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Nathan Who?

Nathan Who?

Just in: Morris Iemma has thrown in the towel. The right-wing heaview Obeid and Tripodi seem to have told him that the numbers just ain’t there any more. Minister for Water, Nathan Rees, is expected to be the new Premier (wonder if he wears cardies?).

This – not entirely unexpected – move happened shortly after Iemma sacked popular NSW Treasurer Michael Costa, who proceeded to voice

...his concerns over the state's ability to retain its Triple A credit rating, saying state revenues are being undermined by the slowing Australian economy.

As well, Railcorp was seeking another $3 billion to spend on new upgrades, Mr Costa said.

"That is clearly not sustainable.''

Mr Costa said the state now had no choice but to delay the proposed North-West Metro project if it was to avoid losing its Triple A credit rating in the coming months.

He said NSW is facing a dramatic drop in revenues from stamp duty approaching $200 million in the first two months of the 2008/09 financial year, as a result of the economic slowdown, while also disclosing that the state is faced with a dramatic blow-out in the health budget running to hundreds of millions of dollars.

"My issue is with the funding of the North-West Metro costing $12 billion  which is not sustainable unless we cut spending in other areas - our health and education programs,'' Mr Costa said.

Mr Costa said he had been advised that the health budget hs blown out by $300 million so far this financial year, which is clearly not sustainable, saying that health spending is over-committed by $500 million.

He blamed a lack of reform "at the state and the federal level'' for the blow-outs faced in areas such as health.

Now, who’s been in charge of New South Wales's piggy bank for the last 18 months, Mr Costa?

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Wine with luncheon

- and even with elevenses - is indeed enjoyed by various civilisations, Malcolm B Duncan: witness, at this time of the year, how some from the Edel Quinn shelter drift out onto the streets like Spring blossom, obviously followers of your point of view.

I recall how in more innocent days - like 10 years ago - our local WWorths had to put a large "No Drinking in the Cool Room" notice in the cool room - now, that was a blow to a way of life.

But, I'm purely flabbergasted that you would refer to that bloater, Frank Sartor, as "Napoleon". What a very strange, deranged place Sydney has become, that you would give the name of a great man to such an ordinary thing.

Locally, he is known as Frank Fartor, of Frankenfartor....(actually, that's a lie: I just made it up). He is an empty space here, a vacancy. One might say "Power without glory", but, by the soubriquet "Napoleon", you are crowning him with glory. I bet that he smiles in his sleep.

Great Man?

F Kendall, not I that coined the term for our now (I suspect he is the culprit) leaking Frank. 'Twas the press.

One of the things I love about Frank is that he is so easy to distract. You just ring him up, say "They're out to get you, Frank." hang up and he spends the next three months trying to work out who "they" are.

Recently they were out to get him and they did. Should be an interesting three months.

Watch these underpants.

Never been to a chook raffle

I'm not sure who you mean can't run the raffle Alan Curran, my one Green to give a certain to be re-elected Clover a fright, or Nathan Rees, who I know little of but I'm prepared to give him a go.

Certainly NSW Labor has been running quite a few successful chook raffles in recent years with property developers walking off with the prize and giving us splendid buildings that, well, resemble chook pens.

Yes I read of your exploits, Malcolm

There was a report In the local paper today that I read in Paddington library and you were given an honourable mention. I'd just like one more Green in council and I agree with their statements that Clover has been spending big bucks where it isn't really needed at times - like Redfern Oval.

All very nice but it didn't need such a grand makeover but I suppose those opposite in the new million dollar apartments will appreciate it. But Claude didn't seem to be at the meeting?


Michael de Angelos, NSW Premier Nathan Rees says "he does not have the time to explain how the state's finances fell into a $1 billion hole." The Government was not aware of the budget shortfall until former treasurer Michael Costa revealed the numbers on Friday when he was dumped from cabinet."These figures came in the last couple of months." he said. Are we expected to believe that Cabinet did not discuss this disaster during the past two months?

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that this was due to gross incompetence from every Minister in the cabinet.

If he does not have time to explain the $1 billion hole, or find out what happened, I think it is time to get back on the garbage truck.

Now we get him talking about Sydney's homeless. He does not know the explanation for the homelessness but he suspects the vast majority are falling through the cracks. Mr Rees did not promise to fix the problem, but said that "We will have a red-hot go". This was same expression he used about his premiership last Friday. If he can come up with statements like this he does not need spin doctors.

