THE season of goodwill to all is slow to arrive in the capital if the selfishness of some Action bus passengers is any indication. 

Four males rudely pushed past women to get on first. With the bus full, the two three-person bench seats at the front – which have clear signs for younger passengers to give up seats for pregnant, disabled and elderly travellers – contained three millennials on one and a man and his large parcel on the other. 

A request from the female bus driver for someone to give up their seat for an elderly passenger was ignored.

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison fired the starter’s pistol on the election campaign with a ferocious Question Time spray at the member for the bellwether seat Eden Monaro. 

Morrison accused Dr Mike Kelly of cockiness: “I notice the hubris I’m hearing from the member for Eden-Monaro. He’s walking around his electorate. He thinks it’s all over bar the shouting”. 

ScoMo warned the former soldier: “You’re in for a very big fight, the Australian people do not want $200 billion of higher taxes in the mortgage belt of Queanbeyan or down the south coast”.

STILL in campaign mode and bellwether seats, straight-talking NSW Nationals’ leader John Barilaro has ripped into the Federal Liberal Party over damaging infighting. The member for Monaro told local radio: “The ‘Hill’ was sucking all the oxygen out of politics” which was denying NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and him the clear air they need to get their message out before March’s state poll. The Deputy Premier bemoaned, “politics is bad at the moment”.

ANYONE who knows the ‘Poeys – ACT Brumbies vice-captain David Pocock and his wife Emma – knows the pair does things differently. Although the committed Christian couple had a commitment ceremony in 2010, they pledged not to marry until Australia’s same-sex marriage laws changed. The activist pair has now officially tied the knot, announcing the news on Twitter.

David tweeted: “Married my best mate yesterday”, with pics of the pair in the bush under a gum tree with only a celebrant and an Esky. Emma tweeted: “I endorse this tweet”.

I WON’T be reading superstar Jackie Chan’s memoir “Never Grow Up” in which he describes himself as a nasty jerk, but some Canberrans may be interested. Before superstardom, Chan spent some of his adolescence in the capital. Jackie’s parents were employed at the US embassy, with the teenage Jackie joining them for a period in the mid-70s. Jackie also learnt English at mature-age student ESL classes at Dickson College.

Actor Samuel Johnson… edited letters for “Dear Santa”. Photo by Mike Welsh

A NEW book with strong Canberra connections is actor Samuel Johnson’s latest work. The Gold Logie-winning performer enlisted some of his famous friends and their friends to submit letters to Santa for “Dear Santa”Johnson edited the Christmas correspondence of Missy HigginsMolly MeldrumDeborah MailmanGrant Denyer and many more. The actor has helped raise more than $10 million for the charity Love Your Sister, which he established with his sister, Canberra mother-of-two Connie, who died in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Some proceeds from the book will go to cancer research.

JOHN Howard has raised an old bugbear with some Canberrans. With the release of the 1996-97 Cabinet files, the former PM says he has no regrets choosing to live in Kirribilli House in Sydney rather than on Adelaide Avenue. The Liberal Party elder statesman accepts many locals were offended by his choice of digs while in office.

LIVING in The Lodge does have its advantages though as the four Keating siblings will attest. With the passing of former US president George H W BushKatherine, Patrick, Caroline and Alexandra won’t forget January 1, 1992, and the thoughtfulness of the visiting Mr Bush and First Lady Barbara, who invited the Keating kids to join them on Air Force One on a flight from Sydney to Canberra.


By Mike Welsh

molly pic 2

This is a slightly irresponsible but hopefully edifying article about a seriously annoying and grossly dishonest media practice.

The deliberately misleading headline with the sole purpose of hooking the trusting user into diving deeper into an article with no  intention of delivering truthfully on the promise of the banner. They call it clickbait now but it’s not new.

Now if you’re a bit canny and slightly cynical, which is healthy, you will already have sussed that my eye catching headline is bogus or at the very least, slightly tricky.

But some of us are gullible. Myself included. Which is unhealthy.

Standing in a long queue at the checkout at Coles in the rural city of Wangaratta late last year my eye was caught by a shocking and disturbing headline on the cover of Woman’s Day..  Bert and Patti “WHY WE LIVE APART”.

Was the 40 odd year marriage of Australian Television’s “royal” couple really over?  Why wasn’t I told?  And why did I have to find out in such traumatic fashion? Sleazily splashed across the front cover of a grimy magazine. I felt dirty and I was hurt, upset and confused. I’d taken the bait. Again. The mag, which I returned to the rack without buying (sucked in Woman’s Day) revealed the reason Bert and Patti’s 40 odd year marriage is still very much intact is that they are forced to live apart due to Bert’s career. Bert was on the road for a lengthy national tour with the musical Rocky Horror Show while Pattie preferred to remain in the family home in Melbourne.   End of story.

But that is what Woman’s Day does. Bastards

Back in the day, when Rupert Murdoch was still in relatively short tabloid pants there was a newspaper called the Melbourne TRUTH.  My father bought it only for the racing section but paradoxically there was very little truth in TRUTH apart from the neddy’s chances at Moonee Valley.

Most people took with a grain of salt the TRUTH’S bi- weekly, salacious “TOORAK MATRON FOUND IN BED WITH GOAT” and “JUDGE PLEADS WITH CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRL TO WHIP HIM HARD” front page headlines.

