Wednesday 12 September 2007

Dear Robert, You are frankly a disgrace. Love Kevin

Astute political followers will recall a spat early this year between Mayor Byrne and Robert Pyne, who's running for Division 3 under the Cairns 1st ticket.

Although this letter almost needs little introduction, I will provide some background. In defence of our beloved Mayor (bet you never thought I'd say that), I will outline the series of events for your edification.

Robert, along with thousands of other southside residents, was incensed about the Council dumping bio-solid sewage waste from Bedmister, that although treated (though this is questionable), was not fit to be dumped on landfills in such close proximity to occupied residential dwellings. There was an ensuing stink and strong odour that spread across southern Cairns residents' homes. It lasted for weeks, to the disgust of many, as you'd expect. They wanted answers and a fast solution.

Robert emailed Robyne Holmes, the Mayor's PR chief, who along with Garry Scofield, looks after Council media. Both are ex-Cairns Post staffers. He said in jest: "Something stinks about this Council." He went on asking for some action and said that when "Gary addresses the media, at least he would be coherent."

Whilst the Mayor rightly got upset about Robert's assertion that he was a bit tipsy sometimes when addressing media and other functions, following long lunches, we have no evidence of this. Robert arrived at this assumption from a number of people reporting this to him following first-hand accounts, it seems. However, KB should have restrained from replying in such an insulting way as a senior public servant. He could have simply thrown the email in the trash.

Although this letter will entertain, it will also shock you. It displays poor judgement of our Mayor to scribe such a response.

It is true that Robert Pyne is seeking public office, but anyone who's met him, will judge him by a far more diverse set of criteria.

Often known for his quick responses and repartee, he's also compassionate, intelligent, and a committed local that has a great wit for someone who's substantially physically incapacitated and restricted to a wheelchair through a tragic accident 16 years ago. This however does little, if anything to deter his energy and commitment that his famous father also embraced many years earlier as Councillor and Mayor of Mulgrave and Cairns Councils.

Here's the letter:-

The Mayor, in his three points, describes Robert as "intemperate" in response to accusing him of drinking. Last time I checked, intemperate is usually taken to mean 'given to excessive indulgence of bodily appetites especially for intoxicating liquors'.

So the Mayor accused Robert of exactly the same thing, just using a bigger word!

The next bit 'I am sure that would classify as rumor mongering etc... He's either a) simply playing "its not me its you", or b) using words he doesn't know the meaning of ?

However, the bit about Kevin using Robert's tragic accident as a reason to withdraw his compassion and his "generosity" is rather callous.

It displays someone who has little ability to manage his anger, feelings or his now well-known arrogance towards the general Cairns public.

Furthermore, Point C, regarding Council being transparent is laughable, given the current events around closed door meetings.

Robert replied to the letter with decorum and wit...

  • Dear Kevin,

    I refer to your letter of 30th January 2007.

    No, I was not serious in asserting that you are not sober when addressing the media. Kindly share this message with Robyn, though not Gary, as he would have taken it as a joke.

    I would have thought after all this time you would be well used to the “cut and thrust” of politics. Certainly I was of the opinion you can be brutal in your criticism of opponents (though so much of what we all hear about the behavior of our adversaries is second hand, I can not be certain).

    Thank you for the good wishes you have given in the past, and I wish you success in everything, except your bid for re-election.

    Yours sincerely,
    Robert Pyne

Like myself, Robert believes it is an Australian (and Kiwi) trait to make jokes and perhaps even ridicule public figures and politicians.
There is however, no call for our Mayor to personally respond in this way on Council official letterhead to those he feels challenged by. Quite frankly he should have better things to do with his time.

There are a number of issues in the southern suburbs, such as concerns over hillside development and the lack of sporting facilities for our youth. Perhaps the Mayor should concern himself with this, rather than engaging himself in slanging matches with residents. Byrne’s attack may be a sign of frustration that his so-called Unity team is in disarray and he is unable to control Council decisions to the extent he has been in the past. There have of course been many who have abandoned his "team". Many who have not even talked to him in years. What an environment in which to manage our city and it's affairs.

