Making the poorest poorer.

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Graeme Watson. So good at keeping wages down he couldn’t wait to complain about the tax being levied on his two hundred and eighty thou pension. Onya Graeme.

Dear reader, we’d like to apologise. Quentin is fuminating again. Is there no end to this? Seems he’s terribly upset about social inequity and the plundering of public institutions by self seeking opportunists and sinecurists. Apparently, this latest symptom of the systematic corruption and rorting of our public institutions is endemic. The ACCI is doing the heavy lifting. Ensuring unsubstantiated claims that the worst paid come from wealthy backgrounds as a justification for stiffing wages growth is their latest strategy. Still, it’s comforting to know that the Federal Government is making the prosecution of single mothers and “overpayments” a top priority. Gives us confidence that everyone, is doing their bit. Now read on, ( if you dare).

The Australian Chamber of Commerce, (excuse me dear reader, look at Australian Manufacturing? Need we say any more), are perhaps the most supine, rent seeking, low level opportunists this country has had the privelege to spawn. They’re the architects of the 457 scheme, which sees an army of underpaid, sweat shop overseas workers establish an army of unemployed ice addicted losers who’ll cost the taxpayer a fortune. When the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is not berating society for the fact that they have to pay wages at all, they’re lobbying the Federal Government to ensure that the rest of the unrepresented, voiceless untermensch are paid less and less.

The Chamber is the personification of all that’s lazy, unimaginative and process driven. They should be sequestered to the board of Naplan and ATAR for good measure. They alone have anointed us with the bounty of a fully fledged banana republic. There aint any Rockerfeller’s amongst their ranks mate. These are the ‘inheritors’, the chinless wonders who allegedly represent small and big business. I’m a small businessmen and have watched in dismay as all the pillars of a diverse, functioning, vibrant economy have been piece to piece torn down by the self seeking short termism of this Chamber.

A Star Chamber if you like, echoing the one inch ideology of the IPA and Lord Murdoch.

Its spokesman James Pearson, displays as much. A robot, representing other robots who are the square root of nothing in particular. Talking well and truly within the very very tightly controlled and narrow square others amongst us who are apt to think beyond.

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Joe Hockey. Our man in Washington. Champion of the ACCI. Bonus Points for closing down the car industry. Outside his taxpayer funded hut as leader of the Trump Cheersquad, and lifetime sinecurist for standing for absolutely nothing.

Life is pretty expensive these days, have you noticed? And if you live in regional Australia, which hasn’t seen the boom of property prices you can rest assure you’re poorer. At the local supermarket, milk doesn’t sell two dollars for two litres, it’s $2.89 and there’s nothing under $3.00 for dishwashing detergent. And shockingly, Banana’s are up, $4.00 a kilo!! And there’s mark ups on petrol and health care, and everything!! But, you do have the benefit of fresh air. And if you don’t know anyone, you can escape the vicissitudes of life and the grinding wait by taking on a very dispiriting employment training scheme. They’ve proliferated faster than scabies. Or you can just go down the street to the local meth lab, and get yourself absolutely out of it.

From, the ACCI, who allowed the car industry to piss off, not a whimper. They’ve established a dystopian class of bottom dwellers, pursuing exciting careers in the hospitality industry. The fact that cleaning dishes, scraping to plutocrats and wiping arses is even called an “industry” is galling. And their mates in the Property Council are all about making sure that the burgeoning under class of supine underlings, are kept in their correct place.

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Head of ACCI James Pearson presents rubber ducky prize, ( symbol of Australian Industry’s confidence in itself) at Crown Casino. ( the ducky was later rescued from a fast food sweatshop).

They lobby the Fair Work Commission, another Orwellian construct and wait with bated breath for another determination from another overpaid ex bureaucrat to determine the fate of the underemployed, the crushed and the subjected, who’ve had the light of optimism completely snuffed-out. Hooray for the Australian Chamber of Commerce for ensuring that imagination and humanity and compassion had nothing to do with it. They’ve created just the sort of society we now live in.

