When Fairfax Doesn't Apologise

Because I'm too lazy, The Guardian takes up the story.
The Age has admitted that a man it described as “the embodiment of Melbourne’s hipster fashion scene”, Samuel Davide Hains, was a prank dreamt up by a freelance writer and her subject.The Age’s editor, Alex Lavelle, said Tara Kenny had been dumped as a freelancer for concocting the plan with her friend Hains and lying to an Age reporter.
Published in the Sunday Age, Kenny’s Street Seen feature was purportedly about a stranger she spotted in the street who wore his dungarees backwards. “I am a web developer, mystery blogger and jazz kitten,” the pink beret-wearing Hains said.
Some jovial nonsense on a non-story results in someone being canned, but go back a few years and we witness outright misrepresentation at the Canberra Times without so much as an editorial paddling.

This is the point where I wholesale quote an old story because I'm, again,  lazy. Come to any conclusions you wish, but jokes result in punishment and real estate advertorials are legitimate content?

11 August 2013
Our story begins as most of these narratives do, talent was needed to fill one of those tired and lazy morning after stories - home owner welcomes interest rate cut. Insipid space filler, but much loved by the real estate cabal. What better marketing tool than an earnest home owner letting slip how hefty their mortgage is and how they're better to be contributing to it, than renting or actually putting the numbers into a Casio. Normalise the behaviour and you'll get people thinking, "well if that bozo can do it..."

Fleta Page of The Canberra Times was aching for a post RBA decision hookup with someone desperate for an interest rate cut and the Canberra Times played eHarmony with a retweet.

The call was answered. The next day the front page of The Canberra Times featured the cutesy face of new home ownership benefiting from the RBA's handiwork, Jacqui Day.

The story followed a strangely familiar theme, renting blows and there's never been a better time to buy...
"I lived out of home for my final year of uni and I just remember paying rent each month - I just hated transferring the money - I just felt like it was paying off someone else's mortgage instead of contributing to what could be my own home," she said. "I remember my mum telling me when she bought our family home nearly 25 years ago, interest rates were at 17, 18 per cent, so … it's just a great time to buy.''
Strangely familiar because as anyone knows there's often an unusual smell when it comes to media appearances for real estate stories. Only a certain type of person could tell the public it was a great time to buy when the circumstances surrounding their own purchase weren't that great. Parents required to front cash and still shouldering a 300k plus mortgage, which to pay, will require her to fill her spare rooms with potential serial killers, or worse, political staffers.

Little wonder that face belongs to the Marketing Coordinator for Colliers International in Canberra. Was any of this revealed in the story? No. That is until someone who could copy and paste the name "Jacqui Day" into Google went and did just that and started getting huffy in the comment section. Online the story was quickly amended to reflect the truth, but anyone reading the hard copy was none the wiser. And while I don't have the Times' front page for posterity, I do have ProQuest Newsstand, which journalists looking to retain some shred of credibility, can't have edited.

Now online you'll read, "Ms Day, who works as a marketing coordinator at Colliers, fixed part of her mortgage at just under 5 per cent, but won't be spending the savings the Commonwealth Bank will pass on for her variable portion."

When Fleta Page's original story read as follows...

Here's where I'd say something like, it's little wonder readers disappear and refuse to pay for content. When you insult readers' intelligence with ethically questionable omissions you drop a steaming pile on your own credibility and that of your newspaper. But does this pair get it? Nope. Fleta Page and Jacqui Day, in an act of defiant cluelessness, bemoaned the response as they took to twitter.

Charming. Expect honesty, integrity and transparency from your media? Well screw you, troll. Pray you never hear this pair sing. Tone deafness, baby. Put out the call for talent to colour a story relating to a particular industry and you're contacted by a marketing professional from that industry willing to brush their teeth and smile for the camera - decision? You'd think it would be obvious what not to do.

Then we have the marketing gal. Fantastic PR credentials, quality education. Yet can't understand why the public takes a dim view. Expect BP to be on the phone the next time a rig blows. 

Brexit Bozo Roundup

brexit vote

Like Michael Pascoe I really don't give a damn about Britain. I really don't give a damn about the EU either. A lot of people do though. Hands are a wringing and darts are being pelted because some peasants got uppity. How should we categorize the peasant class?

Michael Pascoe, from the South South Sino Morning Domain

But I do care about the isolationist small-mindedness that seems to have driven the Brexit vote; the shrinking vision, the reduced hearts and minds of what was once a rather grand outward-looking nation. The danger, as many have commented, is that it gives heart to similar xenophobic, anti-globalisation types.

