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2008 BUNKUM AWARDS

 

The Guvnor of the Reserve

Bank gets our top award for 2008.

 

Glenn Stephens, po-faced Guvnor of the Reserve Bank, gets the Bunkum Platinum Award for successfully buggering up the Australian economy.

 

This is the bloke who in 2008 couldn't tell the difference between inflation and the price of petrol and bananas, who slowed the economy down so much the Government has to spend $50B to revive it.

 

This is the bloke who crippled home owners and property renters, turfed people out of their homes and trashed small businesses.

 

He failed to predict the recession and doesn't have a clue when it will end.

 

This is the bloke who caused the most dramatic decline in the value of the Australian dollar in history.

 

Thank you Mister Stephens. Thank you Mister Costello.

 

There are three tiers of Government in this country. Costello created a fourth, the RBA; a committee, for chrissakes.

 

Not only is it unconstitutional that neither the executive nor the legislature has no control over the functions of the RBA, it's bad politics to boot. It came back to bite Costello on the bum just prior to the last election.

 

And after the RBA has dropped it's interest rates by 4%, America Express hasn't moved a single point. Good one! Businesses are still being screwed to the floor.

 

Kevin Rudd, Knee Jerk Award recipient

 

The Prime Minister gets the  Bunkum Knee Jerk Award for siphoning off $10b of public money to protect the jobs of people serving drinks in pubs, cleaning out the poker machines in clubs and rearranging frocks and jumpers in shops.

 

The first rule of public expenditure is that you expend money, not give it away. The second rule is that you invest it in anticipation of a future return. Along the way you'll create jobs.

 

The third rule is you don't give the dole to people who don't want to move to where the jobs are. I suspect those currently tidying the frock racks won't want to get their hands dirty laying bricks and railway lines.

 

(And what a farce it is, importing labour from Tonga to pick fruit in Australia when able-bodied Australians on the dole won't go more than 10 miles out of their way to get a job.)

 

There's a high likelihood that at least $20B of the next $42B will follow the last $10B down the economic black hole and in six months time they won't have anything to show for it, except for more people working in pubs, clubs and shops.

 

And while Rudd is braying about creating jobs, Tanner is trashing them by cutting government expenditure, thereby making sure that all the businesses that usually supply services to the Government go broke.

 

Quote of the year: 'We're here to make the Reserve Bank's job easier.'

 

Wayne Swan gets the Martin Place Award

 

Wayne Swan gets the Bunkum Martin Place Award for passing off his portfolio responsibilities to the Reserve Bank, letting the banks run amok lending money to people who couldn't pay it back, and letting Gerry Harvey and GE money run riot over at Harvey Normans.

 

Graeme Samuel, asleep on the job

 

Graeme Samuel gets the Bunkum Constant Gouging award for letting the oil, medical and dental industries rip off Australian consumers.

 

Graeme, how come the price of oil has come down from A$160 a barrel to A$70 a barrel and the price at the bowser is still $1.29/litre? By my calculation it should be closer to 90c.

 

I'm surprised you haven't put Roger Corbett on the Board of the ACCC as well as the RBA.

 

And while you're at it, please explain the 20c fluctuations week in and week out, by all of the oil companies, all at the same time. In a mixed economy most service providers usually follow the market down, not up! As well as gouging we're the victims of constant collusion. We deserve greater protection.

 

My dentist charged $385 for 20 minutes work last week, plus $90 for an extended consultation fee. If it's medical or dental you get no protection from the ACCC.

 

And another one Graeme.

 

How come the interest rate on my AMEX card is still 20% when interest rate have dropped 4%.

 

 

Nicola Roxon and Gary Banks share in the wool-pulled-over-their-eyes award

 

Gary Banks and Nicola Roxon get the joint eyes-wide-shut award for continuing to protect an ineffective, bloated and inefficient medical industry. This year they'll stand by and watch as  another $5B follows the $60B in government funds that went down the medical black hole last year. Far from being thankful, the industry will cry poor for more. Banks will still be guffawing when medical expenditure hits 20% of GDP?

 

Next thing they'll want to do is protect the dental industry. More good money after bad so dentists can keep up the payments on their Mercs.

 

Chef de mission, winner of the Bunkum Double Dip

With Twist Award, sporting legend, the Mahatma Coates,

sits down to another nosh-up of Olympian portions.

 

Keep your eye on start performer, John Coates, the Mahatma of Australian Sport, winner of the Bunkum Double Dip with Twist Award. If you're a politician and you see him coming start running.

 

Just prior to the Sydney Olympic Games, serial committee-man, award collector, chef extraordinaire and podium gracer, the Mahatma Coates, on behalf of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) wheedled $100m out of the NSW Government to fund all future trips by athletes to the Olympic Games.

 

Apparently that's not enough. Apparently Coates thinks we've all got short memories or we're wet behind the ears. Apparently Coates doesn't think we read the financial statements of the AOC, of which he's President, or the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF), of which he's the Chairman. With $130m in capital at the end of 2007 the Australian Olympic movement is doing very nicely thank you very much without another raid on the Federal Treasury.