And in the process, found their correct place.

The bottom.

Mental about being Mental

Quentin Cockburn gives a superficial and unsubstantiated look at mental illness, homelessness and domestic violence.

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Feather-bedder may have looked a bit like this.

Heard another person on the radio banging on about mental illness. Talked about poorer resourcing, talked about ‘staff, levels, expertise and balance, and picking the right leadership moving forward to progress the current policy initiatives on mental health and international benchmarks’. He prattled on. He then described enthusiastically how his team at the University of Melbourne were committed to ‘long term strategies to impact the mental illness epidemic’, and before he ceased and the obligatory voiceover; “ if you have mental health issues or know of someone who is experiencing mental illness please ring the hot line, before you jump off a tall building, run into a tram, gas yourself, (harder these days) or just blow your brains out’, I was shaking with rage.

The shock was I thought he was talking abut the mental cases on the streets. Nup he was talking about his own “resource needs”

The sinking feeling I had was, this bloke, wasn’t talking about understanding the people on the streets, the dispossessed the deranged, the ice addicted, but furnishing himself and his annointed sinecurists with a deluxe A grade feather bed. That’s the trouble with mental illness these days, it’s spawned an army of mental effectives seeking to improve the lot of mental defectives. Curiously, (aren’t you surprised yet?) hardly any of then really ever get down and dirty and talk to each other. It’s just like white man’s relationship with Aboriginal Australia. Excellent policy initiatives for those who prefer to stay within the comfort zone. And hand’s-off, provided you don’t get dirty with the poor bastards on the other end of your annointed beneficence.

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His ‘support team’ may look like this.

It sucks.

Mental illness is everywhere for the simple fact that ice, wife bashing violence, and everything is there. There’s nothing meaningful for the under-skilled to do. There aren’t worthwhile lower tier jobs any more. There aint no cameraderie at the workplace, unless you want to be berated by some managerialist knob on positive thinking around the water cooler. And there’s no end in sight to the manipulative rent seeking training schemes designed to make the unemployed completely and utterly fucking useless.

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He could look like this.

And so this sinecurist is the core of the problem. The experts are ex-officio members of an elite. The mental cases, the hard nuts, the refuse are the gonners, who are to be pitied. Because they are symptomatic of a broader undiagnosed mental illness in a society that worships financial capital over social. And if these discards can just go of quietly and top themselves they’ll help with the bottom line, provide more funding for conferences, white papers, discussion papers and a conga line of psychic suck-holes to exploit this human suffering in the name of compassion whilst paying off their investment properties and swimming pools.

WE don’t get mental illness in this country. We have a society that manufactures mental illness, and we do nothing to change the fundamentals, because we can’t see what’s wrong with our very narrow view of winners and losers, outcasts and optimists.

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Certified looney with publicly funded support structure.

From personal experience, if you’ve got family support, you may be able to function. Without it you’re a gonner. The institutes, government health specialists and aparatchiks are there to turn your misery into an income stream.

There’s a lot to be glad about for the winners, the indices are off the scale! But for the initiatives? I’m beyond blue. Give people dignity, even if they’re fucking stark raving looney. And if you don’t, ask Corey Bernardii. He’s secured six years tax payer looney funding just for standing alone. At least he stands for something.

Where’s Bill?

This is really an exciting time to be an Australian.

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Residents of Far N.Q Prepare themselves for Cyclone Debbie in Dallas Street. (a suburb of Cairns).

Could you believe as South Australia grapples with energy uncertainty, a cyclone, called ‘Debbie’ does Dallas Street, (a suburban street in White Rock a suburb of Cairns). Matt and Josh fight it out for who can or cannot, (as the case may be) get Hazelwood cranking again.

