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

Apologies for the late reply, I was too busy having a bit of respect

It’s been just over six months since I launched Surely Not. I initially did so after encouragement from friends who (for some odd reason) got a kick out of my fairly regular Facebook rants. The last thing I expected was for randoms to start reading and sharing my thoughts, but 6 months and over 40 articles/rants later – here we are. I can honestly say this piece is the hardest one I’ve had to write. Simply because I did not want to write it. The devastating passing of Stuart Kelly a fortnight ago is a tragedy beyond scale, there’s no two ways about it. In my opinion, I felt this tragedy was not a topic for discussion in the media or fodder for journalists. In this time, and for some time moving forward, the family needs privacy and space to grieve. It was out of respect for the family I refused numerous media requests for comment. Not to mention the fact that my comments – or anyone else’s – are meaningless and irrelevant in the wake of such a horrific event. 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


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

The Final Countdown – The UK EU Referendum

With great interest and bemusement I’ve been keeping an eye on the debate currently raging in the United Kingdom. Should they stay part of the EU? Or should they bail and go it alone. The outcome doesn’t really impact me personally, so I don’t have a strong view either way (Wowsers, nanny-statists and busybodies – take a lesson from that). But it has been fascinating to watch the propaganda, the social media debates and the general contempt each side as for the other. As we enter the final countdown on the eve of the vote, a look at some of the campaigning that turned a complex issue that will impact generations into a petty, political squabble. 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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The Pilgrimage

Ladies and gentlemen, the events of the last month or so have made me pretty excited. To be fair, I was already pretty damn excited, as we all have been, but now my excitement is reaching unprecedented levels. If Big Kev were alive today, I don’t even think he could adequately describe how excited I am. We all know that we’re living in an exciting time, despite what Labor MP and occasional adrenaline junkie Pat Conroy thinks. He says he doesn’t “see how you can prove this particular time is the most exciting time to be an Australian”.  To that I say “hey dude, you’d better step off”. In case you missed the memo, not only are we in the midst of an ideas boom (while enjoying all time high vibrancy levels) but to top it off, New South Wales has been proclaimed “The Start Up State”. What a time to be alive! Continue reading

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

With Friends Like These

This is the second part of a series investigating the true ownership of New South Wales.

“I’ve been up two and a half million” Jim says to Frank as he pleads his case for a loan. Frank asks “What you got on you?” to which Jim replies “Nothing”. Frank asks “What you put away?” “Nothing.” Frank’s heard enough. “ You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do: you get a house with a 25 year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of fuck you. Somebody wants you to do something, fuck you. Boss pisses you off, fuck you! Own your house. Have a couple bucks in the bank. Don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody on any social level. Did your grandfather take risks? I guarantee he did it from a position of fuck you. A wise man’s life is based around fuck you. The United States of America is based on fuck you. You have a navy? Greatest army in the history of mankind? Fuck you! Blow me. We’ll fuck it up ourselves.” Continue reading

The Grapevine

This writer was never previously one to get caught up in gossip and innuendo.When details of a juicy rumour or “scandal” involving a high profile celebrity, public figure, athlete, etc is going round I’m usually already yawning. Since the investigative pieces published by Surely Not started getting a bit more exposure than the small group of friends I’d force my rants upon, many an anonymous tip has been sent through . Continue reading

The War Against the Machines

This is the first part of a series investigating the true ownership of New South Wales.

Time travel is a fascinating concept. People often look back on situations they regret and remark how they wish they could go back in time and do things differently. Others often fantasize about the ability to travel forward in time for a sneak peek at their future life or in my case a look at next week’s Powerball numbers. Unfortunately though, it seems time travel in this sense will never become reality and to be quite honest I could take or leave the more plausible and logical far less cool theory. Fortunately Hollywood has never been one to allow facts to get any near, let alone in the way of a good story and continues to whet our appetite for our futuristic fantasy. Continue reading

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

It’s Only a Rort if You’re Not in on it…..

The oldest profession in history is a topic that stimulates a lot of debate. Many have long held the view that the title goes to prostitution. An argument that seems logical, given the service provided is one that has been in hot demand since the beginning of time, has no competition worth considering and will probably never go obsolete. Quite the opposite in fact! Personally, I dispute this claim based on the fact that if these services were being paid for via currency, the client would have needed to acquire these funds through another method. Presumably gainful employment of some kind. But that’s a discussion for another time. 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