Now you want a Green on the City Council. These people could not run a chook raffle.

Sometimes we agree, Jenny Hume

I'm certainly pleased Frank Sartor has left his current portfolio. There is no disputing he wanted to get his hands on all the Redfern Housing Commission properties and shift them out of the area as the area goes more upmarket by the day. The local Federal MP and Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek – a great social housing supporter – were heading for a major clash with Sartor. On that subject, why NSW Housing Minister Matt Brown hasn't been given the boot as a complete non-performer is a mystery.

You can partly blame me for getting Sartor into power in the first place. I spent months tramping the streets for both him and Clover Moore. It's time for Clover to move out of Town Hall as well and for the Greens to move in. But I do Frank should have been given a job – say health. He is someone who can get things done and a portfolio where he couldn't be accused of cementing his own power would have been good.

Sadly it seems that fairly useless David Campbell has remained but shifted and it look likes my one wish, for a new AG, won't happen.

Sartor gone

Michael de Angelos, so Sartor has gone, so what? There are plenty more Labor grubs who will be going around collecting donations from developers – it's what they do best. They cannot run health, transport and education, but they are very good at getting shopping centres built if there is a few bob in it for their mates.


It is marvellous is it not, Michael de Angelos, how people like Sartor preach one thing in local politics and then practise the opposite once they make it into the state house.

Political opportunism at its worst.

Mind you, there was a grub on the other side who was no better, but thankfully he got dumped before the last election. 

I bat for neither liberal nor labor, either State or Federal. Give me an honest independent any day. We've got real problems here in the ACT, so I am hoping the new party that a friend (who lost his house in the fires) started here, the Community Alliance Party, will get some people in - people like Val Jeffrey who is integrity personified. Unfortunately we vote in Barwon and not the ACT, but we will be helping the Party out as much as we can. It is time for Jon Stanhope to go.

Now I am probably out for the count, so good night all.  Sweet dreams.


Great laugh out loud examples, Ian MacDougall. Somewhat like Barbara Bush, asked about Iraq 1? 2? : "Why should I waste my beautiful mind on that?". Or something very similar.

However, I certainly have not observed, as you have, that "when politicians put themselves up for re-election the imagery of blood and revolution starts flowing....."

I would have thought that candidates putting (impossible word to spell) themselves up for re-election were met with yawns and ennui. I am missing the point somewhere here, am I not?

Lunch with wine, Malcolm?

Heavens to Betsy!  Who on earth do you see as a Napoleon in this imbroglio?

One nasty unspoken consequence

...of this apparently utterly incompetent government, - the elephant in the room - has been the way that people have taken against some surnames and their ethnicity.

I haven't heard such sentiments as I have heard over the last few years, since the "malts, balts and wogs" talk of the 1950s....and, it started a few years ago with the Snowy River sell-off, which people saw rather as selling off Uluru, or "Anzac" .

What a pity. To my mind Bob Carr should be the scapegoat. I assume that he was regarded and spoken of as "very intelligent" because he wore spectacles - there was certainly no other evidence.

Today's letter to the Herald

Bit after lunch today:


Ah, Sydney in Spring. Heads rolling like a Carrousel in the Tuileries.

And Napoleon gone already.

Yours etc,

Malcolm B. Duncan

[The reference is to be found in Schama's Citizens (Viking Press 1989) at p 619]

For whom the tumbrel rolls

Malcolm: "Heads rolling like a Carrousel [sic] in the Tuileries. And Napoleon gone already. " Reminds me of the words of this esteemable commentator:

I count myself as something of an expert on what writer Joyce Cary once called "tumbrel remarks." A tumbrel remark is an unguarded comment by an uncontrollably rich person, of such crass insensitivity that it makes the workers and peasants think of lampposts and guillotines. I can give you a few for flavor. The late queen mother, being driven in a Rolls-Royce through a stricken district of Manchester, England, said as she winced at the view, "I see no point at all in being poor." The Duke of St. Albans once told an interviewer that an ancestor of his had lost about 50 million pounds in a foolish speculation in South African goldfields, adding after a pause, "That was a lot of money in those days." The Duke of Devonshire, having been criticized in the London Times, announced in an annoyed and plaintive tone that he would no longer have the newspaper "in any of my houses."

