Wednesday, 18 November 2015 - 5:35pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Wed, 18/11/2015 - 5:35pm in

Isn't it possible to ask the man (I use the term loosely) a question, rather than just reporting what he wants people to hear? When a public figure lets his mask slip one time too many, it is not the job of the press to assist in rehabilitating his public image.

Fox News he-said-she-said "balance" is not enough. Fraser demanded that Malcolm Turnbull "close our borders" to Middle Eastern and Islamic asylum seekers. Now he's backpeddling furiously and saying he supports "the influx of refugees" and that any border closure should only be while there is "a crisis in the Middle East". How does he reconcile the opinions of yesterday-Andrew with today-Andrew? And when does he think there isn't a crisis in the Middle East? And where does he think refugees come from, if not from a crisis?

Friday, 13 November 2015 - 6:42pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Fri, 13/11/2015 - 6:42pm in

I too was one of the many who feared I wouldn't live to see a Coffs Harbour bypass. I love a bypass. Who doesn't? There's nothing better than fully and deeply appreciating not being in a place, and this bypass will establish Coffs Harbour as one of Australia's premier places not to be. We locals have always known the value of not being in Coffs Harbour, and it is exciting that we are finally unlocking the potential for so many others to enjoy this experience. In fact, if I sit down and think of all the places I've been, it's Coffs Harbour that stands out as the place I will always miss the least — and I've been to Newcastle!

But it would be naive to think that progress ends here. Yes, we will for a time have a smooth, clear driving experience purged of the inconvenience of destinations. But nature abhors a vacuum, and around these parts she chooses to fill them with coffee shops. These will be unobtrusive at first, briefly glimpsed in a wing mirror, but in time they will sprout specials boards and street furniture. Where highly-caffeinated life coaches and social media gurus go, organic produce and alternative medicine will follow, provoking an equal and opposite reaction of warehouse happy-clappy Christian churches and op-shops. As this ecosystem fills out with a panoply of professions of dubious value, we will find that the main street of Coffs Harbour has ultimately been bypassed by the main street of Coffs Harbour, presenting us with one compelling course of action: bypass the bypass! One bright, shining day, there will be no towns anymore. It will be bypasses all the way down!

Friday, 13 November 2015 - 5:20pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Fri, 13/11/2015 - 5:20pm in

So hooray for uncertain seasonal work, and a boom in ditch-digging that will last till we run out of places to bypass. Forgive me if I keep the champagne set aside for some more impressive good news. If the amount of public money currently being used to fund shonky vocational trainers and a parasitic private industry of dole police to humiliate and immiserate the hard-up could be redirected to productive investment… Oh, how silly of me: Abbott may be gone, but class war is still priority number one.

Saturday, 3 October 2015 - 8:49pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sat, 03/10/2015 - 8:49pm in

I wonder if Jeff remembers old "Grunty" Thrustwell, very much the heart of the Advocate through the post-war decades. It was Grunty who realised that advertising space would become much more valuable if the paper ran stories declaring that, for real estate or indeed any commodity, it was both the perfect time to buy and also the perfect time to sell, because prices have never been so high or so low. Grunty also revolutionised the practice of local government by introducing the euphemism "stakeholder", most notably in the several times that he refused the editorship, saying that a person with so many "key stakeholders" lacked the necessary "plausible deniability" and "clean hands" for the role. How things have changed! Nevertheless, he was undeniably "the face of the Advocate" for many years, launching many a multi-story car park, and cutting the ribbon on countless dank shopping arcades, malls, vacant lots, insurance fires, shooting galleries, and bordellos.

Some say that old Grunty lost his touch in the 80s. I prefer to think that he mellowed. He never lost the trademark moustache that ran from either side of his mouth right down deep into his abundant chest hair. Nor did he ever lose his newsman's nose for a story. Many an Advocate old lag will remember him tearing a press release off the fax machine, and running into the typing pool crying "This is gold! Give it my byline, and a picture of some boats, or an old lady, or some heartwarming s**t! I'm off to get bladdered!" It was after just such an occasion that the fateful pedestrian crossing light malfunction, the one which ended his life, ended his life. That freight truck still plies the pockmarked highways of the mid north coast, ever since adorned with the puce ribbon that his family trust has adopted as the symbol of the charity established in his name, "Journalism Without Journalists".

Gooda Reappointed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/12/2014 - 9:54am in

Monday, 14 April 2014 - 8:43pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Mon, 14/04/2014 - 8:43pm in

I think it's outrageous that only the top-tier advertorial packages include a photo-op with the mayor! The Advocate has priced her out of the reach of local businesses. If she's going to do this at all, she should be available on fair and non-discriminatory terms to everyone from full page advertisers to the lost pets and in memoriams.