Chewin' the Gristle


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

This week’s Gristle is dedicated to Qantas in light of their decision last August to sack Flight Steward Philip Woodward-Brown for allegedly stealing 16 chocolate covered macadamias and two biscuits. This is most interesting in light of the decision last month to sack Lisa Robertson for alleged mile-high shenanigans with actor Ralph Fiennes. Qantas have made it clear that they have a zero tolerance policy on grabbing nuts!!


Last week’s carry-on over the Brian Burke affair that saw Ian ‘The Virgin’ Campbell sacrificed at the altar of parliamentary mudslinging. This inevitably led to a massive domino effect where dodgy pollies were dragged blinking into the sunlight.

The rush to the cliff started on Wednesday, when it emerged that Queensland Liberal MP Andrew ‘The Leming’ Laming was being investigated by Federal Police for allegedly misusing $67,000 of taxpayer funds meant for printing costs. The Leming apparently mistakenly believed that his printing allowance was a license to print money.

By Thursday, Ross ‘The Bagman’ Lightfoot, was in trouble, talking down as a co-incidence his bagging of Swiss Mining Company Xstrata for its treatment of PMA, a company to which he held options. The Bagman has learned a lot from his exploits in Iraq and is not easily moved, remaining free to continue to keep his job and mate-ship with Julian œBurke and  Grill.

Friday gave us our favourite dodgy pollie of the week Shadow Attorney General Kelvin ‘The Dope’ Thompson. The Dope was in some trouble after a 2000 reference he wrote for alleged Drug Baron Tony Mokbel came to light this week. Now, The Gristle understands that the reference was not given for the quality of Mokbel’s drugs, but rather for his appropriateness to hold a liquor license. Maybe The Dope thought that Mokbel’s experience dealing in intoxicating substances and gambling would make him a perfect candidate to run a pub. Either way, he was gone by lunchtime.

The weekend was pretty slow but Monday brought an admission by Minister for Aging, Santo ‘So Nice They Named Him Twice’ Santoro, that he had owned shares in a company related to his portfolio and failed to declare it. Luckily, he hadn’t met Brian Burke, though, and was therefore not in breach of the ministerial code of conduct phew!

Thanks to Sean Leahy

So, counting The Virgin, that makes five dodgy pollies in a week. With about forty odd weeks to go until the federal election, at this rate there’ll be no-one left come polling day. That’s the problem, once you start pointing out dodgy pollies, it can be kind of hard to know when to stop.

Only a couple of weeks to go now until the most boring NSW State Election of all time but you can always count on Fred œThe Wowser  Nile to bring some entertainment value. The Wowser is the head of the Christian Democrat Party, and also the body, both arms and the right leg. The Wowser has released his election platform for the state election and, not letting the constitution get in the way of a whacky idea, has chosen immigration muslim immigration to be more specific. Yep, we shouldn’t have any more of those terror loving heathens darken our doorstep according to the Christian Democrats.

How much more Australian can you get than excluding people from coming to Australia on the basis of their religion. You gotta love The Wowser, both Christian and Democratic!!

Finally, this week, for all of you conspiracy theorists who thought that the Smart Card (or Australia Card as it used to be known) would allow some sort of Big Brother state. Take some comfort in the words of the head of ASIO, Paul O’Sullivan who believes that ASIO could access information from the database without a warrant. This is only topped by Patricia ‘Where Did My Minister Go?’ Scott, the head of the Human Services Department, who stated that her department had the power to refuse ASIO access.

Clearly no Big Brother here, any decent Orwellian nightmare would have ASIO and The Department of Human Sacrifice at least pretending that they would respect the rule of law.

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.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.