“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





06 September 2013


Abbott dries up Rivers funding
$650 million chop if LNP wins
Birmingham true to old mates

If elected tomorrow, Tony Abbott's Tories will rip $650 million from the Murray River water buyback scheme.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said this proves Abbott imagines he can win government without SA support.  

"Water buybacks are the cheapest way of getting water back in the River," he said.

As this state is at the end of Australia's biggest river system, its citizens are more aware than most of how the Murray has ceased to flow into the ocean in recent decades, as far too much water is removed from its upstream reaches to irrigate vast vineyards to feed the discount bladder pack business.  This cheapo sector of the wine game makes up about half of Australia's wine production and contributes significantly to Australia's $20 billion annual alcohol damage bill.

South Australia's premium Clare and Barossa Valleys are also big users of irrigation water from the Murray. 

DRINKSTER has never understood the morality or business sense of how the goonbag  industry can use up to 1200 litres of water to make one litre of wine which is then sold at the price of bottled water while being three times the alcoholic strength of your average beer.

SA Senator Simon Birmingham, Abbott's Murray-Darling Basin spokesman called Labor's reaction a scare campaign but affirmed that buybacks would be a last resort of an Abbott government, which would rather spend money providing infrastructure for the irrigators. 

Before winning his Senate seat, Birmingham (pictured) made his mark as a spindoctor for the pro-gambling Australian Hotels Association, whose members retail vast amounts of bladder pack wine at rock-bottom prices.  He  then worked for years in a similar role at the Winemakers' Federation of Australia at a time when tax-dodge vineyard schemes dependent on endless supplies of impossibly cheap water played a great role in the destruction of the Murray-Darling River system.

Such scammy schemes also contributed enormously to Australia's over-supply of wine grapes which contributed in turn to the quality of our export wine taking a dive which continues to threaten our major export markets.

To this observer, the chicanery and nonsense inherent in Australia's mismanagement of this, its greatest agricultural and environmental resource, invariably brings Roman Polanski's Chinatown to mind.

The Murray is exploited so severely by upstream irrigators that its mouth frequently silts up and the river ceases to flow into the Coorong and the Great Southern Ocean.

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