22 December

Greg Hunt backflips on whaling

Posted in News, Politics

Captain Siddharth Chakravarty - Sea Shepherd

Environment minister Greg Hunt has reneged on his promise to send a boat to monitor the whaling season in the Southern Ocean.

In a move that won’t surprise Sea Shepherd, Hunt now intends to send an A319 aircraft, staffed by Customs personnel, which will “send a clear message that the Australian government expects all parties to abide by the laws of the sea”.

Also, the intended ship is tied up rounding up boat people.

A plane can sporadically monitor proceedings, but is not equipped to prevent any violent clashes between Japanese whalers and Sea Shepherd ships, nor witness all developments.

When Labor were in power, Hunt put pressure on them on three occasions to send a ship to monitor whaling – and so now Greens are calling on him to resign.

To quote Captain Siddharth Chakravarty, who Time Out Melbourne interviewed just before the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker set sale from Melbourne, “The Australian Government has made this statement many times – it’s always a promise that’s made pre-election. The last vessel that went down was over a decade ago. Since then, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and now Tony Abbott have promised one but not delivered. What’s worse is it’s patrolling the waters for asylum seekers, when something that’s a Federal Court ruling that bans the Japanese from taking whales should be a much bigger cause for the government.”

Read the full interview with Captain Sid.… Read more

8 November

Global Bore-ming, am I right?: a very special guest column by former PM John Howard


My fellow Internet Australians,

It’s a great honour to be given the opportunity to write this guest column for Time Out, to give some balance to the left-wing media’s insidious socialist manifesto. In fact, just the other day I saw some television programme that was attempting to push an aggressive pro-voting platform without giving any sort of equal acknowledgement of the opposing perspective. I’m sick of these partisan zealots hijacking the public airwaves to push their own narrow agenda, and it’s certainly the last time I ever watch The Voice.

Thus I welcome this chance to expand on some of the comments I made to the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London earlier this week, explaining that global warming fears are exaggerated, and the scientists have no business influencing politics. There are those who have criticised my authority to pontificate on the science of climate change after admitting that I’ve read a single book on the subject – Nigel Lawson’s An Appeal to Reason: a Cool Look at Global Warming.

Some have complained that his logic is faulty and he doesn’t understand statistics. Others have pointed out that he’s a former Thatcher minister with a history of deliberately misrepresenting the data on climate change.… Read more

24 October

The new official Tony Abbott glossary


Dear The Internet,


(from the upcoming children’s edition)

With the news that your immigration minister Scott Morrison has issued an edict that the term “asylum seeker” be stricken from all official departmental communications and replaced with “illegal maritime arrival”,  commentators have been making the unfair comparison between the Abbott government and the “newspeak” adopted by the dystopian ministries of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Such hyperbole is obviously ridiculous, since a) creating a standard term of reference for all staff will help streamline the dissemination of policy in a clear and accessible manner, and b) we have always been at war with Eastasia.

It’s only one of a raft of new terms and with that in mind, we contacted the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull graciously faxed us a copy of the government’s forthcoming official glossary.

Keep these terms in mind in all communications going forward, including your personal correspondence. Remember: ASIO and therefore the CIA will be taking notes, and you really don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of them.

Seriously. You really, really don’t.

Former Term New Official Term
Asylum seeker Illegal maritime arrival
Refugee Terrorist
Australia (in context of Federal Constitution) Australia
Australia (in context of dinkum fair-go mateship) ‘Straya
Australia (in context of human rights obligations) Papua New Guinea
Love Penis-in-vagina intercourse conducted exclusively in the marital bed
Homosexual man Bachelor
Homosexual woman Lady bachelor
Bisexual person -
Child Dependent
Wife Dependent
Single mother Careless slattern
Student Mr/Mrs Fancy who thinks they’re so big with all their la-di-dah book-learnin’
International student University funding
Pensioner Post-employed scrounger
Medicare Financial sickness/injury incentive
Unemployed person Domestic terrorist
Increased Federal borrowing limit (Labor) Economic disaster
Increased Federal borrowing limit (Coalition) Prudent fiscal strategy
Climate change Positive temperature growth
Environmental scientist Pervert voodoo priestess
National park Future mine
Marine sanctuary Future mine
Lower socio-economic area Future second airport flightpath
Experts “Experts”
Press (non-Murdoch) Mewling naysayers
Press (Murdoch) Clarion call of truth
Area ravaged by bushfire Economic combustion opportunity zone
Taxes Profits
Social responsibility -


Yours ever,


Written by Andrew P Street
Art by Robert Polmear
Read more

3 October

Patriot or Traitor: take our Tony Abbott Quiz!


Dear the Internet,

Everybody wins!

Everybody wins!

Your Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been in Indonesia assuring president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that he is “fair dinkum about doing what we can to help Indonesia in every way” in terms of their sovereignty, which is Abbott-speak for “protect our northern oceanic borders for us and we’ll continue to ignore your human rights atrocities in Papua New Guinea.”

And heck, you might see yourself as being a pretty dinkum sort of a cobber – but are you sufficiently dinkum to contribute in a proactively bonza manner in this brave new Abbottscape?