See what I mean? It's easier for some reason to imagine this in the tones of the English upper class, though you do get examples of it in American accents as well. A Bostonian donor to my old college at Oxford was named Coolidge, and when I asked him if he was related to the president of the same name, he acted offended, and said: "Why, no. I believe he was one of the working Coolidges." Barbara Bush, acting the gracious hostess to refugees from New Orleans after the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, managed to say that since many of them were underprivileged, life in a Texas sports stadium was "working very well for them." One sees what she was perhaps attempting to say.

Why is it that when politicians put themselves up for re-election the imagery of blood and revolution starts flowing from a thousand pens; the chatter of the firing squad's fusillade from a million keyboards?

The above quote comes from a piece on candidate McCain, in defence of him against those critics who savaged him for being unable to instantly recall how many houses he owned.

One thing you could say for John Howard: he made damn sure he knew the price of a loaf of bread, just in case he was asked it on camera.

Don't sick me lad

That is the way - [sic] indeed - it is spelt in the reference I cited. I did not suggest it was well written.

As to the dwarf, he only knew the price of a loaf atfer he had been caught out on National TV not knowing the price of a bottle (in those days) of milk. Look it up.

Now warmest regards to all of you and bugger off. I am up to my eyeballs and the top of my very attractive hairline in a frightful bank forgery case.

Where have all the students gone?

MBD [not often used here but, sweeties, one of my favourites]

Kevin's moving farewell to Morris

Via Crikey:

Morris Iemma has made a substantial contribution to public life in NSW over two decades.

Morris achieved much for NSW, both as a Senior Minister and Premier of Australia’s largest state.

Morris put mental health on the national agenda, brought James Hardie to account and made tough decisions for NSW’s future in the areas of desalination and energy reform.

Morris also recently oversaw a highly successful World Youth Day festival.

Morris’ ability, work ethic and leadership skills were acknowledged in his elevation to Premier in 2005.

Two years later he delivered Labor a record fourth consecutive four-year term in NSW.

I wish Morris, Santina and their family all the best for the future.

And then I lay me down to sleep

Michael de Angelos, I hate greenies and after the meeting I chaired the week before last I think Chris Harris hates me (but he can get a little tetchy from time to time, unlike my usual equanimity). I have gotten to know him over the past few years and think he is a decent, sensible, practical politician (although it is beyond me why anyone is interested in running for local government - footpaths and dogshit is what it is about and I find it difficult enough getting the length of the street these days without being stopped for more than half an hour talking to people - heaven knows what it would be like if I were on Council). I expect I shall vote for Harris for Lord Mayor and I would have no hesitation in encouraging any sensible person to do so. He is not feral like that stupid looney female MLC - don't these people visit dentists?

F Kendall, civilised people almost invariably have wine with lunch. The reference to Napoleon was a reference to the way Sartor has, in NSW, been compared to the little dictator so often in the Sydney press for years - both Italian, and Frank seems to have a bit of an itch. One day when I have more time I'll tell you what I know about him and his sordid little deals with various people (especially Clover Moore) over the years.

Ian MacDougall, now, now, dear boy. If it weren't for the rich we wouldn't have the poor and then your bleeding heart would have nowhere to concentrate its attention.

Sweet dreams all.

Sartor is gone, now that is good news

Yes, Sartor is gone, and long overdue too.

Now what happened to all that talk by the departed Mr Iemma about banning political donations by developers? If ever there was fertile ground for corruption that is where you will find it.

Tennyson, Malcolm B. Duncan

wrote some fine, lovely poems, much beloved by teenage girls in particular. Not every thought can be a great one, even from a great man or a great mind. I've never felt inclined to rank poems or poets on a scale: the idea seems antipathetic. Something like ranking colours on a scale of greatness to lowliness.

As for autobiography: I enjoy it. But, when I were a lass, one didn't speak of one's own virtues or achievements, but smiled modestly while others spoke of them. This still seems appropriate to me, although I understand that what Geraldine Brooks calls "Darwinian individualism" is all the go nowadays.

As for my privacy: that is mine....rapidly and increasingly being stolen by forces such as google street view et al. I resist.

Let's help Nathan with those "difficult decisons"

Obviously, sacking all politicians and renting out parliament house would save a bit. And lift peoples' spirits, too, I would think.

Close the schools for a year or two? People would grumble a little, but it would be more readily accepted than closing hospitals, say, or sacking police....people like to feel safe-ish.

