The Art of the Australian Insult

A shonky fly-by-four-year outfit
February 4, 2009, 1:26 am
Filed under: Government and services, Politicians | Tags: ,

Responses by readers of the Sydney Morning Herald to reports of in-fighting in the NSW Labor Government:

John Greenland (Letters, January 29) says, in relation to the apparently insolvent health system, that “this is the Government, for goodness sake, not some shonky fly-by-night outfit”.

I’m afraid, John, that it is far worse; it is a shonky fly-by-four-year outfit.

Henry Hirschhorn Ballina


Nathan Rees would not want to be admitted to a NSW hospital to have the knives removed from his back as they would not have any morphine to ease his pain.

Patsy Lloyd Cromer

NSW rotten to the core
August 20, 2008, 4:33 am
Filed under: Government and services | Tags: , ,

“The governments in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland are pretty clean governments but NSW has never got over the rum rebellion. NSW is very tribal and you have a mates culture in NSW that does not belong in any other state, which leads to an acceptance of sanctified corruption.”

Ken Phillips, director of the work reform unit at the Institute of Public Affairs.

23 years of leaks
July 22, 2008, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Government and services | Tags: , ,

“TWENTY-THREE years of roof leaks at Airds High School. What a magnificent achievement by our Department of Education and Training. These leaks have been around so long they almost deserve heritage listing. Airds High gets more leaks than Laurie Oakes. It’s the state’s only school with temporary indoor pools. Students, who were among the first at Airds to be doused, now have children of their own. These ever-present, ever-reliable leaks have existed throughout the reigns of four prime ministers, six premiers and four US presidents. The eternal leaks at Airds High School have seen the rise of the internet – Commodore released its Amiga computer the year the leaks began, in 1985 – and the decline of communism. Lewis Hamilton was born in 1985 – the original Airds leak year. Today, as the first black driver in Formula One, he leads the world championship. Massive changes are made, society is altered, history sweeps by, yet the Airds High leaks remain a constant. Students who graduated in 1985 are now nudging their 40s. If enough of their kids and grandkids attend the same soggy classrooms, by 2050 they’ll be reverse-evolving into a fishlike state. At Airds High, it’s considered bad luck not to open an umbrella indoors. The Department of Education and Training now claims to be working hard on a fix for Airds High’s roof issues. Sceptical teachers, who sometimes wear gumboots to class, will believe the results when they actually see them. So will The Daily Telegraph. The top song and movie of 1985 were Money for Nothing and Back to the Future – considering the department’s efforts to date, they couldn’t be more appropriate.”

The Daily Telegraph reflects on the roof that started leaking in 1985 and has never been fixed.