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

All a little embarrassing
November 24, 2008, 2:42 am
Filed under: Business, Politicians, Sex | Tags:

A BROTHEL owner says he is unfazed by the revelation that NSW Premier Nathan Rees is operating an electorate office in the same building.

“It’s a little embarrassing, yes,” said the brothel owner, Mr X. “We’re sick of all the seedy characters hanging around. But respectable businesses like ours aren’t going to be driven out by the likes of them.”

Rees moved his office to Best Road in Seven Hills on September 5. A large sign outside the office clearly bears the words: “Member for Toongabbie.”

It is understood the local council has received several complaints that the office is bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood.

Complainants include the brothel, a mob of drug-dealing money launderers, an international arms dealer, an arsonist, a gang of slave traders, the crew of a Somalian pirate ship and a merchant banker.

A council insider told The Sun-Herald: “We have to take all complaints seriously. Apart from the merchant banker’s, obviously.”

Simon Webster reflects on the illegal brothel operating above Nathan Rees’s office.

My son is a pianist in a brothel
November 17, 2008, 1:11 am
Filed under: Politicians, Sex | Tags: ,

News that NSW Premier Nathan Rees has an illegal brothel operating above his MP’s office has been a gift to the letter writers of the state. “My personal theory is that Rees is surrounded by wankers would seem to be supported,” wrote Dr Stephen Fox of Arncliffe.

“I understand Mr Rees may be concerned about his reputation due to the presence of an illegal brothel above his Sydney electorate office.” Alexander McArthur of Wanniassa noted. “More accurately, shouldn’t the brothel owners be worried about their reputation having Mr Rees downstairs?”

An FFF for public transport
November 13, 2008, 3:00 am
Filed under: Politicians, Transport | Tags:

“Mr Rees, there is no point having an AAA credit rating if we have an FFF public planning policy that leaves so many people, living where the Government encouraged them to settle, bereft of affordable, modern public transport.”

We need eccentrics in politics
October 28, 2008, 6:13 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags:

Rees got rubbished in Friday’s media for his philosophical musings about the nature of love and traffic. The Herald’s front page described him as “bizarre” and “embarrassing”. What do the critics want? Should he go into a huddle with his spin doctors before making any statement and end up sounding more machine than man?

Long live spontaneity, eccentricity, individuality and unpredictability. As Milton said (and Rees will say): “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

David Dale argues that we should celebrate and enjoy Nathan Rees’s eccentricity.

Priority number 998
October 26, 2008, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Politicians, Transport | Tags: ,

“If you were to list in orde the top 1000 projects requiring urgent government attention, the new Rozelle metro might be 998. Above it would be a statue of Reba Meagher in the government vehicles carpark. Below it would be a starling hatchery in Cessnock. Actually, both those projects would make more sense and cost far less money than Premier Nathan Rees’ move to offer yet another transport option to the Labor-inclined residents of the inner west. Soon he’ll be giving them free cars, like Toongabbie’s version of Oprah Winfrey.”

The Daily Telegraph editorialises on Premier Nathan Rees’s surprise announcement of a new Metro service to Rozelle.  In a report by Joe Hildebrand and Tim Vollmer, the move was described as “more reminiscent of an inner-west latte drinker than a garbo from Toongabbie.” One source said to be close to the Government was quoted as saying, “It’s ridiculous, it’s a load of crap. If you were in the west you’d have the shits.”

Make traffic not war
October 26, 2008, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Politicians, Transport | Tags: ,

No doubt Nathan Rees is regretting his comparison of being in traffic to being in love. The Sydney Morning Herald was not going to let the Premier off the hook, noting on Saturday:

“It’s silly and sentimental of us, we know, but there is something about the smell of petrol fumes and the sight of heat haze rising from a thousand idling engines that makes us go all gooey inside.”

The SMH’s readers also had their say. “Make traffic, not war,” quipped Jason Cusack of Woonona. “I was dreaming I was in love – then I came to and found that I was on the M5,” wrote Ian Johnston of Bowral. “Who needs Tony Robbins when we have Nathan Rees?” declared Ellecer Valencia of Lidcombe. “If you think you are in traffic, you are in traffic.” Sounds like a line from Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.”

Michael Deeth of Como West sounded a little rueful: “I think I preferred spin,” he wrote. Todd Hillsley of Enfield was given the last word: “If you think you have an awful government,” he suggested, “you must have an awful government.”