Chewin' the Gristle


Hello Gristlers! and welcome to Chewin’ the Gristle, the week’s political bits that we found hard to swallow.


As the State election looms over NSW like a gargantuan valium bottle, this week saw the campaign launch of both the Nationals and the ‘Not Bob Carr’ Party, and the long awaited sit-down debate between Morris Yemina’ Iemma and Peter ‘Whitey’ Debnam. This is the first televised debate between Premier and Opposition Leader in NSW history. This seems impressive until you realise it took the two least interesting politicians in NSW history to pull it off. The general excitement of the campaign has been perfectly captured by the Iemma slogan ‘More to do but we’re heading in the right direction’ (we kid you not), which captures thf h;l3jf ‘fl

Sorry, we nodded off there for a moment.

As far as we can tell, the key election issue is recycling. The polls show NSW voters are far keener to drink recycled sewerage than they are to vote for a recycled Carr Government.

A remarkable absence from the campaign is that old tart, Laura Norder, which normally fills 83.6 per cent of any NSW election. The Gristle can only surmise that this is because roughly half of the State cabinet seems to be facing various criminal charges, making any law and order debate seem a little redundant.

Thanks to Fiona Katauskas

Meanwhile, north of the border, that charming can of Teflon, Peter ‘The Snake Charmer’ Beattie has clearly been feeling a little less important than he is used to in the Murray Darling project and has decided to do something about it pledging two million megalitres of water from North Queensland. Now, according to experts, the scheme seems to be both uneconomical and pretty much an engineering impossibility but this isn’t deterring the Snake Charmer: ‘I’m sick of the knockers, let’s have some good ideas and some positive contributions about the water needs of this nation’

Yes, Pete, let’s do that.

The most worrying part of this whole story is that, while just about everyone thinks he has lost the plot, he can take comfort in the unerring support of Federal Independent MP Bob ‘Mad Hatter’ Katter: ‘Now is the time to do it and there’s no doubt Mr Beattie will get his place in the history books if this project proceeds’.

Yep, in the history books right along with that other great unhinged Queensland Premier Sir Joh.

While The Snake Charmer was looking to the past for new ideas, Federal Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Peter ‘Silas the Monk’ Garrett was setting his steely gaze firmly to the future. When Federal Labor backed the Government decision for a new Joint US military base in Geraldton, Western Australia, all eyes turned to Silas to see how he would respond. After initially dodging the question, the bloke who wrote ‘US Forces’ declared his full support for the foreign bases policy. ‘US Forces, give the nod’, indeed.

This brought Brendan ‘Mean Mother on a Motorcycle’ Nelson straight onto the front foot:

Now Mr Garrett is on the frontbench of the Australian Labor Party and suddenly he wakes up this morning and decides that he doesn’t believe in something he’s believed in all his life. Give us a break.

John Howard chimed in as did Alex ‘Too Freaky’ Downer who went so far as reciting the lyrics to US Forces in Parliament (it might be just us but we suspect that Alex would have been more a fan of Culture Club than Midnight Oil).

Now, at the risk of sounding churlish, while Silas was fronting Midnight Oil, Mean Mother was a paid up member of the Labor Party, Howard was opposing Asian Immigration and saying ‘Never ever GST’ and Too Freaky was well, we shudder to think what Too Freaky got up to as a young man.

Finally this week, Howard has responded to the calls from US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama to put his money where his mouth is on Iraq and send 20,000 more troops. Howard has clearly taken the response to heart and this week announced that Australia would be sending an extra 70 troops to Iraq in a training capacity. Well, near enough is good enough.

There is, apparently, no basis to the rumour that these troops will consist solely of Labor voters from Howard’s seat of Bennelong where polling is currently showing him losing his seat to Labor if an election were held tomorrow.

There is also no basis to the rumour that the 70 troops will be presented directly to Dick Cheney as a memento of his current visit to Australia.

You can catch the Gristle on Radio 2SER 107.3 in Sydney or on the web at every Friday evening from 6:00 to 6:30.

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