Friday, 27 February 2015

Player Ratings - Beşiktaş vs. Liverpool 1-0 (5-4) - Europa League Second Leg

It was a tough night at the office for Brenda Rodgers’ men in the second leg of their Europa League tie in Turkey. They suffered their first defeat of the calendar year, as Beşiktaş deserved their 1-0 victory on the night and eventually, 5-4 on penalties.

With an all important fixture at home to Manchester City in less than 48 hours, the loss and performance couldn’t have come at a worse time. A majority of first XI players’ endured the rigours of extra time, while the performance itself was indifferent in comparison with previous weeks. Player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 6: Nothing he could do for the goal, nor the five spot kicks from which he conceded. Was once again commanding throughout.

Dejan Lovren - 4: His missed penalty sums up his Liverpool career, thus far. Showed a willingness to step up in a vital time, but in fairness shouldn’t have been anywhere among the five penalty takers.

Martin Skrtel - 6: Did well in containing Demba Ba throughout, despite the latter’s effort in extra time. Didn’t do a lot wrong on the night.  

Kolo Toure - 6:  Looked quite comfortable at the back. Struggled to find an outlet when bringing the ball out, however he wasn’t the only one. Some may say he was culpable in not closing down his opponent in the lead up to Beşiktaş’ goal.

Jordan Ibe - 6:  Quiet game for the young Englishmen. Limped off during the second half with a slight knock/injury.

Alberto Moreno - 6: From a Liverpool point of view, he looked the liveliest. Provided able coverage for Lovren several times throughout the first half. Still wondering why he wasn’t the fifth penalty taker.

Emre Can - 6: Look comfortable in the midfield. Tired as the game went with cramp and it showed, as he failed to find a teammate with the final pass on several occasions.

Joe Allen - 6: Liverpool’s best player in the first half. Controlled the midfield, however faded as the game progressed. He will be vital for the weekend’s game against City.

Raheem Sterling- 4: Failed to keep hold of the ball in a performance that was among his worst in a Liverpool shirt. Missed two good opportunities to double Liverpool’s advantage in the tie. A night to forget.

Mario Balotelli - 6: Was almost hacked to death by Beşiktaş’ defenders. Detractors may suggest he was to blame in the lead up to Besiktas’ goal, but looked like Liverpool’s best outlet in an attacking sense.

Daniel Sturridge - 4: See Raheem Sterling. Missed a golden chance to put the tie to bed in the first half. Along with Sterling, the surface didn’t help Sturridge’s case, however by his standards, he had a poor game.

Javier Manquillo - 5: Did a steady job at right wing back, despite conceding a needless corner just after his introduction.

Adam Lallana - 6:  Tried his best to penetrate in the final third but suffered along with his teammates in producing any attacking fluidity.

Rickie Lambert - 6:  Tried his best to provide a spark. His work ethic can never be doubted. Took his penalty well.

Brendan Rodgers - 5: He seemingly left the team’s pressing tactics at Melwood. Liverpool’s European and Premier League tactics couldn’t be more contrasting. This season has been a steep learning curve for the young manager, who will hopefully review some of the tactics he’s employed on the continent this season. The only way is up.

By Simon K.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Player Ratings - Southampton vs. Liverpool: 0-2

The juggernaut continues. This time with one of the best wins of the season, away to Southampton. It was a complete and utter grind and a victory not too dissimilar to the corresponding fixture last season. The officials were kind on the whole, however, as they say; these things tend to even themselves out. It’s the first time since the mid 1980s under Joe Fagan, that Liverpool has kept five consecutive clean sheets away from home in the league. Some feat, considering the defensive issues at the beginning of the season. My Liverpool FC player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 8: A shadow of his former self and for all the right reasons. Made a crucial save moments after Philippe Coutinho’s opener. Depending on which set of fans you ask, he was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after appearing to handle the ball outside the area. The treacherous weather conditions may have forced the officials to give the Belgium benefit of the doubt. Looking like a totally new goalkeeper.