Matt’s hard at it, trying to repeal the Renewable Energy Funds ban on big shitty carbon emitters. Josh, (pole-axed by Jay Weatherill) Frydenberg has suddenly gone less enthusiastic about committing shit loads of public and private funds to rebuild filthy stinking coal powered generation facilities. And all awhile the price of renewables as a boon to the new economy are falling though the floor.

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Bill . On the job, articulating his policy direction.

Matt is angry. The coal lobby is angry. Mr Adani is hopping mad. Even Malcolm Turnaround may be angry. And there aint nothing he can do about it. Whichever way they stack, crack, bray to Rupert and complain about the level playing field, renewables just get cheeper and cheaper. And the rent seeking power companies, know that the only people on mains power will soon be the dirt-poor, disaffected and the dispossessed. This is not how it was meant to be. And Tony Abbott who axed the tax, is nowhere to be seen but has triumphed once again by converting a three letter slogan into a one word, three syllable word. HA-ZEL-WOOD. And Gorgon will export gas at stupendous profit for years and years and not pay a cent in tax. Were giving it away. This is Neo Liberal economics at its most alluring.

Welcome to the Third world.

But where’s Bill?

In the interests of balance we would like to advocate Bill’s polices on coal. We’d like to put meat and fat on the bare bones of Bill’s policy on affordable housing, the environment, negative gearing and the resource rent tax, In actual fact we’d like to see Bill put forward an articulated, researched and well founded fragment of public policy anywhere. Sadly, he’s gone ‘Squirrel Nutkin’ on us. There’s nuttin.

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Billy Snedden, So devoted to policy he died on the job.

Bill is silent. Silent as a tomb.

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Kathy Jackson, made deep sacrifices to ensure poorly paid operatives were kept in their proper place.

He was last spotted heading into News Corp for a meeting with the Big Boss. After several hours Bill emerged, a copy of the Herald Scum and the Tele under his arm, his hair tousled, and an enigmatic, (some may say satisfied smile on his face). A bit like the one Cathy Jackson had when she held high level meetings with Michael Lawler from the Fair Work Commission. Like Billy Snedden, Mike was just doing his job. There’s no telling what Bill will do next, but he was then spotted with Jeannie Pratt at Raheen, and moments later having lunch with Gina Rinehardt.

This can only mean one thing. Bill will emerge soon, and have a radical plan for reform that will re- assert national sovereignty. Put the public interest over rapacious rent seekers and kleptocrats. Bills on the line, and watch out! The world will hold its breath. And make no mistake. Bill Mk 2 is pumped and primed and ready for action. Australia needs Bill and this shall be his finest hour.

Bill will make a stand. And what does he stand for? In the fullness of time ye shall see.

Bill will draw the circle fully round. His principles will stand resolute and complete as a big O.

Bill thinks beyond the square.

Tony goes into bat for BIG COAL.

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Base Load at work

Good to see with the closure of the Hazelwood power plant, (possibly the dirtiest left in the world), Mr Abbott is leading the charge to have it re-instated. Good onya Tony. And to show he’s on his mettle, he propounded the benefits of staying with coal for ever and ever. Though he was unable to talk up the tax payer funded grants that were proposed to keep Mr Adani’s Cayman tax haven viable, he did mention the benefits coal bought to humanity at large. And there are huge benefits.

And his basic premise was that Coal was all about “Base Load”.

Please, Dear reader, could you please stand up and say “BASE LOAD”!

Again! (With hand over heart).

That’s better! (you can sit down now)

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Base Load in deep thought.

We’ve heard a lot about Base Load. It’s unquestionable. Only Big COAL can provide BASE LOAD.

If South Australia had had BASE LOAD none of the blackouts would ever have happened. Tony was also terribly careful to avoid the free market gouge-a-tron as rent seeking corporations used the national energy market to screw consumers. He just kept on the singular benefits of BASE LOAD. BASE LOAD can only be provided by BIG COAL.

