MARK PARTON,DON’T DO IT

By Mike Welsh

My former radio colleague Mark Parton is about to become an ACT Politician. Something he’s coveted for a very long time. He’s well qualified and ready to hit the ground running but I’m begging him not to.Formally endorsed by the Liberal Party on Monday and 3 months out from the ACT election, the former 2CC Breakfast personality is already speaking and acting like a typical Politician.

…..”His comments suggest he’s ready, willing and able to employ the disingenuous dexterity required to be able to stand for nothing while sitting on the fence and toeing the party line”…..

In an article by Kirsten Lawson in the Canberra Times on Tuesday; Mark Parton: An about-turn on poker machines in the casino; probed on his first political back flip, Parton said people were not “born as robots with the party mantra….. and from time to time would hold a different position to their part “…adding….”I think one of the healthiest things about the Liberal Party is that it is such a broad church. I know that there will be some things that we may disagree on. But I’m also a team man”….

Has “Parto” revealed exactly the type of representative he’ll be? In resorting to the well-worn and mealy mouthed broad church slogan (universally the refuge of politicians seeking to escape scrutiny) he’s hinted he may be just another of the many unimaginative and compliant members who consistently inhabit the ACT Assembly. The last thing Canberra needs. His comments suggest he’s ready, willing and able to employ the disingenuous dexterity required to be able to stand for nothing while sitting on the fence and toeing the party line.

The ACT assembly already has more than its quota of dickheads, dopes and duds. What it needs is somebody who refuses to become just another party politician. Somebody who is a genuine representative and advocate for their community.

Parton will win a seat in the Assembly and he deserves to. He’s young, energetic and passionate and could bring something refreshing to politics in the ACT. But does he have the balls to do it? The national electorate just had something very succinct to say about professional politicians and party politics. They don’t like them. The electorate, real people, wants genuine people to represent them not puppets.

Mark Parton has a golden opportunity to become that “real” representative. He knows how to use the media and is well connected to the community. His endorsement so far appears to be a political party opportunistically picking an individual with a strong profile who can swing a few extra votes at the election and then fall in line with the party agenda.

Please Mark, don’t become just another politician. Though if you do who knows, a few years down the track you could end up in the Senate when your party does a “Gary Humphries” on Zed Seselja.

BE ALERT BUT NOT ALARMED BY TURNBULL’S DOG WHISTLE

By Mike Welsh
You can’t teach an old Dog Whistling political pro new tricks, it would seem.
malcolm-turnbull
Sitting in New York’s Penn Station in 2013, waiting to board an AMTRAK service to Washington, I’d struck up conversation with a attractive young Welsh woman who was heading back to her job at a Hershey spa in Pennsylvania. I was lost in her beautiful accent and the decadent  and delicious description of her role at the spa, when on my left came the gruff request of a large bearded Irishman …. “keep an eye on my backpack, mate”. Before I could say anything he’d dropped his swag and was gone. Alert, yes. Alarmed? you bet your sweet bippy I was. But what to do?. Say something?  There were thousands moving through the busy terminal. As this was my maiden “see something say something” moment I was determined not to make a complete knob of myself by yelling BOMB.
Malcolm Turnbull has yet to venture across Canberra to receive Vice Regal approval to go to the people, but he’s already pursing his lips and priming his Dog whistle.
The new $8m National Security hotline campaign message of “IF IT DOESN’T ADD UP, SPEAK UP”, is as loud and as clear as any dog whistling can be. Stick with the Turnbull Government and you will be protected from those evil terrorists.
It would appear, according to fresh and expensive taxpayer funded research, that we the taxpayers are generally ignorant in matters regarding the function or in some cases even existence of a National Security Hotline. The hotline was established post 9/11, to field calls from members of the public spooked by something which, to them at least, seemed suspicious. Which instantly begs two questions: when was the last time you saw something (suspicious) but didn’t say anything? And when was the last time, in your government recommended state of high alert, did you feel the need to resist becoming alarmed?
speak up pic 1
“IF IT DOESN’T ADD UP, SPEAK UP” is the nub of this cheesy TV campaign which shows a dude casually hailing a cab on a busy city street with an open bag at his feet. The scruffy man’s scruffy bag is gaping, revealing several unrealistic and large wads of cash (probably props left over from the production of UNDERBELLY), some electronic bits and pieces and two passports. Could this also mean that IT techs now on uber salaries choose to take taxis to the airport!!!
And a woman walking her nosey dog quickly spots an overflowing wheelie bin with a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and an empty container of Acetone front and centre. Beauty therapists beware! If only terrorists were as simple to spot as this poorly researched campaign suggests.
As we are paying for this research should we not be able to see the broad detail of the government’s findings? Otherwise it can only be deduced that the much less expensive 2002 “Be Alert, But Not Alarmed” campaign slogan is done and dusted. All worn out.
And while they are at it I would also be interested to know the demographic which “sees something” and actually “says something”? Of course “we don’t comment on security issues” would be the instant and convenient reply.

