Previous month:
June 2020
Next month:
August 2020

July 2020

ABC's most condescending, box-ticking celebrity produces world's-best strategic-thinking word-soup

This is ABC Canberra's TV News autocue reader, Dan Bourchier.

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 11.33.58 am

He identifies as gay and Aboriginal.

He has a ring on his finger to remind us of one, and a flag on his lapel for the other.

Here he is at his condescending best, leading the way for his lessers on a flavour-of-the-month issue.

And because their ABC's taxpayer-funded Dan is destined for greatness, last week he found time to hob-nob with other great minds at the ADF Academy for a strategic thinkers course - he even got a certificate to prove it.

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 11.41.51 am

So what does a Strategic Theory for Practice course have to do with reading the ABC's autocue in Canberra?

Let's allow Dan Bourchier JP GAIDC to explain all by himself.

NSW Government employees stop normal work to attend 'LGBTIQ+ Network' launch tomorrow

Might explain delays to getting your rego done tomorrow arvo.

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 9.24.58 am

About this Event

We are excited to be joined by senior executives from across the sector who continue to show their support for LGBTIQ + staff and allies.

On the day, we will hear from:

  • Kathrina Lo - NSW Public Service Commissioner
  • Em Hogan - Secretary, Department of Customer Service
  • Jim Betts - Secretary Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Zoé Kennedy (LGBTIQ+ Network Lead) will introduce the network and its role within the sector, share information on upcoming cross sector events and how you can get involved.

The network’s new name will be announced and its logo revealed.

All NSW Public Sector staff are welcome to attend and can join the network here.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Date And Time

Tue, 28 July 2020

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM WITA

Add to Calendar


Online Event


Armed Mineapolis residents set up vigilante patrols as police are defunded. This can't end well.

Law of the jungle anyone?

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 8.49.20 am

Minneapolis residents in some areas still recovering from rioting and unrest are forming community watch and security groups, some bearing firearms, to fight a surge of crime in the wake of the George Floyd killing in May. At least one neighborhood has put up barricades to keep away outsiders.

The moves come as the city council on Friday approved its first permanent cuts to the police budget, amid calls to defund the department and generally lower tax revenue due to the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The $193 million police budget will be cut by $10 million, including making permanent some temporary spending measures—including a hiring freeze—put in place in June. Around $1 million from the police budget is being shifted to a program called Cure Violence that tries to prevent things such as retaliatory shootings through community engagement.

The council had initially backed the idea of supporting the community watch groups with money for things like T-shirts, walkie-talkies and training, but that didn’t end up in the final budget.

“We’re not trying to create an armed force to replace the police department,” said Graham Faulkner, an aide to council member Alondra Cano, who had proposed shifting funds to support the community watch groups. “We’re trying to support the groups that are out there.”

The council earlier approved a proposal that could end up on the November ballot to replace the police department with a new department of community safety and violence prevention next May. Many details of the proposed new agency remain to be worked out, such as whether it would have an armed criminal-justice component.

Police say crime has surged in the months since Mr. Floyd’s May 25 killing, in which a now-fired officer was captured on video with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for an extended time. Shootings more than tripled in June to 75 from 24 a year earlier. In the first half of July, there were 43 shootings, compared with 29 in all of July 2019.

Police say the increase in crime follows a pattern seen in Ferguson, Mo., and other places where there have been high-profile officer-involved deaths and protests. Police say that, while some in the city seem to believe police have given up, officers remain on patrol throughout the city.

As riots played out across the city in late May and early June, a group of Black gun owners responded to a call from the local NAACP and patrolled the mostly African-American West Broadway business district for 10 nights, keeping the area free of looting or arson without firing a shot, said Jamil Jackson, a leader of the group called the Minnesota Freedom Fighters, which advocates for Black gun ownership.

Profoundly sad news - one of the great Australian cartoonists Paul Zanetti bows out of the media game


The End Of Zanetti Cartoons

My dad wanted me to get a real job, but I had other ideas.

Back in the 1960s and '70s growing up in the coastal NSW city, colloquially known as the 'gong, our old black and white telly beamed John Gorton, Billy McMahon, Al Grassby, Rex Connor, Jim Cairns (and Junie Morossi), Gough Whitlam, Khemlani, Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser into the lounge room of our young immigrant family, as did the tellys of millions of other Aussies from all corners of the globe.

