The New Australian

Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The New Australian - Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

This racist booing must cease

There’s been so much talk about the booing over the past few days, and far too much of it’s coming from middle-aged white men who are keen to take up the role of apologist for white Australia’s racism. These commentators have joined the chorus of boo-ers, amplifying the hatred through victim-blaming.

 

They reckon the player deserves being booed because of such non-racially-motivated reasons as “people don’t like him as a person” (okay…) or his “bad behaviour” – like calling out racism. (Well I for one can’t think of any worse behaviour that’s ever been exhibited by a footballer, can you?)

 

Of course, this saga is entirely racially motivated. To pretend otherwise is to deny that racism against Australians exists; it’s to deny the wounds of our racist history and how the scars continue to fester into the present. This culture of denial and disrespect is today’s white Australian racism distilled – and on The Weekly last night, Charlie Pickering totally nailed the hypocritical racism of apologists who are using their considerable platforms to double down on this denial and this disrespect.

 

A flaccid Johnson

Richmond, BrisBogan

A guest entry today to The Richmond Game competition from BrisBen in BrisBogan;

 

Sometimes couples can seem so ill-matched can’t they?

 

Take this pair, for example; he’s a follicly-challenged fifty-something Queen’slander with an excess of nasal hair (proving it isn’t a lack of hair that’s the problem, more one of faulty distribution). She’s a pretty twenty-something from the suburbs of Manila. What on earth do they have in common, what is she getting from this transaction relationship?

 

Oh look, he’s bought her a nice bottle of Moët Non Vintage…… ah, I see.

 

62 points.

The most important issues in Australia today

Australia truly is the lucky country.

Despite having a population of only 23 million (or two Londons) we are blessed with 16 parliaments. That’s one for every five citizens capable of reciting the four rules of apostrophes and correctly-employing homophones.

As we’ve whined about on many occasions, this surfeit of legislative bodies needs to find work to do in order to justify the generous expense accounts and overseas “fact-finding” holidays during the extensive months of the year when they are not sitting. This results in some unusual subjects receiving significant discussion time. Subjects which wouldn’t necessary be prioritised in countries less fortunate than ourselves in the number of parliaments which they enjoy the benefit of.

In addition, those 16 parliaments have a combined total of 799 MPs and Senators turning up every working day to write more laws for our benefit. With the best will in the world, even the kindest observer must admit that the sheer volume of representatives results in the quality quotient being stretched quite thin. Put simply, these people are not the sharpest tools in the shed.

A cracking example of both components of this phenomena can be read in the transcript of an interview here.

It’s our old friend and Twitter adversary, Andrew Leigh (another look at him on this organ is here). He’s one of the more shameless self-promoters, knocking out a book with a catchy title every 6 months ultimately doomed to fill the heavily-discounted special offers section of the ABC Book Shops.

Andrew’s agent obviously contacted the Sky News team and offered his services as a professional talking head and, once on, he used this fantastic platform to communicate his current view on the three most important problems facing Australia today. In case you didn’t know, these three priorities are;

  1. Marriage equality
  2. Refugee policy
  3. Taxing Carbon Emissions trading scheme

By the way, if you don’t like his views on these subjects, don’t panic as he’s got plenty of other ones he can offer on the same subjects. Also, due to the time limit of the interview he failed to mention the fourth most important issue facing Australia, namely the infant mortality rate in the Northern Territory Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginals.

Here at The New Australian, there is probably only one thing we despise more than statist/collectivist economic illiteracy, and that’s statist/collectivist hypocrisy and chutzpah.

This is where Andrew shows his true political sliminess. Let’s have a look at some very recent history of those top three problems which need to be solved;

  1. Marriage equality. Forgetting that the entire subject is a depressing exercise in asking permission from the state for a matter which should be deeply personal, Andrew was a member of a government which was in power only two years ago. I somehow missed the bill which he put forward to legalise same sex marriage during that term.
  2. Refugee policy. More accurately; turning boats around and sending them back to the safe third party country from which they’d just left. After presiding over a change in policy which signalled an opportunity which thousands of people chose to take up by making dangerous ocean crossings and resulted in at least a thousand drownings, Andrew has now adopted the current government’s policy (with some new flaws, more on this at a later date) yet still feels able to take the moral high ground.
  3. Emmissions trading scheme. The carbon tax lost his party an election so he’s proposing to bring in a carbon tax and pretend as if it’s some pure free market solution. Genius.

As mentioned on this organ before, it’s hard to imagine what alternative career could be viable for someone with such a limited grasp on how the real world works, such a lack of personal morality and the bare-faced cheek to switch positions by 180 degrees and still claim righteousness.

