Thursday 28th of May 2020

at the mulburn kup...

correct weight

Not since 1977 – almost 40 years ago – has a governor-general performed so poorly at the Melbourne Cup.

In 1977 Sir John Kerr got a bit plastered and was out of control.

Not so in 2015. Sir Peter Cosgrove was in total control. So much in control that he was utterly controlled by what seemed to be a pre-prepared speech.

Just fill in the blanks with the name of the jockey, trainer and owner.

He completely missed the point of history.

Why didn't he just chuck away his prop – his prepared speech – and seize the moment of history. For the first time in the 155 years of its running, a female jockey won the Melbourne Cup.


You wouldn't know if you listened to the Governor-General. Or worse, the speech from the corporate sponsor's lackey. The Emirates man was worse. His speech seemed like an obvious "fill in the blanks" script.

Even the trainer, who should have had more empathy, thanked the owners, the staff and even the strapper before even mentioning the real historic heroine of the moment – Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

Payne was magnificent. Panting and bouncing in the saddle while returning from the win she told of her fight against a misogynous industry and a battle to fight off moves to take her off Prince of Penzance a couple of weeks before the moment of glory.

Typical. Woman does hard yards. Bloke takes over at the winning moment. But not so on this occasion. She fought to keep her ride and won on it.


Riding back to the pavilion she said this about males who thought a female could not win the Melbourne Cup, "You can all get stuffed."

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congratulations to Michelle Payne ...


Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne has lauded champion horse Prince Of Penzance, saying she always knew he was a special talent even in the face of doubts from its own trainer.

Payne became the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup when long-shot $101 outsider Prince Of Penzance stormed home on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of English stayer Max Dynamite ($13) by half a length, with Australian weight-for-age star Criterion ($19) over a length back in third place.


Prince Of Penzance, from Weir's stables at Wangoom near Warrnambool, is one of the longest priced winners in the 155-year history of the Melbourne Cup.

Payne, who has had a long association with the horse, said after winning the race that she had laid in bed the night before, dreaming of winning the Cup.

That dream came true in stunning fashion aboard the six-year-old gelding which had doubters aplenty, including trainer Darren Weir.

Gus: in the "office" sweep I got Max Dynamite... which I thought was a pretty cool name... I could not pass this occasion to get the GGs back in the spotlight. Sir John Kerrrrr was that awful guy that cursed Australia to this day with the revolving door through which we see our prime ministers fly out of and land on their arse (see: the face of treason ....)


Time to bring in the Republic of Australia... Hum... that could be a great name for a horse though I would not bet on it.

the suffragette colours...

A female jockey has won the Melbourne Cup for the first time, beating odds of 100-1 to tell people who doubted her ability to “get stuffed”.

Michelle Payne, 30, rode Prince of Penzance to victory in Australia’s biggest race on Tuesday, coincidentally wearing the colours of the suffragettes: purple, white and green. She is the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup in its 155-year history and only the fourth female jockey to ride in the Cup.

The win was an extraordinary family story with the winning mount strapped by her brother, Stevie, who has Down’s Syndrome. The pair have eight other siblings and were raised by their father after their mother died in a car accident.

Payne, who was only 16 when her mother died, used her post-race interview to pay tribute to the trainer Darren Weir who had taken both her and her brother on and also to call out the “chauvinistic” culture of horse racing.

“It’s such a chauvinistic sport, a lot of the owners wanted to kick me off. Everyone else can get stuffed [who] think women aren’t good enough,” she said in her post-race interview.

She singled out one of the owners of the New Zealand-born horse for praise as she accepted the Melbourne Cup on stage.

“I would like to thank all of the owners, John Richards specifically, I think he is the main man who kept me on Prince Of Penzance, maybe a few of them who wanted to take me off,” she said.

“We just won Melbourne Cup so hopefully now they will be pretty happy with me.

“I would like to say that, you know, it’s a very male-dominated sport and people think we are not strong enough and all of the rest of it ... you know what? It’s not all about strength, there is so much more involved, getting the horse into a rhythm, getting the horse to try for you, it’s being patient and I’m so glad to win Melbourne Cup and hopefully, it will help female jockeys from now on to get more of a go. Because, I believe that we sort of don’t get enough of a go and hopefully this will help.”