Mr Tesla, and now the pubic at large are saying, ‘Hey Tone, our power bills have gone through the roof since you axed the carbon tax, and now they, (Coal Power Plants) all seem to be hopelessly out-dated’. Then Mr Tesla says; ‘I’ll sort out the electricity market in S.A overnight. Give me just one hundred days. If it aint fixed by then you can shove it’. No one, all of a sudden has faith in BIG COAL anymore. Some, and this is the frightening part, have suggested that BIG COAL is yesterdays hero, and because of the privatisation of the energy market, into rapacious, poles, wires, distributor, rent seeking kleptocrats, the importance of Coal’s alleged BASE LOAD, is just an Illusion.

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Base Load. IS GOOD!!

Fancy that!

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The last supper. Note use of coal power. No LED’s and Solar Panel powered Halo’s. Solar, not mentioned, in Genesis, nor Leviticus neither.

So Tony’s got it in for renewables and we can understand why. Renewables weren’t mentioned in the Bible. If renewables, solar, geo thermal and this latest thing with hydro have cracked a mention in Leviticus, Corinthians or even Genesis, it’d have half a chance. But God on his own admission, never ever mentioned solar, and to be quite frank, the closest he ever got to a Solar panel, was when he shined beatification upon his son during the last supper. That’s about as luminous as the bible ever gets, and it aint solar powered.

And, this is the best part, if solar power were true, and it was not extractive, and make huge profits, and despoil, the entire ecosystem, it would be evil. And why is that? Because power from the sun, questions the hypothesis well held that the entirety of everything revolves arrow this anointed “world” and all was created in the minds-eye of one eternal, supernatural all-seeing old bloke. And that bloke like Tony, liked to look at things in a paternalistic monotheistic black and white sort of way. That said, it’s right to stone sheila’s and it aint cool to talk science. Which is why BASE LOAD is so important a concept. Rock Solid, like a lump of coal in parliament, or the bloke upstairs.

And there’s a reassurance in that. Sort of makes everything in the world right.

Poetry Sunday 26 March 2017

More today from Ali Cobby Eckermann, recipient of the Windham-Campbell prize, to be conferred this September at Yale.

Ali spent much of her early adult life searching for her mother and her birth family, from  whom she was stolen.  Her search took her into the Central Australian desert where she was greeted by many Aboriginal women one of whom “leads me to where a larger group of old women are gathered.  They talk in language for a while and learn who my family is.  The old women laugh to celebrate that I made it back to my family.  The old women laugh because they have the skills to heal me.  The old women laugh because they are my family too. . . . . I can’t stop crying.  It is a mixture of release and joy.”


arms wrap around Nana
smell the campfire hair
seven sisters dance under
Pleiades all night

chanting and singing
laughing and joy
in the morning
big clean up time

women scramble in
Toyota dreaming
dust trails linger as
the girl waits

ochre signals ochre
ngankari ngankari
sickness is gone

you good now girl
go get the world

From “To Afraid to Cry” Ali Cobby Eckermann 2012

MDFF 25 March 2017

Today’s dispatch is Stolen Stories, dispatched just this Tuesday 21 March

¿Que tal? amigos,

It is nearly a decade since the Howard/Brough team, in a desperate failed attempt to get re-elected, launched the Northern Territory Emergency Response, which quickly became known as ‘The Intervention’. Ownership of the Intervention was soon claimed by the Rudd/Macklin team.

I feel compelled to once again quote Mahatma Ghandi:

“ They do not know, that a subtle but effective system of terrorism, together with an organized display of force on the one hand, and the deprivation of all powers of retaliation or self-defence on the other, has emasculated the people and induced in them the habit of simulation.”

As a non-indigenous resident of one of the targeted communities (‘Prescribed Areas’ under the Act), I keenly felt the injustice of the Intervention as well as becoming aware of the organized “deprivation of all powers of retaliation”

At countless meetings I have witnessed dissenting Aboriginal voices being silenced or ignored, or worse still deliberately misunderstood (‘twisted’ in Aboriginal English).