Don’t get me wrong I love the spank of a good tabloid headline in the morning but there is a line between “HEADLESS BODY FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR” and “LEYTON HEWITT’S MARRIAGE IS ON THE ROCKS” which must not be crossed.

Back in the day I once took the bait and bought a copy of the TRUTH precisely for more detail on the “COLLINGWOOD STAR BASHES WIFE” banner screaming at me from outside a suburban newsagency. Wow, who could it be?  The “star”, it turned out, had played just a handful of serviceable games for the Pies in the dim dark past and had returned to his interstate home many years earlier.  There was a domestic altercation to which police were called and from which a court appearance resulted in long forgotten “star” player facing an accusation of Resisting Arrest. End of story.

But that was what the TRUTH did. Bastards.

These days I mostly loiter on social media and despite insight from a three decade multi- media career in my rear view mirror, last week it happened again.  Hook, Line and Rock Singer. The Triple M site and a few others ran with “THE TIME MOLLY MELDRUM BLEW UP AT MATTY JOHNS” banner.

Breakfast jock Johns had told the Ms audience how he and Mr Meldrum nearly “came to blows” a few years back.   Matty revealed details of the  time when the Guru “unloaded deluxe” on him over a stunt on Johns’ TV show which featured footage of Molly’s Melbourne home being “invaded” and his cherished possessions “rummaged” by a crew from the Johns’ program.  At the end of a withering and profanity peppered spray which included threats of legal action, pranked prankster, Moll Meldrum “floored” the footy legend with a big fat ….GOTT YA.  Brilliant radio spot but the bastards milked the story by omitting the inverted commas around the key phrase “blew up”.

Oh and BTW I also omitted to add two highly pertinent words to my eye catching headline about “Pulling Molly Off”

It was the early 80s and I was pulling a mid-dawn shift at Launceston’s 7EX Music ensuring a live broadcast from Josephine’s, a night club in the Launceston Hotel in the city, went to air. Ian “Molly” Meldrum was on the deck as guest mix master that night and sufficiently lubricated, was slipping into some of the same language he’d hurled down the phone line at Matty Johns.

Studio hotline rings and it’s the late and revered Allan McClelland, GM of the once great radio station ordering me to take the broadcast off.  Me: “But it’s Molly Mr Mac”….He: “I don’t care if it’s Millie, just pull him off the air”.

It’s Just a Cliche at the end of the day

By Mike Welsh


That totally annoying and allegedly versatile weaker sibling in the family of phrases used to convey a strong message of “suck it up princess” or “deal with it” is beginning to get on my goat. I don’t have a goat but more of that later.

Apparently It Is What It Is was the 2004 “Phrase of the year” (POTY) in the United States.

I flatly refuse to research the scores of meaningless “gems” short listed by the U.S POTY judging panel in the ensuing decade but I’ll wager most would be just as hollow and irritating as the phrase which got the gong in ’04 and which gets my goat in 2014.

I am, according to some dubious juries, a fair to middling word-smith. As at home with shortening the vowel to lengthening the consonant as I am flamboyantly flinging around the underused word redolent.  And on at least seven occasions I’ve seamlessly slipped serendipitous into a sophisticated sentence which didn’t end with a preposition.

And if by the remotest chance you think I’m an uncultured yob or even worse, a wanker, I do have some considerable credibility in that other genre of literature, pop song-writing.  In fact I was at the vanguard of mid 80s Country and Western/Feminist/Punk movement which swept the Mallee region of Victoria.

As leader singer/sole songwriter of the then, and still, anonymous five piece band,  “Nuns Fart”, my 1986  anthem “Every-time I Reach For Your Stretch Marks You Pull Away” ended up  on high rotation on Mildura radio station 1467 Happy Music 3MA and remained there for a record 16 weeks. And Countdown’s guru Molly Meldrum was quoted as saying “Nuns Fart are so far ahead of the game they run the risk of losing sight of what they were trying to say”. Ian was trying to be kind. But he made the effort, instead of labelling “Nuns Fart” as “they are what they are”.

Am I to understand the American POTY is something to be admired and exalted?

Or have I misunderstood the concept and it’s a piss take. Find the biggest wankiest, statement uttered by the biggest dickhead and make it the POTY. Irony.

Speaking of Irony, what if the 2015 U.S. POTY was “the Elephant in the room” meaning the theme of the title was something so wanky that trendy people simply used it, as trendies do, without question and balls to question what it meant?  Lest they be exposed as uncool.

That’d be a win win. Another wanky phrase I detest. There’s no escape. More IRONY.

People who insist on using IIWII will only have themselves to blame when our PM begins to use the phrase as freely as he flings that other meaningless word “robust” about.

While finding a concise definition of IIWII has proven as “hard as a Goat’s knee”, I did serendipitously stumble over this spec of gold.

A trite, overused and infuriatingly meaningless cliché that is utilized by provincials who think they are adding some deep, meaningful insight during a discussion when all they are offering is senseless, unwarranted repetitiveness to what would otherwise be a far better conversation had they not shown the shallowness of the gene pool they spawned from by using this asininely useless and redundant phrase to begin with.  Benny Kenny April 2009

At the end of the day IIWII is just a slovenly cliché, a very poor relation of the cliché family….a try hard.