Why our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, doesn’t understand Melbourne people

The Prime Minister of Australia has criticised the Premier of Victoria because a public holiday was declared for The Day Before,  I repeat,  The Day Before, the Grand Final of a football match.

Daniel Andrews, who is the Premier of Victoria said it would put Melbourne on the map. Shoppers will flock to the city and the economy will boom.  People will come from all over to spend their cash.

Well,  the grand parade took place yesterday and Melbourne is not rolling in gold coins as Andrews promised.  There was the little problem of overtime pay etc. etc. so businesses could not afford to stay open.

Nevertheless,  there was a parade yesterday of footballers and thousands came to watch. Now that was for free, of course. So much for the economic boost.

So when the Prime Minister of Australia lamented the loss of productivity,  and its cost to the nation,   Andrews retorted that Turnbull obviously doesn’t understand football and Melbourne.

Well, neither do I.

There is something nasty about Melbourne which causes crime to flourish here.  So if you are into crime and drugs Melbourne is the place to be. In the rest of Australia  smoking is not allowed  in outdoor venues where food is served.

But here in Melbourne, you can smoke all you want because the liquor lobby is too powerful.

You cannot walk the streets on Friday and Saturdays nights because the druggies and the drunks are out in force.

And as for aesthetics,  Melbourne is ugly. It’s full of alleys desecrated with grafitti. The public transport system is unreliable and archaic.

And yes, everyone agrees something should be done about it,  so let’s have a discussion about it, shall we?  What hypocrisy!

Now for some more distressing facts about the effect of this Holy Football event.  Surgery has had to be postponed because the doctors and other staff have escaped from Melbourne for the long weekend. Those people who are in hospital and ready to go home cannot leave because there aren’t enough doctors to release them. So they are crammed into rooms all because of this special holiday.

Would you believe that 690 surgical operations have had to be postponed because of this footy fiasco?

By the way,  it is the entire state of Victoria that has an extra holiday today.  Just to watch a bunch of footballers in a parade in Melbourne.

And for some mysterious reason our Prime Minister cannot understand why people on full pay have the day off so that they can wave at a bunch of footballers prior to the actual day of the match.

I know one thing for sure. If the Melbournians weren’t allowed to get drunk and gamble there would be no interest in “sport.”

But perhaps that’s the case with all of Australia. What surprises me is that they feel they need an extra pretext to drink.

Surely living in Melbourne is reason enough to reach for the bottle.




The new Target Store at Chadstone: Are we there yet?

It’s no secret that the Chadstone Shopping Mall is undergoing a refurbishment and an expansion to rival the Seven Wonders of the World.  It’s taking quite a long time, but we are all reassured it will be worth it.

For the past few months Target has been closed and so we have been waiting for the opening of its new resurrection in September.  It will be so terrific,  marvellous and fantastic that poems will be written about it. I’m thinking of Kubla Khan’s pleasure dome, of course.

There may even be a musical written devoted to the brand new super dooper Target and how its construction added to the attractions of the most liveable city in the world. (Melbourne, that is)

Well,  it opened about a week ago and there has been a noticeable hush all over the world  (Melbourne, that is) about the new improved Target.

We went there today for a peek and had a rather long trek through corridors and passages, past the construction area.  Our excitement grew with each painful step. It was a long way to go,  about one kilometre there and back,  but it would be worth it,  yes?

Not exactly.

I expected to be handed a bottle of water at each turn, as happens in a regular marathon, but there was none and so we marched on in an intrepid but increasingly breathless manner.  When we finally arrived at Target, which is situated in the bowels of this planet,  we noticed a sign saying “We hope you enjoyed the journey.”

Apparently this was meant to amuse us,  but we could not even conjure up a chortle.

Still,  we persevered in a pioneering spirit.  We were nothing if not optimistic.

As it turned out,  we were nothing since the new Target is very uninspiring.  Same old, same old.  Surely there should have been some welcome for those of us who had put in such an effort. No great special offers to tempt us. No elegance or chic appeal. No ambiance.

Is it a work in progress,  perhaps?

As for me,  I can wait to find out.

Why “the migrants” should thank Hitler

Hundreds of thousands of migrants are coming to Germany as I write. They do not want to go to Hungary nor do they want to stay in Greece where they often come ashore.  They don’t even want to remain in Turkey, a Muslim country,  even though the migrants themselves are (mostly) Muslims.

For them,  Germany is the land of plenty, the land of people who are friendly to foreigners who are not Aryan.

It is hard to reconcile this Germany with the Germany of of the Thirties,  the Germany of Hitler who was determined to create a pure race of perfect human beings who would rule the world for the next thousand years.

Well,  that did not happen and Germany was left with a rotten reputation to say the least.

For years, the Germans pretended that they were unaware of what was going on under their very noses. Those who had an “inkling” claimed they were only following orders.

