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The Independent Weekly
February 12 - 18, 2010 hear'say
Politicians on all sides are
often accused of
junketeering, so senior
Liberal frontbencher Rob Lucas,
ever the information ferret, was
ever so pleased when he found an
election leaflet Michael Atkinson
put out in 1997.
"No white limousines or
junkets for Michael Atkinson,"
Atko headlined his flyer, which
went on to say his practice is
to "rarely" travel interstate or
"He costs the people less than
any other member of Parliament,"
Atko claimed, describing himself
in the royal third person.
Mr Atkinson must have a
using his identity took nine
overseas trips between 2003
He went to Italy, Malta, Cypr
Greece, Slovenia, Croatia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serb
Montenegro, Singapore, Vietn
UK, Poland, Turkey, Greece
(again), Ukraine, Norfolk Islan
New Zealand (twice) and the
United States of America.
We hope he wasn t lonely. Th
Parliamentary website lists fiv
of these as "study trips" in the
Junket vow curdles
"There is no room for corruption -- it
is as simple as that. Not now and not
in the future," says the fifth Druk
Now you may not
know the good Druk,
but he s King Jigme
Wangchuk of Bhutan.
And he agrees with his
father, the fourth Druk
Gyalpo, who said during
his reign that "it is the
responsibility of every
Bhutanese to act against
corruption in our
Bhutan is one of the
world s least corrupt
care less about their
Gross Domestic Product
than their Gross
Business Week magazine
rates Bhutan as the
happiest country in Asia and the
eighth-happiest in the world.
Of course it has an official,
independent commission against
corruption to keep things that way.
The commission goes so far as to
blish the price of bids for
In SA, we can t even
get a tab from the
Government on how
much it paid -- of our
money -- for Lance
Armstrong to endorse
Mike Rann in the
"If corruption and
laxity on the part of
those in authority
should be allowed to
would be no
right and wrongdoing
and no justice, and
human beings cannot
have happiness and
peace," Bhutan s anti-corruption
Hear say has won a million dollars,
US. It s part of an international
promotion program run by a
Japanese car company, according to
the person who emailed us with the
We wouldn t be the slightest bit
suspicious, normally. Normally,
we d just hand over our banking
details so the money could be
transferred straight into our
Except that in this instance, the
email purports to come from the
Toyota company, which is probably
not giving away a million at the
Back in December, when The
Independent Weekly did its popular
annual forecast for the year ahead,
almost all national punters were
predicting a federal election in
IW disagreed, saying we believed
it would be in August.
Well this week, Saturday, August
28 opened a wide $5 favourite with
leading bookmaker Centrebet.
In describing the market as a
"revolving door" and one of the
most difficult to accurately assess,
Centrebet media chief and analyst
Neil Evans said the second half
of August was looming as the most
company of other MPs. Other
trips, unlisted on the website, do
not disclose the identity of his
The total cost of the expeditio
On our figures, $173,472.17.
But it s perfectly true about h
not being chauffeured around
in a white limousine. His officia
Statesman is a delicious golden
A few months ago the Macclesfield
Pub had its liquor licence
effectively suspended for the day
because a group of motorcyclists
went on a run to the small
Adelaide Hills village.
The riders were protesting
against laws which have already
been thrown out in the State
Supreme Court, and which are
now being appealed in the High
The laws allow the use of
secret, anonymous allegations in
court, and people are not always
allowed to know the evidence
Naturally, the Government
wanted to prevent protestors
having a cold one at the end of
the ride. It ordered the pub to stay
closed for the day. The licensee
lost a valuable weekend day s
So on Australia Day, without
fanfare or notifying the Attorney-
General, more than 200 bikers
repeated their ride.
The pub stayed open, riders
arrived without a police escort,
and there were very few riots
and not many dead. Not a single
incident, not an odd angry shot.
In fact, the day was a success for
a cold one and all.
"I feel it matters not as to
whether change comes from a
change of government or
merely its mindset, as long as
disgraceful acts like shutting
pubs to stem dissent gets off
Labor s agenda," said rider
and independent Upper House
candidate Mark Aldridge.
American iron and Australian iron will: A quiet drink, not many dead.
A Hear say reader snapped this for
us in Tasmania. While some think
it s confronting, our correspondent
thinks it looks like the roo is
lifting up the car a la Superman.
The revenge of the roos? Or simply
Having rid SA of all pokies, Senator
Nick Xenophon takes a punt on the
election date with the bookie.
With Botters and Lachy (who are not
even distantly related to the Premier's
election strategists Jill Bottrall and
B: The Boss is having nightmares.
L: What about? The AG?
B: Losing the election.
L: Surely not?
B: He keeps waking in fright.
L: That's terrible.
B: Says it's like the end of Fatal
L: Great movie. Michael Douglas.
Glenn Close. She's the jilted lover.
B: He thinks he's finally drowned her
in the bath.
L: And she rises out of the water with
a knife! Scary.
B: But it's not Glenn Close in the
L: Don't tell me. Not...?
B: No, thank God!
L: Who then?
L: Isobel! That would be really scary.
B: He thinks she's going to get him in
L: Risky Redmond? Not a chance,
B: I keep saying it's just a bad dream.
B: He keeps waking before the end.
L: So Jezebel doesn't die?
B: He's never quite sure.
L: You should remind him she'll die of
B: Ha! Anyway, we have another
nightmare to deal with.
L: What's that then?
B: The AG. I'm told he keeps mutter-
ing some phrase he heard.
L: Which is?
B: "When we do right, nobody
remembers. When we do wrong,
L: Well he's absolutely right, espe-
cially after the past fortnight.
B: We've got to stop him saying it.
L: Why's that?
B: It's a famous club motto.
L: What club?
B: Hell's Angels.
* Not based on a true story
Part of Bhutan's anti-
report. SA doesn't need
It looks as if we have a new food
critic. The Honourable Tom
Koutsantonis has made no restitu-
tion for his fine-dining experiences.
It s already been disclosed that
his restaurant tabs include $640 at
Auge, $610 at Georges and $500 for
a steak or two at Gauchos. A bowl
of pasta and more at Panacea cost
taxpayers $425, the Star of Siam was
a mere $260 and there was that $210
bill at The Greek.
Would he have been doing this as
Minister for Correctional Services,
in an attempt to find a better menu
for prisoners in our jails? Or as
Minister for Gambling, Youth or
Volunteers? No, with all those ethnic
restaurants it must have been in his
capacity of Minister Assisting the
Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
An FOI request on the food
expenses goes up as far as August
2009. We don t know the result since
then, but we think he ll get his just
election flyer from 1997.
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