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Byron Shire
October 3, 2022
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Thus Spake Mungo

Vale Mungo MacCallum

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum: December 21, 1941 – December 9, 2020

Thus Spake Mungo: China, China, CHINA!

It may be a statement of the bleeding obvious, but a face off with the People’s Republic of China would not be a good idea.

Thus Spake Mungo: Australians all let us…

Our national anthem is back on the playlist, and as always for the wrong reasons. 

Thus Spake Mungo: the faction

Joel Fitzgibbon’s resignation from the front bench does not change the policy of the Labor Party, nor its leadership. But it does change the mechanics.

Thus Spake Mungo: Planet America

Many more Americans voted against Donald Trump than voted for him – millions more. But nearly as many did not vote at all. And the explanation of why they failed to do so is bad news for what is left of democracy.

Thus Spake Mungo: Crunch Tuesday

Two crunch Tuesdays for Australia and the US coming up: not just the Melbourne Cup, vital as that is for the nation’s well-being. November 4 (Tuesday...

Thus Spake Mungo: duck-shoving

In the far-off innocent days before the spin doctors decreed that backbenchers should cease thinking for themselves, a few brave souls were prepared to respond to questions more or less spontaneously

Thus Spake Mungo: bonking

The most remarkable thing about the revelation of Gladys Berejiklian’s love life was that it was remarkable at all.

Thus Spake Mungo: shovel ready

There’s one sure thing about Josh Frydenberg’s budget – it is shovel ready.

Thus Spake Mungo: jobs, jobs and more jobs

In 1983, with an economic downturn – not even a proper recession – in play, the new Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, convened his economic summit to implement his election agenda of recovery, reconciliation and reconstruction.

Thus Spake Mungo: power is politics

At least the latest energy plan – the coalition’s 22nd, and counting – is not all about gas.

Thus Spake Mungo: blimps

If Scott Morrison ever went back to his old job of promoting tourism and needed to ramp up the travel industry, he would put his money on blimps.

Thus Spake Mungo: pre-budget

For Australia’s hardline, copper-bottomed, hide-bound conservatives, federation was always a mistake.

Thus Spake Mungo: the depression

Last week’s numbers brought us the bad news we were expecting: Australia has fallen into the worst recession in nearly a century.

Thus Spake Mungo: an even break for Sukkar

Readers of the 'Melbourne Age' and the 'Sydney Morning Herald', and viewers of the Nine network will have been alerted to the self-destruction of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party – the jewel in the crown, as the founder, Robert Menzies, once called it.

Thus Spake Mungo: the police state

One of the more dubious schemes devised by marketeers of real estate is known as ‘selling off the plan.’

Thus Spake Mungo – Murphy and the octogenarian

I will turn 80 next year, which means that the issue of aged care is rapidly assuming more than academic significance.

Thus Spake Mungo: under the blankets

Having tried pleas, threats, restrictions, lockdowns, fines and closures in vain, our political masters are now apparently cutting to the melodramatic climax: scare the living crap out of us.

Thus Spake Mungo: Another month, another setback

Another month, another setback – several, unfortunately – with preparations for the budget being finalised in an atmosphere of quiet desperation.

Thus Spake Mungo: sweet COVID relief

We would never dream of accusing Scott Morrison of being relieved by the onset of the second wave of COVID-19, but nonetheless it has postponed a nagging problem for him.

Thus Spake Mungo: another week, another dollar or billion

The consensus is in: the economy rules, okay? Finally, what remains of the national cabinet is essentially united. 

Thus Spake Mungo: the second wave

If this isn’t the dreaded second wave of COVID-19, it will do until the real thing comes along.

Thus Spake Mungo: there’s something about Guy

I have nothing against pop singers, some of them are very nice people, generous, tolerant, kind to children and dogs. And they give pleasure to many Australians…

Thus Spake Mungo: ahh the Spike

Australia awoke last week to the strains of Spike Milligan’s poignant refrain, ‘I’m walking backwards to Christmas.’ It may not be all the way to Christmas, but it could be even further – well into next year, and perhaps beyond that.

Thus Spake Mungo: Bloody Victorians

Déjà vu all over again. In the dim, dark ages before I even arrived in Canberra, I was writing stories about the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party

Thus Spake Mungo: The revolt

Shock, horror. Someone has tested positive to COVID-19 after the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne and Peter Dutton is terrified – his worst fears have been realised, he hyperventilated. 

Thus Spake Mungo: Reconciliation week goes off with a bang

So Reconciliation Week has come and gone – and also gone is 46,000 years worth of priceless history pulverised by Rio Tinto in the Juukan Gorge. 

Thus Spake Mungo: olive branches and doves

Scott Morrison’s press club speech last week was almost drowned out by the rustling of olive branches and the cooing of doves.

Thus Spake Mungo: saving face

In the end, it was all about saving face. The dodgy compromise Resolution to set up an inquiry over the origins of the novel coronavirus left everyone claiming a win.

Thus Spake Mungo: crystal balls

In last week’s truncated edition of parliament, Scott Morrison declared stridently that he did not have a crystal ball.

Thus Spake Mungo: the COVIDSafe economy

The latest catchphrase from our government spin doctors is ‘a COVIDSafe economy’ – optimistic and reassuring. And, unfortunately, a cruel hoax; a contradiction in...

Thus Spake Mungo: (app)rehensive

I must admit to a moment of apprehension before downloading the COVID-19 app; anything that involves Amazon or Stuart Robert has to be either incompetent or dodgy or both.

Thus Spake Mungo: come on in, the water’s fine

Finally it’s safe to get back in the water – well some bits of it, some of the time, as long as you behave. And make sure you stay in the water – keep swimming or surfing. Sitting on the sand is still decidedly unsafe.

Thus Spake Mungo: the cost of a job

It has only taken a week for the simple beauty of JobKeepers to become a little tarnished.

Thus Spake Mungo: the snapback

Having shrugged off the minor and temporary distraction of parliament, Scott Morrison can resume doing what he is best at – marketing himself and his often-dubious achievements.

Thus Spake Mungo: Two cheers for ScoMo

Two hearty cheers for ScoMo and his $130 billion JobKeeper package. If it had been a couple of weeks earlier it would have been three, but let’s be grateful for what we have got.

Thus Spake Mungo: Isolation days

Last week I could have my hair styled, but I couldn’t get a kidney transplant. I could take my kids to school, but not to church. I could invite nine mates to a funeral, but only four to a wedding

Thus Spake Mungo: COVID-19 getting personal

Suddenly it’s personal. I have been placed in home isolation.

Thus Spake Mungo: the coalition’s relief

To the manifest relief of the coalition and its supporters, Scott Morrison’s approach to the coronavirus crisis has been cautiously endorsed by the voters.

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

CWA push for improved maternity services

The W in CWA stands for Women and the CWA have been standing up for women yet again during their recent webinar and annual Awareness Week campaign.

Chris Minns visits Kingscliff to look at floodplain development risks

The potential future risks and costs of flooding to the community and government if approved, but yet to be built, housing is allowed to go ahead in floodplains was under the spotlight last week in Kingscliff.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

The sixth Tweed Artisan Food Festival will be held at the end of the month – the festival runs for 10 days with 20 curated events showcasing the people, the place and the produce of the Tweed.