The same populist forces that swung the British public - that demonise migrants and, especially, refugees, that push a myth of a smaller, protectionist future being better – are at work here and more broadly in the world. That's a worry.

Pascoe, who once spent many columns not exactly damning immigration, but at least pointing out Australia's two faced immigration hypocrisy before he was brazenly called a xenophobe himself by a cheap opportunist, has turned remarkably since those days. As I noted after he was attacked by Andrew Bartlett, that caterpillar went into his cocoon and emerged as a beautiful immigration loving butterfly:

he's shifted to enthusiastic cheersquad member and he's started spitting out the lingo straight from the "I'm too lazy to argue this one" book - "xenophobic", "dog whistle" etc etc, which when coming from the rent seeking business community is often cloak for "we need the money, we're too lazy and stupid to increase productivity, so please shut up!"

But Pascoe now points out we need to educate the peasants so the can escape their racism and acknowledge the benefits we've all shared - remember your squalor here is a much higher squalor of that in the third world.

Domestically, there is a duty to educate Australians about the massive rise in living standards we have achieved through embracing globalisation and migration.

Of course the older you get there are other reasons to educate. With a great sidegig MC-ing and speaking at events for banks, fund managers, real estate goons and other beneficiaries of globalisation and migration, the Pascoe Family Super Fund enjoys the spoils and those ski trips are continually paid for.

Jowls Kelly at The Australian pulled the almost routine "old guy with massive ego who can't garden, now bludging, phones another one in".

I'd quote him, but it was 600 word segue through self-evident phrases like "immense task to maintain confidence in its economy" and "The Britain-EU demerger will take years to sort out". On that inventive thread, Kelly also squeezed in xenophobia to maintain some elite credibility.

In concluding, Kelly pushed his walker back around to saying what you say when you have nothing to say at all:

The truth is that nobody really knows the full consequences of this decision. It will play out over years and decades. But there is one certainty — Britain will be long preoccupied with the task of sorting out its own future.

If Jowls Kelly had a twitter account, some humility, and a touch of brevity, he could have encapsulated his thoughts in a single tweet with enough space for #brexit at the end.

Over in Canada, there was Doug Saunders. A dude who makes a buck out of writing about immigration and cloaks his defense of corporatised trade by invoking xenophobia at the drop of a hat. And in this instance, the end is nigh.

It marks the end of the postwar consensus that held that democratic solidarity and free movement is the way to avoid military conflict and anti-democratic extremism. It marks the isolation of Europe’s second-largest economy from its main market. It marks a collapse of leadership in both major British political parties. It means that the only real issue in British politics for many years will be the struggle to reconstitute what once existed.

And, most significantly for the rest of the world, it marks the first time that the xenophobic politics of the far right have managed to win a majority national vote in a major Western country.

Doug went onto moan that fallacies became truths ie. the public couldn't think for themselves or couldn't have reasons for their votes beyond the reasons Doug glued to them.

Then there was his stablemate Elizabeth Renzetti, who again went "those wacky idiots" route, picking up on the idea a few exit voters decided to use a pen in case MI5 rubbed out their votes. Yep the old yawning try to be funny conspiracy debunking column, that knob Joe Hildebrand writes this one about five times a year. The only media contribution more boring is when a few celebrities croak at the same time and the cartoonist has them meeting at the pearly gates. Anyway, getting serious towards the end, here's Renzetti:

This twisting of truth is toddler reasoning (if it does not achieve my aims, it must be wrong), and it is not confined to Mr. Trump and his millions of supporters. A core of Bernie Sanders fans sincerely believe the primary season was rigged against their candidate, and that a nefarious cabal kept him from his proper victories in New York and California. They will vote for anyone but Ms. Clinton, the “establishment” candidate. This corrosive suspicion of elites, whether in the United States or Britain or anywhere else in the world, does not just bring down the establishment – it decays the whole foundation of a civil society based on trust.

Suspicion of elites! Those poor misunderstood devils. And damn the little people for being the wreckers of our civil society - where's your respect and absolute trust, losers?

Back in Australia there was Van Badham. During the week some flabby middle-aged bloke starred in a Coalition ad as a tradesman having a grizzle about the Labor party. Van, who believes she shares an affinity with the working class, took it as a launching pad to get righteous about the death of the working man under our Coalition reptilian overlords.

Because it’s not been lost on the Australian working class and the communities in which they live that the old Australian promise of blue-collar jobs that would earn someone born without wealth enough to “get ahead” is one failing to be fulfilled.