Fortunately, with the help of senior advisors to the Departments of Immigration and Foreign Affairs & Trade (and not Science, obviously, since we don’t have one of those anymore), we have constructed this quiz to establish quickly and definitively whether you are a patriot or a traitor.

Incidentally, this will also form the basis of our citizenship test just as soon as the new Senate takes power in 2014 (after Palmer United senators add the necessary extra questions like “Australia was specifically founded to be mined, the industry for which should therefore never be taxed or subject to environmental regulation: agree, strongly agree, violently agree, threateningly agree”).… Read more

19 September

Your Guide to the Crazy Minor Parties of the 2016 Senate

Posted in Politics

2016 Senate

Dear The Internet,

As you are possibly aware, the recent Federal Election saw a massive swing away from the major parties and toward the smaller parties and independents, none of whom had given any thought to winning and all of whom are, for different reasons, largely mad. That’s why decisions affecting your life will be decided by members of the Motoring Enthusiasts Party, the Australian Sports Party, the Liberal Democrats and Clive Palmer’s Palmer United party.

And there are those who argue that we’re in need of voting reform in the light of these developments, since the first two got effectively zero votes and were only elected because of the labyrinthine complexities of minor party preference swapping, the LibDems were voted in almost certainly because they were the first thing on the ballot that said “Liberal” and people just ticked it and went to get a sausage on bread, and Clive Palmer got up because we are but playthings for cruel gods that toy with us for their depraved pleasure.

However, since voting reform seems like more work than a Senate controlled by tiny, batshit crazy parties is likely to go along with, I can’t wait for the 2016 election where you’ll yearn for the days when the form was only a metre and a half long.… Read more

10 September

So, what was the stagecrasher at Tony Abbott’s victory speech thinking? We asked him.

Posted in News, Politics

Tony Abbott Stagecrasher

Time Out meets Abbott’s stagecrasher, Twiggy Palmcock

Everyone loves a good photobomb, right? Right. Unless you were one of Tony Abbott’s security guards on Saturday night. Tone and his family posed for press shots, revelling in a LNP victory when Fregmonto Stokes’ satirical persona Twiggy Palmcock conquered the stage to shake Abbott’s hand.

Stokes, a 25-year-old activist and graduate student at NIDA, tells Time Out he created Twiggy as a way to satirise the intimate relationship between mining and politics. Stokes is not only troubled about climate change, he’s also concerned about the domination of Australian politics by larger than life mining magnates.

“I think there’s a clear demonstration of that [influence] at this election. Look at Clive Palmer who got upwards of five percent of the vote.”

Stokes, who is mentored by political satirist and Order of Australia recipient Max Gillies, hadn’t really planned to get up on stage for the family’s historic press shots. But had researched the event and gone along to the Liberal Party conference (with a Starburst wrapper around his arm to mimic the official wristband) to see what he could do. When the opportunity presented itself to get up on stage, he just went for it.… Read more

20 August

New video by Super Best Friends proves that politicians, eh? Maybe they’re not so different to you and I

Posted in Music, Politics

Round and Round Screens

Morning, internet. Fancy a tune?

Canberra punk types Super Best Friends have a new single called ‘Round and Round’ which is probably something about the intrinsic repetition inherent in the machinations of a modern democracy – you know, kinda like ‘Ghostbusters’. Anyway, because they’re in Canberra they had access to politicians, and you may have heard something about an election happening in a bit so said politicians are all at that vulnerable point where they’ll respond to questions like “hey, want to look like a bit of a goose in my band’s video?” with a “sure thing, young potential voter, and I can totally fiddle with my my bike/stare creepily over a paper/iron my jocks” rather than the other 47 months of the cycle where they’d immediately call security.

Or, in the words of the press release:

Because the song is about repetition in politics and the media cycle, we thought what better way to get this message across than from the horse’s mouths. Our bass player Matt Roberts spent a lot of his free time hanging around Parliament House, and with his wit and charm, managed to convince several federal politicians and well-known media personalities to be in our new film clip.

And that, friends, is why at least one of your prime ministers is in this video.… Read more

8 August

What’s your Australian political horoscope?


If there’s one thing that science (science!) has determined beyond a shadow of a doubt over the last 1,000 years or so, it’s that astrology is the only true method by which knowledge about the universe can be divined. From the discovery of the Higgs Boson to that time you had a dream about a shoe and then got an unexpected phone call the very next day, astrology has consistently nailed every single prediction with an unbroken 100 per cent success rate since the first caveman raised his eyes to the heavens and went, “Hey, those stars look kinda like a duck – I bet I’ll meet a handsome stranger!”

However, even a perfect system can be perfecter, and that’s where Time Out’s new Australian Political Horoscope comes in. By using the very latest in prognostication technology, which so far has principally involved reading the entrails of ABC statistician Antony Green, we can predict your future with unflinching accuracy. And for only $6 a minute we can provide personalised Australian Political Horoscopes to you over fax, teletype and skywriting – but in order that you might get a taste of our service, check out your coming week by the pre-election stars according to our new and improved signs of the political zodiac.… Read more