It was the latter which prompted me to launch these Dispatches into cyberspace, only to be described (in a letter to the Editor) by a prominent Aboriginal person who resides on a pedestal as “That loud white-fellow who claims to speak for my people”

It was thus with some trepidation I opened this link a friend sent me: lest I again be accused of “speaking for my people”.

I needn’t have worried, Alexis Wright’s essay: ‘What Happens When You Tell Somebody Else’s Story’ is far deeper than that shallow accusation.

In a previous Dispatch, Patrick Dodson is quoted (from a speech at University of NSW):

“The strategy for assimilation of our peoples is not a mistake made by low-level bureaucrats on behalf of successive governments who didn’t know better. It was and continues to be a deliberate act orchestrated at the highest levels in our society, and no amount of moral posturing can hide that reality. This Assimilation I talk of has notbeen evidenced by equality, but by further control, incarceration and subjugation to norms and values without our consent.”

It is this paradigm which is explored in the essay. To quote the author herself (albeit slightly out of context):

“ … questions I am asking about the enormous cost of losing one’s voice, being muted, silenced, others speaking or doing the talking or telling for us, or ways we self-censor, or defuse our own stories….”

The essay speaks for itself, and I won’t be so presumptuous as to assume that my discussing it in depth would add to it. Suffice it to say that the word ’intervention’ occurs 26 times, and the word ‘control’ 25 times.

I hope many of you can find the time to read Alexis’ article- you’ll be much the wiser for it.

Earlier this month two prominent and brilliant cartoonists died within days of each other. In Australia Bill Leak and in New Zealand Murray Ball.

Murray Ball was the author of Footrot Flats… A slice of Heaven:

I first got to admire Bill Leak when he featured in a television show. The show concluded with Bill playing a very funky blues on the piano accompanied by his son on double-bass.

On Youtube, I can’t find any of that heavenly music Bill played. He came close to winning the Archibald prize on several occasions. Sadly, Bill will be remembered mostly for the cartoon of the drunken Aboriginal man who doesn’t know his own son’s name.

I saw Bill Leak defend that cartoon on the basis that “it raised a topic which should be debated”

So effective has been the Intervention stimulated propaganda barrage, so effective the dispossession of Aboriginal Australia’s right and ability to tell its own stories, which is the theme of Alexis’ essay, that many (as did Bill Leak himself) believe that the cartoon reflects an unpalatable truth. That the depicted stereotype is the norm in Aboriginal society.

Many outsiders who have lived on Aboriginal communities have become aware in wonderment of the intense and complex family relationships which apply in Aboriginal societies. Here in Yuendumu, not only do fathers know who their children are, they know how just about everybody else is related to each other. These family ties extend far beyond the confines of these communities.

Several Dispatches have contrasted Australia and New Zealand (‘Under the Radar- February 2013):

PM Gillard visited New Zealand a few days ago. The main announcement emanating from that visit is that 150 refugees will be passed on from Australia to New Zealand per annum from 2014. Not a word about the Treaty of Waitangi, and the relationship between New Zealand’s native and colonizer populations. Such is under the radar.

I am told that the Maori/Pakeha relationship is far from perfect, it is none the less light years ahead of Australia’s relationship with its First Peoples.

On Q&A the Leak cartoon was discussed as if its obnoxious racism was open to question, or even that the cartoon had merit as some sort of social service or as an expression of free speech.

Bill Leak had many friends who sprung to his defence and attested to his humanity and talent. He wasn’t alone in swallowing the propaganda. James Anaya (the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)’s report said the Intervention “stigmatized an already stigmatized society”. The reaction to the cartoon lends weight to that assertion.

Alexis Wright in her essay has a fair bit to say about the role of the media in selectively printing mostly negative stuff about Aborigines.

May Bill Leak rest in peace. I can’t say the same for the editors who allowed the “controversial” cartoons to be printed and probably encouraged Bill to draw them in the first place.

