Friday 15 November 2013

Typhoon Tony

I thought I had seen denial at its worst, when in the sixties, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Big Tobacco paraded expert after expert stating unequivocally that tobacco was not only not harmful, but was good for you. Now we have the same mob running interference for Big Energy, as we ramp up coal exports and load it in one of the most sensitive environments on the planet, the Great Barrie Reef!

This Sunday I will march for the first time in protest against our new government’s determination to defund and unwind most of the hard won carbon abatement programs created over the last six years.

I guess it had to happen, but when Abbott started calling Shorten “Electricity Bill”, implying falsely that Labor’s Carbon Pricing caused the huge rises in electricity prices suffered over the last few years, when it was mostly pushed up by infrastructure expenditure, the nick names started.
Christine Milne of the Greens was next in with “Typhoon Tony”, after it was suggested that extreme weather events would become more frequent and even more extreme as climate warmed, and repeal of the Carbon Price would exacerbate the problem. Now I would like to add two more.

“Hurricane Hunt”, our Minister for climate change denial and “Bushfire Bishop”, our deputy PM, mistress of the Death Stare and fellow climate change denier.  

As they said, when it was suggested by the Greens that climate change would cause more extreme bush fires, like those that raged through the Blue Mountains last month and that Typhoon Haiyan was a portent of worse to come, they were chided for ‘politicising misery’. But as one commentator asked; “If this is not the time to look at the implications of climate change, when should we?”

Friday 8 November 2013

Action Man.

This is not a criticism of Tony Abbott’s attendance at fires as a member of his brigade, or his bike riding in events that raise money for charity. They show he is a ‘good bloke’. However, perhaps the fact that he still pursues those activities after becoming Prime Minister, our Chief CEO, could be an indication of his management style and it could be fair to wonder if he is ready for the big picture.
Denying that wild fires in Australia are influenced by Climate Change, while running around the bush with a fire hose, may be the clue that explains why he favours a policy of direct action over a cap and trade system to mitigate climate change. One would expect a Conservative to have more faith in a market driven system than one that must meddle and cherry pick its targets, needing a dedicated bureaucracy, charged with the task of deciding where, when and how much is to be give polluters not to pollute. One wonders why he doesn’t pay Philip Morris to stop making so many cigarettes!

One suspects that his direct action policy is really driven by his determination continue to negate every Labor initiative, regardless of merit. Let’s hope he lets go the ideology and starts to think things through. Tony’s scattergun approach to problem solving is also revealed by his ideas of buying up Indonesian fishing boats (since withdrawn) and his tree planting pledge (since withdrawn). Germaine Greer was right to ask: (paraphrased) “How can a government headed by a Rhodes Scholar be so stupid?”

So here we are, with apparently intelligent people, defending the indefensible, about to witness the repeal of the only mechanism experts agree has any chance of delivering lower emissions in a world that is burning up before our eyes, simply because Action Man wanted so desperately to become PM and stay there. If he continues to deny the science, let’s hope Tanya Plibersek gets her wish that he is indeed One Term Tony. With the whole world desperately needing leadership on the big issues of overpopulation and climate change, being a member of a fire brigade is not enough.

Monday 29 July 2013

Dak Dak.

I know the pic is not of a V-Dub, but good reader, I hope you sill forgive me a repeat of the only car poem I have ever written and even that was in response to a comment from the delightfulGabrielle Bryden. The story behind the poem is Here.
Note: This is a copy of a previous post that was inundated with spam, so I destroyed it, along with the termites and rust, but managed to keep your lovely comments!

Tok Tok
Dakka dakka
Put-put Put-put,
Tok tok dakka dakka put!

Hear the clatter of a
Vee Dub
Vee Dub,
With the donkey in the back!

Now the engine’s in the
Water cooled and full of grunt;

Changed forever is the
Never more the ears astound!

Sounds like every other
What a shame they went that far!

Tok Tok Dakka dakka
Tok tok dakka dakka put.

For more relevant poems and stories, go to Magpie Tales. You will not be disappointed!


  1. Well looky here - I finally pop in after my big move and you have the dak dak poem on da blog - haha - love it! There is nothing quite like the sound of the old vdub.