I'm aware that many may have received letters from the Mayor and Councillors over recent years, and if you'd like to share it with others, I'd be happy to tell your story on CairnsBlog.

So what does this torrid , if not silly banter tell you? It says that our Mayor doesn't tolerate anything that is in disagreement with him. A strength of character you think? This Blog author knows all too well about this intolerance for others after his amazing outburst last week (more on that episode separately).

It's also known that much correspondence written by the Mayor is not accessible nor seen by other Councillors. Letters are often written saying "This Council..." when it's a personal view, and no consultation or representation from a Council minute have taken place. The letter above to Robert Pyne is an example of this.

If the Mayor doesn't want such letters made public, then maybe he shouldn't put pen to paper.

If you think of famous dictatorships in China, North Korea, Russia, Cuba, then you may just have to put Cairns, North Queensland amongst that list.

Heil Byrne.


Anonymous said...

Try getting a copy of the email to Gail Seymour which was read out at the last Esplanade aircraft noise meeting.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think the mayor should show "restraint" in responding to personal attacks? It's OK for you and Robert Pyne (who's father ran a corrupt and dictatorial cabal in everyone's judgement) to dump lies and bullshit on him PERSONALLY and expect him to cop it?

Robert Pyne is a declared candidate for council, and should be talking about policies instead of the mayor's lunching preferences. And most of the community is disinterested in a candidate who's only "claim to fame" is his disability - Pyne is becoming the political equivalent of Delta Goodrem, who can't resist trotting out her "cancer stories" when it's time to sell a new record. LIke Delta, it's becoming apparent that Pyne is as talentedless as she is.

It's time the Red Cross is properly educated on the destructive and divisive attacks you are making on public officials around the region that are now impacting on your already poor job performance, and the community at large that depends on professional and competent management of the blood service, a public utility equal to that of city government.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "anonymous" above. You and Robert Pyne defend the "cut and thrust" of politics, but apparently believe that the mayor should just lay down and take it.

Fuck that.

The "cut and thrust" is the most entertaining part of local politics, I say let the games begin.

And your "Heil Byrne" at the end shows your intellectual bankruptcy. It's taken you what, two weeks, to make a "nazi" reference? Bloggers using the nazi reference just indicate to the rest of us that your intellectual reserves are empty.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how every time the right wingers post on here... they never leave their name. Chickens!

Anonymous said...

Who Has the Right to Comment?

I suppose that I should declare up front that Mike is a personal friend of mine, but that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything he says, politically or otherwise.

What I do find interesting is the repeated attacks from anonymous posters on the blog of Mike’s work. While Mike has provided a forum for discussion in this blog, and the opportunity for anonymous comment, I would have thought that anyone who feels as passionately as some of those leaving comments would have felt sure enough of their convictions to put their name to their comments. In that I must say I admire the Mayor, at least his criticisms of Mike blog are, by and large, public, Kevin Byrne don’t shrink from his own opinions or seek to post them secretly. He stands by them.

However, it does appear to me that the Mayor, in attempting to tie Mike's views expressed in his blog to his work believes that people in certain jobs or roles should not have a political comment, especially if that comment is critical of the current administration.

Should only those of us with small, petty employment be allowed an opinion? What is the criterion for being allowed to comment on the local community? The Mayor has a public profile, that being the nature of a role to which one is elected, I don’t see where Mike has commented on the Mayor or anything else for that matter, in other that the public context of behaviour or public comment.

It’s probably all been said before but I think these rather famous quotes sum it all up for me…

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Voltaire

...and Heywood Brown a US journalist and author said "Everybody favours free speech in the slack moments when no axes are being ground."

Anonymous said...

Interesting letter Mr Mayor. How nmany others liek this have you written over the last few years?

Anonymous said...

Is this teh best argument you Anon guys can come up with,.. that someone who has a XXX job doesn't have the right to put up an apposing view? What a werid baseless argument!

And not knowing Mr Pyne at all, but looking at his website.. he makes no mention about his disability at all... so you looneys are typicl in your low blow personal attackes. No wonder so many in our community wants to send the end of your trashy and arrogant politics.

