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Archive for June, 2009

Imagine if Kevin Rudd owned TV stations 7, 9 & 10 (and controlled news on ABC & SBS), The Australian & Age newspapers, Australian Consolidated Press and Brisbane Bulldogs rugby league team.

Imagine also that he had been charged with tax fraud, false accounting, attempting to bribe a judge and embezzlement. And that all this had been going on for years, but Kevin was re-elected for a third term. And instead of a one-time visit to a New York strip club, he had a string of liaisons with call girls baying for his blood.

If this boggles the imagination, then check out PM Berlusconi’s track record and latest shenanigans. Yeah I know, this isn’t Italy and I do wonder what Italy’s opposition has to say about it all. But here in our little Aussie battler parliament, Her Majesty’s Opposition spends a week trying to force the PM’s resignation over corruption for accepting the use of an old ute for his election campaign. 

Holden_FJ[1]How shameful for Australia’s image on the international scene to have such a bogan scandal dominate our headlines, particularly as nobody outside of this country has any idea what a ute is. Surely we could find some world class corruption like the AWB Iraq scandal to get serious again.   

Malcolm Turnbull’s miscalculation and naive gamble on Gollum’s hiss and paltry email is pathetic, and the Mad Monk’s defence just compounds a very bad look.

Silvio outguns our entire political class for real style and nonchalance: ‘la bella figura’ incarnate.

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Under grey skies at KC Stadium the Kookynie Kickers held visiting St Pauli (Hamburg) soccer team to a lucky draw before a record crowd of several locals and a busload of German fans.

KK field

In the 35th minute KK striker Ben Goldfield’s random rebound off St Pauli’s broken goal post opened the score (KK’s first goal in three seasons). Play swung wildly as the visitors struggled with local conditions – a dog chasing the ball and the local supporter indulging a time-honoured Kookynie tradition of tripping opposition players on the sideline. However Ivan Klasnost managed to avoid all obstacles, scoring an equalizer in the 78th minute.

Under drizzling rain extra time was suspended and both teams retired to the pub, where the back bar filled with players & fans and refrains of  ‘You Never Walk Alone’  (St Pauli’s club song).

OTHER SPORTS NEWS:  RUGBY

Wallabies players O’Connor, Cooper & Valentine were fined for “engaging in a food fight” at the team hotel, but it didn’t stop them defeating Les Bleus by a comfortable margin on Saturday.

In the French tradition of gracious defeat coach Monsieur Traille explained: “As we saw, we have no gas, no more strength. It’s a hard end to the season, but we expected that.”

To show that food-throwing Wallabies should be worried by their wussy image, Italian rugby captain Sergio Parisse was suspended for eye-gouging during his team’s loss against NZ in Christchurch yesterday. Now that’s ‘la bella figura’!

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Aptly named Storm Financial (planning, that is – no irony intended) managed to sink $3 billion of investors’ money by channelling home & margin loans (to buy shares) and other investment products from Big Banks to unsophisticated investors often unable to support the debts.

Commonwealth Bank’s Chief Executive has admitted that his bank has lots of explaining to do, and in serious damage-control, accepted a formal mediation scheme to resolve a queue of claims.

ANZ’s former CEO, in charge during the Opes Prime version of the above, admitted this week to no such failings. Naturally he couldn’t be aware of all minor financial dealings, even when his bank was exposed to the tune of $600m. A bagatelle.

savings agentIn unrelated news remuneration experts report that last year average total pay for chief executives of Australian companies increased 20%, while sharemarkets fell 40%.

Add the insult of token executive pay freezes. And watch out for the rapid defrost, as bonuses & incentives get ramped up.

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Our real GG (not Godwin Grech), the Queen’s Representative in Australia, had to play second fiddle as our reigning monarch KK officially welcomed his Spanish counterpart King Juan Carlos and his missus to the Wide Brown Land.

Impressing yet again with his flair for foreign languages, our Kev read an hispanic welcome, strutting his stuff as statesman, man-of-the-world and chief diplomat. Poor Malcolm somehow got an invite too, and had to put on a brave face, also playing second fiddle to our Sun King.

Highlight of the Spanish Royals’ visit appears to be the opening of a new Cervantes Institute, for promoting Spanish language & culture hereabouts. Is this a belated attempt (400 years later) to recover lost ground after those early explorers Pedro Fernandez de Quiros and Luis Vaez de Torres passed by our continent? Kev apparently confirmed this in his Spanish phrase.