Yes Van, it's happening in many places over the world. I wonder why. Anyway, when the poor and downtrodden in Britain exercised one of the few rights they've got left, Van dedicated half a day to retweeting various snappy takes on why the class of people she earlier in the week stood in unity with were now idiot racists.

Finally there was the "not us, we're not the establishment" trio of Bolt, Blair & Devine. To the actual elites they truly have a connection with this was a bit of a disaster. However, the dastardly trio have made their money grizzling about a lesser breed of dribbling and scribbling elites, like the ones I've mentioned above, as part of their myopic culture wars. So it was fake party time as they pretended to be part of the class who would have voted to leave the EU. Pause for a moment to reflect on any of the three spending more than a few moments in the company of the former working class.

How to conclude? There's always the option to once again complain those pontificating have been insulated from the economic realities the average person faces. They've grown bloody lazy and best they can muster is "uh these racists" which can be code for anything from "they're upsetting my banking friends" to "they're disrupting my dreams of late night Ghanaian street food". "Dey took er jerbs" is pretty funny, until you realise something. Someone wants those hard fought battles for pay and conditions flushed down the toilet. They want the desperate plebs competing against even more desperate plebs. Plebs desperate enough to work for 5 cents a day and eat toxic waste for lunch.

That might be why some people now vote with their middle finger.

The Obligatory Donald Trump Post

Donald Trump idiot tax

As someone who has sat through too much reality TV, I'm highly qualified to write about Donald Trump. I'm a dude who watched three seasons of The Apprentice and two seasons of The Celebrity Apprentice. I know my Trump. A little too well. Truly more than I understood. Because on reflection I checked how many seasons Trump has fired people, from Omarosa to Bret Michaels. And I've watched way more than five seasons.

My secondary qualification, is my home. I live among the poor and the uneducated. The poorest electorate in the poorest state in Australia. I love the uneducateds and poors because I get to see it all. The petty grievances that escalate into generational feuds. The apex predators of pubs who can now ply their trade on Facebook. The threatening posture attempting to mask the existential torment regularly bludgeoned with Beam cans.

Jokes aside, they've suffered the same indignities formerly working class America has for the past few decades. If there's a place in Australia that would be voting Trump, I'm probably in it. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Given the pant suited warmonger he's up against, I'd probably do it too.

Poor and uneducated shouldn't be mistaken for stupid, but it can mean frustrated and angry. Years of listening to career nobodies lie in acceptable language while living standards and opportunities around you evaporate, tends make you cantankerous. The frustrated and angry are sick of their disingenuous representative options and they're sick of a media class who reflexively act as apologists for that status quo when any alternative emerges.

Yep. It's wearing thin. "Jobs, economy, innovation, growth, trade", all intangible fluff they're expected to choke on every election cycle, while being patted on their head and reminded of their resilience. You can fool and bullshit people for a long time, but gradually they understand it won't get better. A growing number of voters are figuring out their position of dupe. The horny local member grinding up against them every few years before disappearing into the night. Left confused, their suitor is next seen proudly standing next to the owner of a profitable local company who just built a new factory in Thailand.

No one knows how close we are to a heads on sticks moment, so assume Trump is the initial civilized experiment in rebellion. What makes it work is the media. The ones moaning about declining standards of discourse. A collective abhorrence the public sense and are energized by. The media's unwillingness to stand near the coal face, instead pontificating about what they see inside their own rectum leaves them with no concept the Trump extravaganza is the appropriate response to being left behind.

If you're frustrated and angry, you want to spout off. Frustrated and angry people understand this. They also instinctively know now that liars speak in measured language while "sharing their concerns" and behaving robotically because their loyalties are elsewhere. Party. Company. Secret handshake society.

Trump, while talking out his arse, speaks and behaves one part-billionaire braggart to aspire and the other, like a guy angry about layoffs, foreclosures and watching his 15 year-old daughter get pregnant to the mouth-breather down the road who doesn't appreciate how a rubber feels on his dong. Anyone and everyone can be a target at any moment. Frustration doesn't have a filter and it doesn't have to be complex.

The media responses are predictable complaints. Dragging the state of affairs down, being low on substance and offering no specifics on policy. An uncouth barbarian emerges speaking average man, (average man being the enemy for both the political left and right) and the media suddenly yearns for the substance they personally jettisoned years ago.