To give the current Germans their due,  they have gone out of their way to make amends and it would be wrong to blame the children and grandchildren for the horrors perpetrated during the Holocaust.

In my opinion,  therefore,  I regard their expressions of welcome as a desire to further distance themselves from the evil deeds of their grandparents.

I also suspect that had the Syrian war occurred thirty years ago, the Germans would not have been ready to acknowledge the reality of their monstrous past,  not while the Nazi perpetrators were still alive and kicking amongst them.  And while that was the situation,  the migrants would not have been welcomed with balloons and streamers as they are at the moment.

How long this elation lasts, however,  remains to be seen.


Cricket Matters!

If you ever doubted that Australia is a lucky country,  here is the proof that we live in a farcically fortunate land.

I woke up this morning to the news that Australia had lost the Ashes.  Our cricket team had been totally defeated by England and this was a tragedy…apparently.

At the same time that the Aussies lost the match Taiwan was being demolished by an enormous  typhoon.  Taiwanese lives and homes are being destroyed.

In the Middle East factions are massacring one another.

Europe is having to cope with an overwhelming influx of “migrants” while Hungary is  preparing to keep them out by building a fence.  Apparently, it’s okay to have a fence now for protection.

All this is going on while our newspapers report the sorry defeat in cricket.  It’s all a matter of priorities, isn’t it?

If it ain’t cricket then it’s some doping scandal in football.

We Aussies definitely know what matters. A little red ball or some other larger one that is chucked around,  passed around, or kicked around a field of grass.

And that’s what counts here in Oz.  How lucky is that!

Bald men are in

While hanging out at Chadstone, the Fashion Capital of  Melbourne,  I was struck by the number of men who are now sporting a totally shaved head.  And so I began to wonder why that is so.

Since they looked quite fit I dismissed the idea that they were on chemo.  Some of them might have been, of course,  but by far the greater proportion of them seem to have shaved their heads on purpose.

A few of them had even grown a beard as if to demonstrate that they were indeed capable of growing hair somewhere, should they so desire. That was not such a sexy look,  in my opinion.

The majority of the intentionally bald men had dark patterns around their scalps where hair would have been if they had not decided to shave it.

The ratio of  totally shaved balding men to ordinary balding men was 6 to 4.  An amazing statistic, I thought.

It’s an interesting phenomenon.  As if to anticipate gradual balding,  these shaved men have chosen to go all the way and declare,  okay,  so I’m losing my hair,  so what?

Let’s see what this thing called baldness, which men fear so much that they get wigs and pay for expensive lotions and even hormone treatment,  looks like.

So they shave their hair off completely and defy that fear.  They are bald and it looks fine. The world has not come to an end.  In fact,  some of them look even better then they did while they were in the process of going sparse up top.

No more shampoos and gels,  no more comb-overs,  no more silly caps to conceal a bald spot. What a relief that must be.


Abuse of prisoners in Australian prison

Yesterday 300 prisoners rioted in a remand prison in Victoria, Australia.  It was the biggest prison riot in the state’s history.

Millions of dollars of damage and injuries are now being investigated.  How could such a thing happen?

Were the prisoners being physically beaten?  Were they being starved?  Were they denied medical attention, perhaps?


The reason for the riot was much more serious than mere torture which takes place in other countries in the rest of the world.

You see the prisoners will no longer be allowed to smoke cigarettes on account of smoking being bad for your health.

Well,  no wonder they are rioting!

What next?

Will they have to stop screwing one another or using hard drugs?

What if they are no longer allowed to eat junk food?

These poor fellows were even offered nicotine patches,  chuppa chups and extra bottles of water to help them through their ordeal.  I kid you not. And they refused…

Frankly,  my dear…



Middle East students at the Holocaust Museum

A few years ago I was a volunteer  guide at the Holocaust Museum in Melbourne.  It is a very solemn museum  devoted to the memory of the Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Among the many visitors to the museum were school children of high-school age. They would come with their teachers to learn about the Holocaust and most of the time they were very well-behaved.

Some were visibly affected by what they saw.  It was an excursion that was part of their education and it was meant to teach them about the dangers of bigotry  and racial hatred so that the world would be a better place in the future.

We can all live in hope and we have to try to improve things, don’t we?

I remember one particular occasion,  however,  which depressed and horrified me.

It concerned a school visit from one of the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.  I was walking around the exhibit as was my role as a guide when I heard a couple of Lebanese boys making fun of the photos of Jews being tortured by the Nazis.  I know they were Lebanese because I overheard them talking and then they spoke in English.

This is what they said as they stood in front of a particularly horrible photo.

“We could learn a lot from the Nazis about how to deal with the Jews.”

Those two boys were about 15 at the time and that was five years ago.

I can’t help wondering where these boys ended up.