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"

When is a weapon not a weapon?

When it’s a “cultural heritage”.

For centuries, my ancestors have relied on the long bow to see off various invaders and unwelcome types. In times of peace, it was a useful hunting weapon to ensure that my forebears’ stomachs remained full.

To an Englishman, the long bow has a deep spiritual significance; holy men would bless the bows and quivers before battles.

Obviously, if a proud Englishman such as myself were to be prevented from boarding an aircraft with a fully-functioning long bow and a quiver full of arrows, there would be a public uproar. The racism would be rightly called out as unacceptable. Human rights activists would be fighting my corner and commencing legal proceedings, pro bono, on my behalf.

So I can deeply sympathise with Alec Doomadgee’s hurt and pain at the hands of the racist Qantas staff. Not the ”in your face KKK shit” obviously, but “snide, smartass remarks“.

After all, it’s not as if the boomerang has been used for centuries as a highly-effective hunting and fighting weapon, is it?

Boom

 

Bloody Australian racists.

Carry your visa at all times

Operation Fortitude didn’t happen this weekend.

If it were to happen, what would it have entailed?

Apparently, members of Her Majesty’s Australian Border Force would have been wandering the streets of Melbourne checking people’s visa status to ensure nobody is here without permission or is violating the terms of their particular visa.

A usually imperturbable AussiePride hastily banged the living daylights out of his keyboard to knock out an email to let me know about this outrage. He was fewmin, liberally using adjectives such as fascist and police state.

Personally, I was a little more sanguine about the operation;

Firstly, I don’t have an objection to visa obligations and conditions being actively enforced, well, at least not in principle.

Secondly, the anarchist in me would have loved to have seen quite how they thought it might work in practice. In fact, I was a little disappointed that they weren’t planning to run the publicity stunt here in Manli ™ and had stopped me during their activities.

Why? Because it’s utter illegal bollocks, that’s why. Stop me on the street and demand identification without having reasonable grounds to suspect that I’ve committed, am about to commit or have just witnessed a crime and you’ll be given a short answer in the negative. Detain me for more than a moment and you’ll be meeting my legal team to discuss the compensation for unlawful arrest.

Unusually, the Grauniad gets it right here. Stopped clocks being correct twice a day, an’ all that.

Victorian and New South Wales’ laws are very similar in this regard; you must carry and produce on request your driving licence whilst driving a vehicle (as Magic found to his peril) but there is no legal requirement to identify yourself to the police or border authorities whilst going about your legal business on a Victorian or New South Wales street. It’s a different story at an airport or port though, so I wouldn’t recommend telling the coppers to take a hike if asked who you are there.

You must also be very careful with the language one uses in New South Wales. In fact, locals tell me that this has been used very effectively by Sydney cops over the years to supercharge offences from mild misdemeanors to a trifecta which might attract a prison sentence with resisting arrest (i.e. you objected to having your head slammed against the hood of the police car) chucked in as the third and final strike.

But back to the aborted Operation SNAFU Fortitude; how might it have worked out for the team as they patrolled the mean streets around Federation Square?

Border Force One; (to a swarthy-looking gentleman); Excuse me sir, can you step over here please, I’d like to talk to you about your immigration status?

Swarthy Gentleman; No sorry mate, I’ve already donated to the girl collecting over there. I’m in a hurry as I’m meeting my mates at The G for the match.

Border Force One; Please stop immediately and provide identification otherwise you will be arrested!

Cop providing support (quietly); Um, you can’t demand ID and we can’t arrest him.

Border Force One; Right sir, on this occasion only I will let you off with a warning but don’t let it happen again.

Swarthy Gentleman; Jesus, what an utter fucking waste of taxpayer’s money.

Cop; Get up against the wall, NOW! Someone read him his rights while I cuff him.


Happy 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, by the way.

 

Except for Opotiki

I’ve got to head over to 1987 New Zealand next week to give some people more bad news. Look on the bright side folks; spring is coming so you’ve got plenty of time to tidy up the garden. Maybe use the new free time to learn about Lotus 123?

Anyway, the client has a subscription to a travel advisory and safety service which sends helpful email alerts about possible dangers in foreign countries. Usually, this means I have spam about Jammu and Kashmir when I’m only planning on visiting Maharashtra.

Thankfully, they’ve got my back covered during my whirlwind trip to Nuh Zullund;

 

TRAVEL RISK SUMMARY

New Zealand is a safe travel destination. The crime rate is low and the country is a safe destination for foreign travellers. Street crime and theft, particularly from unattended vehicles, is rising, but from an extremely low base that compares favourably with the US and most European states. Kidnapping is virtually unknown in New Zealand and tends to be confined to the Asian community or as a result of domestic custody disputes. The risk of international terrorism, including Islamist extremism, is low.

This information is intended as a summary of the travel security environment; however, the risks can change at short notice during a crisis or evolving situation. Please check our travel security alerts to ensure you are informed of the most recent developments.