Anonymous said...

to ian b. freshwater (wot a gay name), re your angry demand of people to give thier full names, don't tell me wot to do by posting a real name or not. Like get real this is the internet and it is jsut a block-up post box. R u saying everyone on YouTube and the whole net should post their IDs. DNA too? Get real. Left-wingers like u always want social control and I am not intimated by your anger or swayed by your poor logic at all, like pervious posters. Why is it so important to u to know the IDs of people anyway? Do you support an national ID card?
And no one cares about your gay post.
Overall u r a towel!

Anonymous said...

Hey there aldous .. not your real name by the looks.. my there are some intolerant and prejudios buggas out there.. Ian wasn't talking about ID everywhere on the net... simply on here when others have the decency to declare who is posting the comment. and what's with the anger about gays.. u still in the closet yaself?

Anonymous said...

oh.. funny how when they get into a corner and don't like something.. they trump out the old hatred and anti-gay thing. That's what 13 year olds do! Man there's some immaturebackers of Big Kev out there! but are we at all surprised? and no one has debated the crap in the mayor's letter.. merely attacked the messenger for releasing it!

Anonymous said...

I agree Kev... is being gay a crime in QLD? Thought Joh was dead and buried? Typical lot... ..Aldous: what makes a "gay name"? You are one sad puppy to sink so low and expose your hate around here in our wonderful town of Cairns. You should be ashamed. Maybe your son or daughter will be gay and you'll have to face reality mate.

Anonymous said...

u r towels! Don't mean gay as in homosexual, I mean gay like in south park gay - get with the 21st century.
There is no legitimate argument wotsover for one postong one's name on this site, especially above any other.
And wot the fuck is deceny anyway!? Sounds like a christo-freudian slip there.

Anonymous said...

Gee if Tom Pyne was corrupt, he must have forgotten where he buried the treasure. No, he is just a retired pensioner. Oh, and his wife has never been before a tribunal for improperly dealing with other peoples money.
And by the way anonymous, show some spine and put your name to your post.

Rob Pyne.

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. I hear there are at least 2 outstanding CMC investigations against Byrne/Council. Gunna be an interesting campaingn ahead.... if I was him.. I'd be getting the next plane out to Russia.. or back to PNG!

Anonymous said...

hey Jen.. put up the goss!! Was this to do with them breaching the Local Govt Act and making decisions without public scrutinty a couple of years ago?

Anonymous said...

It amazes me the amount of attacks there are personally to Mike Moore. I have also to admit that I know Mike personally. We both moved to Cairns at the same time. Over the years, we have had some huge dissagreements about our personal opinions. But, we respect each other for our differences.
I have not always agreed with what Mike has posted here on his blog, and I tell him so personally. Sometimes I post it on here, if it is something I feel strongly enough about.
I cant recall Mike personally attacking Mr Byrnes private life once. Only the conduct of his council. Or in reality, our council.
Mike has provided people a forum for discussion. Weather you agree or disagree, he is not concerned. It is open for all to read, and post. He has shown this by putting a photo of himself on the front page, his personal details, and his professional details. I dont see how his professional life has any affect on his personal political views. I wonder if the first poster here was at work at 11am this morning or was at work .. and if at work, if it is affecting his work by playing on the internet while being paid to do something else. I have that Mike over commits himself to his professional life. Many a time I have tried to visit or ring him, and he is still "in the office", while the rest of us are at home watching tv.
Then there is the Gay comment. Now where the hell did this come from???? .. obviously, it is someone who is still so far in the closet, or someone who is secretly wishing. Get with the times aldous .. Homophobia is a thing of the dark ages. And if it was meant to be a spin off from SouthPark, they you obviously have way too much time on your hands and need to gro up. southpark is such drivel that it should have been taken off the air years ago.
The way I see it, Mike has left himself open to ridicule and abuse by posting his personal details on his blog. The very least the rest of us can do is at the minimum, leave your first name and suburb on the post.
Oh ... and as for his professional career with blood services, he is obviously doing his job, and doing it well .. or he would have been fired by now if he wasnt ..