THE Bureau of Meteorology predicted an east coast low last weekend. But few suspected it would be the state Liberal Party.
But that’s the impact the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has had on our town.
First Tim Owen and then Andrew Cornwell resigned. Garry Edwards stood aside.
And then Jeff McCloy bid farewell to the stormy seas of local politics he’d played a reasonably large role in stirring up.
For better or worse, history will be the judge.
I’m not sure where that leaves the Hunter, except soaking in cynicism.
It seemed like only yesterday we had finished cleaning up after the last major party.
The Labor Party.
The expectation was the hangover would last at least one full term.
But it seems the party never stops in politics.
Just which one you donate to.
As far as the state Libs goes, Premier Mike Baird reckons the party is over in Newcastle.
They won’t be contesting the byelections. And so we now get ready for the hair of the dog.
If you asked Novocastrians about elections three weeks ago, I bet most would not have elected to have three in short succession.
You reckon Nathan Tinkler was FedUp?
It wouldn’t be hard to organise a Newcastle alliance against having to vote so often.
Particularly given the candidates left standing.
I now know why they call it ICAC: if it comes calling for me, ICAC myself.
Legend goes ICAC doesn’t get in touch until it has all the answers.
And legend continues that it doesn’t achieve much to protest one’s innocence, unless one is innocent.
Or can launch a High Court challenge.
Many call it a Star Chamber.
And few would argue, given the long list of luminaries – Labor and Liberal – who have graced the stage lately.
A few tried forgetting their lines.
Until they got legal advice along the lines of ‘‘you could go to jail’’. And then the memory straightened out.
And so we get back to revitalising Newcastle. Remember that place?
Some suggest a moratorium on all developments approved since the last election is the way forward, or sidewards, or backwards.
No one is really sure.
Light rail, high rise, port sales, coastal walks. Again, history will be the judge of that.
And going on history, Macquarie Street will be the judge of that.
It’s an absurd situation that has prevailed since white settlement was established.
One even the late great Robin Williams might find hard to comprehend.
The world certainly did at news of his passing. Nanu nanu Mork.
But the jokes have been flowing from the top lately.
Treasurer Joe Hockey had us gagging with his statement that poor people won’t be affected by fuel price increases because poor people don’t have cars and, therefore, don’t drive much.
By that logic, Joe should be able to jack up the price of fresh food too – poor people don’t eat much of that either.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott showed he’s a team guy by stepping in to take some of the heat off Joe.
First by uniting all IslamicAustralians in their suspicion that Tony is out to marginalise them by remarking they should be part of Team Australia and not Team Jihad when they migrate Down Under. Otherwise they can join Team Cambodia.
He may as well have added: ‘‘You in the robe, put down the weapon of mass destruction! Durkah durkah.’’
Then he urged all Scotland not to strive for independence from Britain, like Australia had.
This consequently flushed out Australia’s most famous Australian American, Mel Gibson, of Braveheart fame, who was photographed coming out of a gym in Florida with all guns blazing. And man, has he been working out.
It got some wondering if Braveheart II was in the wings. But no, he was just getting in shape for Expendables 3.
Which gets us back to the three local pollies derailed by ICAC and the task of revitalising Newcastle.
We used to be a manufacturing powerhouse.
Perhaps it can be so again, if we focus on what we do best.
Or at least a lot of.
And surely, in the coming months, that will be manufacturing ballot boxes.
If not election results.
We’re going to need a few.
Brown paper bags and envelopes are on the outer.
Although they will probably always have a use.
If not to deposit the contents of our stomach in. Then to reveal, with drum roll please, the next winner.
Hopefully this time round it will be our region.