Dejan Lovren - 6: An inclusion due to Mamadou Sakho’s injury, Lovren had an up and down afternoon in his role as the pantomime villain amongst the Southampton faithful. Was caught ball watching preceding Mignolet’s alleged hand ball incident and could’ve conceded a penalty moments after for a hand ball of his own. Like Skrtel, made several timely interventions and looked solid enough for the most part. Will draw confidence from being a part of a back three which achieved a clean sheet.

Martin Skrtel - 8: Man of the Match. His name wasn’t called much throughout the broadcast, but to me that typifies a good centre half. He made several crucial interceptions and was a towering aerial presence. Graziano Pelle barely had a sniff all day. It was perhaps Skrtel’s best performance of the season. Commanding.

Emre Can - 7: Back to his assured self with an unyielding display. The precocious German demonstrated his silky skills both in attack and defence. His organisational skills are yet another string to his bow. No doubt a future leader.

Jordan Ibe - 7: Did a lot of defensive work due to Southampton dominating possession throughout. Made several mazy runs, but it was another facet of Ibe’s game that impressed and that was his capabilities behind the ball.

Lazar Markovic - 5: Played out of position and it showed. Nathaniel Clyne had the better of him throughout the first half. Has competition to keep his place in the starting XI with Ibe’s rise, however will be utilised with games coming thick and fast over the next month. Was rightly substituted at half time.

Jordan Henderson - 7: Marshalled his troops well in a key area of the pitch which inevitably went a long way to decide the match. Along with Joe Allen, he provided fantastic protection to the back three.   

Joe Allen - 8: Arguably his best game in Liverpool shirt since the early stages of his career at Anfield. Tracked back brilliantly and although gave away a cast iron penalty in the first half, from there he didn’t miss a beat. His presence is crucial in Lucas’ absence. His partnership in midfield with Jordan Henderson continues to blossom.

Adam Lallana - 6:  Again, not really his night. In a game where Liverpool’s chances in the attacking third were scarce, the former Southampton man spent most of his time behind the ball. Crucial that he remains injury free for the run in.  

Philippe Coutinho - 8: A goal of world class proportions and one which he most likely won’t better for the remainder of his Liverpool career. Like Lallana, he suffered somewhat, however was dogged in closing down space off the ball.

Raheem Sterling- 7: His first start after returning from injury and one where he put in a shift. Not much fell for the young Englishmen but when it did, he took it with aplomb. A well taken goal on his return to the starting XI.


Alberto Moreno - 6: Shored things up on the left hand side in the second half. Was involved in the lead up play to Liverpool’s second in what can be described as a solid display from the little Spaniard. As it stands, the left wing back position should be his own.

Daniel Sturridge - 6: Came on and caused the Southampton defence enough problems to carve out several chances. Unlucky not to score. With the number of games in such a short space of time, squad management kept him from starting the match

Glen Johnson – N/R: A substitution with squad management in mind, Johnson did what was required. Injuries permitting, this will most likely be Johnson’s levels of contribution for remainder of the season.

By Simon K.


Friday, 20 February 2015

Player Ratings - Liverpool vs. Beşiktaş 1-0 - Europa League First Leg

Another game, another win. This time in the group stages of the Europa League against Turkish side, Beşiktaş. An impressive defensive display from the Turkish domestic league leaders in Beşiktaş, however Liverpool FC did just about enough to deserve their victory in the first leg at Anfield. My player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 7: Not a lot to do, but his one on one save from Demba Ba may just go a long way to winning this tie. The Belgium’s concentration levels and confidence continue to rise.

Emre Can - 6: An indifferent night for the German, who at times made some rash decisions both on and off the ball. Looked far more comfortable when he shifted into the midfield.  

Martin Skrtel - 6: Made several important blocks and apart from Demba Ba’s one on one chance, dealt with the Beşiktaş frontman quite well. Will no doubt have a busier night during the second leg in Istanbul next week.

Mamadou Sakho - 7: Unflappable throughout. He found his bread and butter pass to Coutinho with ease throughout the first half and made some timely interceptions in defence, too. Any initial doubts Brendan Rodger had must surely be dispelled. A mainstay at the back.

Jordan Ibe - 8: Man of the Match: From the opening whistle, he beat his opponent with consummate ease. He’s quickly making the wing back position his own with yet another  poignant display. Won the penalty which led to the match winning goal, as his development moves at rapid pace.