F. Scott Fitzgerald suggested that “an artist is someone who can hold two opposing viewpoints and still remain fully functional”. Dr. Andrew Leigh is certainly an artist.

You’re all individuals

…. I’m not.

 

Another day, another Diversity and Inclusion lecture at the corporate head office.

 

Mother TNA didn’t bring up any stupid kids and this one knows far better than to question the great mantra of “D&I” in an open forum, no matter how much utter bollocks it obviously is.

 

I know, I know, it’s the wrong thing to say, not a welcome message an’ all that but hear me out…..

 

The idea of a workforce reflecting the community it operates in doesn’t seem too bad, I suppose. I can see a few notable exceptions; the prison warders in the Maze Prison, for example, but generally it doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. As with all soppy left-wing ideas, the problems come at the pointy end of delivery.

 

The client’s leadership team have decided that the organisation must strive to achieve a diverse and inclusive workforce where our differences are perceived to be irrelevant. As with all activities in life, if you don’t measure it, you can’t achieve it (or at least know whether you have made a difference or not).

 

So we’ve been handed some metrics to measure, namely; the percentages of female and indigenous workers within the organisation. We all now have to track these numbers and demonstrate our commitment to improving these.

 

Here’s two questions which remained unasked and therefore unanswered;

 

If we are going to improve those percentages, what is the target?

For example, if we were going to aim to reflect the percentage of indigenous people in the community in which we work, what would that number be? Overall in Australia, it’s sitting at about 2% of the population or only 200 individuals in an organisation of 10,000 employees. However, if we operate mainly in metropolitan areas that percentage might be lower. Which one are we going after?

 

Surely, by defining only two measures of diversity, we’re excluding (nay, discriminating against) all the other ways we could slice the demographic?

For example, in the room during the lecture there was a tranny who I assume was thinking about the letters MGB GT LGBTQI (no, I don’t know what they all stand for so don’t ask). Similarly, what about people with disabilities? What about race, religion, country of origin? Aren’t these all characteristics against which people might experience discrimination?

Tracking just two metrics seems to be disregarding the other, fairly significant, categories we could consider as being features of ”diversity”.

 

As we’ve seen before, possession of a vagina doesn’t automatically result in business acumen. Obviously, I’m not suggesting the two are mutually-exclusive either but a broad statement suggesting a target of a 50% female workforce is something we aspire to is facile if not downright irresponsible; if it isn’t the case that 100% of women leaving the workforce at the point they start a family actually plan to return to work, we’ve just set ourselves an unrealistic goal. Similarly, certain fields of employment and expertise attract fewer female graduates or apprentices; are we trying to solve a problem of supply by gerrymandering the demand? Ask Venezuelan shopkeepers how that works out.

 

The consequences of the unrealistic goal are many and not entirely obvious, it would seem. Here’s a for instance; about half of my recent billable hours since working in Australia have been while I was filling a “permanent” (like there actually is such a thing!) position as an interim resource. i.e. I was hired to undertake the reasonably niche line of work I regularly perform but, once that was finished, I’ve slipped into a role that’s adjacent to my core work while the client finds a suitable long term replacement. Why? Because they were trying to find a female for the role.

 

Now, at the risk of boasting to strangers on the internet (which we usually reserve for post 7pm Brisbogan time on this organ), I’m a damn expensive resource to be used to fill these roles. An unintended consequence of the push towards diversity; some poor bastard who needed a job and committed no crime other than owning a pair of testicles wasn’t hired and the shareholders have suffered increased costs eroding their returns.

 

Obviously, to positively-discriminate towards our two chosen groups of the demographic also, by inference, results in negative discrimination against everyone else. Especially white middle-aged males.

 

What if the largest talent pool and most-competent candidates are white middle-aged males? Is it a smart business move to cut off your supply of this group?

I am, perversely, a beneficiary of this lunacy despite the shade of my epidermis and the chronology of my existence…. Simply because of the legal employment mechasim under which I choose to work. However, this doesn’t prevent me from wanting to call bullshit to the corporate lectures on the subject.

 

My view is that, for a publicly-listed company, unless the major shareholders have voted at the AGM to give permission to do otherwise, recruitment should be on a merit-basis only. The world’s smallest minority is the individual, after all.

What’s your secret?

The title of this post was going to be simply one word; Fewer. This was because the version of the NAB advert currently being shown on Channel 9 between every fucking over of the Ashes (how did we do last night, by the way, I’ve not seen any news this morning?) has a tagline at the end which states, “less missed business opportunities“.