Cervantes wrote “Tell me thy company, and I’ll tell thee what thou art”.  Hmm?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that use of exclamation marks is like laughing at your own jokes, so I guess that means Spaniards have a great sense of humour. In any case, ¡Viva Espana! looks decidedly Down Underish.

viva espana

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Iranian Democracy 101

The Iranian presidential election story is really simple.

Mousavi is committed to freedom, a reformist agenda and other good stuff. But as PM in the 80s he was considered a hardliner close to Ayatollah Khomeini, who ousted the Shah to create a so-called Islamic Republic. At that time the current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who replaced Khomenei, was president and considered an economic liberal. Now he’s the conservative protector of current president Ahmadinejad, and presumably his strong anti-western views.

Policy flexibilty or volte-face is obviously a hallmark of political chutzpah (is that an Iranian expression?) in the I/Republic.

Mousavi and Khamenei are not great mates, as they’ve been feuding for the last twenty-five years or so. Khamenei even abolished the PM position back then to get rid of him. Ex-Presidents Rafsanjani and reformist Khatami were mates of Mousavi, who obviously had some sort of conversion on the road to Damascus (is that in Iran too?).

The date for popular elections for the post of Supreme Leader does not seem to be any time soon, not to mention the clerical Assembly of Experts. And of course clamping down on dissident demonstrations and outside news coverage is necessary to protect the Republic from foreign interference, presumably US-engineered. Although the US government does have a track record from the Shah’s days to live down.

Anyway, clearly Iranians are feeling stroppy and the elderly political class (Ahmadinejad is much younger) including clerics, is feeling the heat. Sixty percent of Iran’s 75 million population is under the age of 30.

The results from the ballot boxes seem to exceed the number of voters, but we know an old adage in Australia about voting early and often. Very difficult to form an opinion about voting irregularities in a theocratic republic (huh?).

Israel’s leaders are said to prefer Ahmadinejad as his virulent anti-Israel position maintains international disapproval of Iran. Some commentators are asking if  Obama’s strong words of condemnation of the suppression of dissidents will commit him to action, as did Bush in Iraq.

It’s not really a recipe for Persian Love Cake (key ingredient candied rose petals), or as we say here: Arvah-e-Shekamet (Ghosts of your Stomach).

Persian love cake

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GG Comes Out!

No, Governors-General do not make headlines, thank God (i.e. Gough).

Godwin Grech (his parents had a sense of humour) thinks he remembers an email from ‘PMO’ about the PM’s car dealer mate. Would you believe he’s referring to the Prime Minister’s Office, a lovely conceit indeed. Imagine the oak desk and chairs having a meeting and issuing instructions to the computer?

Bureaucratic shorthand and evasion were matched by low insults traded in the people’s parliamentary chamber in the nation’s capital. The Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, The Right Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, looked particularly dodgy about his prior knowledge of said email, now shown to be false and in fact produced in Treasury’s office. Now we’re getting Machiavellian. The car dealer’s mates in high places also looked uncomfortable. Unfortunately giving them all a lie detector test would probably be fruitless. And of course, car dealer sounds so much worse than wheat farmer or kindergarten assistant.

Arguments about emails look so juvenile. The plot already reads like a third rate pot-boiler with police raids and IT audits (wow) to spice it up. Meanwhile Rome (the planet) burns, as does GG’s public service career.

GG

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Hello world!

Welcome to the re-launch and first edition of the new-look KC!

You may be wondering why Kookynie needs a new voice, and even wondering where it is, Kookynie that is, not the voice. Because this is it’s new online voice, as the old printed one had dimmed over the years. Which is why it’s being re-launched today.

KC will fearlessly pursue clarity. Our mission statement is also about shining an Orwellian & Shavian light in the dark corners of our post-modern world in the promotion of truth and the American Way of Life (only kidding!). Actually we hate mission statements and managerial-speak, so forget that too.

Kookynie is not just a thriving semi ghost town of indeterminate population size in outback WA, north of Kalgoorlie, but also a veritable think tank of cutting edge political & social analysis. As for Gwalia, don’t even go there. It’s a hotbed of anarchist agitation.

The back bar of the hotel will leave no stone unturned – no, not the hoary old ‘no turn unstoned’ joke, as we don’t approve of recreational drugs and only moderate alcohol consumption. Think literal or metaphorical pebbles, as nearby goldfields are not exhausted of nuggets, some full of wisdom, of course.

Editorial policy is simple: whatever I think goes! Don’t spare the horses.

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