This scenario could be straight from an episode of the ABC’s Hollow Men where advertising types and political advisers attempt to justify their existence by simply refreshing a so called old and tired security slogan. Can you imagine the strategy meeting….

“If You See Something, Say Something” is so 2002 .It’s says absolutely nothing.  “If It Doesn’t Add up, Speak Up” is conceptually a holistic and organic paradigm shift in narrative. It actually says something very substantial. It speaks to the people and they hear what it is saying, Duh!

john howard
Is it possible callers to the National Security hotline are largely of the Commercial talkback radio caller ilk? Could the intended target of the dog whistle, sorry community information campaign, be the frightened middle aged, decent hard working battlers rusted on by John Howard through clever dog whistling messages during his long reign? Folks who see it as their role to peek through their lace curtains and observe the “suspicious goings on” at a neighboring house into which a large refugee family just moved? This once trusty and rusty bunch may have been spooked by the September 2015 Coalition leadership coup. Research may have revealed fans of Tony Abbott’s head-kicking style are suspicious of Mr Too Nice Guy Turnbull. Won’t hurt to get the Dog Whistle out anyway.
To spend $8m of taxpayer dollars on an advertising campaign which runs until just days before election day, to alert us to the existence of a well established Terrorist hotline, would suggest one of two things. Either we laid back Aussies have become complacent and possibly cavalier to the threat of terrorism, or the Turnbull government is desperate to retain power and running a scare campaign at our expense.
“no government could guarantee safety from terrorism but Australia was better placed than many of our European counterparts in dealing with the threat. This is because of the strength of our intelligence and security agencies, our secure borders and our successful multicultural society; one that manages to be both secure and free”. (Malcolm Turnbull March 2016)
amtrak X 1Meanwhile, back at Penn Station I could have yelled after the Irish terrorist, sorry tourist, that it was not a good idea to leave baggage unattended in a large passenger terminal. I considered telling my wife (I make it a rule to always have my her nearby when I’m chatting up tasty Welsh women whose occupation it is to pour melted chocolate over other women’s naked bodies) of my increasing ALARM and suggest we both quietly skulk off before the BOMB went off. I could share with chocolate lady my growing concerns over the backpack sitting (and possibly ticking) a metre to our left and hope she didn’t panic. Or I could, in a calm and orderly fashion, alert security of which thankfully there was a battalion. As I furiously pondered my predicament two security guards approached. “Your bag sir?”…”No sir”. Old mate did in fact return shortly after and was somewhat cross that security had taken his bag away for closer inspection. He wandered off in search of his belongings grumbling something unkind about me.  What did I do? I didn’t say anything.

 

For Whom the Exit Polls

By Mike Welsh

Politicians live and die by polls. Kevin Rudd’s pet pastime, apart from being a mealy-mouthed, phoney, backstabbing bastard, was polling and apparently it consistently confirmed his long-held belief in his own awesomeness and God-given right to rule.

With perpetual polls inevitably come bad polls, although these are quickly dismissed by using the galling refrain … “there’s only one poll that matters and that’s on election day.”

A new riddle has arisen in the wake of the UK election result.

Which poll is the one that “matters” now?

The one in which the voter has just participated, or the one in which a voter, who has already done their duty, is pestered to contribute to once they exit the polling booth.

The answer is both. Now if only the “expert” pollsters with their “state of the art” research tools and “exhaustive” tracking methods (HD widescreen dartboards) could produce a number somewhere in the neighbourhood of the real result.

The hung parliament prediction in the UK, even factoring in the pollsters’ “margin of error” cop out clause still represents one big fat-arsed elephant of a discrepancy in the tally room.

Pollies are spot-on about the “only poll which matters”. Both the real and exit polls are accurate for obvious reasons, but the latter proves that people aren’t prepared to reveal before they vote how they intend to vote. Yet political parties continue to live and die by polling using mostly taxpayers’ money.