The YouTube version doesn’t have this grammatical incompetence but it does show the full-length idiocy of the advert for business lending.

It’s a great business you’ve got here”, states the Australian woman who’s gone on holiday with a bunch of printouts of Excel spreadsheets to read over lunch, “what’s your secret?”, she enquires.

 

The restaurateur then graciously spins her some bullshit line about ships in harbours from which we’re meant to extrapolate that the time for taking a risk is upon us and where better to look for support in this venture than the good offices of National Australia Bank.

I can’t help thinking that the advert would have been a lot more realistic and entertaining if, instead of a rotund Italian, the owner of the restaurant was Larry David;

 

Australian woman unable to enjoy the view due to indecision on a potential business opportunity; “It’s a great business you’ve got here, what’s your secret?

 

Larry David; “Well, ya know I looked around and I thought to myself, ‘this place Positano, it’s got a lotta things going for it, great views, beautiful weather, fantastic history, but what’s the one thing it doesn’t have? That’s right; a kebab shop’. Think about it, you can’t walk ten metres without falling into a rustic Italian restaurant with a 180 degree view out to the clear azure Mediterranean Sea, but can you find a dirty doner kebab with tabouleh and humous when you most need it after a skinful of beer? Can you fuck as like”.

 

Australian woman; <stunned silence>

 

Larry David; “Seriously lady, what the fuck do you think the secret is to the success of an Italian restaurant with stunning sea views from the Amalfi and a regular stream of tourist boats and buses?”

 

Australian woman; “Erm, is it the view?”

 

Larry David; “No, it’s the fucking free Wi-Fi; of course it’s the fucking view. Not that either of you two seem to have bloody noticed it since you’ve arrived; you’ve been sitting there for the last half an hour looking at an architect’s plans to build a shitty concrete and glass monstrosity of a house which you’ll no doubt paint in that crappy off-brown that you philistines seem to think is soooo modern rather than looking at the damn view. Meanwhile, you both seem to have kidded yourselves that you’re the Australian version of Steve Jobs just because you’re landlords.”

 

Australian Entrepreneur; “Oh, so it’s the view then”.

 

Larry David; “Gold star to Einstein. Now what the fuck do you want to eat? I need this table cleared in 45 minutes’ time for the second sitting”.

He’s the victim here

File under; Australia, Frontier Nation.

One legged twat

This unfortunate accident is entirely the fault of the local council and Hang Gliding Australia Hang Gliding Federation of Australia. Clearly there is no personal responsibility or blame for this accident that can be laid at the stump of Mathew McHugh; he’s entirely blameless in his decision to jump off a cliff with nothing but a flimsy nylon parachute, third party insurance, very little experience and about 30 kilograms of excess weight (McHugh? McHuge, would surely be a more accurate surname).

 

This is the Australian dream writ large; make a poor decision and be bailed out on the public purse. He’s already claiming statutory disability allowance but now he’s going for the big payout to cover his costs for wooden legs and to compensate him for the fact that he will never be able to work again (obviously being a radio presenter is a bipedal-only profession in Australia because, erm…..).

 

Perhaps he could audition for the role of Tarzan?

1978 called; they need a Pitman-qualified temp

The names and locations have been changed to protect the incompetent innocent but the broad summary that follows is correct.

 

Let’s say, for the sake of literary colour, I consult to a large media organisation based in Australia and New Zealand. Let’s call them, TrueFacts News.

 

The other week, the CFO of TrueFacts News suggested, over a Fairtrade soy decaff chai, that I pop over to the New Zealand offices and have a look at their business as they seem to be losing money faster than Eddie Obeid’s “no win, no fee” legal team.

 

Arriving in the wintery conditions of the Canterbury plains last week it felt like returning back to England in the winter; the countryside, the climate, the clothing choices appropriate to the weather, the beer,


even the architecture;

Although I must to confess to having missed the history lesson at school where Henry the Eighth’s fleet visited the South Island.

 

So, tell me about your sales and order fulfilment processes”, was my opening gambit with the head honcho, whilst sitting across his oak desk (replete with a 3 inch thick surface) in his corner office as his secretary took notes in shorthand (to be typed up).

 

An hour later and we’d both realised that there was a massive hole in the way cost overruns were confirmed back with the client and then accurately invoiced and accepted. Not to worry, we’ve only been living with this revenue leakage issue for the best part of a decade.

 

But our clients are very satisfied with our services”, offered the Raja of Kuch Nahi, weakly. Fancy that.