 

 

City Information for Auckland, New Zealand

CITY SECURITY OVERVIEW

Petty and violent crime rates are generally low. There is no significant threat from terrorism or violent social unrest.

 

 

City Information for Christchurch, New Zealand

CITY SECURITY OVERVIEW

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island. Its low crime rate and does not represent a significant risk to personnel. There are no trouble spots in the city and the risk of international terrorism, including Islamist extremism, is low.

The city is prone to earthquakes, and the most recent serious earthquake was a 5.8-magnitude tremor in December 2011. A 6.3 tremor in February 2011 killed more than 160 people and caused widespread damage to infrastructure and essential services. ‘Red zone’ cordons were lifted in the central business district (CBD) in June 2013.

 

If you’re living in Christchurch and feel brave enough to be out after dark, I’ll be propping up the bar at Volstead on Riccarton Road from about 8.30pm, Tuesday night and from about 6.30pm Wednesday night. Introduce yourself with either of the week’s two code phrases (which I’ll be also dropping into conversations in the various offices I’m visiting), “Sean Fitzpatrick was the best international captain to never win the world cup” or, “28 years and the All Blacks have only won it twice, both times with the home advantage and the Saffas weren’t even invited to the first one“.

It’s just a rumour that was spread around town

Despite swearing blind that I’d never visit the Ice-addiction capital of Australia StabYerDadAlaide ever again, I found myself down there for a jaunty two day visit.

The local rag seems to be a single issue newspaper focused purely on the progress of petitioning the Federal government to force the Navy to buy overpriced, late delivered ships and submarines from a union-infested boatyard in South Australia.

Witness;

Boats

 

It’s a no-brainer apparently.

Well, apart from the fact that it involves pissing away 40% more money than we have to.

If you pay income tax in Australia, here’s a question to ponder;

 

“How much are you personally prepared to contribute to subsidise the South Australian shipbuilding industry? How much is too much?”

 

The reason I ask is because the maths is really neat and tidy;

 

$90 billion to build the ships in Australia. 40% more than overseas, so that’s a $26 billion premium for the job subsidy programme.

 

Australia’s population is 23 million. Round it up to 26 million for the sake of the maths and assume about half of them are paying income tax.

 

So, Australian taxpayers, you are all paying $2,000 each to the Maritime Union of Australia.

 

I wonder how much of that two grand manages to get into the takehome pay of its members? I, for one, find it hard to believe these rumours of union corruption and graft.

 

It’s just a rumour that was spread around town”.

 

Whale watching season in Richmond

I’ve had this sitting in my inbox for a week now, Christ knows how the email account coped with the increased weight load.

Muzzer and his sainted bride, Tracey, caught this classic cetacean and his purchase from South East Asia while having Sunday brunch.

The weight differential alone gets this Richmond score up into the high 60 point range.

The union seems to have produced issue too, so one can only wonder at the ergonomic and HSE requirements which must be complied with to ensure that procreation can occur without causing a fatal injury to the poor wife.


  

Well played Muzzer and Tracey, good steady shots of both parties. A well-earned 69 points (phnaaar!).

What we need now is another law

Alan Tudge is Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

No, I’ve no idea what that entails either; “Take a letter, Alan“, perhaps the Prime Minister says when he needs to dictate some written correspondence. “No calls for the next hour, erm, well at least ten minutes“, maybe, as the Australian Monica Lewinsky sashays into his office?

Two of the responsibilities on his job description include introducing new legislation to the Federal Parliament and boasting about it in the press.

Here’s an example of him achieving this quarter’s KPI in that regard. The article originally appeared in The Australian today. By the way, enjoy the hubris of the headline on his website, “Solution to grog on the cards”. When you read on you’ll realise it’s a pun but, still, a bit of excess chutzpah there, one feels.

The proposal is that benefits will be paid in the form of a stored value card similar to the ones us city-dwellers use to travel on trains and buses. 

That’s quite an investment, if the bill gets passed; there are millions of people who receive government benefits every week and month, Chez TNA included thanks to our hobby of having children. It’s going to be very expensive to issue us with a card to pay our childcare rebates rather than the current efficient situation of paying it through a bank transfer.

Oh, hang on; it doesn’t apply to us. Nope, it’s another one of those racially-specific laws that the Constitution allows for. 

Alan doesn’t come out and say that it’s legislation written by racial type, but if he did I doubt many people would raise an eyebrow. Instead, he frames it as a concept to be trialed in “two or three regions”. Don’t bet your mortgage payment on Balmain or Mosman being among those trial areas, of course.

The point of the card is to further control what the money is being spent on. No booze, large orders of yeast extract product or online betting accounts, for example. To be fair, as this money is a gift from the taxpayer, perhaps there should be some controls on what it is spent on. 

Wind back a moment, however. In his column in The Australian, Alan describes the consequences of benefits money being poured into booze, drugs and gambling; “destroying the lives of women and children…. not uncommon for kids to go hungry because there is no food in the table” despite disposable family incomes of up to $800 per week being received from the public purse.