Alberto Moreno - 6: Did what he needed to do defensively without being troubled. His runs down the left hand channel will continue to improve over time. His rasping 30 yard shot was the highlight of his night.

Jordan Henderson - 6: Much will be said about the penalty moment between Mario Balotelli and himself, but a part from that, Henderson kept the midfield ticking and almost scored late in the first half with a good free kick. Continues to be an important component in the midfield, however will need to improve in the final third.

Joe Allen - 6: A no-nonsense performance by the little Welshman, who fits into this system in Lucas Leiva’s absence. His performance won’t grab the headlines, but he moved the ball around nicely and along with Henderson, won the battle in midfield.

Adam Lallana - 6:  Not really his night, as the Beşiktaş defence copped extremely well in dealing with Liverpool’s front three. Squandered a golden chance to put the Reds in front. He’ll experience better nights in a Liverpool shirt.

Philippe Coutinho - 6: See above. The little Brazilian maestro failed to find a consistent pass, as a result of Beşiktaş’ defence and their incessant tactics to remain deep. Will relish the away tie where more space in behind his opponent’s defence will be available.

Daniel Sturridge - 6: Carved out a chance within three minutes, however after that, the Beşiktaş defence did a tremendous job in handling Liverpool’s main man. Not really his night, as his quest for full fitness looks just about complete.


Dejan Lovren - 6: Very little to do and was untroubled when called upon. In a bid to regain his starting place, game time remains imperative for the Croatian.

Mario Balotelli - 7: His introduction changed the game, where he put himself about at will, winning free kicks and ending up with the match winning goal from the penalty spot. Much will be made of the fact he took the ball from Captain Jordan Henderson’s clutches. All told, Balotelli is Liverpool’s best penalty taker after Steven Gerrard. His penalty added further weight to the notion. Super Mario is proving to be an important piece of the puzzle, as the Reds enter a crucial part of the season.

Raheem Sterling- N/R: A late introduction to regain some match fitness before the weekend’s trip to Southampton. As always, proved a handful for the opposition with the few touches he had.

Brendan Rodgers - 7: Once again, his substitutions proved to be the right ones, as he continues to develop his management skills in the realm of European cup ties.

By Simon K.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Book Review: Escobar Walker - Bowling Ball & Sideways Movers

Over the past four months, Twitter is a tool I’ve failed to use with aplomb. It has its uses, though.

In reply to one of Irvine Welsh’s retweets pertaining to “Mike Hunt’s Wholesale Cars”, my reply was met with a “favourite” by a chap named Escobar Walker. My first “favourite” on Twitter, to be precise.

Now, as this inaugural milestone came to pass, I decided to do some reconnaissance on the individual of this timely digital nod in my direction. This Escobar Walker character. To say I was pleasantly surprised was understated. The bloke was an author! Furthermore, his books were released electronically!

As an aspiring eBook story teller/satirist, I appeared to have stumbled upon common ground. On bloody Twitter! Who would’ve thought? Escobar Walker was and still is streets ahead of my dream, though. He’s sold over 7,500 copies of his first novel, Bowling Ball, for a start. Suffice to say, I jumped onto iTunes and procured myself a copy, along with Sideway Movers; his second oeuvre.

This is the beauty of eBooks. I’m certain Bowling Ball wouldn’t have passed the gate keepers of the “big five” publishers. That’s what makes Bowling Ball all the more awesome! It’s close to Irvine Welsh, no doubt. I’d go as far to say that Bowling Ball may even be cruder than its forefather and that takes some doing; coffee tables (not involving the late Don Lane) and public urinals. I say no more.

People will lament over the typos and grammar of Bowling Ball, but all told, the story is so side splittingly hilarious that any qualms over anything else prove trivial. From Chaz Nisbet selling Delonghi Toasters and having a sidekick occupying taxi boots to rob customers of personal effects, to Alan Dempster cunningly scouring for every pint consumed like a miser shit house rat, dare I say this is not a journey for the faint hearted. A patent head jerker for the bleeding heart liberal. That’s fine, though. Close to the bone stiff upper lip satire is the best and personally, my favourite! It’s the best because it breeds reality and Bowling Ball is full of that.