Trump's "all Mexicans are rapists" speech was the prototype media failure. Trump's full babbling speech was bombastic, but nothing outrageous, unless selectively quoted and reinterpreted based on those selective quotes. The media, in their rush to exterminate Trump on day one, did exactly the selective quoting and reinterpretation guaranteed to piss people off. For a short period there was an atmosphere of media relief, like they'd swiftly aborted the fetus of a deadbeat ex. Days later they were recoiling in horror after learning the abortion was a bust and Damien himself had emerged from the abortion clinic dumpster.

Whatever the people heard, the message was "you've been screwed for a long time and you should be angry". Trump likely awakened some racial animosity, but he mostly took a position for his side - America. As trite as that sounds, everyone who had been cast aside by trade, war, financial institutions and watched their leaders defend foreign partners, got a whiff of someone who wasn't a sniveling apologist for everyone but them.

Media disgust at Trump only fuels the beast. The public acutely understand one of the political establishment's key partners in crime is the media. Watching them fumble around attempting to lay a glove Trump has to be the most satisfying spectator sport to emerge since the UFC. In this instance there's only one in the octagon and they're repeatedly punching themselves in the face. That a crop of toady columnists never grasp the public's revulsion for them, but soldier on, lecturing about Trump and Bernie Sanders, has to be some collective mental disorder worthy of study.

Take a howling sermon from The Globe & Mail's Doug Saunders. A pompous internationalist, who barely conceals his disgust that the average person still expects a government they voted for in their own country to represent them. The type of fantasist, increasingly removed from the real world, who'd legitimately ponder why the former working class don't take some time out from the drug addiction and destitution around them to cheer the increasing living standards in the third world.

Instead of letting this naturally play out, he says "Americans need to learn, fast, the European practice known as the cordon sanitaire" Saunders explains "there is an agreement among the major political parties, morally serious candidates, voters and the media to come together to prevent the extremist politician’s campaign from becoming a normal part of the political process."

If the shutting out Trump scenario wasn't a red flag waved from the ivory tower to an already agitated bull below, to strengthen his case, the tone-deaf Saunders even wheeled out establishment nitwits like Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham, along with the war criminal Bush oligarchy as enthusiastic supporters of the concept. It takes a special kind of brazenness to stand up and tell people the now serious and trustworthy among you are those same corrupt thugs you've wanted to rid yourself of for years.

Not that Saunders is alone. Pick a media organisation and you'll find a cavalcade of stooges who would have once gleefully told you "that's democracy" if you'd had a grievance about lack of representation. They now wring their hands and want to stage an intervention. In their minds the plebs now can't be trusted because they've thrown up an abrasive vulgarian who appeals to their nationalist instincts and has tapped into their legitimate anger.

Trump is an utterly defensible response to decades of being played for fools. They get a candidate who allows them to let off steam. The media should be thankful. It could be worse.

Can Trump produce anything to change the fortunes of the angry and frustrated, the poor and uneducated? Trump's a salesman. Trump voters may think they're driving away in a Ferrari, when they hit the highway it's likely to be a different story. I assume it will end the way it always does. They'll eventually be roadside with the bonnet up, finding out it's the same clapped out Ford Taurus they've been riding in for years.

If that's the outcome, then they still need to be allowed to vote for it.

More Great Liberal Ideas From North-West Tasmania

brett whiteley community cuppa

If one of your state's major political parties is run with an iron first by Erich Abetz there's a pretty good chance state representatives of that party will be arch-conservatives. On a good day, about 70 mad men ensure Abetz will hold first spot on Tasmania's senate ticket. Abetz and state Liberal director Sam McQuestin ensure who those mad men are. The Tasmanian Liberal circle of life. The puppeteer's strings ensure that circle of life devolves on a steady diet of obsessing over gays, druggies, the unemployed, anyone not wearing R.M. Williams, while looking to shovel money towards and approve any half-witted, tinpot resource extraction idea. Disagree on the blinkered ideals and you'll be labeled a 'greenie'. The now official Tasmanian pejorative term for anyone with an opinion differing from Erich Abetz.