The irony may be that political polls, apart from those taken on the way out of polling booths, are on the way out. Even exit polls are of little use other than to fast track results and give the Kerry O’Briens and Antony Greens something more substantial than TCTC (too close to call) to dribble about until the real result is known.

So  what of the future of political pollsters?

Has the UK result exposed them as tea leaf readers?

Without any “margin of error” the UK electorate shouted loud and clear. My vote is my business.

Politicians should get back to the electorate and “sniff” the mood for themselves. Get back into the factories and pubs and malls, minus the hard hats, fluoro pinnies and accompanying crew of media, and take a whiff of the real world.

According to a recent poll nine out of ten people participating in political polls reveal the polar opposite of how they intend to vote.

Though factor in a margin of error in on this just to be on the safe side.

A Mockery of Joe Hockey

By Mike Welsh

I can’t decide if Treasurer Joe Hockey is a knob, a clown or a buffoon.

I’ve been searching for months now for an accurate and just label for the Federal Treasurer.

Smokin’ Joe, Jovial Joe, Sloppy Joe: all pithy, predictable and popular tags, but they have no value for me.

Some commentators refer to our chubby Treasurer as Good Old Joe: “Looks like Good Old Joe’s been at it again,” etc.

I don’t dislike Joe Hockey. I don’t think too many people, apart from a few of his more sober and nasty LNP contemporaries could believably condemn “Jovial” Joe. I like the way Joe fronts up, smiles and engages all comers, including those relentless terriers of the Canberra Press Gallery. Still, Joe Hockey is often a buffoon and occasionally he could be called a knob, but upon reflection those tags could be a tad mean…and I don’t want to be mean.

Not to Good Old Joe.

“Clown” lacks the slap required here. So it’s out.

So I’ve settled on Good Old Joe the Buffoon. “Good” and  “Old” together eliminate any spite or slur from a soft insult. Akin to how Holden Caulfield (Catcher In The Rye) referred his younger sister Phoebe as “old” Phoebe.  An affectionate and frivolous term with only a small sting in its tail.

Lately, whenever Hockey speaks “off the cuff”, which is how his advisors laugh off his thoughtless statements, he almost always puts his fat foot in his mouth.

On top of failing to balance the budget, suggesting poor people don’t drive cars and people living to be 150, (Smokin’) Joe bravely marches on…proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that he’s an out of touch, “old” buffoon. Last week, when he should have been counting beans, he was patronising old punters instead.

At the launch of the Age Discrimination report, (Sloppy) Joe stupidly stated that being old was “an attitudinal thing” and that people “never really grow old in their heads.” Getting all folksy, Joe told of an encounter between his children and their 84-year-old school crossing attendant, Merv.

“Every Easter Merv puts on the bunny ears, every Christmas he wears a Santa hat. The kids love him, he loves them and he loves his job,”

“The wisdom he imparts in that brief discussion with parents and children is a reminder we never grow old.”

Then Good Old Joe dug deep into the cliché tin and grabbed the equally empty “You are only as old as you feel.”

Thanks Joe.

The Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan, who is well qualified for a lollipop lady gig at 72, basically said that if you are over 50 and unemployed, your chances of ever even getting another job interview are super slim.

Slimmer than Good Old Joe’s chances of ever being taken seriously.

Joe Hockey clearly comprehends the gravity of Ms Ryan’s report, suggesting age discrimination was “…as reprehensible as racial discrimination, and as reprehensible as religious discrimination.”

Reprehensible, so what to do about it?

Nothing, it’s way too difficult.

Much easier for Good Old Joe the buffoon to swiftly revert to hollow rhetoric with inspirational tales of an 84 year old lollipop man called Merv who wears bunny ears at Easter.

Can’t help wonder how Good Old Joe will be traveling next Easter when he chops $1.90 out of Merv’s pension cheque.

Would You Like Popcorn with Your Porn

By Mike Welsh

What’s the difference between erotic and perverted? Erotic is using a feather, perverted is using the whole chook.  Apparently.

What is the difference between “racy” and pornographic? There is no difference between porn and racy. Not anymore.

.rubber choo 2

A local Pink Ladies Valentine’s Day fundraising screening of the porn flick “Fifty Shades of Grey”, has been promoted as “racy”. When did this happen? It’s a slippery slope . How long before “racy” becomes respectable?