Let’s spell out what he is saying; you and I are paying money to fund domestic violence and childhood malnutrition in a modern western democracy.

Take it a step further; imagine a situation where yours truly was knocking my sainted bride, Charlie, around on a regular basis and our various offspring were going hungry due to our addictions and profligacy. What would be the response from the relevant authorities, do you think?

Does anyone doubt that it would be prison time for me and that the kids would put into state care? Somewhat less likely is the possibility that the local Liquorland would be shut down and Coles staff instructed not to sell me Vegemite.

This organ keeps banging on about the fact that we’ve already got plenty of legislation to cover pretty much any aspect of modern life which we feel is in need of remediation. Passing yet another law with the intended outcome of stopping blokes slapping their women around of an evening is simply not required. We’ve got several already and they are very-well enforced in the neighbourhoods you and I live in. If you’re in any doubt, ask your spouse to participate in some loud role-play fighting tonight and measure the response time of the cops to the anonymous phone call(s) from the neighbours.

I’m conscious that this topic of the complete fudge and denial on the part of the Australian political and media classes to confront the apartheid which is being reinforced with every special law and intervention is beginning to become a bit of an obsession on this organ. 

No apologies I’m afraid; I was proud to be on the anti-Aparthied marches in the 80s and 90s and I see no difference between the two situations other than that the Australian version is wrapped up in a shiny new coat of good intentions.

So if Australia is in denial, what is she in denial of? Try these statements out for size;

- It is incompatible with a modern western democracy to have children (forget the adults; they can make a choice) being born and raised in third world conditions and suffering a significantly higher mortality rate simply for “cultural reasons“.

- Even if that incompatibility was somehow acceptable, the critical positive components of community and self-sufficiency of these cultures are long extinct and what remains is little more than a tragic echo.

- The critical mass of population no longer exists but unlike the last inhabitants of the island of St. Kilda, the remaining few haven’t realised it yet. Those final St. Kilda residents knew that when the last midwife died, it was time to leave. Ask their many descendents living healthy lives and not subsistence living collecting bird eggs from cliffs whether it was the best decision or not.

- Historical guilt is preventing definitive action.

As a commenter on a previous post pointed out, if Spain had colonised Australia, the Aboriginal problems would not exist today. For whatever reason, be it a latent sense of humanity or plain inefficiency, the British didn’t completely wipe out the local population. 

Perhaps what they did (or, more accurately, didn’t do) was far worse. By not applying the laws, rights and responsibilities equally across all members of Australia, they consigned generations to the worst of both worlds. The old ways of living are no longer sustainable (and arguably never were, once the rest of the world advanced so rapidly around them) and the new ways are out of reach.

What then, might break the deadlock of being half pregnant for so many years?

Here’s a radical idea and one which might also solve the problem of people viewing Australia as being so attractive a destination that they are prepared to travel through half a dozen safe countries to board a leaky vessel and sail oceans for weeks to claim asylum;

Remove the benefits safety net. For everyone.

Sure, some sort of transition programme will be required, assistance with relocation, getting clean of addictions, finding employment, etc. but clearly signal the date from which the free money tap gets cut off and stop emoting about the fact that “it’s complicated“; it isn’t actually complicated, we’re just too bloody comfortable with paying for a problem to remain a long way out of view rather than addressing it in a consistent manner.

Taxpayer-subsidised day care centres in Mosman and grog shops in the Northern Territories alike will need to quickly review their business model as the easy money dries up. 

And that’s not a bad thing.

Oh, it might not be the most important issue in Australia after all

Australia has a Liberal Prime Minister. In every other country in the world that would infer a profligate, large government, cradle to grave socialist but in Australia that means he’s a conservative, free market, personal responsibility and small government sort of chap.

Actually, it doesn’t in reality but you know what I mean; Liberals are supposed to be of the “right”, everyone else is of the “left”. Personally, they all walk and talk like collectivists and statist to me, but hey, you say potarto, I say potayto.

The point is, the current government were elected with a majority and a fairly clearly-defined policy on same sex marriage, i.e. it isn’t going to happen while they are in office. We can find many faults with the political system and the ridiculous compulsory voting attendance at a voting station laws in this country but, that is still the fact; nobody elected the current government thinking they would be legalising same sex marriage any time soon.

However, the question of whether the law will be changed to enable same sex partners to marry just won’t go away. As we’ve discussed previously, I suspect that the debate in the media and political bubble is not at all reflective of the interest in the general population. Most people couldn’t give a flying fuck one way or the other, frankly.

Smelling blood in the water, the commentariat and the opposition have been ratcheting up the pressure recently, despite the fact that the opposition did diddly-squat to progress it during their 6 years in power.

Bowing to internal party pressure from Liberal MPs who, frankly, have economic views which wouldn’t look out of place on the opposition benches, Tony Abbott has suggested that he might put it to the electorate to decide in a plebiscite or referendum (I always thought they were synonyms but, in Australia, apparently not).

This is where it starts to get amusing….