    1. Hope all is well at the Hacienda! Looking forward to photos of the new place.
  2. This reads as music to the ears. :)


    1. Write the music and let's record!
  3. My youngest son, when he was small, had only two cars in his repertoire - dubba-dub cars (VWs) and dig-dig cars (V8s). These were the only two he recognised!


    1. I forgot to say that they were named for the sounds they made.

  4. Replies

    1. Whoever you are, you must be too young to remember the Kombi, icon of a generation... then came sunscreen.
  5. This is so so charming! I am sending the link to my cousin and her husband, who just bought a Bug. :)


    1. If it a genuine Bug, and I guess it is, the poem can be chanted to the beat of its engine when idling. Bugs are almost extinct here.
  6. Your Vee Dub poem is perfect for reading aloud to a child all tucked in for the night ... with voice inflections to match ~ ever the play write.


    1. Thanks Woonie... all I need is a publisher! XX
  7. Reminded me quite a bit of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - and that's pretty good company.


    1. Yes, they both had a touch of magic, a but larger than life.
  8. You have put put put this perfectly Stafford!
  9. Sounds just like my old 1968 VW bug...
  10. Awe - I think most people would take kindly to a little V-D........
  11. Cool in a Kombi hit the road and find peace, i love this
  12. Love the sounds in your poem. Happy Holidays!
  13. Stafford- what a delightful ode to the V-dub! Russell used to restore old V-Dubs and he enjoyed your poem also- Merry Christmas!
  14. LOve the rhythm of it. You are so good at this type of thing. 10 out of 10!
  15. Christmas is over, the new year in sight. May the best be yours'!

Saturday 15 June 2013

Election Sept. 2013

Are we Aussies about to elect a Climate Change Denier to the top job, so he can give his Mining Magnate Mates free reign to pollute?

And, by the way, did anyone notice that CO2 just went through the 400 PPM barrier?

Pic of tornado courtesy Melbourne Herald Sun

Monday 22 April 2013

If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

I had my hands around a large latte, taking in the aroma, coaxing warmth from the steaming mug. We were downstairs at Wyong Mall, watching the passing parade; blue rinse matrons with loot from the op shop, mothers and red nosed babies, rugged up but still cold, girls in uggs and coats, then one young man, shirtless in the bleak July air.

I turned to Barney the Barista, indicating with my head.
“What’s that all about?”
His glance was as confident as it was brief.
“New tatts.”

Note: I intend to take a break from blogging while I concentrate on my almost completed novel, but know I will be unable to resist the occasional look at what you are all doing. Meanwhile, I invite my cyber friends to drop me a line if you feel the urge. And meanwhile, please take a trip to the Magpie's Nest to read contributions from some fine poets and storytellers. XX

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Ode to breast feeding.

 A mademoiselle from Le Havre
Was heard to say; ‘I was in love!
But my man departed
Now I’m broken hearted
But at least the baby won’t starve!’

This must have been a bit risqué in 1898, but we know from art going back many thousands of years that the female form has remained a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

Take a look at what real Magpie poets have to say about this lovely Degas image.

Monday 1 April 2013


An organised kitchen it’s not… 
A cat on the stove that’s not hot. 
A pissoire at hand 
with nowhere to stand 
and a tank with a tap at the top! 

And that is just for starters!

The draughtsmanship is wonderful and the narrative intriguing. But to me, this kitchen is the Hell.
I don’t know how Tess manages to finds these, but they really are a challenge. Click on Magpie Tales to see what others had to say.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

A no-brainer? Apparently not.

 Yesterday we had a guest to lunch, a smart lady, mid seventies and we talked about a range of issues after family histories had been updated. Then, out of the blue, with unmistakable incredulity: “You don’t really believe climate change is real!?”

I was silent for a moment waiting for the smile and when that did not come, I recognised this as an opportunity to try out the argument I had been nurturing for a while, that I considered a no-brainer, but I was wrong.

My argument goes as follows: “OK, let’s leave aside differences of opinion and consider this one question: ‘Is CO2 a greenhouse gas or not?’

My strategy was to follow the expected agreement with: ‘whatever other factors are operating, rising CO2 levels are lifting the basic temperature floor, so all other variables are being lifted with it. Then I had planned to say that CO2 rise is the one factor that is man-made, and is the only one we can, and therefore must fix.