Politics was a nightly soap opera, played out during our 6:30 evening news broadcasts.

It was a time of politically incorrect larrikinism.

The everyday lives of our hapless pollies were hilariously documented by the pens of some of the best cartoonists on the planet - Paul Rigby, Larry Pickering, Bill Mitchell, Clarrie King, Frank Benier, Jeff Hook, Les Tanner, Bruce Petty and Ron Tandberg (sorry to all the others I left out - there are just too many to list). Adelaide-born and raised, Pat Oliphant exported our uniquely irreverent style of cartooning to America in the '60s, changing forever how Americans drew and viewed political cartoons.

Those were the golden days of fun - and freedom of thought - when we instinctively laughed at ourselves, at our pollies and the silliness of the world, long before we became offended and outraged, before we sought 'safe spaces' from others' opinions, before 'cancel culture' meant changing the name of a cheese to protect 'hurt feelings' or fretting over who moves first at chess because the colour of a chess piece offends virtue signalling, cultural mal-appropriates.

The '60s, '70 and '80s were the heyday of Australians taking the piss out of each other and ourselves. I was a wog, you were a skip. We knew how to laugh at each other, laugh together, how to get along, to play footy, cricket and wogball, and to belt each other in lunchtime brawls - then get up the next day to do it all over again.

We had larrikin politicians in office - Hawke, Fred Daly, Jim Killen, Gorton - often renowned for their love of wine, women, song and clever banter, for better or worse, but mostly for better.

Our TVs were filled with home grown comic geniuses, Hoges, Norman Gunston, Dame Edna, Grahame Kennedy and Bert Newton.

Our newspapers were owned by a larrikin businessman, Rupert Murdoch, with an appreciative sense of humour and a very large soft spot for cartoons. I was fortunate enough to work for Murdoch for a decade or so during the '80s. I fondly recall a one-on-one chat with Murdoch about his favourite cartoons at his London office, his shirtsleeves rolled up, collar and tie loosened, while dealing with reckless Fleet Street print unions during the Wapping dispute. Regardless of what others reckon, I was struck by his earthiness and broad grin during a well-conceived crisis of his own instigation to crush the unions - while he laughed at memories of his favourite Rigby cartoons, recounting punchlines word for word.

But I digress.

For an Aussie immigrant's son, who could draw a bit, I really didn't have much choice. Surrounded by all this mischief and fun, I had to become a cartoonist.

At 16 years old, when the vocation officer visited our school classroom, pointing to my classmates, asking what each intended to do for a living, most said, without too much thought, they expected to get an apprenticeship at the local coal mines or Port Kembla steel works.

When the finger pointed to me, I naively blurted out, "cartoonist!", like that was a completely normal response.

Naturally enough, I was asked to step outside into the hallway for a dose of reality, then given a quiet lecture on why I had to be...'"...sensible and realistic...".

Undeterred, I went back inside, sat at the back of the classroom, where I continued drawing the teachers a la Pickering calendars, passing the sketches around to my classmates down the back. The commotion and chortles from the rear of the classroom inevitably got me busted.

With cartoons confiscated, I was told to stand in the corridor until after class, at which time I was asked to appear at the staffroom door for a further 'consultation' with the teacher - which always ended up with said teacher asking me to sign the cartoon " case it might be worth something someday...".

So, without much encouragement, I scribbled away in my bedroom, then mailed the cartoons (remember stamps and envelopes?) to my favourite cartoonist, Larry Pickering.

A few weeks later I received a reply from Pickering - just a short, two sentence letter on The Australian letterhead.

Dear Paul,

Your work shows tremendous promise. It's up to you how long you stick at it.


Larry Pickering

That was all the encouragement this aspiring kid cartoonist needed.

I drew like crazy, sending cartoons to anyone I could think of, including then editor of the afternoon Daily Mirror, Mark Day, who published a 2-page spread of my crudely drawn cartoons, predicting the 'next Pickering'.

All that doodling paid off.

I was eventually offered an art cadetship at Fairfax around 1980 where I was one of four art cadets on the 6th floor of the Fairfax Broadway building in Sydney, one of whom was a fellow aspiring cartoonist, Mark Knight, later of the Herald Sun.

Within three years of his five-year contract at The Australian, Larry Pickering decided he'd had enough cartooning. It was time to follow his childhood dream of training a Melbourne Cup winner, and his new passion, running a tomato farm.