 

Ok, how about our procurement and invoice payment processes, then?”, I asked over a mug of hot tea and a bun, kindly delivered by Doris, the septuagenarian tea lady.

 

Another depressing hour later and we both came to the conclusion that the delegation of authority rules were being bypassed, segregation of duties were a joke and cost overruns from suppliers were being handed straight to us without any kind of checking or challenge prior to paying the invoice…. Multiple times per invoice, often.

 

At this point a siren went off and the entire building went off for the lunch break. I remained in my chair, sobbing gently.

 

The day continued along the same theme; every rock I lifted exposed more poor practice, risk to margin, lack of controls and opportunity for fraud. They saved the best for last, though.

 

Towards the end of the visit, I was shown around the campus and, with a flourish, the Raja of Kuch Nahi opened the door to a windowless office with dozens of middle-aged women sitting in front of computers (Phew, they have computers) with piles of paper in trays either side of them. Rather proudly, my host explained that he’d centralised the keying of all of the carbon paper dockets his operations team produce and these ladies were entering the information into a Lotus Notes database for reporting purposes.

 

We’d located the typing pool.

9to5

Everything you need to know about Australian “sportsmanship”

……is epitomised by Channel 9.

 

No, this isn’t a predictable three test matches premature, hubristic gloat but a genuine complaint about the poor sportsmanship of Australians. Or one TV channel in particular, at least.

 

The first test match from NoGoodBoyoLand started at 8pm last Wednesday evening. It only lasted for four days (ok, that was a bit gloaty). On Thursday, Channel 9 commenced coverage at 7.30pm on their spare digital channel, Gem (oh, the irony of the name), with 30 minutes of highlights from the previous day’s play, mainly because most viewers in Australia would have gone to bed sometime between the lunch and tea breaks. A useful service for those of us with jobs which demand some level of concentration during working hours.

 

Except…. and you know where I’m going with this…. England had bowled Australia out before stumps on Saturday so Sunday’s coverage was cancelled. Obviously there was no live play to be shown on Sunday evening but that doesn’t mean that nobody was interested to see the previous day’s highlights!

Gem

Instead, we got a repeat of Kalgoorlie Cops which, to be fair, had a significant selection of footage of Australians getting smashed while working away from home so wasn’t too dissimilar to the last day at the SWALEC oval, but didn’t provide any enlightenment into how the remaining five wickets were taken. By the way, gutted that I missed Ice Station Zebra, it’s a cracking film and Rock Hudson is so butch in it….

 

The irritating thing, of course, is that this is one of those, “Trick me one time, shame on you. Trick me two times, shame on me.” situations. Because I’ve been here before…..

 

Fine. That’s how it’s going to be, eh? I’ll set the recorder to grab every moment of live play as a contingency measure against Channel 9’s future dummy spits.

Grexit over my dead body

Well, someone’s anyway.

A throwaway comment in this post was picked up on by an email correspondent, Russell. Curious Russell wanted to know why I was so certain that all the talk of Greece leaving the Euro was hot air and that they wouldn’t be allowed to leave?

The reason I am so certain is actually for a collection of reasons which I’ll list shortly. First, let’s list all of the reasons Greece should leave the Euro;

  1. It’s not in the interest of the Greek people to be locked into a monetary union with countries whom they have nothing in common with other than sharing the same continental land mass.
  2. All other reasons are not important.

Now let’s have a crack at listing the reasons why Greece will not be allowed to leave the Euro;

  1. The Euro is the method the Communistic and mainly unelected officials in Europe have have selected as the catalyst to move inexorably towards a United States of Europe with full political and fiscal Union. For this reason alone, any price is worth (the German taxpayers) paying to keep the Euro countries locked in.
  2. The is no legal mechanism to eject a country from the Euro or for a country to leave the Euro. That’s not to say neither option is possible but it is highly unpalatable to all parties as the intent would have to be signalled to the markets beforehand, making the new Drachma practically worthless before it’s even announced.
  3. If Greece were to leave the Euro and the sky didn’t fall in, Italian, Spanish, Portugese and Irish voters would ask some very tough questions.
  4. The Greek officials, although always precarious in their tenure, would be voted out at the next election if they oversaw the exit. It matters not what the best outcome is for the long term economic health of the country, these are politician’s careers and a short window of opportunity to embezzle money and power and leverage influence; no politician is going to volunteer to lose their job.
  5. This is The Road To Serfdom, 21st Century style. We’ve had the central planning due to a crisis, we’ve extended the central planning to recover from the crisis, now we’re waiting for a strong leader.