The word pornography has been successfully sanitised, homogenised and almost normalised.  “Food Porn” “Mummy Porn” Shane Warne.

It’s just not natural.  A trench coat should be stained with other unmentionable matter not Choc Tops and Popcorn.

This is what happens when you start messing with nature. Wholemeal Pizza, Low cal Coke and Porn with a Plot. It’s just wrong.

Pardon my pathetic porn puns but it’s hard, sorry difficult to be serious when you are talking about not talking about Pornography. I’m probably flogging a dead whores (last one I promise) but if it looks, smells and sounds like PORN, and “FSG” does, then FFS call it PORN.

“FSG” has aroused “serious” discussion and pricked some serious feminist consciences even on the commercial couches of our TV breakfast shows.  “Today” co-host Lisa Wilkinson was completely underwhelmed with FSG.  Worst movie she’d seen she said. But over at Mamamia, Mia Freedman sturdily disagreed. Ms Freedman could not see anything wrong with the film.

The book by E L James sold by the pallet load at “all good book stores” like Big W and even scored a book deal for her husband, Niall Leonard,  a serious writer before the chick lit hit the fan.

Another serious writer, Nikki Gemmell is probably  regretting hiding behind anonymity when she published her porn piece “The Bride Stripped Bare” in 2003. A woman before her time it would appear.

I haven’t read or seen FSG and I won’t, but I know pornography when I hear it. Anyway I am far too busy knocking out my own piece of “racy” lit in the hope of selling a pallet load.

DIRTY DAVINA’S KISS MY WHIP MASSAGE PARLOUR….Page One Chapter One…“It was still dark outside as Irish Backpacker Davina Donnelly slovenly dragged herself off the filthy mattress she’d drunkenly slumped onto only hours before. She clumsily put on the red underwear she’d randomly scooped up from a pile of clothes scattered across the floor of the dank and dingy apartment.

But as she pulled the faded 301s up over her long slender legs she heard a spine-chilling scream from the mattress below her.  It was Oscar… “you can take my jocks but you can never take my Levis”

Happy Valentine’s Day

Should Sloppy Joe Sew His Lips Together?

By Mike Welsh

JOE 2

If I live to be 150 I will never begin to understand why seemingly shrewd politicians sometimes say stupid things.

It’s pointless having expensive media advisors if you are going to ignore their counsel and boldly stand before a rack of microphones, open your fat gob and spit out stupid things.  Stupid things which stick to you for several days like dog shit on your shoes. Forcing the above mentioned and highly remunerated media advisors to scrape off your smelly foot-in-mouth comments. And to add spice to your dog shit have your political opponent “take the mick”.

Yes I’m referring to Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey

This week our tubby Treasurer followed up his 2014 “poor people don’t drive” clanger with the inspiring revelation that “somewhere today there is a child born who could live to 150”.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, not known for sharp and penetrating heckling, audaciously invoked the name of the Patron Saint of Saying stupid things, Sarah Palin, after Joe’s Sesquicentenarian scenario.

And what does the lady herself think of the Hockey gaff?

Listen to a call I made to a Sarah (queen of hockey jokes) Palin I Know.

PALIN 1

The Emasculation of Tony Abbott

alan-jones-640x360.jpg.pagespeed.ce.4ramXeDVhSBy Mike Welsh

The Prime Ministerial Medico has suggested PM Tony Abbott discontinues his early morning bike rides. Apparently  donning the lycra pre-dawn is downright dangerous according to Dr Graham Killer

Dr Killer, who is retiring after treating all PMs since Paul Keating, has taken a fatalistic approach and fears the Skipper of Team Australia will eventually come a nasty cropper. A real cropper from the bike as opposed to a knife in the back from  his own political pals as the polls slide even further.

Makes you wonder if Harold Holt’s quack nagged him about swimming in the surf.

Dr Killer told News Limited……

“Tony Abbott should ditch his early-morning cycling for a less risky exercise. It’s only a matter of time until Mr Abbott has some sort of bike related-accident.” 

The doctor has advised the PM to adopt the regular walking fitness regime followed and made fashionable by  John Howard.

Just what  Tony Abbott needs as he enters another year at the top…. eliminate  another of the few remaining  earthly pleasures he has.  The man is not a monk, well not anymore.

I’m beginning to feel some empathy for this man. He’s tried so darned hard to shake off the misogyny monika but Man hating Monicas and Melanis all over the land continue to blow the same tune Misogynistic tune.