 

We're waiting with baited breath for the 2008 accounts to come out to review how well the Foundation's eminent field of investment advisors have weathered the global meltdown.

 

On top of what the AOC got to fund it's ongoing operations, the Sydney Olympics dragged $8B out of the public purse to fund a two week, two-bit sports carnival for a rag bag collection of sports. The highlights - the opening and closing ceremonies.

 

Now he's on the rampage for more money to support this tin pot event. Take away the hoop-la and what's left? SFA.

 

Warning: politicians, keep your hands in your pockets.

 

Pissantism

With Coates it appears that too much public money for a pissant collection of Olympic sports is never enough.

 

Take athletics - definitely a pissant sport. Been to an athletics meeting lately? If you go to any athletics interclub these days you could shoot an armada of cannons up the field and not hit anyone.

 

Go to a swimming interclub and the only people there are kids; same with gymnastics, little girls performing in their bathers.

 

You don't need much more than the non-opposable digits of one hand to count the number of competitive high board divers, pole-vaulters or hurdlers there are in this country, or water polo players, or wrestlers, heavy-weight lifters, or pentathletes.

 

Boxing, there's a sport that's close to every mother's heart. 'Hey mum, I'm going out to play boxing.' Does Coates really want to spend more money encouraging people to box each other around the ears?

 

Or, if Coates is serious about winning more gold medals how come Danny Green and The Man aren't representing Australia in the Olympics and knocking the blocks off all those other amateur boxers? (Answer; the Olympics is amateur hour.) I don't think these boys need to dip into the public purse to further their careers in the Olympic ring.

 

What are we dealing with here, bunny week? How many Australians play boxing each week? Next they'll be bringing back the tug-a-war, brandy, red rover and marbles.

 

Basketball is going down the tube. Olympic soccer is second rate and as boring as batshit. The IOC isn't game to take on FIFA. Any winter sport that has to play it's premier league competitions in summer is definitely pissant; as is any sport that doesn't have a regular national interclub or interstate competition.

 

Can you believe it? There's no regular national tennis competition in this country. No wonder our international status is going down the tube. Giving Coates another quarter of a billion dollars won't fix that. Regular national swimming competition? Nope. Or athletics? Nope again.

 

The Olympics doesn't include cricket, football, rugby, netball, bowls or golf - the sports that Australian's are good at. And what about snooker, darts or ten pin bowling. Hello!

 

In the meantime if you want to make your way as an international in European Handball, the high bar or the luge, step this way.

 

What Coates is on about is funding for mere handfuls of athletes, many of who already receive stipends from the national and state institutes of sport, many of whom could buy and sell most of us. More money won't make then run faster.

 

And how much does it cost for anyone to go on a trip to China for a couple of weeks, accommodation all found, 5 Grand maybe? Coates would have you believe it's 3 or 4 times that.

 

At a time when tennis courts around the country are pushing up weeds, when hardly anyone over 30 is a playing member of a sporting association, giving more money to Coates and the various organisations he represents is a poor investment. Let him eat cake!

 

The absurdity of it is that Coates over states his case. Does he seriously expect the government to put its hand in your pocket to send people like Lleyton Hewitt, Andrew Bogut and Cadell Evans on all expenses paid trips every four years?

 

Everywhere the Olympic movement goes it leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. The Beijing stadium stands empty. The Athens stadiums are boarded up and going to ruin. The Australian and NSW governments are still reeling from the shock of an $8B raid on their purses. After a fortnight of second rate competition, the caravan moves on to the next lot of suckers and leaves the last lot to clean up the mess.

 

And second rate competition it is indeed. With only 2 competitors allowed in any event from any one country, dozens of talented and highly ranked athletes are screened out - unlike the tennis grand prix where the top 100 or so get to compete. Half of the top 100 100m sprinters in the world are American. What word do you use to describe a international competition that excludes most of the best competitors from an event? Pissant!

 

And how would you feel when if you swam your guts out swimming a world class time and you're excluded from the Australian Olympic team because you came third in the selection trials? Welcome to Olympism folks!

 

And how do you feel when at the trials you're crook, or injured and they refuse to include you regardless of how good you are? Very pissed off, but what can you do? Wait another four years! This is Olympism and John Coates is its face.

 

In the team sports each country can only send one team. Of the top 20 basketball teams in the world, half of them are in the USA. It would be the same with baseball.

 

This is the organisation that wraps itself up in the cloak of patriotism. Patriotism will always be the last bastion of scoundrels. It's the organisation that threatened to delete Ian Thorpe from an Olympic event because he slipped and then stood by while it watched him gradually fade into oblivion - a national sporting treasure our greatest athlete - hung out to dry.

 

It was the organisation that banned Dawn Fraser from competing for no other reason than youthful exuberance and was happy to have Murray Rose sitting up in the stands eating seaweed instead of swimming his heart out in the pool. How patriotic is that? It's quaint; it's boys own; it's a cosy club for the likes of Coates, Gosper, Coles and sundry hangers on.

