuation kickbacks for the uber wealthy, and a whole host of publicly funded sweeteners. Rent seeking never paid so good.

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Bigotry ascending. Attorney General explains the niceties.

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Adam Goodes. Could’ve won gold. But batted for the wrong team. ( figuratively speaking).

So the Turnbull government mk 2 is hell bent on being responsible, and agents for change. There’s positive signs. Nothing will happen. That’s good governance, but occasionally something minor, (a crowd pleaser) may slip through. The marriage plebiscite for instance. Good work Tony, the plebiscite the public don’t need. Hadn’t had one in one hundred years, seems like a good idea to have one now. Never consulted the public before. It’ll keep the conservatives happy, knowing that HATE, bigotry and intolerance, will be reinvigorated. Repeal section 18C. For a vigorous democracy. Once again, it lets the world know. Though we may be sliding into the backwaters of our absorbed self, that Australia has come of age. A mature and forward looking nation, whom according to the P.M has its best years in front of us.

We are at the dawn of a new era. This is our reckoning. And with current trends that can only mean one thing. Recalibration of the equity divide? Nup. Recalibration of the tax system and real structural reform? Nup. A re- establishment of industry and a diversified skilled manufacturing sector? Nup. A re-invigorated education sector and boost for real science and technology? Nup. Removal of charity status to churches who use public funds to run programs of race hatred and bigorty? Nup. Ending concessions to the coal lobby? Nup. mal 5

More funding for elite sports and GOLD for Australia.

A job away from Homelessness.

They’re everywhere. In doors, laneways, and little niches. Their pathetic little sites equipped with milk crates, sleeping bags and what passes for a filthy mattress. Welcome to the worlds most live-able city, and its homeless crisis. Sixth year running.home 3

According to the latest statistics there are more than 280 people sleeping rough in the City of Melbourne. I would hasten to suggest it could be much more. They’re the canaries in the cage. Visible reminder that in our increasingly stratified society there’s a very real line between the haves and the have nots. It’s called the footpath.

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Robert Doyle,’Not a great incentive for whistleblowers, and those possessed with that capacity for thought so lacking in our management elite, Imagination’.

The explosion of homelessness and the blight it has caused to fine and respected businesses in the city suggests that all is not right. The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle suggests it’s a growing problem, and like refugees, “illegal”. That’s a nice way of categorizing poverty. The state government is aware of it, and discussion and white papers are being furiously sought. Perhaps its live-ability is why footpath living is so popular. The new denizens of the footpath get more than what’s on offer in suburbia. Access to great boutiques, immediate public transport and the bonus of an engaging in a vibrant social life. Perhaps , (inconvenience aside) they’re the beneficiaries of a social connectivity only sociologists could dream of.

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Irony. Homeless outside the Seven Eleven

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There’s art in homelessness

The reality is much more grim, they’re the disposed, discards, the refuse the detritus forced out by the overriding economic model that rewards developers, property speculators and the commodification of housing. They are OUT! Those who get IN know that in spite of the stench, they’re comfortably getting richer every day. Collateral damage.

Personally, I sense that there’s fear in the explosion of homelessness. As a consequence of the bounty of casualisation, the emerging underclass, some of them quite highly educated, skilled and marketable, are only an invoice away from homelessness. For those in salaried positions, the message is clear, “step outta line and this could be yours”. Not a great incentive for whistleblowers, and those possessed with that capacity for thought so lacking in our management elite, Imagination.

On the opposite scale it has been revealed that senior public servants, those who just do their job, have joined the ranks of the super rich. It’s all about entitlement. If they didn’t have massively increased salaries paid for by the taxpayers, they’d be demeaned, in status and respect. They may not take the risks associated with private enterprise, the responsibility and the stress, but they deserve senior mamagement salaries, because they’re management.

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Nice boys from nice families. In training to be homeless.