Larry called me up.

That afternoon I met with Ken Cowley, then News Ltd chief, Larry and the Daily Telegraph editor, Adrian Begg, and offered the gig as cartoonist at The DailyTelegraph. It was an astounding leap of faith by news execs in an unproven teenager. The only qualification needed was to answer the question, "Do you think you can do it every day?" To which I blurted out a nervous, "Yes!".

Never was there a more apt example of throwing yourself in the deep-end and swimming like hell.

At 18, I was offered a contract as The Daily Telegraph's cartoonist, where I drew for a decade or more.

When the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror merged, 10 years or so later, there was room for just one cartoonist.

I was presented with an unexpected list of conditions by the then boss of the Daily Tele, John Hartigan, but the terms were too repressive for me, including the editor choosing multiple topics of the day, and me drawing numerous 'roughs' which the editor could, and would, reject. These were unnecessarily onerous and stifling conditions, which hinder the creativity of good cartooning. My previous contracts over the previous decade, drawn up by Ken Cowley, granted complete cartooning freedom of expression and had worked perfectly for Larry Pickering, Bill Mitchell and me - but more importantly, for readers.

I explained to John, I wouldn't be able to do my best work, if told what to draw each day.

John replied these new terms had already been agreed to by the alternative cartoonist, so I was looking down the barrel of a metaphorical gun at my head, or a shortened cartooning career,

"Oh well, it looks like you've got your cartoonist," I said, not knowing what was to come next.

For more than a decade, I'd been the recipient of creative freedoms earned by Paul Rigby, Larry Pickering and Bill Mitchell, granted to cartoonists by Rupert Murdoch.

But Murdoch was now out of the building, long-consumed by the company expanding globally, leaving the day-to-day running of his Aussie newspapers to his editors. In my experience, it's a myth Murdoch interferes in the daily decisions of his papers, a clueless accusation usually charged by those who've never worked for News Ltd (now News Corporation). It may have been the case at one time when he was based in Australia, but not during my time at News. Individual editors make their own minds up.

So, at the time of my, um...'choice' stay at The Daily Tele, I preferred to not live on my knees. It was time to move onto unknown and unchartered territories.

I didn't know it at the time, but that decision opened up a whole new world of freedoms and experiences for me, outside the corporate news world.

I gathered my pencils and paper, threw them into the back of my 1959 pink Cadillac convertible, and drove around Australia with my beautiful new bride, Michelle.

We knocked on the door of every newspaper in the Eastern States of Australia, from Cairns to Warrnambool, signing up almost every local newspaper without a cartoonist, pioneering cartooning and news feature syndication with my new company, Australian Newspaper Features (ANF), providing a whole host of cartoons and other content to local papers Australia-wide.

In that pre-internet time, black and white cartoons (and copy) were delivered via a fax machine. Today, everything is emailed or uploaded in colour.

I watched over the years as the internet lit a spark, growing like a wildfire.

Social media, Google and blogs grew into an all encompassing global phenomena, redirecting advertising gold from print to the tech giants and to smaller blog sites.

Where once, multi-million dollar colour printing presses were required to produce and deliver the written word and cartoons, where the creation and distribution of information necessitated a corporate building of reporters, proof-readers, photographers, artists, printers, administration and management staff, today anybody with a laptop, internet connection and a $5 monthly ISP account can have a Wordpress news publication up and delivered direct to the public in an afternoon.

And so it is, in this 'new normal' world of Covid-19 and evaporating ad dollars, that over 100 newsprint publications have been forced to close down in the past few weeks.

Most of my paying newspaper customers no longer exist. Hundreds of journalists, managers, printers and photographers are also out of work.

Time for me to get a real job. My late dad would be pleased.

I can't believe I got away with it so long.

Thanks for the ride.

ABC press gallery mean girl bashes up on out of work actress

Mediocre ABC political reporter Jane Norman is really something else.

An unemployed actress makes an observation about journalists behaviour and Norman loses her mind - trying to start an online twitter campaign for the actress not to be employed.

Norman is a classic ABC social climber. Mid 30s, righteous, preachy, Vice President of the Press Gallery, Director of the National Press Club, but when it comes to ability - she’s the fourth choice in the ABC Parliament bureau.

The viewers rarely see her in prime time.

Now add to the CV : cyber bully.