Bringing us to Braddon Liberal MP, Brett Whiteley. If you're one of the four regular readers, you'd recall Brett's featured here more than once. Feel free to get some Streisand backing tunes playing before you read on and recall Brett's finer political moments. For the rest of you, read on in silence as you take this gent's views in.
Playing on the lie that jobs exist and the unemployed are little more than children who need a paddling, allows him to puff his chest out and offer the following:

“It is my very strong view that some of our young people just need an extra prod,” Whiteley tells me. “They need that prod and that is for us to say, ‘Some of the options have been taken away and here are the options that are left if you want the government to provide regular payments’.” He likens the policy to controlled ­crying with young children. “Some people will cry a little longer than others but it is for their own good in the long run.”
And if you can't get your workers cheap enough.
WORK for the Dole should be opened up to small business, Braddon Liberal MHR Brett Whiteley believes.  The Abbott government program is currently available to not-for-profits, community groups, councils and so on. Mr Whiteley has been arguing within the government to make small businesses eligible to provide placements, and said he would continue to do so.    
Meanwhile, Whiteley enthusiastically cheers growth in the the labour pool from outside Australia, at the same time he fights for small businesses to use workers in a work for the dole program.  

A PROPOSAL for 457 visas to be streamlined has been welcomed by Fruit Growers Tasmania and Braddon MHR Brett Whiteley..... 

Mr Whiteley said the proposed changes would not have a huge impact on Tasmania. ‘‘In Tasmania we don’t see many huge projects that could have huge impacts on the economy but wither on the vine due to a shortage of skilled workers,’’
 And finally there's the really important thing to remember.
Brett Whiteley. Whiteley, who looks like your standard Liberal politician from central casting, a glazed ham dressed in a suit,
With that cornucopia of brilliant thought and public policy, you know I'm about to introduce some more fine thinking from Brett.
LONG-term dole recipients should be randomly drug tested and have their payments suspended if they are “off their heads”, Braddon Liberal MHR Brett Whiteley says. “One just needs to walk through the centre of our larger towns to see that there is a significant problem,” Mr Whiteley said. He has been pushing his idea within the party and has raised it directly with Treasurer Scott Morrison.
That's representation for North-West Tasmania. Get an audience with the treasurer and focus on populist nonsense. One would assume Scott Morrison would be face palming the minute Whiteley left his office. And where did this light bulb come from? Well it's not the first time Whiteley's raised it, but he has refined it to random testing, given the last reaction was wholly negative from the Facebook set, pointing out the enormous costs to drug test every dole recipient. So where was the concept refined before being presented to the treasurer?
Asked if he was pushing a populist issue because the election was close, Mr Whiteley said he was  pushing for the policy after people who attended  the latest round of his Community Cuppa events raised  concerns “ taxpayers’ generosity is being abused by some in the community”.
What's a Community Cuppa? Well that's where Brett goes to a local bowls club or RSL and sits listening to a bunch of pensioners (non drug tested pogey recipients) as they gripe about gay marriage, halal, druggies, the unemployed and potholes on local council roads. And the local newspaper, never one to exploit division, gave the idea just the right amount of deference - on the front page.

the advocate drugs front page tasmania

The questions to be raised are endless, but I'll leave it at one. We're pushing for policy based on someone seeing some unruly types apparently staggering around the streets during the day? What's with the implicit implication they're unemployed? No employed person ever uses drugs or alcohol on their days off? Which could be any time, given modern work schedules.

However, let's stick to the narrative. The blue rinse set has seen their tax dollars snorted, injected and smoked away by the unemployed. The best assumption we can make here is those doing it are young, so we've got another young verses old battle in the electorate with the highest rate (last time I checked) of youth unemployment in the country, the lowest educational achievements and is classified as having a high level of socio-economic disadvantage according to the ABS.

You'd think addressing youth disadvantage would be some sort of priority, but as noted by Whiteley's previous ideas on restricting the dole for unemployed young people, that's really not on the agenda... He likens the policy to controlled ­crying with young children. “Some people will cry a little longer than others but it is for their own good in the long run.” 

Although sometimes we find out the local unemployed aren't little kids with the toys out of the cot. They're screwed around by large companies who appear to have a preference for foreign workers.
Imagine this situation. You're desperate for work and you're continually told there's opportunities available at a company. You apply multiple times and never hear a thing. At the same time that company continues to parade around in the local media claiming it can't get local workers - yet you're a local worker! What kind of BS game is being played here? And to rub salt in the wounds, that company has been gifted a million bucks of taxpayer money in the last year.
What of Abetz and Whiteley? The employment minister and Tasmanian senator was not seen or heard from during this clusterfuck. This, despite being the advocate of getting the unemployed into the fruit and vegetable fields. Whiteley stepped up to the plate and while happy to tar the unemployed at the drop of a hat, he was more conciliatory towards Costa's bullshit.
Federal MP for Braddon Brett Whiteley said he had raised the concerns of his constituents with the company. "I've spoken to Costa again today about that and we've spoken about whether or not there are any blips in their system and I think if there are they have a responsibility to fix those," he said.
Meanwhile, when not demeaning the unemployed and getting his photo taken handing out money to companies who could easily improve and build their own facilities, Whiteley is running around doing money drops and photo ops at local bowls clubs and RSLs, just the place where most disenfranchised youth hang out.

