Counting the cost – A tale of two casinos. How one casino was granted taxpayer funded immunity, whilst another cashed in on an industry gouged of half a billion dollars.

Two and a half years after then premier Barry O’Farrell performed a flip filled routine worthy of Olympic gold in Rio, a city anxiously awaits the findings of Ian Callinan’s review into the impact of liquor law reform. Many are cautiously optimistic. Remarks from lockout advocates in recent times have appeared to offer hope of change, however a deeper look suggests a softening of hard line temperance views is, in reality, a cunning Trojan Horse strategy. Some are pessimistic, believing the damage has long been done and is irreversible. Others are simply hoping for reality to finally take its place at the negotiating table. Whatever ones stance or predictions, it’s fair to say most are equally eager to see what Mr Callinan has to say. But while the rest of us nervously wait for word, there are a couple of parties for whom the findings bear no consequence whatsoever. Most notably, the future casino kings of Sydney – Crown Barangaroo. Continue reading

Beware of Wowsers bearing gifts

The Trojan War is perhaps the most famous example of a majority suffering due to the actions of individuals. It’s said the catalyst for the ten year war and subsequent siege of Troy was Helen of Troy (previously known as Helen of Sparta) deciding to leave her husband, King Menelaus, for Paris, the slimy and sleazy king of Troy. This love triangle would end up costing countless lives and the actions of three would ultimately bring about the destruction of an entire city. Although in fairness to Helen, she was apparently under the influence the whole time thanks to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, who was punishing Menelaus for not delivering the tribute he promised for hooking him up with his wife in the first place. Continue reading

GOVERNMENT FUNDED TEMPERANCE UNIT THREATENS TO SUE SMALL-TIME BLOGGER OVER PROBE INTO $115mil TAXPAYER GRANT

Over the past few years the people of New South Wales have watched helplessly as their rights were revoked, their livelihoods ruined and the culture of their community destroyed – all for the benefit of developers, casinos and politicians. Since the start of the year, Surely Not – an independent page run by one guy with a passion for investigative journalism – has been trying to do something about it.

Speaking out against the powers that be has ruffled more than a few feathers in the last 6 months. In response to various investigations and articles, I’ve found myself the subject of smear campaigns, online abuse and even threats of violence – all part of the territory.

I’ve now also received multiple threats of legal action from the government funded anti-alcohol lobbyists, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE). I’ve received threats on behalf of the organisation, their CEO Michael Thorn and CFO Sharrin Wells. Continue reading

A buck each way on the last at Wenty Park

So our live tweeting Bachelor fan turned #nannystate enthusiast, Mike #casinomike Baird, has today shown his compassionate side, by banning greyhound racing in New South Wales. “What a guy” claim the animal lovers who normally only voice their opinion on the racing industry when they protest the Melbourne Cup. Granted, the dishlickers have had their fair share of controversy, not least when the horrific practice of live baiting was exposed in 2015. But make no mistake, this is not the kind-hearted act of a compassionate premier looking out for the welfare of animals. Continue reading

Prohibition, the #nannystate & a $30 million hedge fund: the rise and rise of teetotalitarianism

In 2016 the sanctimony of so-called community leaders and self-appointed bastions of morality has become, as they would say, an epidemic. Our politicians have been in a frenzy as they try to turn New South Wales into a #nannystate, obviously because that’s what’s best for us. The attack on small business, night life and freedom has been relentless. The Axis of Abstinence has united strange bedfellows in a war against freedom and personal responsibility. This #teetotalitarian regime is led by an evangelical zealot with an image problem, we’re constantly being judged by a man who believes he’s on a mission from above. “Service that is purely self-serving” is his biggest vice for now… His right hand man is an equally devout police commissioner who they apparently call The Electrician. They’re backed up the health lobby and amateur statistician doctors who moonlight as policy experts. Their pawns are the public faces of a tragedy who may or may not have now been seduced by the ethically ambiguous, non for profit gravy train. 

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Heads I win, Tails you lose

The delusion of our elected officials and their buddies knows no limit it seems, and is surpassed only by their gall. Over the last few years our rights have been subjected to a steady procession of kicks to the teeth and cheap shots. Individual freedom copped another coward punch yesterday, dished out by the lump of coal that keeps on taking – Barry O’Farrell. Late last year the Grange enthusiast was inexplicably tasked with conducting a review into “illegal off shore gambling” and was compensated to the tune of fifty thousand dollars. Why on Earth this man continues to dine out on the public dollar is beyond all logic and reason. Either a lot of people have extremely short memories, or O’Farrell has quite the collection of compromising nudes. Whatever the reason, the fact that this man has any involvement with, well anything, is astounding and this latest attack on punters is the start of a very slippery slope. If you think this does not impact you, think again. Continue reading

Won’t somebody please think of the children??!?!