I’ll leave the final word to Q&A panellist Martha Wainwright: “In Canada, he wouldn’t have got away with it” Martha Wainwright….You cheated Me…

Hasta la proxima vez


PS- as this was being cobbled together news came that Chuck Berry died at the age of 90. Too late to weave him into this Dispatch which is long enough already.

Chuck’s most relevant song (to the Intervention):
Too much Monkey Business…


George Brandis’s diaries, the truth revealed.

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The Highest law maker in the land, ( another ambitious little Queenslander) before he filled his taxpayer funded bookshelf with self important taxpayer funded tomes. Or, ” self portrait sans stuffing”.

Dear reader, for some years now we’ve been waiting in rapt anticipation for the contents of George Brandis’s diaries to be revealed. After all the kerfuffle, all the bickering, back-chatting, innuendo and obfuscation it has been worth it. These diaries are Gold!

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Mr Dreyfus. So poor when photographed. Usually sleeps under a tree in the Treasury gardens.

We believe the ‘fractious’ Shadow Attorney General, Mr Dreyfus is bitterly disappointed about the waste of time. And we can share Mr Dreyfus’s frustration over how long it took and the seeming contempt for the legal process demonstrated by Australia’s highest law office holder. But we can tell you the wait was worth it. Mr Dreyfus was trying to find out whether Mr Brandis was in discussion with legal groups before he slashed funding to legal aid right across the board. Mr Brandis alleged he was in consultation with stakeholders. Lawyers representing really poor people. That was what all the obfuscation was about. Mr Dreyfus felt that Mr Brandis had just acted unilaterally to slash funding to poor people in the 2014 budget, just like the Abbott government slashed finding to everyone, and gave a huge taxpayer funded gift to really really rich people.

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Rupert, demonstrating George’s position in the scheme of things.

What’s wrong with that? Really really rich people pay no tax and employ the odd gardener, that’s the trickle down effect. And in one spectacular instance Gina Rinehardt no-less, offered an unemployed dead-beat polly a job. And because of the incredibly high price of mineral exports and the absence of any fair and equitable tax upon those obscenely large royalties, the dollar soared sky high and there was a bit of collateral damage. For example the car industry closed down. But that’s all small beer to the goings on in Mr Brandis’s diary. And at last we can put a light on what the ‘toppest’ law maker, has to do amongst the myriad other things such as sequestering Australia Council funds to his private discretionary stash, and the peccadilloes of paying for a rather large library at tax payers expense.

Brandis Diary entry Thursday, a week before the 2014 Budget

8.00 a.m. Had breakfast with Alexander Downer, very excited about the High Commissioners job on offer.

8.30 am. Booked lunch at the Savage Club to discuss travel plans with former industrial relations minister the Rt Hon Peter Reith.

9.30 am. Attended ‘Madame Sylphide’s Cha Cha School’ and practised the fox trot and the tango two step.

10.30 Important meeting with the IPA, briefed on the iniquitous Resource Rent Tax.

11.00. Summoned to News Corp headquarters to be dressed down by Rupert, for suggesting I was the ‘highest, most powerful man, in the land’.

11.30 Attended Christopher Pyne’s, book launch. Hired pixie costume for function.

12.30 Spoke at National Press Club on being “another ambitious little Queenslander”.

1.35 Presented by James Ashby with new choice of Parliamentary underwear.

1.48 Consulted with Property Council on increased tax breaks for negatively geared properties.

2.30 Won Mastermind in the inter-parliamentary trivia comp.

3.00 Played Golf with friends and associates for the Minerals and Energy Council.

5.30 Wrote on back of golf score card relevant section of 18C and how to repeal it.

7.00 Attended Dinner at the Property Council to discuss party donations.

9.00 Briefed by CEO Shenzou Trading as to why open slather on overseas property speculation in the Australian housing market was good for the Liberal party fund raising arm.

