Pokies staff with badge of honour. From the pokies dens of NSW, a Crikey reader reports:

“I was at my local Catholic Club last Friday night where I saw a new development in their anti-pokie legislation campaign. There’s been banners, signs and pamphlets for ages — ‘Who voted for a licence to punt?’; ‘Who voted for less funding for local sports teams?’, etc — but on Friday staff were actually wearing badges! I asked one of the guys behind the bar if they were being forced to wear them and his response was basically ‘pretty much’. Apparently his manager had told him to wear the badge and when he said he didn’t want to he was told to just do it and stop being a nuisance. He told me that it was pretty intense and that he’d basically felt forced to wear it. Not all of the staff were wearing them but loads were.”

The campaign is becoming pervasive in clubs and pubs around Australia. We’d love to hear what you’ve spotted — drop us a line or use our anonymous tips form.

Flower power a diplomatic blunder. Diplomacy comes in many forms, including flower arranging. A Crikey spy reports from inside CHOGM headquarters in Perth:

“The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre decked out for CHOGM is an amusing botanical juxtaposition of Aussie/state pride versus event pragmatism. Assembled on the imposing verandah where delegates and media will stroll are strands of sacked-up eucalypts looking a bit shell shocked, but native nonetheless. Come through the doors, however, and it’s potted palms and ficus at every possible position alongside doors and photo op backdrops. Move inside the magnificent executive session room, and there’s a stunning display of wildflowers the whole way around the inside of the delegate desks (look out for it on Friday on the TV coverage). Move to the edge of the room, however, and the potted palms stand looking a bit lonely, as if they know they’re out of place.

“Obviously the WA government wants to show off its wildflower credentials, but didn’t write ‘native’ on the greenery section of the exhibition contractor’s form — either that or no exhibition operator was able to supply a few hundred kangaroo paws or grass trees into the foyer. Given that most West Australians are still getting used to calling them grass trees  instead of the politically incorrect ‘black boys’ used for the past 100 years or so, perhaps there was a decision made not to include them in case someone over 30 told an African delegate what those interesting spiky plants are called.”

Shooters MP takes to web forum. NSW upper house MP Robert Borsak, from the Shooters and Fishers Party, is staying mum in the media over reports he could be charged with perjury over a dispute involving two Sydney companies. But that hasn’t stopped him taking to the Australian Hunting website (“Bringing people to hunting, and hunting to the people.”) in a forum earlier this year:

“Regarding what will happen to me, in a word NOTHING.

“I have never had a case against me and never will, its just that simple.

“It is all pure fiction, the SMH has a well documented hate for shooters, hunters & the SFP, but for some reason me in particular. So be it?

“This is a tough dirty battle, the more they attack us, is a sign that we are becoming more effective than ever.

“I look forward to the next 3 years in PH, S&F will be the winners in this tussle, I can guarantee that!”

Economy unplugs the Rock. Apparently discretionary spending extends to gaudy ’80s-themed musicals. A press release last night: “It was announced today that, due to the current economic down turn in Australia impacting on single ticket sales in Sydney, the Sydney season of Rock of Ages, scheduled to preview from January 11, 2012, has been postponed.” Sorry, Sydney — we loved it.

Peter Fray

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