Welsh / Have you heard the one about the Irish butcher?

Kippax butcher Wes Dempsey’s joke board. Photo by Mike Welsh

KIPPAX butcher Wes Dempsey loves nothing better than to carve up his customers with a joke. The Irishman posts a new gag each week on a board outside Elite Meats at Kippax Fair.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

But Wes recently added a disclaimer after a complaint about an Irish joke he posted. Wes says his posts have attracted complaints and compliments over the years with the first objection coming, “without a word of a lie” said Wes in his irresistible lilt, “from a vegan ex nun”.

After a dozen written complaints Wes launched a petition to gauge the board’s standing with 2700 people voting to keep it and just two opting for its removal. A post thanking then-Treasurer Joe Hockey for “believing in small business” was picked up by then-PM Tony Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin, resulting in a mention in Question Time, breakfast with Tony Abbott and Wes appearing on “The Project”.

THOUSANDS of Canberrans braved freezing conditions to help break a stargazing record at the ANU. The university’s high-profile astrophysicist Dr Brad Tucker congratulated everyone around Australia who participated in the smashing of ANU’s Guinness World Records title of 7960 people across 37 locations simultaneously looking at the night sky. At the time of writing, the new figure – believed to be around 40,000 – had not been confirmed by officials.

KATY Gallagher’s senate replacement, former unionist David Smith, copped a few short-pitched deliveries after officially stepping up to the crease. Right-wing radio ranters Alan Jones and Ray Hadley reportedly dismissed Smith as a “union hack”. But Smith, who took up his new role on May 23, declared he’s no seat warmer by setting out the clear agenda: “I’m Canberra born and bred, so there are a lot of Canberra issues that are really important to me, the importance and value of public servants, the importance of ensuring that everyone gets a fair share of the prosperity in Canberra.”

MEMBER for Fenner Andrew Leigh continues to get under the thin skin of shock-jock Ray Hadley. Last year Hadley and Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton tag-teamed to ridicule the Shadow Assistant Treasurer as “a weird cat”. The pair was at it again after Dutton said: “Like some Greek god, he just gets weirder and weirder”. To which the shock-jock responded “I have a vivid imagination but I can’t in any circumstances close my eyes and think of Andrew Leigh as a Greek god. A Greek wanker, yes.” During a recent chat with former PM Tony Abbott, Hadley confessed: “Leigh annoys the hell out of me”.

WE Canberrans consider ourselves a civilised and cultivated mob. So why do we become psychopaths when we get behind a wheel? Recent statistics show we are well on the way to going back-to-back in the national tailgating stakes. The rating comes from data supplied by insurer AAMI that also ranked Canberrans at the top in relation to car collisions with animals (mostly kangaroos).

The mere mention of tailgating on Canberra talkback radio guarantees a full switchboard of callers willing to share terrifying tales of intimidation and threatening behaviour, most commonly lone female drivers being targeted by males in delivery vehicles. Some even report being run off the road. Penalties range from a $367 fine through to $15,000 and a year in prison if nabbed by police while engaging in menacing driving.

CANBERRA-based Sky News journalist Samantha Maiden, who has been benched pending an internal investigation, has some powerful allies among members of the fourth estate. Legendary Laurie Oakes unambiguously tweeted: “I don’t know background to current fuss but bottom line is that @samanthamaiden is one heck of a news breaker and, in my experience, a very decent person.” And the ABC’s Annabel Crabb also went into bat for Maiden: “She is a hardworking, brilliant journo and I’ve seen many benefit from her kindness, including myself.”



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