The Fitz Files

Beale's recall to the Wallabies - Madness!

<i>Illustration: Reg Lynch</i>
Illustration: Reg Lynch 

The Kurtley Beale recall to the Wallabies, just six weeks after being suspended? Madness. Absolute madness. I write as one who was in favour of trying to keep Beale in the game, despite everything -  he is not a bad man, but he has made some terrible decisions.

And yet, right at the time that people are starting to talk about the game again, with the Beale issue starting to recede, the ARU succumbs to the wishes of new coach Michael Cheika, and agrees to tear off the scabs once more, and let the game bleed all over the back pages. I am clueless as to WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!?! 

Kozzie capers

Listen, I disclose that the bloke who runs the joint is a mate of mine, but while at Thredbo last week for the Snowy River Writers Festival, Jordan insisted that we walk from the top of the chair lifts to the highest point in Australia, the summit of Kosciuszko, just 6km away – and it was fabulous. Who knew our Alps were so spectacular? Not me. They're doing some summer promo program called "Conquer Kozzie" but I think it should be called "On Top, Down Under." Seriously worth doing.   

Gag of the week

"Where do you want this big roll of bubble wrap?" I asked my boss the other day.

"Just pop it in the corner," he said vaguely.

Bloody hell. It took me three freaking hours!


Airport name

TFF had a rant last week that despite both the Prime Minister and the Tele pushing hard for the second airport to be named after the visionary engineering genius Queenslander John Bradfield – to go with the Bradfield Expressway, Bradfield electorate – it should instead be named after the Sydneysider who made the engineering breakthrough that allowed flight in the first place, Lawrence Hargrave. The response has been overwhelming. In a rare instance of breaking ranks with his PM, Treasurer Joe Hockey came out this week on Ben Fordham's 2GB program, confirming his long-held view it should be Hargrave. Bradfield's great grandson, Micheal Bradfield, wrote a letter to the SMH, saying that while the family would be honoured, John Bradfield's son Bill was also a famous engineer who was a vehement opponent of a second airport, and "Grandpa Bill would be rolling in his grave if he knew the airport he so vehemently opposed would bear his surname to honour his dad. And I wonder if [John Bradfield himself] might be turning in his grave as well because he loved his son and airports were Bill's thing, not his." For his part, our most famous contemporary international pilot, Richard de Crespigny, wrote to Crikey saying he supported my proposal of it being Hargrave International, and theGuardian ran a poll, reporting that while just 5% supported Bradfield, 44% were for Hargrave, and 50% wanted someone else.

The sex factor

One more time, I can't resist. Straight-faced media reports this week had it that, "The Australian Study of Health and Relationships shows that heterosexual women claim on average to have had nine sexual partners in their lifetime, compared to 17.5 reported by heterosexual men." Why not also note that if that is the case, someone is telling a whole lot of porkies, and it's probably men exaggerating their Lothario life? As I have noted before, we don't know what the average is, but we do know that in the heterosexual world at least, the sum total of acts of inter­course committed by men since the beginning of time, is EXACTLY equal to the number committed by women, so the average is going to be pretty much on the money exactly the same, depending mostly on the complicating factor of whether there are marginally more men or women?

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

They said it ...

"The integrity of the ICAC, and thus the integrity of the administration of justice in NSW, may have been compromised."

In a letter to the police, the Obeid family, regret to inform that ICAC has been letting the side down something terrible in its processes, and must lift its game.  

"We don't give pensions to the widows of cowards."

A report in The Guardian this week, had it that this is what Mrs Gertrude Farr was told in England in 1916, at the post office, after her soldier husband was put before a firing squad for cowardice on the Western Front. She was left destitute, with a three-year-old and a four-month-old to feed.

"Lawrence Hargrave was arguably Australia's greatest ever inventor, one of the greatest inventors in history, and we haven't properly recognised him in Australia."

Joe Hockey, breaking ranks with Tony Abbott on what the second airport should be called.

"Nutmeg the wombat . . ."

Newly unveiled mascot of the 2015 Asian Cup.

"Nothing, Putin has massive popular support in his own country. He, I don't think, frankly, cares about what Australia thinks."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten, asked what he would say to Vladimir Putin about the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine.

"It's a great pain because when you're [the] richest person in the world, everybody [is] surrounding you for money. Today when I walk on the street, people look at you in a different [way]. I want to be myself."

Jack Ma, worth $28 billion, on why he isn't happy.