So don’t expect a big change in the homelessness that’s invading Melbourne in the short term. How could you expect the senior corps of psychiatric, social and planning department chiefs to remotely understand the day to day predicament of the uber poor. And of course you can’t ask the developers to assist as they’re busy “growing wealth for all of us”. And whilst more and more middle aged professionals are squeezed, (perhaps they felt entitled also) those without the rungs on the ladder, the connections, or the clout, they’re just grist to the mill. And those mills are looking pretty satanic from down here.  The twenty first century is beginning to look, taste, feel, like the nineteenth century. It’s axiomatic in the neo liberal model the more some go up then others must go down. And it’s pretty much all down at the moment.

If the latest invoice doesn’t pay, (lower order consultants must wait up to ninety days) I’ll be late on the rent third time, and the landlord might be getting edgy. Still, it’s nice to know if rendered homeless I’ll be making a contribution. After the census debacle at least I know someone will be counting. And that’ll count for something that planners may dream of. A more equitable future. Dream on.

On Style, a learned discourse.

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About political donations. Old Chinese proverb. ” You pay peanuts, you get Monkey”


Dear reader, we were going to bore you with the current state of political party fund raising in this country. But we can’t be bothered. If you require illumination on this issue please forward your correspondence to; ‘Golden Dawn, Prosperity and Investment make great Fund’, Party Headquarters, Beijing. And remember to put the sub heading, ‘Oceanic’, and ‘Australia’, or it’ll get misdirected to the other operation sub-wings in other parts of the Commonwealth. Of much more interest than democracies for sale is this fascinating exchange between our learned wordsmith Tony Emo and Ira Maine. In a word. Compelling.

Tony Emo begins;

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‘Being chaps of letters (mainly consonants), I thought you might enjoy this essay: Simplicity or style: what makes a sentence a masterpiece? | Aeon Ideas. Quite rightly, Prof. Jenny Davidson focuses on the opening lines of books: after all, if the writer is to pull in the reader, it must be done right there and then.  She mentions Edward Gibbon of ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’.  In my view Gibbon remains one of the greatest stylists of the English language and I dip into his masterwork as much (or more) for his exquisite and economical language as for his unrivalled scholarship.  It is full of insights and observations we should be drawing upon today.

Here’s how he introduces us to his magisterial work: “In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government. During a happy period (A.D. 98-180) of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines.”

However, for me the introductory sentence that must capture everyone who reads it is surely the start of Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude”: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice…”

It works so well, first because f its sheer, imagination-snaring incongruity.  Then one realises that Buendia, for whom the future means only annihilation, knows that his only reality he holds is the past – and what better than a half-forgotten moment of childish wonder and innocence!

Tony Emo.

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Our very own Gibbon, The Rt. Hon. Corey Bernardii. M.P.

Hmmmm, thoughtful stuff, And provocative material in light of Australia’s shining light in the oratory department Mr Corey Bernardii. But the reply is telling indeed, which gives an insight into the depth and breadth of our editorial department.. Read on… Please!

Emo, dear heart, Just in case I disagree  with the learned Prof, or indeed agree with her so thoroughly that you  literary rapscallions accuse me of taking the easy way out, I must mention an introductory line to a terribly well known bit of doggerelish prose overheard in the schoolyard of my youth.I remember being so struck, transfixed even, by the very idea that a statement might be made which seemingly means A, but then, in a splendidly happy transforming thunderflash, it dawns that words  or statements can mysteriously be made to mean not just A, but B, or even C, or in the end, even X,Y, or even Zed!

I found this deeply and profoundly exciting and I remember laughing endlessly with the absolute brilliance of the notion.

Of course, I was in my 57th year at the time but, hey, I got there…

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The Duchess

The line was:  ‘…Fuck me…’ said the duchess, more in hope than in anger…

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The Duchess’s daughters.

This was language far beyond anything I had encountered in the past and it proved to be a death sentence for comics. It was, at once, shameful, hilarious and involved the aristocracy! There was no going back. I have yet to read the Prof’s pronouncements, and will most assuredly confess myself disappointed should Dickens and Jane Austen be excluded.

Yours Ira.

Team Strayla, the terrible truth.