10.00 Read another chapter of Blyton’s excellent book, “ The Faraway Tree” before going to bed.

10.30. Brief conversation with Rupert and was forced to repeat five times, “Oh you are the highest most powerful man in the land your lord-ship’. 

And as you can see the highest law maker in the land has a busy schedule and funding cuts to poor people and the “average“ taxpayer is all part of the burdensome task of ‘Leadership’.

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George Brandis’s preferred luggage, A beautiful embossed Louis Vuitton Dreyfus Case. (rrp $ 25,568)

And Mr Dreyfus will just have his own case to answer. A sign of our times? A Dreyfus case perhaps?

More on etiquette.

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Occasionally we have resorted to open criticism of contemporary education policy. In our view secondary education is a processing plant. A sausage machine designed to achieve the lowest common denominator of human efficiency, whilst processing individuals for a lifetime of dull, rigid, conformist compliance. Those who get the highest marks are destined to be doctors, bureaucrats or any other tier of publicly funded sinecure. For those who get higher marks still, they’ll be processed by the twin pillars of the establishment and may emerge from Oxford or Cambridge as the pinnacle of human achievement… bankers. And for those who are uneducated, who fail the test, who are academically speaking, ‘discards’, they’ll just have to fend for themselves. They might even become entrepreneurs, but more likely will become the serfs of the machine age, either wiping bums in old age homes or working in a call centre.

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Neville massaging bruised hand after demonstration of ” Blood and Iron” Tarzan-Grip.

And, universities, once geared as the national consciousness, vibrant and dynamic articulators of the ascent of civilised thought and creativity are now no more than processing plants. Technical institutes devoted to processing “units” and propitiating an income stream from visas and overseas students. And for good measure the promise of dull and predictable degrees for those who think within the boundaries.

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Dr Goebells. Absence of Left hand suggests criminality.

Our education system is systematically flawed, and at the heart of it, in our learned opinion it doesn’t seem to be capable of adjustment. The politics aside, it’s lacking in its own sense of history. This has something to do with the very very short attention span of contemporary society and if you’d like to see were it all leads take a look at Trump and Merkel.

I was asked by my daughter, to provide a synopsis on whatever Hitler did to start the Second World War, and the question was , “Was he responsible for the entire fracas”?. “Well, he invaded Poland”, but before I could expound on the treaty of Versailles, the hyper inflation, the Depression, the racial theory, my daughter reproached me, “ Dad it has to be in dot point, and no more than three paragraphs’. ‘Oh’ I said, suitably chastened and was made aware that contemporary education is all about rote learning, and succinct dot points. I suppose it makes it easier to arrive at the “correct’ answer.

Rupert. Ruler of the "free press" in communion with himself as GOD.

I thought hard, and put the real rise of fascism, and Soviet totalitarianism to the demise of the free press. Goebell’s put the shine on fascism, by peddling utter rubbish as fact. It was he and his cronies, most notably Julius Stretcher who made the filth that dehumanised ordinary people. They established the orthodoxy, the blind unquestioning orthodoxy that made very ordinary people mass murderers and passively complicit in the systematic extermination of “untermensch”. And crucially after Munich in 38 it was the bad manners displayed by the Nazi’s that shocked the world. And ‘we’ , (the democracies) allowed such poor behaviour to happen out of a policy of appeasement. Bad manners should not be tolerated. That’s where it all begins. So there you have it. Donald should’ve shaken Angela’s hand. WE understand she’s a sheila, and is open minded and liberal in outlook, but manners show respect. Cleary Donald doesn’t. There’s an irony in this. He doesn’t get history. But neither does Rupert. Scarcely seventy years ago the roles were reversed.

But then, ‘WE’ won the war.

The day the Music really died.

Chuck’s Karked it. (from our music critic Quentin Cockburn)

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Chuck walked the walk.

I HATE Don Maclean.

