November 2012

We men have been given short shrift by the fashionistas who dictate office fashion.

Leftie becomes a rightie (if ya know what we mean)... what this classic 70s pic of SA premier Don Dunstan doesn't show is that his shorts were pink!

Why is it that women can wear skirts which barely conceal their buttocks while men who work indoors are forced to cover thighs, knees and shins? It is bare-legged hypocrisy.

The long and the short of this issue is that men should be allowed to wear shorts to work.

Latest 2 of 134 comments

  • Gordon says:

    04:04pm | 30/11/12

    But short sheelve business shirts can be accesorised so nicely with those pocket pen protector thingies! Read more »

  • Steve says:

    03:58pm | 30/11/12

    only millions fezzbo? The evil multinational I work for made billions last year and will again this year and if I was to wear anything other than strict corporate wear (same goes for the ladies here) I’d find my career prospects diminishing fast, if I wasnt shown the door for… Read more »


How much income tax did you pay last week, even within a few hundred dollars? You don’t know. Approximately how much GST did you pay last week? Again, you don’t know. Australians’ utter and rampant cluelessness about the amount of tax they pay is the single biggest reason our governments have ballooned to such monstrous and inefficient sizes.

Cartoon: Peter Nicholson

“Fiscal illusion” is the reason voters do not have an apoplectic fit every time politicians proffer yet more open-ended, feckless spending schemes, that history shows are guaranteed to be delivered late and over budget.

By accident or perhaps design, governments have become masters of obscuring the true tax burden from voters, tricking them into seeing value in government spending where they should observe gross inefficiency. Keynes, whose name is routinely invoked to promote yet more spending, wrote in the 1920s that a level of taxation at 25 per cent of national income was probably “the maximum tolerable proportion”.

Latest 2 of 54 comments

  • acotrel says:

    04:30pm | 30/11/12

    @Mahrat ‘My question is:  How do we force poltical accountability?’ It is easy. -  Require every public serviice department to maintain an ISO9000 documented risk management system as a training aid, and have them independently audited by Quality Assurance Services . Read more »

  • John A says:

    04:09pm | 30/11/12

    Achmed, In fact the tax is taken when you debit your account, so every time money is transfered/debited from an account be it private or business the tax is applied. Needless to say banks and big business hate the idea, but it’s the fairest system I know of. Read more »


Tony Abbott yesterday failed to make a case that Julia Gillard had acted in a manner unbecoming of a prime minister by allegedly lying over her involvement in the AWU slush fund scandal. And given the Opposition Leader has actually made the more serious allegation that the PM may have in fact committed a crime, the onus is on him to prove that she did.

Sitting down, but still on her feet

But this was never the object for Abbott. To use the parlance of the pugilist, Abbott is an infighter, not a slugger. He doesn’t go for the knock-out punch. And in this fashion, while Gillard remains on her feet, the internal damage may have already been done.

Where Abbott succeeded yesterday was in delivering on his strategy of leaving Gillard’s leadership battered and bruised as parliament rose for its three-month summer recess. Her plans of going to Christmas with her caucus solidly in her corner, and a new-year election agenda in front of her, have been left a bloodied mess on the political canvas.

Latest 2 of 194 comments

  • Achmed says:

    04:59pm | 30/11/12

    Why wont PJ tell at least one truth ???? $516,000 as stated by Murray Cowper Liberal Minister in WA Read more »

  • StanleyG says:

    03:58pm | 30/11/12

    it was a privelage this week to witness first hand one of the great political speeches of our time,no doubt from the pen of John Mcternan- “sleaze and smear,embarrassing,sleaze and smear,buckets of mud,negativity,sleaze and smear,embarrassing,negativity,buckets of mud,smear and sleaze, negativity,buckets of mud,get up and ask it yourself,embarrassing,sleaze and smear”. Brilliant,and… Read more »


OK, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Two and a Half Men qualifies for the dictionary definition of “filth”, as it’s been branded by its resident “half man”, 19 year-old star Angus T Jones (Jake). But if you heard the young actor’s rambling quasi-religious rant, and dire warning that TV as he knows it “rots your brain’‘, you may think he a bit of a point.

Three Half Men might be a better name…

Jones’ impressionable young mind has marinated for more than half his life on the set of a show about a sexually-opportunistic, cynical, self-satisfied lothario who uses women like tissues - playing himself - and the experience appears to have turned the earnest young guy to God.

It’s no wonder he sounds a bit confused, given the life lessons his character, Jake, took in with his Twinkies while in the care of randy Uncle Charlie (Charlie Sheen) and his “hen-pecked” divorcee dad, Alan (Jon Cryer). Here are a few examples:

A good woman is an ignorant woman (if you can’t find a dumb young one to play with, keep the one you can find in the dark):

Latest 2 of 140 comments

  • sami says:

    03:49pm | 30/11/12

    @ “people have mentioned sex and the city. perfect example. those women make fun / belittle men who are short, fat, bald, have small ‘equipment’ etc.” I watched every episode of SATC and cannot recall them making fun of men. In fact Charlotte marries a bald guy, whom everyone adores. Read more »

  • marley says:

    03:28pm | 30/11/12

    @fml - actually, one of my favourite depictions of women was the feisty, sexy, capable Major Houlihan in MASH.  Emotional, hot-headed, but able to hold her own with the boys. Read more »


Julia Gillard had two big goals for the second half of 2012 and was on track to achieve both of them. The first one was simple enough: to survive. If a doctor’s guiding dictum is “do no harm,’’ the political equivalent is “being there’”.

A little chewy sticks too. Image: Tiedemann

For any leader, and particularly an unpopular one, merely making it through the closing days of parliament – the so-called “the killing season’’ - is something of an achievement.

The second goal was to finish off the year well allowing Labor to hit the ground running in 2013. That too seemed to be working. Progress through the second half of 2012 had been steady and encouraging just as she promised.

Latest 2 of 107 comments

  • PJ says:

    04:29pm | 30/11/12

    If Gillard had of opened a File as she was supposed to: - Slater and Gordon could of collected there money due for work done - Slater and Gordon would have known about the AWU Account - the AWU would have known about the Account - there would probably not… Read more »

  • LMAO says:

    03:59pm | 30/11/12

    @lowercaseandrew “This place doesn’t HAVE to be a repository of stupidity, party slogans and dull-witted one-liners.” Try telling that to Tony Abbott, Andrew. Read more »


It has come to the attention of the authorities that school is placing some youngsters under so much pressure that it might be safer to abolish it entirely and replace it with a network of self-esteem centres where the kiddies are told that they’re all doing a great job with everything and should be really proud of themselves.

Ye olde examinations. Photo: Adelaide Advertiser

This would be the logical end result of the research released this week which found that the NAPLAN tests for grades three, five, seven and nine were placing so much pressure on students that some of them are crying, getting tummy aches and even vomiting ahead of these apparently onerous exams. About 90 per cent of the teachers who responded said that stress was an issue.

I am not setting out to rubbish the research, conducted by the University of Melbourne at the behest of the Whitlam Institute, but to question whether the intention of the teachers who filled in the survey was coloured more by an industrial agenda than a focus on learning for kids and transparency for parents.

Latest 2 of 42 comments

  • St. Michael says:

    04:47pm | 30/11/12

    What, in a government job, or pretty much any other job in a large institution where your performance is measured by other than objective yardsticks? Read more »

  • Nigel says:

    03:57pm | 30/11/12

    @andye, so how should the sentence be put together mate? Or is that all you have? Read more »


Finally, 20 years after Cancer Council Australia first recommended plain packaging on the basis of evidence that branded packaging influences smoking take-up, its time has come. From tomorrow, all tobacco retailers in Australia will be required by law to sell only tobacco products in plain packaging.

What a great day for public health.