Some facts worth mentioning at this point;

  • Many of the cabinet and shadow cabinet are legally-qualified (from some time ago, a look at Labor and Liberal public sector experience, or lack of it).
  • The Constitution is silent on marriage, therefore does not require a Constitutional referendum to legalise it; regular legislation will suffice.
  • The estimated cost of an out of election cycle vote is $120m.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that there are 33,700 gay couples in Australia.

The first source of amusement is the utter ignorance on display by people who should know better about what is and isn’t legislated within the Constitution. MPs and journalists are lining up to discuss the referendum that isn’t needed when, in fact, any vote will be called a plebiscite. The former is to change the Constitution (not required; it doesn’t prevent same sex marriage) the latter is a vote on something politicians are too scared to decide themselves.

Another chuckle, albeit hollow when looking at the cost, is that the vote will involve millions of heterosexuals voting on the official approval (or not) or probably fewer than 15,000 couples. Or about $8,000 per potential marriage.

Can we not just agree they can get married, bung them all a couple of hundred behind the bar for the guests, let them get on with their lives and save us a few grand per wedding? 

See? Probably like the rest of the population, I really don’t care one way or the other whether gay marriage is made a legal concept or not. Frankly, the fact that a group of people who were oppressed, marginalised and criminalised by the government up until the mid-80s but are now seeking approval from the government for their deeply personal emotions seems redolent of a classic Stockholm Syndrome case, to me.

Another source of amusement is the absolute terror in the face of those who are loudly proclaiming that everyone with a contrary opinion is a bigot. Why are they scared witless? The idea of letting the population decide. The people who generally land on the side of gay marriage, climate change, Aboriginal recognition in the constitution, etc. secretly believe that the average Australian is too irresponsible or intellectually-incapable of making the correct decision when given a choice. Far better to allow the Glebe-dwelling elite to make the right choices for them as some kind of benevolent guardian.

Lastly, there’s an excellent reason why we should laugh and be very happy about the level of public discourse that is being consumed with the same sex marriage debate; if the politicians and media are talking about this, they aren’t talking about the important things, which means a lot less frigging around with stuff that isn’t broken.

For example; the ridiculously biased Q and A programme on Their ABC apparently soaked up 29 minutes of its allocated 50 last night on the subject. Imagine the dangerous bollocks they could have waffled on about instead. By the way, I say apparently because I learned very quickly on arrival in Australia not to tune in to such cockwomblery for fear of damaging my blood pressure permanently.

Of course, this leap to a plebiscite for questions that politicians find too divisive to be brave enough to express an opinion over is fine… until the result impacts other people. Think about it this way; how would we feel about whether we should have a plebiscite to determine whether left-handed people should be allowed to drive, given that right-handed people are in the majority? 

Democracy is not a system without its drawbacks. All those in favour, say growl.

 

 

tyranny-of-the-majority-cartoon

This is why we need the NBN

There are several compelling reasons why Australia has made the courageous decision to implement a National Pornband Network at huge public expense rather than letting the market meet demand at a price people are prepared or able to pay.

The first reason is to put an end to the postcode lottery and metropolitan-centric delivery of high speed internet connectivity to a small subset of highly-populated conurbations. Australia is the land of the fair go, which means that some who has chosen to live 500km from the nearest town should have their HD porn access subsidised by those of us who prefer to live closer to effete and frivolous amenities such as schools, hospitals and employment opportunities.

A secondary reason is to facilitate delivery “down the wire” of services such as open heart surgery, dental care and Dominos pizzas to those remote locations.

Lastly, the visionary architects of the NBN accurately foresaw the birth of a new range of innovative businesses based on this backbone of high speed connectivity. Australia is already a long way down the path towards becoming the new Singapore, Paulo Alto or Gangnam with thousands of technology start-up companies being born in the highly-fertile high speed internet maternity ward.

Witness; just such an Internet start-up in utero.

Shop Wings.

Innovate

Without oversimplifying their value proposition, it’s a service where someone will go grocery shopping for you. Uber or AirBnB, this is not.

There’s a successful model elsewhere which this service is aping; Ocado in the UK. However, Ocado differs in two very important ways; they have a contractual relationship with a supermarket (Waitrose) and therefore can tap into their warehouse and distribution network and, in addition, Ocado have their own range of products to sell.

 

ShopWings, on the other hand, seem to be performing a personal shopper function only…….. for three shops with an existing home delivery service. Of the retailers ShopWings delivers from, only Aldi don’t currently have a delivery service.

 

To further summarise then; ShopWings provide a home delivery service for people who need to order groceries and alcohol from multiple retailers and can’t be fagged with visiting two websites.

 

At the risk of building a full SWOT table against this business model, what might be the main threats to the longevity of this nascent Dot Com business?