He’s probably a nice bloke, but if you were a kid growing up in the seventies, you were destined to hear Don Maclean’s ‘Bye bye Miss American Pie’, ad nauseum. Got to the stage it was a bit of toss-up to whom I hated the most. Andrew effing Lloyd Webber, or that smarmy saccharine Yank, who banged on about ‘chevy’s, levy’s and the day the music died’. He was wrong. Dead wrong. The music died yesterday, bout 2 in the morning. That’s when Chuck karked it. He was at home, in Missouri, and unlike his mates on the other used of the river he died of natural causes.

That’s a feat worth celebrating in itself.

Well he’s dead. This is where chronologists will say “ze music hat gefallen am dieses uhr”. And a straight line, as exact as the one that marked the end of the dinosaur era, will run from one end of the page to the other.

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The Who

chuck 3 Can I add for added emphasis: Carole King. HATED her also. “Tapestry” was the most boring album of all time. As bad, as Cat Stevens. Living rooms right across the suburbs were doomed to the wailing of Stevens and King as they gouged pimply adenoidal introspection for all it was worth. A loathsome era of schlock rock, cock rock and muzak. Thank god Punk put it to death. Until music was taken over by the mega corporates to be syndicated and marketed as the pure shit the public is fed on their i-pads and i-phones. There was a glimmer of hope before the onset of disco, and there are two great live albums of the early 70’s. One, Chuck Berry’s ‘Live in London’, which contained that gem of word association; ‘My ding a ling’, and the other, possibly the greatest rock album ever, The Who’s ‘Live at Leeds’.

You can take your levies, your pissy little teenage crushes and you’re luke-warm over saccharine ‘Tea for the Tiller Man” and thrown them where they belong. The Who rocked, and Chuck Berry proved he was a God. Simple, unpretentious grinding rock, and if ever there an anthem that stood the test of time, it was “Johnny B Goode”.

Johnny captured the imagination of not just one, but two and three generations until stifled by the metric certainty of Naplan and Atar. Johnny spoke the truth. That it was enough to learn to do something really well. And do it with passion. Johnny had a passion for guitar.
Plain and simple.

And though, “ he never learnt to read or write a book so well, he could play his guitar just like a ringing a bell”.

chuck 4

But, (dear reader) let’s not forget Little Richard, who pioneered ‘shoe piano’.

So for all you defectives out there, for all you curriculum managers, education bureaucrats, and all you snotty, snivelling anglican public school music teachers and school orchestra conductors who still have a penchant for Lloyd effing Webber and Benjamin effin Britten, Chuck Nailed, it. Play with passion. Play your life with passion. Grind those hips in a free expression of joy, enthusiasm and pure unadulterated human sexuality. Onya Chuck!

Learn an instrument. If you can’t play, write poetry, scribble, and talk to people. That’s living! We’ve learnt a lot from you Chuck, and now you’re dead we only have Donald Trump to make us laugh. And that’s a very poor return.

Poetry Sunday 19 March 2017

Two poems today, both by Adrian Mitchell.

To the Organizers of a Poetry Reading by Hugh Macdiarmid

You chose the wrong place –
A neutral room with tawny blinds pulled down.
You pulled the wrong audience –
The gabbiest cultural bureaucrats in town.
You picked the wrong poet –
Too clever too daft too great for you to deserve his

And you brought the wrong whisky
And you only bought him half a bottle.

Divide and Rule for as Long as you can

Trade Unionists march through the Square
Towards the City Chambers

Police. Police. Police.

And in the streets leading off the Square –
Scottish soldiers with rifles.
Live ammunition.
They may be ordered to shoot into the crowd.

And behind the Scottish soldiers –
English soldiers with rifles.
Live ammunition.
If the Scottish soldiers refuse to shoot into the crowd
The English soldiers will be ordered
To shoot the Scottish soldiers

Oh, but that was long ago.

That was in the future.

From “the apeman cometh” by Adrian Mitchell