I am sure that there are even better suggestions out there: it's just hard to think what they actually do rather than pretend to do.

Bit of snobbery there, Alan Curran

Who cares what Nathan Rees did before? It's what he does from now on that counts. He and Carmel Tebbutt are a circuit breaker. You are forgetting how on the nose Labor was before the last election and why Bob Carr fled. Morris Iemma won against the odds (but would have been slaughtered in the next poll).

Why doesn't anyone listen to me?. I've been saying it for over a year - the Liberals should have ditched O'Farrell and most certainly after he silently allowed the ludicrous World Youth Day "annoyance" laws slip in without a word of protest. They've blown it - they should have got in before Labor and replaced O'Farrell with a young and dynamic leader (not that I've got a clue who is actually in the NSW Opposition - does anyone?).

Yes Ian MacDougall, it was John Brogden who would have been premier today if his own party with John Howard's help hadn't stabbed him in the back. The Liberals are absolutely hopeless when it comes to regime change - Labor does it like a bloodless and ruthless putsch.

I'm more than happy to see the current lot go. It's made my day. Iemma, Costa, Watkins (the biggest disappointment and sell-out of them all).

As for Reba Meagher, she is going as she is tainted by association. I'll say it again-I've been attending the Royal North Shore hospital regularly for 6 months now - for the same complaint where I had to do likewise 3 years ago and it's improved out of sight (the hospital, I mean). Not perfect but it's getting there.

I disagree, Malcolm B. Duncan. Your Dad is wrong - you know Claude couldn't possibly do it better. I've got two cats and had cats all my life and you know as well as me they are just lazy sods that do nothing all day but sleep and wait to be fed!

Outcasts of foolgarah

Did folk get to read the Matthew Moore article in the SMH, 6/9, "NSW drags its feet on FOI reform"? Discussed the lack of attention to FOI reform, in contrast to Anna Bligh's Queensland government.

Symptomatic of why the dismantling of the NSW Right that seems to be happening recently must continue, because Rees/Tebbutt is NSW's and NSW Labor's last best hope for getting back on track. A nasty abscess finally burst and let's hope the wounds are cleaned and disinfected properly for the future health of the patient.

New Premier

Our new Premier Nathan Rees says the economic outlook for NSW is more bleak than he expected, and difficult decisions will have to be made. When asked if the situation was better or worse than he had expected, Mr Rees said "Worse, clearly."

Is he trying to tell us that as a Minister he had no idea what was going in the Cabinet Room?

He has been in the job one day and he is already feeding us bullshit.

Another flop

Michael de Angelos, Reba Meagher, will not be in Rees' new cabinet and is no great loss; she should never have been a minister anyway. Carmel Tebbutt was also a disaster last time she held a minister's job, I suspect Albanese had something to do with her recent elevation.

Table for four for dinner: Neal/Della Bosca and Albanese/Tebbutt.

Nathan Who

Michael de Angelos, it looks as though Nathan Rees has all the qualifications to run NSW, he is a greenkeeper so he will be good at spreading the fertiliser that Labor is so good at. As an ex-garbo he will be able to clean up the crap that comes out of Sussex St. His degree in English Literature will be useful as NSW slips into bankruptcy.

As for Reba, anybody can improve Royal North Shore when you blow the budget out by $500 million.

You are too subtle for me, Fiona

(sits down and ponders over the possible meanings of "heaview")


... and the only excuse I have to offer, F Kendall, is extreme haste coupled with limited web access here in this remote community. Try "heavies". Mind you, I wouldn't mind a bit of speculation about what a "heaview" - or two or more - might be.

Merci du compliment ...

How marvellous to have both F Kendall and David Davis thinking that "popular" was a typo. No - it was deliberate. Like, ironical.

Michael de Angelos, I've been watching young Mr Rees in my spare moments for the past two or three months. Will have to admit, though, that Ms Tebbutt's return was a slight surprise.

Malcolm B Duncan, I will vote for Claude if he promises not to bite me.

We'll all be rooned!

Well, Fiona, I have just returned from voting in our (W.A.) state election.

Not much of a choice, I am afraid. What a farce.

Labor most certainly don't deserve to be elected again, and the Liberals have not done enough to deserve to be elected.

So I voted Independent.

Oi! Malcolm B. Duncan

What did you do to the other 100?

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

While I understand that there are some people in OUR community, F Kendall, who do not appreciate anecdotes about our private lives, you impel me to respond with one.