 

Here’s some which quickly spring to mind;

 

  1. Shoppers might spot that their $9.90 delivery fee for orders under $150 is not necessarily competitive when, say, a Coles delivery fee can be as low as $3 if you pick the right delivery time. It has been found that the item prices increase when bought from the duopoly’s online stores, but frankly, if you’re buying all of your weekly groceries from Colesworth you are clearly not too bothered about an additional 49c per item.
  2. Screen-scraping the Coles, Harris Farm and Aldi websites on a daily basis to update the prices on the ShopWings website adds risk to the process; an out of date price (remember how quickly bananas increased by a factor of 10 after Cyclone Yasi?) will eat into their margin or kill customer sentiment.
  3. The supermarkets decide that they don’t want to share the revenue of a service delivering their products and put ShopWings out of business by deliberately frigging around with online display formats and constantly change the timing of pricing changes OR buy out the start-up and roll it into their existing distribution operation. Supermarkets are among the most efficient logistics organisations, after all.

 

Cynically, I started writing this blog post thinking that last point was the entire reason ShopWings exists; rather like the current model for independent Australian craft breweries, perhaps the intention is to get the business up and running, attract the attention of the big boys, get bought out and the owners buy a Porsche and a nice house with an ocean view.

 

It turns out though, that the company is already successful in Germany. But, as this article notes, car ownership in German metropolitan areas is far lower than Australia.

 

Here’s what the Venture Capital company which owns ShopWings says about the service;

ShopWings

 

Berlin, Munich and Sydney? It would be fascinating to understand the thought process that arrived at that third city as the next step on their expansion programme. I hope it was more than just looking at a table of relative wealth across various international cities and making an assumption that we’ve all got stinkloads of disposable income but very little spare time?

There’s a big difference between Sydneysiders and the residents of Berlin, Munich, Paris, London, etc. and that’s car ownership. I don’t know a single person living in Sydney without a car. I know loads in major European cities who find life easy enough without maintaining a lump of metal to be parked outside their apartments unused for 6 days of the week.

 

Using my own example, we only owned a motorbike in London and that was mainly used to get us to concerts and the theatre quickly once the babysitter had arrived. If we needed to make a journey in a car, we’d use the widely-available Zip Car service (and that’s another business model which doesn’t translate well to most of Australia because of the lower population density and widespread car ownership levels).

 

Now we’re here in Australia, we own two cars and I drive past four or five supermarkets on the way home from work each day. That’s not to say we don’t find online supermarket shopping of use in our busy lives (that statement always strikes me as a substitute for unorganised lives), but we tend to only use it once every three or four weeks when the larger or less frequently consumed items need replacing; balsamic vinegar and bog roll, for example. The fresh groceries and meat is usually bought every couple of days on the drive past a supermarket and takes no more time to jump out and purchase than it would to sit down at the laptop and log in to a website once I’ve arrived home.

 

Nope, come the IPO of ShopWings.com.au, I shall be politely declining their kind offer of investing into the stock. I think I’ll put my money into something innovative and original, like a coffee shop loyalty phone app instead……

Equality doesn’t apply to access to yeast

(Updated to fix all the editing errors. The subbie has been fired).

Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people is one of those hot topics in the Australian media. A cynical mind might question quite how high up the priority list it is as a subject to be discussed around the majority of Australian dinner tables, at the local pub, church, footy club or behind the surf break but, as with same sex marriage, climate change and booing Adam Goodes, the press have determined that this is what matters most to us.

 

In the meantime, there are other issues to be addressed in the remote regional communities. Not least, yeast. Specifically, access to the yeast-based plagiarised version of Marmite Vegemite.

 

Those “dry” communities up north have seen a significant increase in the quantities of Vegemite being sold as people have realised that the yeast in the product can be used to convert sugars into alcohol. No prizes will be given for those who correctly guess what one of the more likely political solutions being proposed is; banning it of course.

 

The production of alcohol is probably the second oldest chemical/biological process known to humankind and is intrinsically-linked to the oldest; the domestication and farming of cereals on a large scale first occurred in the Fertile Crescent around 10,000 BCE. The production of bread led to the discovery of the effect of yeast on sugar, and eventually, the brewing of beer from about 7,000 BCE. The ancestors of Aboriginal Australians left Africa tens of thousands of years prior to the “industrialising” of bread and alcohol production but they also discovered how to make weak alcoholic drinks using local flora. They didn’t have access to anything to match what could be achieved from the higher concentration of sugars in the domesticated grains in the rest of the world.

 

So, given that this process is the least secret recipe in the world and that alcohol can be produced using ingredients found naturally on every continent apart from the polar regions, we might consider quite how futile it might be to attempt to ban its production.

As a member of the city-dwelling bourgeoisie, I can wander down to my local supermarket or corner shop and purchase, without having to show any ID, a packet of dried yeast and a bag of sugar. With the addition of water, a little warmth, some patience and a suspension of good taste and common sense, I could produce some potent hooch within a day or so.

But access to yeast, be it dried or in a Vegemite jar, isn’t necessary if all we’re trying to do is make alcohol; that sourdough bread we all like to soak up our poached eggs and bacon in the morning, if properly made, uses only natural yeast present in the atmosphere.