What he hasn't done is explain to his electorate (just to highlight again, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the country with the highest rate of youth unemployment) why their major population areas will be left without FTTP NBN despite being on a rollout map with commitments that the Liberals said they'd honour when they came to power.

Whiteley's stance on the NBN after coming to power
Mr Whiteley said the review would have no bearing on the Tasmanian rollout. "The review was about laying out the facts for all to see," he said. "Under the previous Labor Government the NBN was a fact-free zone, and now we know why. We committed to honouring existing contracts during the campaign and that is happening right now. "Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false."
These days FTTP is the "rolled gold Lamborghini version" and local Mayors campaigning for that option are chastised.Yet as the Mayors point out, it's likely going to be an economic good for an area that's been in the dumps for a long time.
“Mayors are not talking down their cities, they are advocating for equity, looking to the future and talking up the important role access to fibre to the premises will play in the North-West's economy.” And 'It took 75 years for 500 million people to receive the telephone, but 35 days for an app to reach 500 million people. What will happen in the next ten years if we don’t have that capacity and resource to all Tasmanians?’’ Alderman Martin said.
In Whiteley's world you'll undermine your town, city or region with that kind of talk.
“Now they’d be doing better talking up their cities instead of talking them down. “It’s very, very unhelpful for local mayors to be suggesting to people reading about our beautiful state that you wouldn’t want to come to the North-West because you can’t get NBN to the premises.”
Yet it's more likely you'll undermine it with garbage digital infrastructure. Paradoxically, Brett's saying we need to attract younger people to the region, presumably we hide the lack of FTTP before their arrival.
Braddon Liberal MHR Brett Whiteley said the decline was a concern, ‘’but it is as much about the age demographic as it is about the number of people’’. ‘’We need to ensure that we’re attracting younger workers to the region.‘’There is a long-term strategy in place to increase Tasmania’s population as developed by the Hodgman government and supported by me.
This farce has played out because it's not really about the local community, well not all of it. There's a big dip in demographics between 20-34 in Braddon. The important parts are at the bowls clubs and the RSLs. A lot of the youth take the hint and piss off, while the blue rinse set don't care about yesterday's internet tomorrow because they'll be in the ground by then. The youth unemployment figures should be an embarrassment for a local member, but you rarely if ever hear about them. Pandering to the bigger demographics on ridiculous social issues and tossing around money to pensioner recreations is the game because it's a marginal seat.

How are we going to fix economic disadvantage, youth unemployment, the scourge of drugs and attract younger people to the region?

You can be sure the pensioners Brett's sharing an Iced VoVo with at his next Community Cuppa will have all the solutions.

Samantha Maiden Drunk Behind the Wheel

Samantha Maiden Daily Telegraph Drunk
Because of my fine work filling in for Fairfax a few weeks back during industrial action, The Daily Telegraph contacted me for a hands off front page and editorial on the Samantha Maiden drink driving story. They wanted to highlight the story, but keep their hands clean, so they called me up. I was slightly upset this morning when I found they'd not used my work, but luckily you can still enjoy it. I did my utmost to keep it on point for Telegraph readers.

It's long been proven speed and alcohol are the dominant factors in fatal car crashes and accidents involving serious injury. So we continue to wonder why some of our most prominent citizens engage in such reckless behaviour? Like you, we believe they're dangerous mongrels who second chance judges have let terrorise us for too long.

Earlier this year News Corp journalist, Samantha Maiden was lecturing Liberal MP Jamie Briggs about his boozy antics, terming him a 'barfly' and that his "alcoholic intake left him running the risk of behaving like Les Patterson when representing Australia abroad." Apparently Maiden thinks there's something wrong with a beer in your hand and sauce on your shirt.

We like our pollies a little rough around the edges, but we'll concede Briggs may have been a goose while on the turps. However, he never had a skinful before getting behind the wheel of 2500kg vehicle, winding it up to 110km and hurtling down darkened country roads with Police in hot pursuit.

Because that's what Samantha Maiden did.

Astonishingly the Police chase became so dangerous, with Maiden all over the road, that our finest had to give up the chase and radio ahead for another pursuit car to tail her further up the road.

