COMMENT: What has happened to the world?

Fair dinkum, I’m going nuts. And if it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny. It’s sad because this is the world my kids are growing up in. It’s a world where the disingenuous thrive, where mendacity is trumps, and truth is the currency of fools. Well call me a fool. And take me to [Read more]

And the Australian disappointment continues

Sydney Test – Day 3 The big thing about this Test series is how disappointed cricket-lovers across Australia feel. Not the sort of disappointment that has you lamenting the half a metre of water that is rushing under your Queensland house, but disappointment of a sporting time. This was a series set up for cricket-lovers, [Read more]

Australia flogged

I spent the last few overs of the Australian debacle that was the third day of the Melbourne Test Match standing at the southern end behind the rampant Barmy Army. They were loving it. Next to me was a solemn man in a heavy metal T-shirt. I didn’t recognize the name of the band but [Read more]

Happy Christmas from

Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year, unless, of course, you are a Collingwood supporter. Just a few things for your diary: Lunches will continue throughout 2011. – last Friday of each month in Melbourne – stay tuned for functions (including book launches) in other states The Almanac Open – coming to a [Read more]

Third Test – Day 1: Shocking, Australia

Sadly, we have all played in sports team like the current Australian Test cricket side: really, really bad ones. I remember the summer of 1979-80, my first in men’s cricket. Big cricket, where the ball whistled, and slips catches knocked you over, and blokes (like Metropolitans skipper Alan Ward, a former English Test quick) sledged [Read more]

Adelaide Test – Day 3: whatever.

Heavy skies greeted the heavy hearts of the Australian fans as they came to (half) life this Sunday morning. The cathedral bells rang out across the parklands as we trudged, lemming-like, down the hill, dodging the Moreton Bay figs, towards the light of the tents and bars which had drained our wallets (at $7 for [Read more]

Almanac Racing: an offer you can’t refuse?

Bars at Roma St Station – the Spencer St of Brisbane – are filled with reputable dodgy types and other ratbags and reprobates who haven’t noticed that the second at Kyneton is suddenly the third at the Warrnambool dishlickas and by then there is absolutely no point in going back to work and little point in going [Read more]

Gabba Test: Day 2

Australia took the points on Day 2 of the First Test at the Gabba. But in the tight struggle which took place in showers-always-possible conditions England would have had her arm raised had it had a knockout blow, and had Michael Hussey not been such a counter-puncher. He played one of his finest innings. When [Read more]

Punters argue the toss and come up with the goods (hopefully)

Terrific lunch at the Clyde Hotel yesterday. Fine form analysis from the 40 revellers has led to two trifecta being placed, the winnings to go to a Salvation Army charity: Bet 1: Flexi-trifecta for $200 1 and 3 roved with the field. gives us 158% of the dividend Bet 2: the roughies flexi-trifecta for $200 [Read more]

Derby Day fills the rain gauge and the punting stash

I live in a wonderful neighbourhood. There may well be a few too many Pies supporters who have ostentatiously positioned Collingwood garden gnomes in their Westgarth yards. But I like how they have applied the black and white paint themselves. (Some probably got a grant to do it.) I don’t like that Theo said, “Go [Read more]

The Mug’s Cox Plate Review

Let me just distract you from the major betting sites for a moment or two while sitting there at your desk wondering whether Moment of Clarity can win the Coonabarrabran Cup this arvo and how you’re going to sneak out of the office to get to the Trans-Australian Bank to see it. And get on. [Read more]

Melbourne Cup lunch at the Clyde

You are invited to the Loose Men Charities/Almanac Melbourne Cup Lunch: Monday, November 1 from 12.30pm at The Clyde Hotel, Carlton $40 drinks at bar prices RSVP essential – [email protected] Traditionally, and very noisily, at this lunch we raise some cash through a raffle (the prizes for which are world class). We invest the proceedings in [Read more]

Harms Election Watch: Rd-8 The Final Word

I reckon I’ve said enough. Disappointing campaign, despite the opportunity. Thought that the independents shone a light on a few issues which weren’t taking up.

Harms Election Watch: Rd 7- ALP Launch

And so finally the ALP have their launch in Brisbane. It is a low-key affair. So low-key in the torpor of the Queensland winter that the faithful forget they are at a political rally and that they are supposed to respond spontaneously, like a Baptist congregation in Mississippi. Even the Silver Bodgie has to wait, [Read more]

Harms election watch – Round 6: Rooty Hill RSL

by John Harms Those of us who spent too much time in the Trans-Australian Banks (pre-Betfair, of course) in the 1990s will recall waiting nervously through Rooty Hill RSL ads on SKY until the result of the photo finish came through.  I think it was their only advertiser. So, as we were hanging out to [Read more]

Harms Election Watch: Round 5- Julia in form

Election betting has flattened out, but no matter how I look at it, I just keep coming back to one thing: the election result is all about Queensland. And the pollies know it as well. Queenslanders are still recovering from the Coalition’s launch on Sunday. Rarely have so many blueblood Liberals graced the Sunshine State. [Read more]

Harms Election Watch: Round 4

This election will be won and lost in Queensland. Simple as that. And Queensland is different sort of place, with its own understanding of the world. I lived there for 30 years, and if pressed, I would say I am a Queenslander. Not your typical Queenslander, but I reckon I understand the Queensland sensibility.

Harms Election Watch- Round 3

So Julia Gillard looks at the numbers and sees she’s caught a snake. It’s like watching Norman at Augusta. She sees Action Tony on the ladder. So Julia says she’s going to throw the rulebook out. Why did she subscribe to it in the first place? Julia Gillard sees that people have been reading the [Read more]

Election Harms Round 2- The Debate

Sunday evening used to be for watching Disneyland. You would always wonder which land the story would come from: Adventure Land, Fantasy Land, and the other Lands which have drifted from my memory. Then came Big Brother, and Sunday evening footy, and now Master Chef. I watched the end of Master Chef last night just [Read more]

Harms’ Election Watch- Part 1

As Director of Manning Clark House in Canberra, I am obliged to have a good grasp of Australian History, and at least pretend to have a good grasp of contemporary Australian day-to-day politics. I reckon I’ve got the nuts and bolts of the first one covered, but I’m less confident about the other. Not because [Read more]