 

The oft-repeated cry of a hysterical Helen Lovejoy came into the public consciousness way back when the Simpsons was still great in 1996. As a satirical phrase meant to lampoon certain groups’ tendency to offer irrelevant, but essentially inarguable moral positioning, the fact that it remains oh-so-relevant in modern day Australia is a cause for quite some concern. Variously known as won’t-somebody-think-of-the-children syndrome, Helen Lovejoy’s Law or just plain old run of the mill emotional blackmail, the argument need not even invoke children to be a celebrated conversation stopper.   Continue reading

Friends in Need

BREAKING: Pro-lockout elements of the Sydney mainstream media inadvertently throw their support behind businesses whose demise they have been tirelessly campaigning for! – surelynotnews 18/4/16  contact us to get some positive exposure for your business for FREE. No catches, no clauses, no bullshit – just a shout out for a friend in need.

Last weekend a Sydney Morning Herald State Politics Editor decided to publish an article about Surely Not. Or more specifically, she published a malicious and potentially ____ article about yours truly. You can read all about it here. I’ve always tried to make the best of a bad situation, and while this situation is now in more professional hands than mine, I did manage to work out a way to generate some good out of this. And while I’ve already given Ms Needham and her bizarre article more thought than it deserves, she did inadvertently contribute to a fantastic idea so what the hell, a little bit more for old times sake won’t hurt. Continue reading

Fulde Me Twice

How to tell if you believe in bullshit is one of many excellent articles and videos produced by Maddox, owner of The Best Page in the Universe. Maddox covers everything from inventions, people on the internet and their stupid crusades to movie reviews but one of the main features of his content are his virtuoso rants. Often these rants are dedicated to systematically debunking stupid things people say, do and believe. Whilst I was doing some general research into the statistics St Vincent’s uses to promote prohibition, Maddox’s rant about believing in bullshit came to mind. Specifically the part about scientific method and all the steps Dr Fulde et al seemed to have skipped when producing their initial report. Continue reading

Fact Check

Sydney Morning Herald State Political Editor Kirsty Needham gave me a call on Friday to discuss an upcoming article on yours truly. I’m across Ms Needham’s previous work, having enjoyed a lot of it but also noticing much of it was highly agenda driven, including one recent piece with the potential to mislead readers that I had no choice but to call out. Even with that experience at the back of my mind, given her position of State Politics Editor I was happy to have an adult conversation with her, in the hope that she would publish a piece befitting of her title. Continue reading

The List

As someone who has spent their entire life stubbornly refusing to accept the responsibility of becoming a licensed vehicle driver, I more often than not get myself from A to B via foot. Despite now finding myself on the wrong side of 30, I have no intention of learning to drive any time soon. It’s not something that interests me, and for any journey too far to walk, we have Uber. Why would anyone bother with a car?  What I enjoy most about my preferred method of transport is the opportunity to put on some music and get lost in my own thoughts. However, walking to and from work  over the past few years I now often reflect on what has become of a once vibrant and exciting suburb. It’s a little depressing, and I often feel a sense of loss as I walk past a boarded up business on a deserted shop. However those thoughts are quickly brought into perspective when I consider the people who lost far more that I did – the business owners. The innocent bystanders who had a lifetime of hard work stolen from them.   Continue reading

Fulde Me Once…

One of the best lessons you can learn in life can be summed up in a few words, thanks to a saying that’s been around for centuries; “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” Everyone Almost everyone knows the line well. The idea is if someone fools you once, shame on them for tricking you. But if they fool you a second time, shame on you for letting them. The saying doesn’t go on to mention third, fourth, fifth times and so on, but you get the idea. Given deception and trickery is so prevalent in this day and age, perhaps it’s time the old saying was given an update to reflect the times.

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Welcome to NSW. Population: 353

New South Wales has been around for a while, and it’s fair to say she’s had a pretty good run. However, despite being first part of the country to have British settlement over two hundred years ago, New South Wales is still lagging far behind all other Australian states and territories in the population stakes. On the upside, we have a lot of space. With the total land area just over 800,000 square kilometres, each citizen of New South Wales enjoys over 2000 square kilometres all to themselves. Driving is a luxurious treat.

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A Crown of Thorns

Chambers of Parliament both at state and federal levels are pretty damn entertaining places to be from all reports. Far from being boring and drab, like so many of our politicians appear to be, parliament is often a glorified comedy club with witty zingers and cheap shots being the order of the day. Paul John Keating was the undisputed champion of comedy with some of his fair calls going down as the greatest in history. But he was not alone in his love of indulging in a bit of banter with his rivals. Everyone enjoys getting in on the act with Hockey, Turnbull, Andrews, Latham and even Gillard all known to have produced a few classics in their time. When Tony Abbott is officially done with politics he could do worse than form a comedy duo with Peter Costello. They’d be almost as good as their namesakes from the 1940s, although maybe not quite as popular. Continue reading

A lot can happen in two years…

There was a sense of déjà vu as we nursed our New Years hangovers and started mentally preparing ourselves for the dreaded but inevitable return to the grind. It had been a relatively uneventful Christmas break for me in terms of activities, in terms of news and to top it off the boxing day test was the dullest we’d had in years. Personally I was frustrated that despite my passion for doing very little, I had wasted my time off. This was supposed to be like the Summer of George, damnit! Although now that I think about it, it was exactly like the Summer of George… Continue reading