The same process is used to make the initial batch of liquid for some of the more potent European home-distilled spirits; rakia, for example.

The fact that banning or limiting the purchase of a product which the vast majority of other citizens have legal access to is even an option under discussion tells you everything you need to know about how serious (or not) Australian policitians are about solving “the Aboriginal problem“.

 

Here’s a question for the legally-trained amongst us; how would one draft legislation to ban or limit yeast based products, bearing in mind yeast is present naturally in the air and can be cultivated with limited effort? Given the histories of the development of bread and beer, at what stage in the process of producing the former would we legislate that the latter is going to be a by-product and define illegality?

 

This question really gets to the point of the dichotomy of Australian life; there are two sets of standards in place practically in the one country. Nobody is suggesting that buying a packet of dried baker’s yeast is going to be criminalised in Glebe, Sydney but there have been serious calls to restrict a small group of people in defined geographical areas from buying a staple Australian food.

 

As this organ has pointed out previously, Australia is probably overdue a bit of a look in the mirror and question whether the Australian equivalent of the One Country, Two Systems approach is actually resulting in the outcomes most people hoped it would achieve? The Chinese example is probably the kindest to point to; the harsher observers might wish to suggest more similarity with the USA’s Separate but Equal or, gulp, South Africa’s Apartheid.

 

But TNA”, the thumbsuckers cry, “we’re different to those other exclusionist regimes because we’re doing it for their benefit. They can stay in their traditional homelands and maintain their cultures and practices.”.

 

No problem, but here’s two points which must be addressed if that’s your view;

 

  1. What about the kids born into a third world existence in a virtual human zoo whilst their peers in the same country have access to far better healthcare, education and opportunities; what choice do they get in this?
  2. Why am I paying money to subsidise keeping people in a third world existence and, worse, maintaining an infant mortality rate no better than several sub-saharan African states?

 

Question 1 offers some top trolling opportunities should any young Aboriginal kid choose to take them. What would be the legislative ramifications if a kid from one of these communities was to perform the Rosa Parks role and took a state or the Federal government through the courts to seek damages for the lack of equivalent opportunity and duty of care? The case for the defence would be interesting as it would seem that there could be only two arguments to be made; either the government agencies had performed their duties as well as could be reasonably expected in the circumstances or the role of government agencies to act as guardian is limited to certain activities.

 

Either defence would have widescale consequences as legal precedent if successful while the alternative of finding in favour of the minor would result in potentially hundreds of thousands of claims and a bill with more noughts than the Australian 1st innings at Trent Bridge.

 

I reckon some kid should give it a go, just for da lolz. In the meantime, I’m going home to brew a batch of Chateau Lafite* using nothing but these two ingredients;

Sugar Yeast

* Conditions apply. By drinking the Chateau TNA Lafite you agree to indemnify The New Australian against all claims and waive all rights in the case of injury or death. The value of your investment may go down as well as up, your home is at risk if you don’t maintain the agreed payment schedule.

Australia, world champions at hubris

   
 
….in their conditions“.

Anyone want to mention the pitch “doctoring” in the comments of this post?

Steve Smith will be the next captain, probably appointed in the transfer lounge at Changi Airport.

Englishmen everywhere will raise a glass to that appointment.

(h/t Diplo)

Expenses Reverse Hypothecation

For our Australian readers’ benefit, we won’t use today’s blog post to royally take the piss over The Ashes. There’s plenty of time to do that next week.

No, today we will offer a couple of suggestions to those circle-jerkers who are earning a living being paid to report on or be a politician.

First piece of free advice; don’t be a piss-taking cunt with your expenses. If you want to go to the footy, fucking pay for your flight, hotel, booze and match ticket yourself.

Second piece of free advice; if you’ve followed the first piece of advice and want to expose someone who’s not maintained the high standard we expect from our elected officials (slight pause while I swallow the vomit which just coughed up into my mouth as I wrote that), dont quote dollar amounts as anything over a few hundred just sounds large and not comprehensible to the man on the Bendigo omnibus. Instead, use reverse hypothecation to show them what the scale of the abuse was.

What does that mean? Well, hypothecation in tax terms refers to the very rare practice of directly attributing a payment to a cause. “20 cents of every dollar you pay in tax goes towards maintaining your local police force“, for example.

Here’s how it might work; let’s say the average annual salary of an Australian was $80k. About $17k of that is income tax.

Now let’s assume that most people work about 220 days a year. With an 8 hour day, that’s 1,760 working hours a year.

So, an average Australian worker pays about $10 tax every hour they work.

Now work backwards from an MP’s expense claim; let’s say Julie Bishop billed us $100 for an extremely important pedicure to ensure that she doesn’t embarrass Australia whilst visiting a Jain temple in Indore during an important parliamentary visit to India. That requires an Australian taxpayer to work for 10 hours to fund the restoration work on the Foreign Minister’s cuticles.

Thanks to the lucky coincidence of the marginal rates of income tax and the salary of the average Australian worker, the maths is really easy to calculate. An hour of someone’s life at work for every ten dollars the elected officials spend while “working for us”.