But I didn’t get that far. I was totally blindsided by: “CO2 is plant food!”, followed by: “Anyway the planet is cooling. Haven’t you read Ian Plimer?”

I have read Ian Plimer, geologist, who makes a good case for climate change having natural causes and it does, but as I wrote in a previous post, that does not in any way detract from the argument that CO2 is causing climate change in a fundamental and dangerous way.

 My friend Jo realised there was potential for a real argument and steered the conversation to the other big human issue, that of overpopulation, so we chatted about that for a while until I could graciously leave to contemplate what had happened.

 Of course, once again, I was snookered by the unfortunate human habit of deciding an issue by intuition, then casting about for evidence in support, while avoiding evidence to the contrary. So for anyone who wants to see why Plimer is very wrong, here is a convincing rebuttal of Plimer’s arguments from none other than the Australian Government’s Dept of Climate Change.

But, as they say; ‘You can lead a horse to drink but you can’t make him water!’

Monday 25 March 2013

Always going, never coming..

My front and back, as you can see
are both the same; Oh woe is me!
Two bums, no dick,
I’d soon be sick,
If not fed intravenously!

If you like this, you need help. But help is at hand at Magpie Tales. Take a look!

Monday 18 March 2013

Art for arts ache.

You think poets sprout blah blah blah?
Musicians sometimes stray too far?
But they, let's be honest
do not foist upon us
a work like this menage de trois!

 I guess I miss out on something by being such an art bogan. But as they say, 'what the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over'. Visit the Magpie to read what art lovers have to say about Pablo and this flight of fancy.

Monday 25 February 2013

A Maiden's Prayer Answered.

 Oh, God, is this one of your tricks?
You nasty old five (*****)!
You promised to help me,
 So why did you give me
To Salvador Dali to fix!?

 Trying to rhyme 'Dali', leads one to Bob Marley on a Harley so I abandoned that idea and employed the good old set of (five) asterisks to denote a word one would rather not commit to print. Find more erudite contributions at Magpie Tales.

Thursday 21 February 2013

Why I am becoming depressed.

Dateline Brisbane, October 2013.
I was told this is Tony (Climate Change is bunkum) Abbott, our newly elected Prime Minister relaxing in downtown Brisbane before taking off to Bowen to open the largest coal loader in the world.

Pic borrowed from ABC Australia Images.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Flogging dead horses?

Baffling scaffolding;
pondering, wondering.
Building and gilding,
An edifice crum-bl-ing.


Library of stone
in the digital age,
bastion of relevance;
Ink on the page.

Yes, I still 'belong' to a library. Maybe I will buy a Kindle when all known literature has been digitised. Otherwise I am contributing to the destruction of knowledge, or am I just too old to change?

Get with the strength and click here for more contributions to the Digital Magpie.

Monday 28 January 2013

Recorded History

The old man
in the stranded tram
played me jazz
on his Edison Phonograph.

on the Parlophone;
twelve inch,
seventy eight.

in the wee small hours.
for twenty minutes.

and downloads
I-pods and
Memory sticks.

Hours and hours;
unlimited time,
unlimited technology,
unlimited choice.

But of those,
I loved microgroove the best
I was eighteen.

Thanks Tess at Magpie Tales for the memory lane prompt.

Tuesday 22 January 2013


“The most important thing in life is a hand to hold as we cross the road.” Ruth Mildenhall.

See more wisdom at Magpie Tales.

Monday 14 January 2013

Flawed Strategy.

It took so long to get it on,
determined to not be spied upon.
But it must come off agin
After the tonic and gin,
So I can go to visit the john!


Suggested design improvement.

Image borrowed from here.
You can come out now Tess, we know you are in there!
See more at Magpie Tales.

Monday 7 January 2013


First the door;
I can open that.

My negligee,
I can let that fall.

But without trust,
They stay.

Thanks Tess for your weekly Magpie and Happy New Year to everyone.

Wednesday 2 January 2013


The opening song from the musical play Smokebusters. 
Photo prompt from Magpie Tales and a Happy New Year to anyone desperate enough to stray here looking for enlightenment.