After hooning through a 50km zone doing 80km, Maiden nearly wiped out an innocent Commodore, one of the last built in Australia, before surrendering to the exasperated Police. In handcuffs, Maiden blew into the bretho and it proved positive. Back at the station Maiden's second blow registered 0.136 - almost three times the legal limit.

You really need to consider the "what ifs" in these situations. Maybe a family was coming in the other direction as Maiden accelerated and swerved at high speed. Maybe it was a family pet Maiden could have crushed, leaving poor children without their beloved cat or dog.

Maybe it was a kiddie.

It's not out of the realms of possibility that a young child was sleep walking that night and wandered out onto the road unawares. When you look at the great Australians Goulburn has produced, you can see the potential loss.

Kate Ritchie is one of Goulburn's finest, but had she stumbled onto the road that night as a small child we never would have seen Sally grow up before our eyes and win our hearts on Home & Away.

George Lazenby is another of Goulburn's finest. Imagine a young George Lazenby mowed down by Maiden's flying Santa Fe. Australia would never have had its own Bond. We'd be shaken and stirred.

Goulburn's Gold Medalist, Michael Diamond is another who would no doubt be missed. Sure he had lightning reflexes when trap shooting, but as a young child even he would struggle to dodge an oncoming car driven by a drunk driver.

The seriousness of this crime cannot be understated and that's why today we're starting a new Tele campaign to get Samantha Maiden off our roads and behind bars.

Economics For Slobs: Population Growth

The Tasmanian media loves all the good stuff that makes economies work. More people and more debt financed consumption. Pull a bit more out of your house to keep the economy ticking over, please. They love it because industry loves it. Who else offers prepackaged news you don't have to hunt and kill? Industry mouthpieces offer the quotes and the schlep in the industry office emails out the press release and the latest report.

Point of contact in authority position that generously supplies you with information to quickly colour stories on a semi-regular basis. Eventually it all becomes true. It must. So no one ever does the brave thing - asks a question, or more simply, challenges someone.

The Tasmanian government has a big plan.
POPULATION growth has been identified as a foundation stone by the Hodgman State Government in its strategy to kickstart Tasmania’s long-anticipated economic revival. It has even identified a target population of 650,000 — an extraordinary boost...

The thinking behind this is that more people will mean more economic activity — more houses, more shops, more schools, more services — and this will underpin a boom in construction and other sectors.
From 516k to 650k. That's one hell of a boost, but for former HIA blabbermouth and now chief of staff to the Attorney General, that wasn't enough.
Housing Industry Association executive director Stuart Clues said the Government’s target was too conservative. “Tasmania needs two things ... people and jobs for those people,’’ Mr Clues said. “We have a land mass the size of Ireland [a country] that comfortably supports 4.6 million people. “I believe Tasmania should be aiming for one million ­people by 2050.”
That's still the HIA's position. More people. More homes. More Bunnings. More jobs. Until you can't. For those of us who appreciate that food/space/air deal, thankfully neither of these targets is likely to be met. Sadly I'll be washing my own balls and wiping my own date in old age because there won't be enough young people ready to staff my nursing home to do it. That's how it works, isn't it?
STATE Growth Minister Matthew Groom has warned of a  ''death spiral'' that may see a permanent decline in the state's population. The government has set a target of boosting Tasmania's population to 650,000 by 2050."If our population goes into population decline, that potentially creates what they refer to as the ''death spiral'' circumstance where the capacity of the population to be able to support essential services becomes so compromised that it causes people to leave and so therefore you go into permanent decline."
Of course this presupposes the demographers making a buck from helping the state government form the population plan can accurately predict anything 30 years into the future. And more importantly, will Tasmanian governments continue to prop up mendicant government businesses like Forestry Tasmania in lieu of essential services? Or will they just rob from the state's electricity business, as they did last year? See, I just found 30 million bucks for essential services.