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on the same day, another winner passed away...

Tributes are flowing for one of Australia's most acclaimed portrait painters, Judy Cassab, who has died at the age of 95.

Cassab passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with her two sons by her side.

The artist was the first woman to twice win the Archibald Prize for her portraits 'Stanislaus Rapotec' (1960) and 'Portrait of Margo Lewers' (1967).

She was a prolific portrait painter, with Frank Packer, Margaret Whitlam, and Nugget Coombs among her subjects.

Born in Vienna to Hungarian parents, as a young Jewish woman she escaped the Holocaust by assuming the identity of her German maid.

In 1951 Cassab migrated to Australia with her husband and two young sons, already an accomplished artist.

In a past interview she told the ABC "painting wasn't considered an occupation or a profession, it was considered a hobby".

"So this most wonderful thing I had all my life was suddenly diminished into a hobby," she said.

But she pursued her hobby and quickly developed a reputation for her portraits in the Australian art scene.


the dogs at news limited...


Payne made international headlines on Tuesday when she became the first woman to win the cup and, after thanking Prince of Penzance’s trainer, Darren Weir, and owner, John Richards, said: “To everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.

“I would like to say that, you know, it’s a very male-dominated sport and people think we are not strong enough and all of the rest of it.”

According to a report by News Corp on Thursday, Boss, who won three Melbourne Cups in a row, suggested Payne might come to regret her words.

“Maybe Michelle had a bee in her bonnet and just decided to air it there,” he said.

“A lot of things are said and done [when winning a cup] and she’ll probably reflect on it in a couple of days and say, ‘Maybe I could have handled it better,’ maybe not.”

Boss admitted horse racing was a male-dominated sport, but said: “That’s just the way it’s been for a long time and the sooner people get their heads around that, the better.”

After his words were published on Thursday under the headline “Top male hoop slams Payne’s claims of a boys club”, Boss took to Twitter to defend himself, describing the reporter as a “dog”.

Meanwhile "The Un-Australian" of News Limited has an exclusive on how "DISABILITY (is) A $17 BN BURDEN"... Gus thinks that News Limited is a sad burden on this country. The gutter journalism of News Limited is legendary... If you're not a banker, a royal, a bumpy-female celeb or a coal miner, the dung-pushers at News Limited will hate you — especially if you have been retrenched.

Show your disgust at the merde-och press...


women bleak prospects...

A third of Australia's female scientists and technicians consider their career prospects so bleak that they will not be in the sector in five years, a new survey has found.

Professionals Australia, the organisation representing scientists and engineers, conducted the survey of 432 women working in science, technology, engineering and maths.

It found 31 per cent of them expect to leave the sector within the next five years.

The chief executive of Professionals Australia, Chris Walton, said the first problem that needed to be addressed was the pay gap.

Women working full time in science, technology, engineering or maths earn 24 per cent less than men.

the deliberate royal fuck-up...

JENNY HOCKING. ‘A tawdry distortion of history: How the Palace airbrushed Sir John Kerr’s Memoirs’

Posted on 9 August 2019

There have been dramatic revelations from the National Archives of Australia with the release of letters between the Governor-General Sir John Kerr and Buckingham Palace following Kerr’s dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. These letters provide remarkable and disturbing new material on the dismissal of the Whitlam government and the role of the Palace. They not only confirm that Kerr was in secret contact with the Queen’s private secretary Sir Martin Charteris in the months before the dismissal, they also reveal that the Palace and Kerr then agreed to keep these ‘exchanges’ with Charteris hidden from public view, and from our history, by omitting any mention of them in Kerr’s later memoirs. 

These previously unpublished letters, which are not the letters at the heart of my legal action against the Archives, show that the Queen’s private secretary liaised with Kerr on a draft copy of his memoirs to ensure there was no reference to his communications with Charteris prior to his dismissal of Whitlam. These exchanges between Kerr and Charteris were kept secret from the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and constituted a profound breach of the core relationship between the Monarch, the Prime Minister and the Governor-General in a Constitutional monarchy. The need for secrecy was obvious and imperative. It is now clear that the Palace presided over a carefully crafted distortion of our history as presented in Kerr’s memoirs to hide the role of the Queen’s private secretary as Kerr moved towards dismissing Whitlam.