Sadly, that last point is the indicator of how this ends; my view is that Greece will eventually exit the Euro, in fact the Euro will cease to exist completely in the future. The problem is, I suspect there will be shots fired across national borders in Europe first.

If that sounds  like a dramatic exaggeration, feel free to explain in the comments of this post how you foresee a situation being reversed where half of all the youth of a country are unemployed but the exports and labour of the country are priced in the same currency of one of the world’s most productive nations by GDP per capita?

Where there’s chaos there’s margin, though; Greek stocks are starting to look very good value. If you’re certain that the next bail out is a “when” question rather than an “if”, why wouldn’t you?

Steve Clisby

This is another in the category which doesn’t have a name but would probably be called “Australian ex pat celebrities who’ve reinvented themselves”. Or the “Marcia Hines Collective” for short.

Today, we’re looking at Steve Clisby.

Steve is an African-American singer who has lived in Australia since 1999. He has 13 albums to his name, which is more than the combined efforts of Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and Jim Morrison, so he must be good.

If like me, you watch very little mainstream Australian TV, Steve is one of those celebrities you will vaguely recognise but not recall why. 

After seeing yet another advert for the chap’s latest album, my interest was piqued and I did the obligatory search on the Internet. It’s immediately apparent that Steve is the male version of Marcia Hines; pitched as some direct link back to the rich seam of African American musical heritage with his own backstory history of hanging out with the A list; see if you can find an interview where he doesn’t mention that he “jammed once with Hendrix“.

But, in fact, he’s been in a self-imposed European or Australian exile for the majority of his adult career. 

This is not some undiscovered Muddy Waters painting the walls of the Chess studios when the Rolling Stones walk in, this is a jobbing session musician journeyman who won a TV talent show in a country with nary any home grown musical talent to boast. He might not be the best but he’s the best option in StabYerDadAlaide ™ on a rainy Tuesday night.

He’s probably a very talented musician but, as with Marcia Hines, he’s not the original secret source but simply an anodyne, nearly domestic facsimile. He’s as Motown as you or I, the only difference is his accent and skin tone.

Let’s not be cruel to Steve; he’s doing his thing as best he can and I’m sure he’s a talented musician (I’ve actually not heard a single note of his). No, the point we’re trying to make here is that he’s a great proxy for the dire state of the domestic music scene in Australia. The best on offer are often failed imports from countries perceived as cooler and more likely to produce quality artists. 

We’re back to the “top of your game” argument again, aren’t we? If he were any good would he really be living in Woolongong?

Top of his game, by Christ

We’ve seen before how one’s location is an excellent indicator of where one sits in the pecking order of excellence in a profession. In many walks of life, if you aren’t living in New York or London you are probably in the B or C league of whatever it is you do.

 

There are some notable exceptions to this generalistion about the Big Smoke and Apple. Green Party politicians, for example; if you’re at the top of your game, you should be living in Australia where, in a remarkable example of why democracy often provides disappointing results, they win parliamentary seats and get paid good money for talking the usual Malthusian bollocks.

 

Whilst idly browsing the TV channels available to me in my hotel room in India last week, I discovered another example of where the location and career combination which indicates  “top of the game” isn’t a big US or European city.

 

Perhaps it’s just me but I find TV evangelists fascinating. They often hold my attention for far longer than I care to admit when I happen across them on the idiot box. Generally, I don’t change the channel until I’m satisfied that they’ve committed a confirmed logical fallacy or spouted something clearly ridiculously-easy to disprove by simply uttering the question, “erm, what about the dinosaurs?”. So, I hang around for about 172 seconds, on average.

 

This chap caught my attention last week, initially because I realised he had an Australian accent. Granted, it was a soft Australian accent, but the inclined diphthongs were there, nonetheless.

 

Russell Evans is an evangelical preacher who is making a bloody good living selling God…. to people in StabYerDadAlaide ™ ….. Fridges to Eskimos an’ all that.

 

He’s bloody good at it too; in the nearly 3 minutes which I dedicated to hearing his message I was completely taken in by his schtick that he was previously living a wayward and drifting life and that this was all turned around by the revelation that the big Sky Daddy loves him. It’s a common theme of all good TV evangelists; you can’t show improvement if your previous life was dull and sinless. A good heroin addiction and a list of sexual conquests that would put Led Zeppelin’s tour diary to shame are useful histories to wave around when trying to demonstrate a success story for the Holy Trinity.