Once we know what MPs cost us in terms of our time at work we can put some real context against expense claims. Armed with this knowledge, we can have a look at some real examples from all sides of the political spectrum.

The Speaker of the House, Bronwyn Bishop, chartered a helicopter to travel 80km to a political fundraising event at a cost of $5,227 to the public purse. Doesn’t sound like much until we turn that into a real person’s working life. Some poor Australian had to go to work for 65 days to pay for that $5,227 flight.

It gets worse; Senator Hanson-Young (of the Hanson-Youngs of Surrey) the Greens’ Senator for South Australia, partied in Sydney for the Mardi Gras this year at a cost of 33 days at work for an Australian worker ($2,700).

How about this one for chutzpah though; Tony Burke took his mistress around Europe on our coin to the tune of three and a quarter years at work for our example Australian taxpayer ($48,000).

This organ doesn’t have access to the detailed expense claims of MPs and Senators, otherwise the reverse hypothecation of all of their holidays work trips would be offered in these terms of average working hours required to fund them.

Instead, think about this on Monday when you report to work; what is the definition of a domesticated or farmed animal and in what ways do you differ from that category of beast?

Baaaa


UPDATE

Our Brisbogan correspondent points out that the income tax component of revenue is probably closer to 50%, therefore let’s go with 1 man hour for every $20 spent.

Ashes fourth test comments thread

I’m on a well-earned skiing holiday and can’t be fagged with writing a blog post this week. Also, as the hip flask with single malt is opened at 10am, I wouldn’t make much sense anyway.

Therefore, in the absence of Tim running another comments thread on the subject, feel free to use this one to discuss the Trent Bridge test match.

Personally, the Jimmy Anderson-sized hole in our bowling line up concerns me but Finn seems to have finally sorted his action out (and that bloody stray knee) so maybe we’ll be OK.

However, I seem to recall that for something like the last 10 English test matches the results have oscillated in a very predictable pattern of LWLWLWLWLW so one doesn’t need to be Leonardo Bonacci to have a good idea of how this one might end up.

Going in to a 4th Ashes test in the lead is an unusual feeling for an Englishman, it provokes an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, meanwhile I’m keeping an eye on the horizon for the four riders of the Apocalypse.

Anyway, the usual moderator rules* apply so fill yer boots.

*No moderation, but publish anything which breaks Australian law and your IP address will be handed over to the police faster than you can say Raymond Gilmour.

Pitching an idea to Channel Ten

To: The Head of Programming (Programing in the vernacular), Channel Ten,
It’s come to my attention, thanks to being stuck behind several buses with your advert showing the unnaturally white-toothed smiling faces of Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan, that you are currently running a show called The Great Australian Spelling Bee on your channel.

This is a great example of how investing in advertising can pay off; I would have been otherwise unaware of this programme as we never usually tune to your channel in any given month.

I digress.

The spelling competition is a great idea, taking the theme of a quirky 2002 American film which wouldn’t have been seen by either 99% of your viewers and passing it off as an original Australian idea (hands up if anyone knows how to spell “oxymoron“).

I must confess to not actually having watched this televisual offering (see the disclaimer above about the attractiveness of your content) but I can already see two real problems with the execution; 

Firstly, Grant Denyer has probably the most punchable face on TV and, due to his diminutive size, has the appearance of a really smug and annoying school prefect quizzing children only marginally smaller than him. 

Secondly, any programme with Chrissy Swan appearing on it which doesn’t have a broadcast time of 9.30am and a loud shouty informercial section about the benefits of owning a Nutribazooka ™ food blender is never going to be a success. She has her demographic (thick fat people who spend every day on the sofa) and trying to widen her appeal is doomed to failure. I believe that this is referred to as “doing a Chevy Chase” in the business.

However, you could still be on to something with this “can you spell servo?” format.

I think there’s just a few tweaks to be made to transform it in to a winning show.

First of all, ditch the kids. Everyone knows that all the kids who are brought up in a house of recent immigrants are going to smash the locals; why make Jayden and Taylor Bogan feel even worse about the fact that the Asian kids are smarter than their little Chlamydia and Dakoda? Instead, make it a team event for adults pitching Australian location vs Australian location. It’ll be hilarious to see Brad from Ballarat struggling to spell a basic two syllable word live on national TV.

Secondly, mix things up a bit and make the rhotacistic John Logan the quizmaster. Think about it for a moment; how much fun could be had when he asks the contestant, “pwease spell wewaxation“? Yeah fucking heaps of fun, that’s how much.

Thirdly, why stick with just spelling? There’s stinkloads of hilarity (hiwawity, if John was speaking) to be had with apostrophes, homophones and other grammatical rules. There are only four rules on how to use an apostrophe but I’ve yet to meet an Australian who can recite or use them consistently. As for homophones, it would seem that these were dropped as a teaching subject sometime after 1989 in Australia; people are very comfortable to ask you to come hear to here about there problems over their

You’re so close to getting this right, it could be an exportable format that other countries’ TV channels would pay for. The possibilities are endless for residents of other countries to feel so much better about their general educational standards and enjoy the warm rewarding emotion of schadenfreude simply by watching a bunch of toothless mullet-heads struggle to accurately articulate the very basic vocabulary of their native tongue.