These newly released letters add significantly to the drip feed of information from the Archives about the dismissal and the relationship between Kerr and the Palace, in particular with Charteris. In December 1975 Kerr dined with Charteris in London. It was the month after Kerr’s unprecedented dismissal of the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and his government from office. Charteris had provided Kerr with ‘advice on dismissal’ and as I have long argued the two had been in private contact in the months leading up to the dismissal, discussing Kerr’s concern for his own tenure as Governor-General as he considered dismissing the Whitlam government. The letters show their familiarity – ‘Martin’ and ‘my dear John’ – and over dinner they reflected on this extraordinary period of rupture in Australian politics; ‘it was fascinating to hear more of the inside story, from your own lips’, Charteris wrote to Kerr the following day and invited him to dine at St James’s Palace.

These reciprocal invitations, meetings and messages of support, give the lie to claims that the Queen knew nothing about Kerr’s actions in dismissing Whitlam, much less that she was in anyway ‘unhappy’ about it. These claims are simply unsupportable. Kerr’s communications with and invitations to Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace after the dismissal, and the Queen’s gift of her personal honour Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order to Kerr, bestowed in person during her 1977 Royal visit, should long since have put an end to that historical non-sequitur.

Most shocking in this latest revelation of on-going Royal intrigue is the clear example it provides of the mechanism through which the secrecy which drove the dismissal – the collusion of Kerr with others and his deception of the Prime Minister – continued in the construction of its history. Kerr’s exchanges with Charteris were carefully screened from Kerr’s version of the history of the dismissal in his memoirs Matters for Judgment, by arrangement with the Palace. The involvement of the Palace in the construction of a partisan, flawed, history about one of the most contentious episodes in our history is simply extraordinary.

In 1978, now no longer Governor-General, Kerr was finalising Matters for Judgment in self-imposed exile in England. It was eagerly, and in some quarters nervously, awaited. Although he proclaimed that his book would report ‘the facts of the happenings of 1975 … in the interests of truth’, it did no such thing. These letters show that Kerr’s version of the ‘truth’ would not include any reference to his ‘exchanges’ with Charteris before the dismissal. The Palace requested and received a draft of Kerr’s final manuscript which was soon, ‘in safe keeping now at Buckingham Palace’. Although the Palace’s comments on the manuscript have been redacted from this file and remain secret, they were clearly well pleased by Kerr’s Charteris-free history. ‘I did my very best of course to omit any reference to the exchanges between Martin Charteris and myself’, Kerr wrote to the Queen’s private secretary in response, ‘it is particularly gratifying to me to know that the result is satisfactory’. Matters for Judgment contains no mention of his private exchanges with Charteris nor of Charteris’ advice to  him on the dismissal, which have since been revealed from Kerr’s personal papers.

These latest revelations in the fractured history of the dismissal add greatly to our knowledge of the secrecy and intrigue surrounding Kerr’s interactions with the Palace at the time of the dismissal and in the history which followed. They reveal the involvement of the Palace in a tawdry distortion of our history to ensure that secret exchanges between the Queen’s private secretary and the Governor-General remained hidden from us. It is a shameful episode in our shared history the details of which are still emerging.

Jenny Hocking is emeritus professor at Monash University and Distinguished Whitlam Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University and award-winning biographer of Gough Whitlam. Her latest book is The Dismissal Dossier: Everything You Were Never Meant to Know about November 1975 – The Palace Connection. The Special Leave Application against the Full Federal Court’s decision in the ‘Palace letters’ case will be heard in the High Court in Sydney on 16 August 2019.


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a master race...

This month, the biopic of jockey Michelle Payne’s life, Ride Like A Girl, will be released. 

In 2015, Payne made Australian sport history by riding Prince Of Penzance to victory in the Melbourne Cup at 100-1 odds. She was the first female jockey in the Cup’s 155-year history to win the prestigious race. 

Payne’s success is part of a surge in the numbers of female jockeys in Australia. But while women are more visible in the silks, there is nonetheless a persistent sexist culture that is proving hard to stamp out. Australia lags behind other racing nations in making meaningful changes for women.


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Gus saw a preview of the movie Ride Like A Girl... and can say it's excellent. It has to be seen...