 

Of course, cursory research on his own his own website disproves this completely. The bloke was born into a missionary family, became a preacher at the onset of puberty and inherited the family business when the Pater Familia retired. If he had any time going off the rails it probably involved no more than two shandys and impure thoughts about the middle-aged barmaid who served them to him.

 

But, God bless him, he’s still selling religion to a country town city where everyone you meet is either a lay preacher or a serial killer. Or both. That’s got to be a hard gig by anyone’s measure.

 

So good luck to him. Few of us ever know what true success looks and feels like but Russell Evans is churning out quality God bollocks and making a damn good living from it, by the looks of it.

 

Hallelujah!

Busier than an Obied with a shredding machine

Another poorly-timed project plan sees me spending the week in my one of my favourite countries but at the least pleasant time of year.

As the title suggests, the client is getting their value out of me this trip, hence the taciturnity on this organ.

This week, we could have a chat about terrorism, or perhaps the ridiculous charade that is going on in Europe (as if Greece is ever going to be allowed to exit the Euro, how funny!) but instead, let’s discuss shaving.

Calm down, this website hasn’t suddenly turned into one where you need to visit with the privacy settings set to “embarrassed”. I’m talking about the gentleman’s equivalent of a lady’s manicure.

If you’re reading this with “out-ies” not “in-ies” between your legs and you’ve never experienced an open razor shave at a barber’s you need to seek the experience out.

It can be sampled in most large western cities as a bit of a novelty but this comes with a few downsides;

  1. Unless you’re a fey, tattooed, penny farthing-riding throwback, it won’t be local to you.
  2. You’ll have to sit next to a fey, tattooed, penny farthing-riding throwback, sporting a Crimean War-era beard while a barber irons a precision parting into his short back and sides.
  3. Forty fucking dollars.

However, if you happen to be visiting one of a handful of countries where it’s still a commodity service rather than an overpriced, heavily marketed pre-nuptial ritual, you can bypass all the cockwomblery and faux old time nostalgia with the added bonus of not having to visit Surry Fucking Hills.

From experience, Turkey is such a place, as are several of the Middle Eastern countries without oil. India though, has it as an option on most busy streets.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t for the crowd who eat all their meals in the Four Seasons Hotel and order from the Western Cuisine pages. It’s worthwhile if you’re prepared to temporarily suspend some ascetic sensibilities, however.

There won’t be a big pile of brilliant white towels sitting atop a varnished antique desk and the mirror is likely to be cracked but the general procedure will be the same as the Surry Hills hipsters.

Firstly, of course they will use a new blade. You should see the barber take it from the packet and fit it to the razor. Then, you’ll probably have your face sprayed with water and experience a quick facial massage to soften up the pores.

Next, shaving cream is applied. This can be quite enjoyable; they often use a menthol shaving cream and really work it into the face with a shaving brush. Quite invigorating. Another quick fine spray and we’re ready to start the serious stuff.

Many of us blokes never really get a very good lesson of how to shave properly, we develop personal patterns, not knowing if that’s the best way to do it or not. Watching a professional barber at work will give you some tips on how to correct your technique. Always shave with the “grain”, i.e. downward strokes, stretch the skin slightly for the angles and tight spots, don’t repeat the stroke on the same area but come back to it on a second full face shave.

Wielded expertly, an open razor shave gets far closer than any modern safety razor, despite the multi-blade, three-way swivel head innovations of Gillette and their competitors’ arms race. It might be a function of my delicate and fine features and lack of testosterone but I find I rarely need to shave the following day if I’ve had a shave at the barbers. Of course, if it’s as cheap as chips I end up having one anyway, just because I can.

The added bonus of having a shave at an Indian barbers is there is often a head massage chucked in at the end for good measure. It’s difficult to articulate in words quite how good a head massage can be, so I won’t. Just try it for yourself.

Of course, this being India, the biggest pleasant surprise of all is the bill. I’ve had four barber’s shaves this week and I’ve not paid more than a dollar for any of them.

Normal service will be resumed on this organ after the weekend. Come back next week for a heavily-couched (in an attempt to maintain some level of anonymity) rant at the expense of a bunch of Kiwis who seem more than happy to remain working in the 1970s. As previously mentioned, I will be propping up the bar at Volstead in Christchurch on Wednesday evening if any locals fancy wandering over for a chat. Just use the catchphrase, “our postilion has been struck by lightning” to identify yourself as that rare breed of Kiwi; friendly and well-read.

 

Cognitive dissonance

It’s an unusual day when I find myself agreeing with much of a Guardian article, but like the proverbial stopped clock, it’s bound to happen that they are correct occasionally.