I once fell madly, deeply, hopelessly, in love with a schoolteacher. Sometime afterwards, I met SWMBO and realised schoolteachers were all that were on offer so ... and there it goes [with a diabetic cat]. Megan was the deep and dark siren with hair the length of a good ship's cable. Meg she was by name and nature - bloody Welsh. While she desired to be obeyed, I was younger in those days. I still have the scar cosmetically obscured in my left eyebrow and buried deeply in my heart. Good choice though, because SWMBO is still alive and Meg isn't.

Megan HATED Tennyson and thought "Tirra lirra by the river" was probably the worst line of verse ever written. Well, you can't disagree with the squeeze when you think you might be in for a squeeze yourself; and it's even more difficult to disagree with something you don't disagree with. Her Mum also hated McGonnigall. I'd never read "The Tay Bridge Disaster" but when I did, I was prepared to agree about the putative poet laureate's qualities as well.

What happened to the other 100 me lass? Lost in the rush.

Of Tennyson and rubbish bins

Tennyson now is it Malcolm B Duncan? I do wish you would not tell these tales out of school just so you can show off your superior knowledge of putative poets, thereby reminding me of the lesser knowledge of same that abides here.

Now rubbish bins are in vogue it seems, so here is a bit from a putative poet that was shoved down my neck at age 15 - what was that you said about falling in love with a teacher???

Once walking down a dusty lane
On Monday by a dirty drain
I saw an empty rubbish bin
And curiously looked within
Some rotting apples and a pear
And mould green oranges were there,
The happy flies flew up and sang
But I was where the apples hang.

Now, anyone who has been forced to learn that sort of stuff can be forgiven, would you not say, for having scant disregard for putative poets, and some teachers as well. I won't inflict the rest on you because I can't remember it but it did end rather nicely when Nathan arrived to scoop it up ...with all its store of dreams therein. As I recall, the putative poet was left in a cloud of dust.

I wonder if our Nathan will end up the same way, though I think his bin is rather empty at the moment: the stuff of nightmares for a garbo I would think.

Now how do you like the Scot singing on your crier thread - his war song against another Labor premier we hope will soon be consigned to the bin?

Costa popular?

It has to be a typo. I have never before heard Costa being described as popular. He was hated by all and sundry.

Typo, Fiona, or am I just out of touch?

I would have thought that Michael Costa was hugely unpopular.

Sartorial elegance

Don't tell me I have to go to Lowe's and buy another bloody cardigan.

Is it "Once more unto the breach" or "Cannons to the right of them, cannons to the left of them"? 

Oh, the brave, the brave, the brave 500.

I might just get elected next time.

Dad said last week "Claude could run the State better."

Bit prophetic me old Dad.

Claude tells me he's thinking about which faction he might join.

Love to you all - premier state - after all we've had more Premiers than any of you. 

Rather Nathan Who than Barry Who!

It's a pretty good move by Labor and none too soon. Nathan Rees and Carmel Tebbutt – both young and "normal" looking, ie: just like the aspirationals!

I've been saying for ages now – the Coalition should have got in first and booted Barry O'Farrell and gone for someone young and dynamic and got the edge over Labor. Now it's too late. They are stuck with him. They will never win with O'Farrell.

And remember, none of us had a clue who Morris Iemma was, but we soon did! Good to see that the quite awful barrister and extremist John Hatzistergos will be moved from the AG post so he can do no more damage to our legal rights (as he did to our hospitals, where Reba Meagher was given the hapless job of cleaning up his mess). On that note, after a visit to the Royal North Shore over the past few weeks I can report that Reba was correct with her press conference there a few days ago – the hospital has improved out of sight.

If Frank Sartor is given health it may be the one thing he gets right.

 I'll also be looking forward to a wonderful piece by Miranda Devine praising the elevation of Carmel Tebbutt to Deputy Premier just as she gave a wonderful rap to Sarah Palin and castigated the "Wimmins" movement for not hailing Palin's obvious superb example for all aspiring women (something she inexplicably failed to write about our female Deputy Prime Minister).

They had someone with all that

Michael, "I've been saying for ages now – the Coalition should have got in first and booted Barry O'Farrell and gone for someone young and dynamic and got the edge over Labor. "

They did. They had someone young and dynamic. A real standout.

That was Whatshisname, who came before O'Farrell.

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