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Even the poor people from Rio were excluded from the Olympics. An example of “Rio-politic”

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The bitter truth. Titty Killer. Australia’s Chef de mission brown, portrays a stiff upper whilst proudly wearing 1970’s Ansett ANA cabin crew livery as an ‘act of contrition for our miserable result’

Latest news from the Olympics is grim. No reader, it is not the obscenity of quarantining the locals the majority of whom are dirt poor to cater for a rump of plutocrats. Nor is it the yawning inequity between wealthy and poor countries encouraged to participate so that they, (the poor) may drink full the elixir of losing. Nor, and this should come as no surprise, is it the obscene levels of advertising and sponsorship that hijacks sport from the ordinary people. Nor is it the professionalism of the vast majority of athletes, who condescend to give the “ amateur spirit “ of the games some finesse. No, it’s much more profound than all that, more profound than the bad behaviour from spoilt coiffured kiddies from white nations. More egregious than the complaints we all had to take that everything about Rio was just so ‘third world’, and how we all breathe a sigh of relief to know that Tokyo will be absolutely efficient and clean. Beyond all of that, the doping, the feather bedding off IOC officials who really did their best not to look to bejeweled, nor the enormity of the Australian team, that is forever a potent symbol of national insecurity the world over. None of those things. The reality is we came tenth.

We were clearly out-spent. The poms came second, they have a lottery fund, a percentage of which is actively channelled into sport. We have lottery, but all the profits go to a family syndicate, and they spend it on …. Themselves. The yanks have just too much money, and their universities are geared to this kind a thing. And the Russians and Chinese, even, when they’re not doping are leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. We came tenth, behind, Italy and Hungary. Even the frogs bested us, and to top it all off we lost a three straight test whitewash against the Sri Lankans.

sport 3

John Wylie. Happy at exclusivist venues and ticketing; ‘This way you get an entire venue to yourself without having to deal with the filthy public”

sport 4

John Coates, Welded on part of the Aussie (battler) Olympic Gravy Train. ” Better gravy will be on hand in Tokyo”.

No wonder the Barrier Reef is dead, it’s a national trend, It’s what happens when you become the real estate capital of the universe. You lose. It distracts you from things that really matter like winning medals. And I can tell you, heads will roll. According to Mr Coates, former head of the Australian Olympic Committee, who has been paid over seven million this past decade for giving advice, it’s the fault of Mr Wylie. His winners edge system is broke, and according to my Wylie, its all because sneaky nations, like the poms have grabbed our best coaches, and copied our training regimes. Mr Wylie has put businessmen in charge, and it aint working. Fancy that! A merchant banker not knowing everything there is to know on sport, art, literature, the list goes on and on. It aint fair.

According to the public the Olympics are dead boring. Not much fun, when you’re no good at swimming, and having to rely on pentathlons, and clay pigeon shooting for your gold. They’re not everyday reflections on the aussie spirit.


Aussie Sports Scientists, (only branch of national science to have increased funding) marvel at results coming in from the Gallipolo-ometer. A world First.

To help gauge our lack of Olympic grade performance, we’ve commissioned, top scientists and they’ve come up with the Gallipolo-ometer, a device proven to assist in determining national characteristics. The Gallipolo-ometer, gave a reading of 87.5, which is incredibly high. High enough we gauged to make the team a legend. So many “could’ve beens and near misses’. If we’d won more medals and came in at fifth or sixth, the Gallipolo-ometer would’ve rated a bare fifty. But losing is knowing that were really great. And that’s special, as it goes to the core of our national ethos. Occasional winners, and terrible losers.

Still in the US, still not shot

Dear reader, Cecil sends us a simple postcard from America. It’s reassuring to know that with the election looming, private enterprise is doing its bit to ensure the public is safe.  Unfortunately we are unfamiliar with some of the complex acronyms and expressions used to establish such  public safety awareness, and would be greatful if someone amongst the readership could translate what ‘CCH’ stands for. And  now from Cecil;

Public Safety is a priority here in the US of A.  I don’t think these photos require comment.

Public Safety

Public Safety


Public Safety - detail

Public Safety – detail

Yes, still not shot.