I had to check the date to be certain we weren’t at the start of April when I read that Tony Abbott used a speech at an event to celebrate 800 years of Magna Carta to try to persuade us that we need new laws to banish people from the country and strip them of their citizenship….. and, most importantly, that power needs to sit with one individual rather than the law courts.

Let’s pause for a moment and have a minute’s silence for the death of irony.

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.

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Right. The gobsmacking thing is, of the few remaining clauses in the original 1215 document (it was updated later in an attempt to secure the monarchy after King John’s death and that document has more familiar concepts), Abbott’s anti-terrorism proposals touch on two of them; not giving power to an individual to be used arbitrarily and not banishing someone based on secret evidence.

Tony Abbott will know this already as his outstanding academic career will have covered Magna Carta and Common Law in some detail.

So we can only draw our conclusion about why he continues to push these proposals from a limited set of possible reasons;

1. He’s forgotten the content and history of the 800 year old cornerstone of the Anglosphere’s legal framework, or

2. He’s too thick to spot the problem, or

3. He believes were all too thick and lazy to be concerned, or

4. He’s had a big knock to the head recently and has suffered a significant reduction in cognitive ability whilst still maintaining the illusion of intelligence to colleagues.

I’m going with (3).

We’ve pointed out many times on this organ that there is no tangible difference between the mainstream political parties in this country; all are in favour of expanding governmental power and the protection of their version of stakeholder/sponsor privilege. Write this up as yet a further example.
By the way, if any of our readership fancies a beer at Volstead in Christchurch on July 8th, let me know.

Je suis Oncle Vernon

It turns out I am a character in Harry Potter (h/t AussiePride).

 

Vernon was apt to despise even people who wore brown shoes with black suits” writes Rowling.

 

Quite what Uncle Vernon would make of this clown is anyone’s guess;

 

   

For those of you living such empty existences that the almost daily appearance of utter bollocks on this organ is the only moment of brightness in an otherwise permanently moonless night, I must apoligise for the drop off of frequency of updates in recent weeks. This is not for the want of material, quite the opposite, just switch on the Australian media and wonder at the incongruity of a Prime Minister giving a speech under the title “Magna Carta” about the need to give a minister the power to revoke citizenship without recourse.

 

No, I’m a bit bloody busy at the moment in a financially-rewarding way. Next week should see a slight let off of pressure so stay tuned. At the very least I will be able to post pictures of the various items of Indian street food I will be sampling in Pune followed by a detailed description of the quality of tilework in my hotel bathroom.

Never mind that they’ve got no bollocks

We are a big fan of politically-correct lip service regardless of the impact to shareholder value diversity here at The New Australian as witnessed by our previous writings on the subject.

 

It should come as no surprise then, to learn that a VIP invite arrived in the in-box this morning to this event.

Wimmen

 

And, as if we needed further encouragement to attend an event of such monumental importance, they’ve lined-up none other than Johnny Rotten as guest speaker;

Johnny Rotten

 

Hopefully he’ll take questions from the audience. A few I will be asking include;

 

  1. If you’re so committed to diversity, why did The Sex Pistols and PiL have solely male line-ups?
  2. Why have you re-formed PiL without Jah Wobble, the greatest bass player Bethnal Green ever produced?
  3. How did quota systems work out for, say, South African sports teams?

She blinded me with science!

There’s a bit of heat on the Sydney Morning Herald Property Advertiser’s preferred political party at the moment, what with the Royal Commission into unions asking awkward questions of the Leader of the Opposition about why he’d accept a payment to the union in return for ripping off the workers……

 

So, the fish and chipper has turned to its second preference bunch of unreformed pre-Berlin Wallers, the Greens, and produced a pull-out section all about Global Warming (yes, they even used that old incorrect term for it!).

 

Oh where to start, where to start?

 

Go on then; first of all read this article and have a minute’s silence for the death of the meaning of the word, “science”, in the title of the “Science Editor” Nicky Phillips; If you don’t believe the scientific results are compelling, here’s a shit loaf of bread next a nice one to convince you.

Science innit
 

Seriously, Nicky has trashed her reputation as both a scientist and a journalist (cough) by taking the work of AgFace and cherry-picking the bad news. Don’t believe me? Here’s the actual research. You may be surprised to learn that, yes, should the predictions of CO2 levels turn out to be correct, the protein content of wheat will be lower by mass. However, we will be able to grow 20% more of the stuff for the same overhead of land, water and fertiliser. Not exactly catastrophic news, is it?

