Monday, February 25, 2008

Tripodi ICAC-ing himself?

Given the bad smell that's been hanging around our late unlamented housing minister for the last few years, it's been a longtime coming.

Housos with long memories will remember Joe as the Minister for Divesting Housos of BMW's.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hockey's Last Stand: A Buffoon Capers to Oblivion

All the Liberals have left to offer the Nation ...
The rump of the once mighty Liberal Party.

(Apologies to the relatively handsome and intelligent Billy Bunter)

And on what major issue of principle did Joey Hockey,
(egged on by young Abbott Minor)
choose to take his last stand?

He doesn't want to be made to work!
Eat your Workchoices, Ham Hocks!
And if Hockey refuses to work ?

What a pleasure it would be to see him breeched from Parliament
by the same cruel standards he imposed on low income Australians.

How sweet it'd be to see Hockey, schoolboy cap in hand, queuing up for Newstart!

Hocks demonstrating that even a cardboard Rudd has more brains

The pathetic fools! Now their true colours are there for everyone to see. Under the watch of these pitiful buffoons, the National housing crisis, now reaching tragic proportions was building. They knew it but they were too busy greasing their sectional interests with pork pies stolen from the national larder. No brains, no talent, no capacity for analysis, no vision, the only thing they knew to do was dogwhistle.
Skipping meals to pay rent
Sunanda Creagh and Phillip CooreyFebruary 22, 2008
RISING rents are forcing thousands of people to skip meals and admit they are too poor to send their children on school excursions, new figures reveal.
Housing experts warned yesterday that the home affordability crisis threatens to destabilise the economy and drive the country into recession.
And Labor says the Howard government knew more than two years ago that one-third of renters were suffering from rental stress but failed to acknowledge the problem.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Correction: Howard NOT a wallflower at Paddy's wake.

Major egg on face. DH so loved the story of John Howard being totally ignored at Paddy McGuinness' wake, that when she saw one of Paddy's drinking mates at the Unity, she couldn't resist barging in to hear the delicious story embellished again. Well, darn it! The story was not true! Apologies all around. Apparently the reality was that people were queuing up to talk to Howard, he was not particularly bailed up by local Labor Identity, and what's more he was buying drinks all round. What's more, the relayer of the tale, another local Labor Identity, was not even there, according to DH's informant.

Disappointing, but instructive for any budding journalist. DH's crowd all wanted to believe it so much!

DH was much disappointed. But greatly cheered up to check Sitemeter, and find someone had googled "Brendan Nelson is an imbecile", and was directed straight to this blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Remembering Paddy McGuiness

In memory of the Old Man Banksia of the Sydney Commentariat

DH finds herself missing Paddy's Black Watch from the picture window of Balmain's Unity Hall. She had long entertained a delicious Paddy McG fantasy in which she alone succeeded where others had failed. In this scenario, she sees herself, by means which are not entirely clear, in the midst of the charmed circle of Unity Hall quaffers. The brooding figure of Old Mr Darcy, ... err .. McGuinness, is amonst them, sulking into his ale, planning his next attack on idiot feminist harpies in control of Leichhardt Council. Suddenly, something DH says, some unique and piercing insight, (not specified in the fantasy) causes Rochester ... err... McGuinness to look up, and his moist and beady yet penetrating gaze, (which has not made contact with another pair of eyes since his split from the Alp of '78 (or thereabouts)) meets hers. Both are electrified! Taking each other's hands they fly... or rather, trundle, giving their advanced years and rather corpulent frames ... to the Garden... of the Circle Cafe, just down the road, coincidentally enough, unofficial Headquarters of the Allied Basketweavers and Latte-Quaffers Guild. There they chatter animatedly into the wee hours, trading reminiscences, he sharing a good half century of juicy political scuttlebutr, she writing it all down for that book she knows she has in her.

But here, dear reader, we must leave the pigeon pair.

For alas, it is too late, all too late!

DH did indeed make one attempt to turn this fantasy into a reality. In an Aha! moment, she knew she had the key to Paddy's heart with her own bee-in-a-bonnet issue, Leichhardt Council's Excellent Twinning-with-Palestine Adventure. Marching into the Unity Hall, she brazenly plonked herself, uninvited, at the table of the taken-aback denizens, and thrust her piece, The Mouse that Roared, Leichhardt Council Style, under PMcG's reluctant nose. But dashing her hopes of a short track to a lucrative career as a Quadrant gadfly, Paddy pointedly suggested she might prefer to send her masterpiece to the Village Voice, instead of (implicitly) bothering him. Nevertheless, DH's guess was correct: Paddy was sufficiently exercised to vouchsafe her a few pithy words on the abundant follies of Leichhardt Council, and its loony support for the pack of misfits and Anti-Semites that he averred to be the "Friends of Hebron" before subsiding moodily back into his paper and beer.

How to save face, as the seconds ticked by in increasingly awkward silence? Finally, putting her most insouciant voice on,

DH goes: "So I take it, I'm dismissed then?".

PMcG: Grunts assent. Subsides again into paper and ale.

No seriously, there was something about Paddy that DH admired greatly. He was true to his own irascible nature, he genuinely cared about the "real" battlers, even if he was not that competent at judging the difference. Paddy had in his own mind, in a prior encounter, decided that DH was a genuine battler, and she saw something unfailingly kindly in his eyes from that moment on. The last time she saw Paddy, it was a rainy day. He emerged from the Unity Hall arriving at the taxi rank a fraction ahead of DH lugging her shopping. When people are habitually socially avoidant, you have to read their eyes. What DH saw was an almost solicitous consideration. The warm memory stays with her, while some of his tirades against feminists and elite chatterers during his SMH just seem like foolishness from a long time ago.

