Occident Prone

Welcome to Australia’s wild West

Archive for April, 2008

And so it comes to pass …

Posted by occidentprone on April 30, 2008

Occident was on the money today when we predicted Brendan Nelson’s seal of approval could seal Troy Buswell’s fate. The ABC is reporting Liberal frontbencher Graham Jacobs has called for a spill – the upstanding doctor possibly appalled by his dear leader’s shenanigans. Buswell’s buddies say they have the numbers to beat the move but to the public the Libs look even more fractured. Either way it goes, the good doctors Nelson and Jacobs might have some stitching and healing to do if the party wants a chance at power.

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Kiss of death for Buswell

Posted by occidentprone on April 30, 2008

Good grief. As if Buswell’s week hasn’t been dire enough. Federal Liberal leader Brendan Nelson has said today Troy has his full support. At least at party functions Buswell has someone to stand next who makes him look popular.

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Nose to the grindstone, I swear

Posted by occidentprone on April 30, 2008

This is as good as it gets for the Libs in WA. This is the cream of the crop.
I’ve heard Troy Buswell is an intelligent, articulate, analytical political animal – but all I can see is the animal. Loutish, sexist, bullying and immature – but still leader of the opposition.
Yesterday, Boy Troy admitted to ‘chair sniffing’, with tears and heavy emotion to show he’s sorry. Sorry for the distress caused to the staff member and sorry for his family. But probably not as sorry as the Liberal colleagues who have apparently been undermining him.
Yes, we feel for the Way-Too-Liberal Party where an embarrassing boofhead is their best chance in the next election. But what is the alternative? Matt Birney? At least Buswell is a boofhead with brains. Birney gives the impression he hasn’t read anything outside car manuals and Ralph magazine since school. Paul Omodei? He’s had his shot and failed – miserably.
What’s truly sad is that this is the level of politics in WA. And not just politics but also political commentary, for the most part – and Occident is now implicated. Maybe we’ve spent too much time being wowed by The West Wing but still, where is the intelligent argy-bargy over outcomes, the forensic scrutiny of policy? It’s all either your side vs my side bias or gutter dwelling.
The Australian quotes Liberal Party president Barry Court, son of premier Sir Charles, brother of premier Richard and husband of preacher Margaret, as saying busted Buswell can be mended.

“Myself and my wife (Victory Life Church pastor and former tennis great Margaret Court) deal with issues like this on a daily basis,” he said.

“It’s not unusual for me to see people change overnight and stay that way.”

Buswell says he has mended his ways – no more pinging girls’ bras in social studies, no more beer helmets behind the bike shed, no more mimicking classmates on all fours and from now on his nose just goes to the grindstone, not the seat.

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Who is that man in the panama hat?

Posted by occidentprone on April 29, 2008

Beady eyes, bloated features and tentacles that extend everywhere. How the blazes did Brian Burke get so powerful? And even more intriguing is this: How is it that politicians and bureaucrats cannot stay away from him?
Of course the two are linked – he has sway because the pollies don’t mind being used as pawns and they fall for his charms (apparently he has some) because they feel he can deliver what they want.
The media talks about his Svengali features but he’s more a Faustian devil.
As reported in The Australian today, WA Education Minister Mark McGowan is one in a long line to talk soul with the man in the panama hat.
McGowan claims to have been exempt from wise Dr Geoff Gallop’s ban on any contact with dodgy brothers lobbyists Brian Burke and Julian Grill. Bad move, Minister. You’re talking semantics when you should be thinking ethics.
Will McGowan be another notch on Burke’s enormous belt, a tally of tainted bureaucrats and disgraced pollies … and that’s just since he’s been released from jail.
Ah, the State of Excitement – why would you be anywhere else?

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The story so far …

Posted by occidentprone on April 28, 2008

Great economic growth, low unemployment, an unparallelled audacity. Welcome to Western Australia.

There’s a feeling that the sun will shine forever: “If that’s global warming, bring it on – we’ve earned it”. So true, what with all the minerals and fossil fuels resources and natural gas being stripped from the landscape.
But basking in the glow of the gods has its downside: a skills shortage that includes a shortage of tradies in industry, classrooms without teachers and hospitals without much at all to having to endure a sommelier plucked from the great unwashed. Bacchus help us.
And the worst of the empire?
All anybody wants to talk about is real estate. How much they’ve made, or missed out on, developments, zoning, rentals, negative gearing, capital gains – at the same time mumbling condescensions about poor young families and others who’ve missed the gravy boat. It’s tedious and self-congratulatory and greedy.

Take action So if you are a West Aussie here is your homework.
The next time you find yourself reaching for the grab-bag of real estate cliches at a dinner party STOP. Or if you encounter someone stocking up in the food mart all the while tsk tsk-ing the fate of the poor people, politely tell them where they can put their fromage and cheeky chenin.
Nothing more. Don’t be rude or aggressive or left-leaning. Just a simple, “Please don’t”. Together we can stop the rot.

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