What more does  this dedicated macho  man need to do. He went to all that trouble of actually marrying a girl. He endured  the messy business of producing  offspring (3x female). Tony Abbott has even agreed to have his “boys” converted to “detachable” for the duration. It’s just easier when you have to hand them over at the front office before getting down to running the business of running the country.  He has even  manned up and strapped on an apron and ironed his short stack of  shirts.  All he asks in return is to be able borrow his testicles for a bit of  Fire fighting (seasonal),  Budgie Smugglin’ (vital part of the package) and head kicking (has some else to do most of that these days).

The sad irony is poor old Tony has spent his first year as Prime Minister desperately trying to hide his body language. For most of 2014 the PM had  the awkward and shifty gait of someone who has just stolen a girls bike , peddling like buggery but getting nowhere because he can’t find the right gear and  furiously looking behind him to see if he’s about to be caught.

 

An Annus Horribilis by another name

By Mike Welshurine

I’m uncomfortable labelling a crap year as an “Annus Horribilis”. It has a pompous and dramatic ring to it which seems more at home in the house of Windsor.

My 2014 was more annoying than horrible.  But as mother was wont to say “mustn’t complain” so I am reflecting on the past 52 weeks  as a “Hairy Arse-Hat Year”.

My HAHY began late (Jan 26) when my subtle and repeatedly dropped hints for a 60th birthday gift of a pet monkey, which I could train to rip the faces off people who insisted “Sixty is the new Fifty”, failed to materialise. Did I mention the broken watch band, which required more money than I’d paid for the watch to replace and the paucity of watchband retailers in my village?

Don’t get me started on watchbands.

But as we used to say in Tasmania “It doesn’t rain it just pisses down”, and failure was seemingly piled upon failure for the first half of my HAHY, due to my freshly minted status as a card carrying traveller on the “employment pathway”.

Don’t get me started on Employment Pathways.

As I rake over the coals of 2014 I recall a vague, warm sensation of buoyancy, in the early months. Somebody had suggested we should postpone retirement and work through to our 70s, due to a desperate short supply of our “unique life skills”.

Be ironic if the anticipated shortage included the god given gifts of the highly sought after wordsmith whose job it is to knock out the “Unfortunately your application was not successful at this particular juncture. Your time and interest in the role, however, is greatly appreciated and we would like to assure you that full consideration was given to all applications received”  type letters.  But I’m too old to be ironic. Thankfully sarcasm has no such demographic.

grumpy old man # 1

It’d be refreshing to receive a brutal but balanced rejection letter.

Don’t get me started on rejection letters.

Dear Aged Person/Old Man/Senior Person/Has-Been

What in god’s name were you thinking by making an application for the above position? We would love to say we were impressed with your vast years of experience in this field but, it doesn’t count for a stack of goat droppings here in the real world, where   12 year olds are coming out of university at the rate of knots, all with nice shiny degrees, but with nothing to do. It’s much safer for you to be pointlessly roaming the streets than the future leaders of our great nation.  So you see, digger, you’re wasting your time and ours by thoughtlessly putting yourself forward for jobs you for which you’ve a green frog’s hope in hell of even getting an interview. Not wishing to put too finer point on it..you’re washed up, finished,  aint  gonna happen pop. Why don’t you retreat to the bottom of your garden where tales abound of people working into their seventies and, other fairytales about the world needing your rare and valuable gifts? But we wish you every success in the future you don’t have. You’re gonna need luck by the bucket full..(sorry ‘bout the bucket reference) but while we’re being candid …even your application letter smells of urine.

 mark zuckerberg #3

That pet monkey would have been handy later in my HAHY when, bitter and beaten down, I had a strong urge to rip the face off Facebook. Don’t get me started on Facebook. “I EAT DICK” was the ingenious zinger posted on my account by a hacker who, when caught will have 750 mils of snot slapped out of them.  Because the hacker changed my password and I could no  longer access the original email address, I was  forced into a frustrating and one sided battle of wits with FB for the return of the account which I’d had since 2007 when it wasn’t cool to be on FB. Anyone remember Myspace? As I head full steam into another year, with renewed anticipation and a brand spanking new watch band I have one problem already. Annus  Mirabilis (a wonderful year)  is the opposite of Annus  Horribilis (a horrible year) but what is the contradictory phrase for Hairy Arse Hat Year?