 

Coates is on the prowl, with the dipper, ready to strike. He's cranking up the publicity machine. Ignore him. The Olympics is just another phoney contest of international superiority.

 

If Coates wants to beat England, let him get on the track and have it out over 4 laps with Lord Coe. It's nothing to do with us.

 

Joe Ratzinger double award recipient

 

As well as getting the Bunkum Dressing Up Award for his outrageous dress sense, Mr Infallibility gets the More-Front-than-Myers Award for sucking $150m out of the NSW and Australian governments to fund his indulgent trip down to Randwick racecourse to hand out Latinate riding instructions to his colonial subjects.

 

From the photo the old dear could do with a bit of rouge and lipstick and a touch up with the eyebrow pencil.

 

Head of one of the world's least democratic states, propagandist for a primitive, superstitious ideology, international CEO of the world's most intolerant industry, worlds greatest misogynist and condom denier, this is one bloke governments around the world should be steering clear of, not kowtowing to and subsidizing. This is the bloke who through one of his fifth columnists stopped Australia supplying certain pregnancy advice in its overseas aid programs.

 

This is the man who thinks a frenchy is someone living in France!

 

Frank Brennan, winner of the

Bunkum Human Wrongs Award  

 

They say he's a nice bloke, but, as with all card-carrying, cassock-wearing members of the religious industry, you can be fairly certain that not far behind the velvet glove of compassion is the iron fist of intolerance. In his day job, this fellow represents the hell-raising industry.

 

It beggers belief that someone who works for the industry that is devoted to restricting peoples' rights would be appointed to the position of Chairman of the National Human Rights Consultation. It's akin to putting Robert Trimboli in charge of the drug squad.

 

Frank (SJ) Brennan is a high official and academic barking dog of the industry that thrives on the denial of human rights.

 

It's an industry that vilifies homosexuals in public and hides them in its cloisters. It's an industry that fails to protect the young and innocent from the physical and psychological ravages of its employees. It's an industry that's turned scaring the bejesus out of children and superstitious adults into an art form.

 

Don't hold you breath waiting for anyone under the sway of the Vatican to sanction democracy, women's rights, abortion on demand, voluntary euthanasia, sex before marriage, evolution or something as innocuous as wearing a frenchy. Has this man ever worn a frenchy?

 

This is the organisation that crushes cultures and brutalizes their inhabitants; and this is not in the dim dark past. There are lots of people in this country still bearing the physical and emotional scars inflicted on mission stations, in orphanages, in schools run by the Unchristian Brothers and the bullying Big Sisters Without Mercy, in churches where young boys are introduced into perverse rituals.

 

It's the organisation that rides rough-shod over beliefs and values with which it does not agree.

 

Frank Brennan has an unshakable allegiance to an ideology that passes all understanding. He's got form, he's got riding instructions, and if he holds true to them there is a good chance the outcome of the deliberations of the Committee will be a resounding 'No!'

 

When Frank Brennan has mucked out the Catholic stables, when he's fought for the change in law which will bring this organisation to book for the suffering it has done to children in this country, then, just maybe he'll be ready for an appointment to a Government human rights committee.

 

Penny Wong has got it wrong

 

I was recently speaking to a bloke in Queensland who makes a living from a European Carbon Trading scheme growing trees that have been on his property for hundreds of years.

 

This is the sort of nonsense Ms Wong has been spending her time on instead of getting on with the job of putting up more windmills, tapping more hot rocks, collecting more solar energy, hydro-electrolysing the rivers, harnessing the tidal estuaries, replacing drains with pipes and sprinklers with drippers, recycling our water and collecting the water that falls on our suburbs and towns... and setting up a few nuclear power plants. Do that and the global warming problem will look after itself.

 

And while we've got the list out; stop the farming of dairy cows in the Murray Darling Basin, make every farmer cover 10% of their land with trees and stop giving drought assistance to any farmer outside Goyder's line or it's equivalent in the other states.

 

Of course, her greatest challenge is working out how to gracefully run down the coal industry.

 

John Mudguard Keynes

 

The John Mudguard Keynes Award goes to all those economists holed up in the sheltered workshops for the academically gifted who failed to predict the collapse of the world and Australian economies, and who aren't game to stick their necks out and predict the low point in the ASX during 2009.

 

 

Gerry Harvey gets the Current Account Deficit Award for the next 1000 days, interest free.

 

Liberal Party Member for Grey award

 

The Federal Liberal party gets the Member for Grey Award. When we see some unity of purpose, some conviction, some passion, some spunk, some fire in the belly, some gumption, some policy, some unbounded authority, some oratory that's not punctuated with ums and ahs we'll post the picture.

 

In the first few weeks of 2009 the beast seemed to be stirring.

 

So there you go, our awards for 2008. Now lets see who gets on the list for the 2009 awards. Nominations are now open. The Mahatma is an early favourite.

 

It's bunkum

 

Frank Blunt

Syndicating columnist

Bunkum.com.au

February 2009