If this idea sounds like it could have legs, get your people to talk to my people about making it a reality. Contact details to the right of this page.

You’re fucking welcome.

Regards

TNA

The day I didn’t believe would arrive

Back on September 16th last year, through a combination of forgetting how old I was skateboarding, skiing and distance running injuries I smashed the disc between L4 and L5 in my back leaving disc material impinging the sciatic nerve and driving me insane with the pain.

Three nights tripping my nuts off in hospital didn’t help much either, despite the easy access to good quality opiates.

Out of the hospital, we quickly discovered that the only pain relief capable of allowing me to have 6 pain free hours of sleep at night wasn’t available from an Australian pharmacy or vintners but had to be bought from mates of mates in the surfing scene. When medicinal marijuana is legalised, I’m going balls deep in the shares.

A previous decision to marry the beautiful and intelligent Charlie several years paid off immeasurably however and she helped me check out of hospital and, after several months of manipulation got me to the point where I could throw the walking stick away and thank the surgeon for his kind offer but politely decline spending five grand to have a drill put through my spine.

Since then, I’ve got back in the water to surf, returned to running and managed a few long haul flights (I was crapping myself about the prospect of sitting for 20 hours) as my work requires.

But today, we drew the line under the injury.

Here I am back skiing.

A little cautiously perhaps but skiing nonetheless.

Again I say, Charlie, you are a genius.

Vifence for Adam

The readership of this organ are not all located in Australia, in fact, the statistics show a surprising number of overseas visitors including, recently, someone from Pitcairn (it will be disappointing if their surname isn’t “Christian”).

Therefore, it’s probably only fair to explain the context of the previous blog post’s attempt at parody.

For those not subjected to the trivial agenda of Australian journalism, the relevant facts and chronology are as follows;

1980 – Adam Goodes is born. His mother is Aboriginal.

1997 – Adam makes the AFL draft.

1998 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

1999 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2000 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2001 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2002 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2003 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2004 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2005 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2006 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2007 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2008 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2009 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2010 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2011 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2012 – No notable booing incidents were reported.

2013 – During a match, a 13 year old female Collingwood supporter shouted to him that he was an ape. He had her ejected from the ground.

2014 – Goodes is named Australian of the Year. He used this as a platform to make several speeches which some felt were divisive. One speech made the valid point also highlighted on this organ that Clause 25 of the Constitution is inherently racist.

2015 – Opposition fans start booing Goodes whenever he gets the ball.

As our correspondent, Bardon, has pointed out; racist and non-racist booing are undistinguishable to the untrained ear. Fortunately, we are lucky in Australia to have countless media and social media commentators who have undergone the requisite cultural training on our behalf and are able to inform us that the sudden outbreak of booing is because of the ethnic background of Goodes and not, say, annoyance with his politicising of his appointment as Australian of the Year.

By an amazing coincidence, those appropriately-attuned ears all seem to belong to white middle class left-leaning commentators. To be fair, that’s the demographic proven to be blessed with the best experience to accurately identify racism in others.

I’m a Sydney Swans fan myself, I’ve taken the kids to a few home games and have always admired Goodes as a player and respect his work rate and skills. Therefore, with this new way of being racist being identified to me, I’ve immediately done the correct thing and reviewed the motivation behind some of my past decisions to boo players at sporting events.

For example, I pretty much consistently booed Andy Goode (no relation to Adam, as far as I’m aware) every time I was unfortunate to witness him running out at Twickenham in the No. 10 jersey for England and especially when he insisted on kicking the ball to the opposition rather than letting Mike Tindall go route one with it. It might have been peer pressure because quite a lot of my fellow West Stand spectators seemed to have the same reaction. Perhaps we were being racist?

I also gave Kevin Pieterson bloody hell during the 2006/7 Ashes especially when he insisted on continuing to go for the single with a tailender at the other end. He was born in Africa so I probably was being racist.

I was definitely being racist by booing Lasith Malinga’s bowling action, because he has darker skin than me.

I’m also likely to be unwittingly racist by currently spending spare time on social media trying to goad a progressive Australian politician into proposing a legislative response to the booing. The motivation behind this isn’t that I could give a fuck about whether a sports player gets booed or not and, if they do, what intrinsic emotion was being expressed by the boo-ers; no, I just salivate at the prospect of one of our 799 elected intellectual dwarves (is that being heightist?) trying to articulate how such a law might be worded, policed and subsequently defended in the appeals courts. But that says more about my cynicism and psychological issues than anything relating to the subject.

In the meantime, whatever you do, don’t point out to the holier than thou crowd that what they are expressing is vifence, pure and simple.

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.

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline