Women required to wear Hi Vis in Australia’s Parliament House.

Women must now wear Hi Vis at all times in Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra after the seat of government was declared a site of high risk women. The new law comes into effect immediately and means that female politicians, staffers, bureaucrats, security staff, media, ancillary staff and visitors will be denied entry if they are not wearing some form of Hi Vis clothing.

“Parliament House is not a safe place for women,” confirmed a government spokesman.

“All women who work in, or visit, the seat of government must wear at least one piece of Hi Vis clothing at all times while they are on the premises, for their own safety.”

The law was created in response to various highly-publicised example of mistreatment of women in Parliament House, including allegations of rape, masturbation on other people’s desks, distribution of sexually-explicit videos and visits by prostitutes, as well as an underlying culture of toxic masculinity.

Authorities stressed the law was not rushed through after Barnaby Joyce’s return.

“It’s just coincidence”

The rationale behind the law is simple, according to its creators.

“Forcing women to wear Hi Vis is much easier than creating institutional or cultural change which would keep them safe. Forcing these conditions on women also allows the men who perpetrate crimes and offences against women, and those who protect the men, to blame the woman if she does get attacked or harassed, or mistreated in any way. A woman will never be bothered if she is wearing Hi Vis. Thus, if she is not, she can be accused of failing to take necessary measures and of breaking the rules.”

Hi Vis clothing can take any form, and authorities believe women will be happy to wear them.

“Hi Vis apparel comes in pink these days, so women will love it. We believe they will enjoy matching their Hi Vis with their outfits and make-up every morning.”

Critics slammed the new law, and said that if women are forced to wear HI Vis, then men in parliament house should be forced to wear a bell around their neck, the same way that cats wear a bell to stop them from killing native wildlife. The government replied:

“What a ridiculous suggestion. It would make us a laughing stock around the world.”

Government insiders also pointed another benefit of Hi Vis clothing in the halls of power.

“Hi Vis is normally worn by Tradies and construction workers, and they are now the most sought-after constituents of both major parties, so women are likely to be well received. Hi Vis is also worn by workers at mining sites, and we know how much the LNP, and even large parts of the Labor Party, love the mining sector and do so much to protect them.”

Authorities see only one potential problem with the introduction of the new law.

“Now we have to get ScoMo and Matt Canavan to stop doing so many photo ops in Hi Vis.”

Image: Aditya Joshi

Parliament House prepares for a royal visit.

EXCLUSIVE: Australia’s Parliament House is secretly preparing to host Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei. Leaked documents reveal that the famous sex addict and brother of the Sultan of Brunei will spend a week in the nation’s capital for both business and pleasure.

Prince Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien was once the country’s finance minister. He will travel by private jet and skip quarantine protocols, before heading straight to an official reception at Parliament House. The exclusive reception is open only to male politicians and staffers, as well as hand-picked female junior staffers and some of Canberra’s best escorts.

The younger brother of the Sultan is renowned for his playboy lifestyle. He famously kept a large harem of up to forty women, including Jillian Lauren, an American women who revealed all in her book Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. He has had five wives and eighteen children. He is just as famous for his luxury yacht named Tits, with tenders named Nipple 1 and Nipple 2. Furthermore, leaked pictures revealed statues the Prince had made of him having sex with his fiance Micha Raines.

This lifestyle cost the Prince billions of dollars, which he was accused of stealing from the Bruneian people. After a lengthy legal battle, he apparently repaid the money to the Brunei government…or to his brother.

Secret correspondence between government officials in parliament house reveal that desks are being sanitised and the prayer room is being deep cleaned in readiness for the Prince. Junior female staffers have been issued with a strict dress code and escort agencies have been advised to make available their most popular ladies. Caterers have also been instructed to ensure that all food is halal.

Organisers of the visit have also attempted to match the decor in the prayer room to the Masjid Jefri Bolkiah, or the Jefri Bolkiah Mosque.

News of the visit is sure to surprise Australians, many of whom have never heard of the Prince, and would have expected a member of the British royal family to be visiting. Sources within parliament conceded, however, that Prince Jefri is more attuned to the daily occurrences and general culture of Australia’s federal parliament.

Image: Aditya Joshi

AGL awarded Gold Status for including LGBTQIA+ people.

AGL has been officially recognised for actively including the LGBTQ+ community in its destruction of the planet. The energy company was awarded Gold Employer status for LGBTQ+ inclusion at the AWEI Awards while simultaneously earning the title of Australia’s biggest domestic contributor to climate change by Greenpeace.

Greenpeace argues that AGL emitted 42.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019-2020. Greenpeace data confirms that the energy company creates,

“…24.6% of electricity sector emissions and 8% of Australia’s total emissions, which primarily comes from the coal burned at the energy giant’s three coal-burning power stations: Liddell, Bayswater, and Loy Yang A. AGL’s own data confirms that 85% of energy generated by the gentailer comes from burning coal.”

At the same time, AGL boasts publicly that:

“This is the third year we have been awarded Gold Employer status, and the fifth year that we have participated in the AWEI. Our employee-driven LGBTQ+ network, AGL Shine, was created in 2014. The network focuses on providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our employees – while also advocating internally and externally for gender inclusion beyond the heteronormative binary.”

Data from the environmental activist group indicates that:

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Lesbians

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Gay people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Bisexual people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Trans people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Queer people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Intersexed people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Asexual people

AGL is also accelerating the climate crisis for hetero-normative people and for any other possible definition within the gender and sexuality spectrum that has not been acknowledged above.

The company reinforced its commitment to treating everyone on the planet equally.

“AGL understands that the natural environment in crucial to the survival, prosperity and wellbeing of every single person on the planet, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, colour, age or nationality. This is why we have ensured that no one single group or sub group of Australian society or any other global society is discriminated against by our destruction of the natural environment.”

“We will all suffer together.”

AGL is the biggest polluter in a country with the highest per capita carbon footprint on the planet.

Critics of the energy giant highlighted the futility of supporting the rights of one particular group of society, when every group in society will suffer from the burning of fossil fuels, to which AGL replied:

“Even toxic rain makes rainbows.”

Image: Vector Stock

Delay, delay then save the day.

I think I figured it out. I discovered Scott Morrison’s strategy for dealing with crises. Delay, delay then save the day.

Let a crisis descend to a state of utter desperation then announce yourself as the saviour of the nation. Propose a solution which is not of your making and which should have been implemented long, long ago, and take all of the credit.

I can see this clearly now. I’m not a political strategist, nor even a keen follower of party politics, but even I can see the strategy.

Morrison announces a plan in such a way that state leaders are presented as the impediment to personal freedom and as the architects of restrictive lockdowns. This strategy is dependant upon doing nothing effective to solve the problem when it arises. The LNP did nothing to facilitate a coherent vaccination rollout. The federal government did nothing to manage nationwide quarantine facilities. The LNP did nothing to effectively manage the arrival of people from overseas.

COVIDSafe was an expensive waste of time. It failed.

Vaccination rollout was so slow the states took it upon themselves to create mass vaccination hubs.

So incompetent is the government’s response to the pandemic that it has to have been deliberate. Even if bumbling politicians are inept and out of their depth, some of their staffers, advisers and department heads are competent and capable of dealing with a crisis. Australia should not still be in lockdown, and waiting for vaccinations, in July 2021.

At some point since early 2020, the federal LNP must have realised that they were incapable of managing the response to the pandemic, and decided that the only way to save the public reputation of their leader was to let the crisis deepen, then swoop in at the last minute and claim to save the day.

The prime minister did just that. He recently gathered state leaders, then the mainstream media, and announced a plan for guiding Australia out of the COVID crisis. The announcement included promises to end lockdowns and open borders, and to have most Australians vaccinated in the near future. Once these measures are taken, Australia can return to some form of normal.

Australians are sick of lockdowns, Morrison promised to end lockdowns.

Australians want borders open, Morrison promised to open borders.

Australians want international travel to resume, Morrison promised to allow international travel.

He didn’t say exactly when. He didn’t say how. His advisors cleverly used vague language to hint at positive changes which will occur at some time in the future.

The announcement was made in such a way that it presents Morrison and the LNP government as the saviours. It dismisses the efforts of medical staff, state leaders and competent people within Australia who have worked behind the scenes day after day to prevent the deaths of thousands of people.

And it works.

The strategy works.

Many Australian people will see Morrison as their saviour. It helps to have the entire NewsCorp media network serving as your private propaganda network. It helps to have the mainstream media reprinting press releases and failing to hold the government to account. It helps to have the Murdoch press launch a sustained and personal attack on Victorian Labor Premier Dan Andrews, and to defend the actions of Liberal premiers and the federal government.

It helps to have a compliant media serve as chief distractor. During the pandemic, and the recent floods and bushfires, distractions were always at hand to draw people’s attention away from the current disaster. Morrison went missing at some point during all of these major crises, even famously escaping to Hawaii and inviting himself to a G7 summit. He said and did nothing in the midst of the crisis, then emerged triumphantly to do what he does best; hold a press conference.

He conveniently took credit for a massive seizure of illicit drugs in Australia. A drug bust carried out by police, but announced by Morrison. Australians were also conveniently distracted when the government announced a multi-million dollar upgrade to the War Memorial in Canberra, and when Morrison decided to change one word in the national anthem.

Morrison will now be seen as the man who ended lockdown. The man who opened the borders. The man who fixed quarantine. The man who got Australia back to normal. This could all have happened long ago if it were not for one man…Scott Morrison.

Image:www.gettyimages.com

The End of Charity Fund Raising

The kind-hearted and generous folk of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs are hereby advised that all charitable fundraising activities must cease forthwith. Consequently, residents are no longer permitted to organise, or donate to, charitable efforts such as the Wardy Claus Christmas present drive for sick kids. Also prohibited are the annual Mullet Pro at Tamarama Beach raising awareness of mental health issues, and Boards for Bushfires from the Bronte Boardriders. Sophie Smith can no longer Run for Premature Babies, and any other activities designed to harness goodwill for the betterment of the world are outlawed.

The aforementioned charitable undertakings may only resume when:

  • Every royal family, everywhere in the world, abdicates the throne and redistributes their enormous ill-gotten wealth among the great unwashed.
  • Every single cigarette smoker (or vaper) on the planet quits their disgusting, self-indulgent and destructive habit and donates their smoking (or vaping) money to charity.
  • People stop paying $AU90 to have their fur baby receive a massage.
  • Multinational corporations pay the tax they are required, at law, to pay.
  • Corporations return the taxpayer-funded JobKeeper payments they received while recording massive profits during a pandemic. Go!
  • The world’s major religions release the substantial wealth hoarded in sites such as the Vatican, and direct it to the less fortunate: blessed are the poor.
  • Celebrities stop spending $1315 for a dog collar, $550 for a dog leash, and $84,000 on a car for their 9-year-old daughter.
  • The Australian government reverses the decision to spend $500 million to glorify war.
  • Church organisations in Australia stop defending paedophile priests and redirect the exorbitant legal fees to their parishioners throughout the world. Just drop it off at Vinnies.
  • FIFA and the IOC pay every person who works at their major events, such as the 2023 Women’s World Cup, including the volunteers whose work is essential to the conduct of those events.
  • Local politicians replace pink flowers with institutional change next International Women’s Day.
  • Mattias Cormann pays for his own international flights.
  • Fees for the country’s aged-care facilities do not pay for mansions with tennis courts and swimming pools.
  • The most expensive and elaborate building in the village or town of so many developing nations is not the church, synagogue, mosque, temple or other religious house of worship.
  • Australian taxpayers see a return on the $190,000 Scott Morrison spent on an empathy consultant.
  • Parliamentary pensions are paid on merit.
  • NSW Labor politicians stop shopping at Aldi.

In the interim, residents are advised that special dispensation will be given to GoFundMe pages raising money for highly-paid homophobes and reality TV failures seeking social media stardom.

Image: http://www.istockphoto.com

First published in The Beast magazine, July 2021

Lennie.

A substance thick as honey ran down Lennie’s shirtfront. It was one of the many he had spilt, smeared, dribbled or dropped on his person over the last few hours, during which the general frivolity had afforded him a degree of freedom. But soon his mother caught him.

“I gave him that shirt just this morning,” she bemoaned, as she wiped away the stains and her maternal guilt.

“Leave it,” said a voice of similar vintage, and Lennie recognised the delicate perfume of his aunty Suzie.

 “Charlie was exactly the same when he reached that age.”

As his mother and aunty mourned the loss of their baby boys, Lennie wrestled himself from their attention and set off in search of another prize. He’d spotted the red heart-shaped delicacies the moment he arrived, but had been obstructed by the customary platitudes and gushing sentiments from friends and relatives as they’d arrived one after another.

Now he stumbled to his feet and bumped his way through the blur of bodies surrounding the food table. Countless guests insisted on kissing him and smothering him with affection, but Lennie was obsessed with other matters of the heart. He thrust his hands into the bowl and clawed as many little hearts as possible, before plonking himself on the floor. Nearby guests simply laughed and shuffled away to avoid stepping on him, and Lennie focussed his entire concentration and limited dexterity on extricating the chocolates from their wrappers, before gorging himself on mouthfuls of pure pleasure.

Lennie was then captivated by the golden glow of the beer fridges. Had such a wondrous sight ever existed? From his vantage point on the plush but soggy carpet, Lennie gazed up enraptured at the two towers of temptation gleaming with hitherto undiscovered flavours.

Lennie will one day hear a theory that alcohol labelling is deliberately designed to evoke associations with positive childhood memories of certain shapes, colours and images. Well, it was working today, and he reached for a bottle containing a pleasure he had not yet known. Just as he touched the ice-cold bottle, a strong and dominant hand pulled his away.

“Bit too early for that Lennie,” the owner admonished light-heartedly.

“Already going for the imported stuff,” another voice joked.

“Maybe another day my boy!” and the men enjoyed a concomitant chuckle as they downed the bottles they were holding.

A clink on a glass and the room fell silent and still.  

Lennie was ushered to the stage, and his eyes lit up with wonderment yet again on this fantastical evening. A giant cake covered in thick, luscious, colourful icing sat before him. His hands extended instinctually, and simultaneously his father swooped to snatch the razor-sharp knife that lay beside the cake.

Lennie smashed through the icing and plunged his forearms into the soft and doughy interior of the cake. He swam unabashed in the innocent, creamy, sensual pleasure until his mother’s voice pierced his reverie:

“Happy 40th Lennie!”

Image: Jess Bailey

Nancie Akinyi wins the inaugural Migration Gravel Race.

Nancie Akinyi of Kenya has won the inaugural Migration Gravel Race in Kenya in a time of 30:41:33 ahead of Betsy Welch of The USA and Dorien Geertsema of the Netherlands. Welch finished in 30:49:58 and Geertsema recorded a total time of 33:32:24.

Akinyi won three of the four stages on her way to victory but still had a considerable gap to close entering the final day. She trailed Welch by 20 minutes after Welch had won the brutal first stage and established a lead of more than 40 minutes.

Akinyi won the Queen’s stage with an impressive display of climbing to conquer the 3000m of elevation, then took further time away from the American with another powerful ride on the short and fast stage 3.

Akinyi and Welch were both lost throughout the race. Akinyi strayed off course on day 1 and 2, and lost time navigating her way back onto the trail. Welch was lost inside her own mind, asking publicly if she cared or didn’t care about winning, and whether or not she is competitive. She can be certain of the silver medal she takes home from Kenya.

The final stage would decide the overall winner in the women’s category. Welch enjoyed a 20 minute lead over the Kenyan, and Akinyi charged through the 160km stage with determination. She didn’t stop at the first feed station, and slowly chipped away at the time gap. Behind her, Welch was suffering with a chain that kept slipping off. Akinyi eventually won the stage by almost 30 minutes, and grabbed the gold medal.

Behind the two leaders, Geertsema and companion Mieke Luten rode together and supported each other throughout the first two stages. At the end of stage 3 and 4, however, Geertsema found more strength in her legs and rode away from her compatriot to claim the final position on the podium, while Luten finished 4th in 34:59:37.

Nancie Akinyi wins three in a row at the Migration Gravel Race.

Nancie Akinyi of Kenya has won her third straight stage at the Migration Grave Race after taking the fourth and final stage in 6:57:54 ahead of Dorien Geertsema in 7:22:15 and Betsy Welch in 7:26:15.

Akinyi raced with pure determination on the final stage. She trailed Welch by 20 minutes overall leading into the final day despite winning the Queen’s stage and the third stage, and left everything on the dusty gravel roads in the search for victory. She powered through the first feed station at 60km without stopping, knowing she had to make up a considerable deficit.

Welch arrived some time after Akinyi, and was forced to stop for mechanical advice.

“My chain fell off 8 times already,” she explained.

“I’m feeling ok but the clutch fell off when it’s on the low gear.”

After a snack, a drink and a chat with the mechanics, she set off after Akinyi with Spanish rider Marc Roig.

Geertsema and compatriot Mieke Luten arrived at the first checkpoint in high spirits.

“We saw a cheetah,” they beamed, “and an elephant.”

The Dutch pair have ridden together throughout the race but Geertsema had stronger legs at the end of the final stage and followed Akinyi across the line.

Laurens Ten Dam wins the inaugural Migration Gravel Race.

Laurens Ten Dam of the Netherlands has won the inaugural Migration Gravel Race beating Kenyans Suleman Kangangi and Kenneth Karaya. Ten Dam won two of the four stages in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya and finished with a total time of 22:01:51, ahead of Kangangi in 22:20:49 and Karaya in 22:59:37.

Ten Dam arrived in Kenya fresh from second place in Unbound Gravel, while Kangangi and Karaya were competing in their first international gravel race. Karaya rode the entire 4 stages on a 26′ hardtail mountain bike. Ten Dam entered day 4 with a 19 minute gap over Kangangi in second, and monitored the Bike Aid rider throughout the stage.

A large lead group formed at the beginning of the final stage, then shrank up the first climb. At the top of the climb, Didier Munyaneza broke away and Ian Boswell followed. Boswell was more than one hour behind Ten Dam and posed no threat to the overall classification, and the American eventually powered away to victory on the stage. Behind Boswell, the chase group reached 45, then 50km/h in the finishing stretch, swerving as if they were preparing for a sprint, but actually avoiding potholes and cattle.

“The first part of today’s stage was rocky then there was a climb,” Ten Dam said at the finish.

“The last part was smooth and fast, it was perfect. Next year I want all the roads to be like they were today.”

Ten Dam was then reminded that he had won the race on some brutal roads which caused punctures, mechanical failures, falls and injuries. To which he replied:

“I won the hardest one”

Ten Dam finished in the top 10 at the Tour de France and La Vuelta a Espana, and appeared relaxed at the final feed station. He asked about Boswell’s progress up ahead, and was told that Boswell looked serious on this stage.

“Good to see he’s serious for one day,” Ten Dam joked.

“Today we rode through the villages with lots of people, I liked that. My muscles are sore, everywhere, but today I was happy to be on the bike.”

Kangangi explained his approach to the final stage.

“It was a tough day. I was second and I didn’t want to throw that away, so I had to ride smart.”

“Boswell attacked with maybe 90km to go and I knew I still had about 1 hour to play with, so I felt fine as long as I knew Laurens was there.”

Ten Dam stamped his authority on the race on stage 1. He dominated the rough, rocky, brutal terrain to establish a lead of 13 minutes over Kangangi, and 23 minutes over compatriot Thomas Dekker and Karaya. Ugandan Jordan Schleck was about 36 minutes behind on his hardtail mountain bike. Dekker suffered on the steep climbs of stage 2, and slipped off the podium during stage 4.

Ten Dam then showed the climbing prowess which brought him success in the grand tours. He prevailed on the Queen’s stage which punished the riders with 3000m of climbing, and he extended his lead over Kangangi. On stage 3, it looked like he was in trouble. Mechanical issues slowed him down, and he lost touch with the lead group. Realising this, Kangangi worked with his Kenyan Riders teammates John Kariuki and Geoffrey Langat to drop Ten Dam, but it was not successful. Ten Dam plugged his puncture, then time-trialled his way back onto the group and they crossed the line together behind stage winner Langat.

Langat’s victory on stage 3 put him within striking distance of the podium, but early on stage 4 he punctured, then punctured again and he could not reach the lead pack, despite working with Ugandan Kato Paul who had also punctured and slipped down the general classification.

“My body felt strong today, the problem was the bike,” explained Paul after crossing the line.

“It was the same yesterday, even though my body felt good, I had problems with my bike. But, it’s my first gravel race and I’m happy to be here.”

Boswell eventually finished 4th overall in 23:09:36 and Dekker finished 5th in 23:40:17.

Ian Boswell wins stage 4 of the Migration Gravel Race.

Ian Boswell finally claimed victory at the Migration Gravel Race with a strong solo breakaway to finish ahead of a chase group containing the contenders for the podium. Boswell powered to victory in stage 4 just a few kilometres from the place where he struck disaster on stage 1 and lost his chances on winning overall.

“It took me 580 kilometres to find my terrain,” he said.

“Just about 5k from here is where I lost the chance in the overall at the start of the first stage with the mechanical, so to win here today does feel a little strange.”

“Today is the culmination of everything I’ve learned on this race. I’m now more familiar with the racing style here. Even near the end there I was cruising through cars and cattle and people on the road, so I just went up onto the grass to go around them. The great thing about this race is that anything can happen.”

Boswell and Laurens Ten Dam were the two clear favourites for the overall title. Boswell has ridden in all three grand tours and recently outsprinted Ten Dam at the Unbound Gravel race. Ten Dam placed in the top 10 at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. Boswell, however, lost about 1 hr and 30 minutes due to multiple mechanical failures on the first stage, and had to fight for a stage victory to redeem his race.

A large lead group established itself at the beginning of the final stage, and only broke up during the first climb. This is where Boswell seized his opportunity.

“Didier (Munyaneza) attacked on the climb and by the top he had a bit of a gap. I decided to go with him then pushed on. Didier dropped off on the descent and I decided to go for it once I had a gap. I knew it would take a lot of commitment for all of the chase pack to work together.”

The chase pack contained Ten Dam and Suleman Kangangi, who were the only two riders with a realistic chance of overall victory. It also contained a contender for the third podium spot, Kenneth Karaya, plus John Kariuki and Jordan Schleck. Geoffrey Langat, who won stage 3, was also within reach of third place overall, but he and Kato Paul punctured early in the stage and lost contact with the leaders.

Munyaneza eventually crossed the line behind the chase pack, and the Rwandan road cyclist was satisfied with his performance in his first ever gravel race.

“Boswell dropped me on the descent after the climb. This is my first gravel race so it was good for me to get experience against European riders. Next time, I’ll do more training for longer before the event. I will be stronger.”

Boswell enjoyed his last day on the gravel roads of the Maasai Mara.

“The last 50k or so was fast, with beautiful dirt roads. I saw two elephants and some wildebeest on the ride today, so it was a fun way to end it.”