The government's next step should be for ciggies to come in hideous brown monsters

Some readers will disagree. Not the majority – surveys show most Australians support plain packaging. But having written on this topic before, I expect criticism from sceptics, anti-“nanny state” crusaders and tobacco industry trolls masquerading as both. So let’s pre-empt the arguments against plain packaging with some facts.

1) Plain packaging won’t work.

Why then have tobacco companies thrown tens of millions of dollars at stopping plain packaging, in the small Australian market alone?

Latest 2 of 77 comments

  • Heather says:

    03:47pm | 30/11/12

    James,that’s why patches don’t work Read more »

  • PsychoHyena says:

    03:30pm | 30/11/12

    @Mahhrat, but what happens when you present all the brands, strengths, etc to a customer with the exact same packaging? Research comparing unbranded packaging to branded packaging is based on there being a combination rather than just the unbranded. I mean would removing the branding, etc from beer stop people… Read more »


Our justice system is broken. The way we deal with crime simply isn’t working any more.

What we're doing just ain't working. Photo: Herald Sun

Over the last 30 years, the number of Australians in prison has tripled. It has grown year on year four times faster than the Australian population.

This is unsustainable and is placing extraordinary strain on Justice Department budgets around the country. In fact, we now spend $3 billion dollars a year keeping people in prison.

Latest 2 of 81 comments

  • Ben says:

    05:00pm | 30/11/12

    @simonfromlakemba >>Men should stop committing crimes. Should be a good start. The ignorance of some people astounds me. It has already been observed that our prison population has a disproportionate rate of indigenous persons - would Simon’s solution to that be a callous dismissal along the lines of “Indigenous people… Read more »

  • P. Walker says:

    03:35pm | 30/11/12

    Jackson, hear hear! Read more »


The Advertising Standards Board is the arbiter of all things proper in advertising.


But they’re not the nanny-statists some might assume them to be. They have upheld the right for advertisers to use the phrase “fork”, as in, “no forking worries”.

What’s on your plate today, Punchers?

Latest 2 of 101 comments

  • TheRealDave says:

    06:33pm | 30/11/12

    Given that the rAbbott won’ divulge the names of the people contributing funds to the slush funds we have no idea who, what or where the money came from. And I probably didn’t reply because after I get home from work and have dinner the Punch has closed for comments… Read more »

  • sami says:

    06:28pm | 30/11/12

    In response to the article on Mayer, maybe it’ll pass moderation on this topic? - Wow. Why try and pull her down because her situation is different to yours? Obviously she would have struggled too if she had medical difficulties and post-natal depression. Or if she wasn’t rich. Or if… Read more »


About time, too. In the end, Ricky Ponting didn’t so much fall upon his sword as trip over it and watch helplessly as his career slowly bled to death.

Happier days… but Ponting's run supply is no longer in the pink. Pic: Gregg Porteous

Ponting was our best bat since Bradman. Still is, despite Michael Clarke’s run-soaked year. But the Tasmanian’s first innings dismissal in Adelaide said it all. Not only had his once steady flow of runs dried up. Now his dignity was failing him too.

Ponting has just held his departing press conference ahead of his final Test commencing in Perth tomorrow. The last time he called a presser was in February to announce his retirement from One Day cricket. He hoped that would prolong his Test career. Wasn’t to be.

Latest 2 of 46 comments

  • I hate pies says:

    11:01am | 30/11/12

    His weaknesses was confounded by falling across his crease early on - that’s why he’s get out LBW early. Once his eye was in he’d smack the same ball to the fence. It’s a sad time for Australian cricket, because Ricky is the last from our golden era to retire.… Read more »

  • Philosopher says:

    10:17am | 30/11/12

    Who is A. Sharwood? Well, he’s a journalist and sports commentator, he gets paid to provide an objective review of sportsmen. Objective: this means discussing the less favourable aspects as well as the favourable, and columnists are required to be a bit controversial. Sort of like journo’s from the Australian… Read more »


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