As an active member of the Asperger and Autism disability community, DH is used to dealing with people with huge intellects and diminished social insight. Such people are invaluable members of society. It behoves society to read them correctly, and weigh their intellectual contribution separately from their lack of a nuanced understanding of social dynamics. DH is not making an unofficial diagnosis of Paddy McGuinness as an Asperger's Savant with a dose of an inherently "Oppositional Defiant" mindset, by any means. She hardly knew the man. But one of her crusades is to increase social harmony by taking a more accurate reading of where people's ideas and actions may originate.

When she walks past the Unity Hall, it is with loss and shock that she realises that he will never be there again, and the conversations she hoped she might yet have with him were not to be. (Tear drops into the keyboard).
One day later:
What on earth was DH thinking yesterday? PMcG was mostly a mischievous trouble-maker and rallying point for resentful misfits like himself. Sentimental outburst well and truly over.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Brendan Nelson's Sorry Housing Paradox:

Breathtaking Hypocrisy!

This is Rear-Admiral Brendan Nelson's breathtaking response to the Prime Minister's white paper to tackle the scandal of homelessness which affects about 100,000 Aussies every night:

According to the SMH

The white paper received the immediate backing of the Opposition. "It is one of the paradoxes of Australian society that our country is going so well whilst many families are struggling in day-to-day life, that we still have far too many people that are homeless," said the Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson.

"The health and integrity of human life, the extent to which we are able to look after people on the margins of our society - in the end they are critical measures of Australia."

Source:Sydney Morning Herald, January 28, 2008
(emphasis DH's)
A Paradox?
In the words of DH's satirical inspirations, Gilbert and Sullivan

A paradox, a paradox
A most ingenious paradox!
We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,
But none to beat this paradox!

It's no mysterious paradox, Brendan.

It's 10 years of policy neglect of housing by a mendacious Howard Government whose chief interest was to impose its hateful ideological preoccupations on a gullible public.

As for the second sentence in this miserable revision of a history of abuse directed by your government at all the marginal members of society, it is simply disgusting cant.

As an educated medico with a left wing background, you couldn't have claimed the excuse of ignorance, so you are doubly implicated by your complicity with the pack of knaves that the Australian people finally dispatched.

You should be ashamed of yourself!

We know it's hard to say "sorry".
So start practising with an apology for something that you are unequivocally responsible for:
the housing misery of the non-homeowners of this country.

Pulling the Woolworths over our eyes

It's no secret that housos in Balmain are slaves of Woolworths, either as casual workers or shoppers. Without cars to transport our shopping we're a captive market to a store which, according to locals, capitalises on its relative isolation by charging outrageous prices. While DH doesn't know if this is true or not, as she doesnt have the car to zip around Sydney's malls to compare prices, even if it isn't, the place is a thorn in everyone's side. And that's simply for being an eyesore, a blot on a historic landscape by a company that makes huge profits from the local area, and feels no obligation to fit in. This is not helped by Leichhardt Council's pitiful attempt at civic landscaping in the forecourt (Photo following and see below).

Now DH swears that she has never in her life listened to Alan Jones until this week, preferring Auntie for her breakfast shot of political spleen. But maybe she should listen more often.

Woolworths: Unfair Trade Practises and Irresponsible Alcohol Service

Jones has been doing a very worthwhile number on Woolworths: yesterday exposing its pricecutting/ transfer pricing tricks to squeeze out local businesses, and today, revealed that in Moree, while the local pubs conform to a code of responsible alcohol service in an attempt to reduce the devastation of alcoholism, particularly amongst the Aboriginals in the area, Woolworths refuses to come to the party. No excuses given with profit the obvious motive. Woolworths begins selling alcohol at 7am in the morning to the local desperates.

And what's more astonishing, Woolworths owns nearly 300 pubs in Australia, and its gaming profits last year were $1 billion! Better check the figure folks, it seems astounding,

While DH is not yet about to embrace Alan Jones, and suspects he's either in the pay of Coles or the Hotel Industry Lobby, she reckons she's going to do her best to do her shopping elsewhere. DH actually recalls the golden 70's in Balmain, where she lived for 5 years and did all her shopping, along with the rest of the suburb, at the local greengrocers. She only set foot in Woolworths once or twice in that whole time. No one she knew would have been caught dead in it! How times change, and especially when you're poor. No avoiding a mutual pernicious relationship with the chainstores.

Leichhardt Council should focus on infrastructure not fringe groups

Talking about the tragic appearance of the Woolworths Forecourt, the Village Voice recently compared Marrickville, Leichhardt and Canada Bay Councils' attitude to getting involved in global issues. The last time DH was in Concord, she was envious and knocked out by what a great buzz the new Concord Village had acquired in the years since she was last there. Why can't we have that in Balmain, whose grubby, spotty pavements, general air of disrepair, and neglect are getting truly depressing.

DH couldn't help drawing the conclusion that there was an inverse relationship between the cleanliness of a municipalities pavements and the degree of Councils involvement in global politics.

DH has no objection to Leichhardt involving itself in a truly popular political cause that is clearly supported by the overwhelming majority of the community. But the council has thrown way too much time, and therefore money, away, at the behest of the "Friends of Hebron", a fringe group that is not even located in the area, time that would have been better spent on organising a cleanup of the streets. And let's not even mention the worst of the lot for pavements and political meddling, Marrickville.