 

Another amusing moment in this desperate and unbalanced pitch to get us all on the (carbon neutral) bus is this one; Apparently, the Great Barrier Reef’s greatest threat is climate change.

 

Really, are you sure about that? There’s a hint later in the puff piece which suggests that the author (“Dr.” Nicky Phillips again) knows that’s not true;

Confused
 

Yes, agricultural run-off would be jockeying for top spot with Crown of Thorns starfish according to any research body which doesn’t rely on climate change to be real for its existence.

 

Don’t let facts get in the way of 500 fully-paid for words though, eh, Nicky?

 

Best of all though, is the terrible news that we won’t be able to go skiing in Australia by the end of the century.
Skiing cancelled

Isn’t it funny how these sorts of predictions always seem to have “by the end of” and then some time period stated. What I mean is, if I were to predict when my car would run out of petrol on a journey, I reckon I could do it to a 25 kilometre margin of error. Why? Because it’s a proper prediction based on knowledge of the previous trend, capacity of the fuel tank and the known road conditions ahead. If, on the other hand, I had none of those facts to hand, I’d only be comfortable in predicting that we’d run out of petrol before we get to Melbourne.

To illustrate my point, this report from 1999 suggests that there will be no skiing in Australia by 2070. So, after 16 years of research and billions of dollars of study grants, we can update that confident prediction by making it more vague and extending the timeline? Fucking genius.

 

In the meantime, this August we’re off for our third skiing holiday since arriving in Australia. It’s been snowing in Falls Creek for over a month now so we should have a fine time. In fact, we consider it our duty to enjoy skiing in Australia so that, in 2070 by the end of the century my kids can tell their disbelieving grandchildren that they once saw ice and snow in Australia.

One can’t help wondering if Nicky Phillips’ job title has been mistyped on the SMH website. Rather than Science Editor, she seems to be demonstrating that she is better qualified to be the Religious Editor.
You gotta have faith

No brown in town

Apparently, it’s the eternal conundrum…..

Black innit

No it’s not; unless you truly do plan to pursue a career as an estate agent, Jehovah’s Witness or corrupt Queen’sland property developer, the correct colour of shoe to wear with every suit you will ever own is…… black.

And as for the question of what is the correct shoe colour required to match your white suit….. Surely that’s more rhetorical than, “what type of cheese is the moon made from?“.

Lastly, look at the suggested shoe on the bottom right of the graphic. A tassled loafer? Fuck me, you all have permission to throw me off the Sydney Harbour Bridge wearing a pair of leaden-soled Ugg boots if I even hint at wearing a pair of those in the company of other humans.

ANZAC Day bargain basement

Well, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to see why the ANZACs lost; they were freaks with short legs.

I think the term to use is “midget” if the body  is proportionally correct and “dwarf” if not.

I’m struggling to decide which is appropriate here.

Anyway, there’s some good shopping bargains to be had with your hard-earned cash. It’s what they would have wanted.

The best option seems to be the Sands of Gallipoli Poppy commemorative apron (made in China by 9 year olds) for $29.99.

Hands up those of you who are a certain age and from the motherland who can remember the Rampant Mackeral Ashtray ……diligently fashioned in blue onyx, sitting atop a glistening rock pool which contains one perfect matchbox. How much is it?

Happy Magna Carta Day

Just the eight hundred years young today.

Nowadays most of the articles within the original 1215 document are no longer relevant or on the statute books (the fishing weirs on the Thames and Medway have been removed) and many of the rights people ascribe to coming into place through the document actually didn’t; Habeas Corpus, for example.

Article 39 still rings true however;

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

Well, it will do for a little while longer until the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition decide to overturn it.

Article 41 seems to have something to say about this too;

It shall be lawful in future for anyone (excepting always those imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the kingdom, and natives of any country at war with us, and merchants, who shall be treated as if above provided) to leave our kingdom and to return, safe and secure by land and water, except for a short period in time of war, on grounds of public policy- reserving always the allegiance due to us.

Perhaps you’re comfortable with a government minister revoking the citizenship of a suspected ISIS fighter who holds dual citizenship but revoking that citizenship for someone with only the one passport seems, well, a bit of a backward step since Runnymede. 

If the evidence is that compelling, put it before a jury and go through due process and have a moment’s silence for the rights given away with little thought to history.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,

Your rights were won at Runnymede!

No freeman shall be fined or bound,

Or dispossessed of freehold ground,

Except by lawful judgment found

And passed upon him by his peers.

Forget not, after all these years,

The Charter signed at Runnymede.


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