Miracle worker

There was a by-election for the state seat of Upper Hunter in the NSW Parliament on Saturday.

It was held because the former MP, representing the National Party, resigned after being accused of the rape of a sex worker.

The Nationals had held the seat for 90 years.

On Saturday they didn’t win. Well, they couldn’t claim victory on the night but will most likely hold the seat once more votes are counted.

So, leaving aside the other mathematical challenges faced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in maintaining a wafer-thin hold on office, is the Upper Hunter result a miracle?

We at the Media Glass House think not for a number of reasons, one being that the Nationals got about 30% of the primary vote in this supposedly safe seat, by-election not withstanding. And they’ve gotten to a two-party-preferred lead because the votes of many in a large field of candidates were exhausted with supporters ticking only one box.

Voters would have also heeded the strong message from Glad and Co that weakening further a minority government halfway through its term – regardless of what they think of that government or their previous MP – would not make for stable state politics, as Julia Gillard would say, moving forward!

But “miracle” is what some people are giving the result, almost entirely spin doctors and pollies with a vested interest in having NSW voters believe their state government and their Premier are the bee’s knees. And, of course, the sycophantic media.

Cue News Corp Australia and its right-wing publicity machine which swiftly swung into action with a suitably misleading front page in today’s Liberal-National parties’ newsletter, The Sunday Telegraph. (pictured)

You know, for a very brief moment we forget ourselves and were about to type “right-wing news outlets” instead of “right-wing publicity machine”.

But everyone knows that for many years now there has been no such thing as news at News Corp.  

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Since November 2019 when Johannes Leak took on the prized job as editorial cartoonist for News Corp Australia’s daily broadshit The Australian, we here at the Media Glass House have never really warmed to his style and output.

The consensus, at least among those in the MGH offices on floors 12 to 14 of The Bug’s HQ is that his work is that, just like the right-wing rag they appear in, his cartoons are totally predictable unlike his late father’s efforts which at least sprung a few surprises on readers over the years.

Again like the paper that hosts them, Leak’s cartoons seem to appear as part of a roster that involves denigrating the Labor Party, “the left” in general whoever they are, climate change, anyone who believes even vaguely in climate change, political correctness, political correctness “gone mad”, and of course the ABC.

Not only are they predictable, they also often need an explanation, if not clear labels of who his targets are meant to be within the rectangular frame.

A case in point was Friday’s effort which left us a tad puzzled when first sighted. (pictured)

What was this cartoon about? Who was it meant to be? It had something to do with public spending. A budget, perhaps?

Our minds immediately thought that perhaps Leak the Younger was having trouble drawing federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (below at left).

No, we thought. It’s not Josh. It looks a hell of a lot like former New Zealand prime minister the late Robert Muldoon (below middle).

But no, on closer examination and a bit more thought it seems it was meant to be Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas. (above at right)

If you guessed the true identity of the subject of the cartoon first up, well done, you.

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Publishing a magazine with long production lead times can be risky.

Take for example The Weekend Australian’s colour magazine that featured in its motoring section a road test of a new Lexus saloon which was described as being quiet and smooth “like a Japanese bullet train”. (below left)

Unfortunately the comparison coincided with a news story about a driver of a Japanese high-speed bullet train who is being disciplined for leaving a conductor in charge while it was travelling at 150 kph and carrying 160 people. (above right)

The driver said he had to go to the toilet urgently so he stuck the conductor, who wasn’t trained as a driver, in front of the controls to take charge while he dashed to the onboard dunny. 

So we guess if The Oz’s comparison is to be taken at face value, if you buy a Lexus, feel free to set the cruise control and jump in the back seat to take a shit.