So how's that population growth going? Great guns! Up less than half a percent year on year. Though most went to Hobart. And more people is just what Hobart is prepared for. 
WORSENING  traffic congestion in Hobart is stretching peak periods to well beyond the traditional hour, experts say. Thousands more cars are entering the city from arterial roads every year — prompting calls for stakeholders to consider a range of solutions. Traffic engineer Keith Midson said travel times were increasing, with more frequent bottlenecks and peak periods of up to two hours. Morning peak now started at 8am and went until 9.30am, he said. The afternoon peak began at 4pm and ran until 6pm, particularly for motorists heading south on the Southern Outlet. “Traffic is getting worse in Hobart and people are noticing,” he said.
Meanwhile on the North-West and West Coast.
THE North-West and West Coast are losing population despite statewide population growth. The region lost 87 more people more than it gained in the year to June 30, 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found.
To my old buddy, Sean Ford (I assume it was Sean, the editorial wasn't credited) these figures were not acceptable.
TASMANIA will come nowhere near the state government’s population growth target unless  demographic gains speed up strongly....Most importantly, such growth would require a predominantly strong economy during that long period. Fairfax research in 2014 showed Tasmanian population growth  and decline had moved in virtual lockstep with growth and decline in the jobs market since 1985 (and most likely before then too).
Just as the population drip was not acceptable six months back.
Certainly, the current trend suits those who detest the idea of immigration from overseas, the eco-extremists for whom one human will always be too many and those who believe the nonsense about foreigners/mainlanders/women/whatever "taking our jobs".... Research The Advocate did last year proved changes in job numbers and population were closely linked in Tasmania. By charting growth and decline in jobs and population in Tasmania back to 1985, the research showed the two to be joined at the hip. So, step one is continuing to improve the state's economic strength, which will, as history shows, lure more residents.
You'd think in between painting everyone against maniac population growth as racists or eco-nuts, Sean would offer a clue why Tasmania's population only increased 17% since 1985, while Australia's population increased 52%. What has ravaged the economies of remote locations with low-skilled labour forces since 1985? Maybe ask these guys.

Tioxide, ACI Glass, Sanitarium Foods, Stanley Tools, Coats Paton, J&H Furniture, Southern Aluminum, Burnie Paper Mill, Wesley Vale Board & Paper Mill, Blundstone, Electrona Carbide, APM Port Huon, Sanitarium, Waverly Woollen Mills, James Nelson Textiles, ACL Bearings, Tascott Templeton, Caterpillar, McCains, Ovaltine, Montpelier Foundry, IXL, Pioneer Silica, Silk & Textiles, Australian Weaving Mills.

They're not coming back, but Sean was on the phone to the Federal Liberal member, Brett Whiteley and the Labor challenger, Justine Keay to find out their thoughts. I'll save you the read, neither bothered to question if losing a handful of people over a year should really be seen as a negative. Brett was concerned about the yoof attraction though.
 ‘’but it is as much about the age demographic as it is about the number of people’’. ‘’We need to ensure that we’re attracting younger workers to the region.
Which is why Brett had good news for all the young computer app techno types a few months back. 
“The message for Devonport residents is clear – superfast broadband is on its way,” Mr Whiteley said. Final network designs are now complete meaning that in coming weeks, NBN Co subcontractors will be seen in the streets, laying out fibre and building cabinets to house the electronics needed to supply superfast broadband. “The NBN will truly revolutionise the way people connect in their homes and businesses. It is vitally important the North-West doesn’t waste another decade waiting for gold-plated broadband upgrades.”
FTTN 25Mbps, bitches! What Brett never spelled out was some select places on the North-West already had the gold-plated version before Brett arrived on the scene and others wouldn't have been far behind. Yet the man who "fights for every dollar" wants to attract more yoofies to the region with positive thoughts.
Both Alderman Dow and Alderman Martin said that having FTTP in place was about ensuring future growth. ''We need to ensure that we have the infrastructure and technology in place to support future economic growth and fibre-to-the-premise will play an important role in this,'' Alderman Dow said. ''It took 75 years for 500 million people to receive the telephone, but 35 days for an app to reach 500 million people. What will happen in the next ten years if we don’t have that capacity and resource to all Tasmanians?’’ Alderman Martin said. Federal Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley responded to Mayor Anita Dow by saying that she needs to ''be more positive''. ''I am not dismissive to their [councils] concerns, but the evidence clearly shows that the satisfaction rate of FTTN network users is equal users of the gold plated FTTP technology,'' Mr Whitley said
How'd this get onto NBN? The big employers are gone. They won't come back now they've found a cheap supply of chimney sweeps in more central locations. The two most economically disadvantaged areas lost a potential point of difference that could have drawn intelligent people to work remotely, yoof or new business. Low cost housing, if you bring cash from elsewhere. Relaxed environment if you avoid the bogans. Add FTTP and doesn't that make for an opportunity? I know people who've gotten out of the mainland east coast hellscape and moved to Hobart for these exact reasons - the final deciding factor was the availability of the FTTP.

And even if FTTP didn't attract more people, Tasmania wouldn't have to worry so much about investing in essential services. In the future someone could wash my balls remotely. Meanwhile this population plan means Tasmania continues to retain the exact people we don't want here - demographers.