Sideways Movers is a ‘mature’ second effort, and although perhaps not as comical, its execution transcends its predecessor. It’s more of a novel and less like a bunch of short stories cobbled together, which some may accuse Bowling Ball of. Personally, though, I like the haphazardness of Bowling Ball. Perhaps it can be classed as an accidental work of art; a mere stagger upon social consciousness.

I’m sure the bourgeois will have their say on the matter, with the same lines once again trotted out. The “anti-literature” tag, or “art for the lower social deck” pompous noise. These are nothing more than ridiculous slogans of shallow superiority.

As for the high-brow, pessimistic eBook detractor? No doubt Alan Dempster will be seen as Mark Renton, Ronnie Nisbet as Sickboy while his sociopath brother, Chaz, as Francis Begbie. Pastiche is fine, though. Pastiche, for me, is refinement.

It’s simple. The world needs more slash and burn literature. It’s a must for our cultural dietary requirement. Such art form can close the gap between those who don’t possess a qualification etched on a piece of fucking paper and those who do. It can bridge the gap for those feeling disenchanted because they couldn’t afford to go to university and had to settle for a dead end nine-to-five job. It’s an art form for the blue collar worker and that’s important. It can perhaps help break the boundaries of these ridiculous social classes that perpetuate throughout generations. 

I’m not sure whether Escobar Walker knows just how important his work is, but believe me, it most certainly is. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

By Simon K.

Player Ratings - Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool: 1-2

Another win, this time in the FA Cup against Crystal Palace, where we've shaken off yet another demon of the past. Where to now? The quarter finals. Every time Liverpool has reached this stage of the competition, they've gone on to compete in the final. My player ratings as follows:

Simon Mignolet - 8: Man of the Match, for mine. A performance that will be overshadowed by the fact he wasn't required to make too many saves, per se. However, the pressure from set plays was more than he's had to deal with for some time and he did it with aplomb. What a difference two months makes.

Emre Can - 6: Once again, looks like Beckenbauer carrying the ball, however, defensively, he had some indifferent moments throughout. Struggled in the air and was caught out several times in the first half. I can see him moving into the midfield in the coming weeks.

Martin Skrtel - 6: At fault for the first goal and gave away a clumsy free kick at the death. Despite his earlier error, recovered well enough to deal with Crystal Palace's long ball threat. Much improved from earlier in the season where he probably would've wilted under similar circumstances. A testament to his mentality.

Mamadou Sakho - 7: Back to his normal self after two below par performances against Spurs and Everton, respectively. Had Yannick Bolasie in his pocket for the most part and held steadfast along with his two centre half partners during Palace's set plays. Underrated by pundits. Not by the LFC faithful, though, as they chanted his name throughout.

Lazar Markovic - 6: Had plenty of the ball in the first half, but really couldn't do much with it, as Palace parked the proverbial bus. Was substituted at half time for tactical purposes.

Alberto Moreno - 6: Didn't see a lot of the ball throughout the match. Did what he needed to do. His dance moves need improving, but he has the right mentor in Daniel Sturridge to succeed on that front.

Jordan Henderson - 7: Showed good leadership throughout and kept the ball moving, particularly in the first half. His assist for Sturridge's goal was sublime. As always, worked hard off the ball and helped Liverpool keep their shape, as Crystal Palace resorted to long ball tactics.

Joe Allen - 7: Quiet first half an hour, but grew as the game wore on. His composure in the last 15 minutes will go largely unnoticed, but he kept the engine room running to a point where Crystal Palace didn't look like getting a foothold on the game.

Adam Lallana - 7:  His goal was instinctive and demonstrated exactly where his attributes lie. He has wonderful game intelligence and for a guy playing in a foreign position in the wing back role during  the second half, coped brilliantly. Once again, a tireless worker off the ball. A staple in the starting XI for mine.

Philippe Coutinho - 6: Another quiet game from the little maestro. Looks like he may be carrying a slight injury. Crystal Palace's first half tactics negated his potential threat.

Daniel Sturridge - 7: Frustrating first half where most things didn't fall for him, including a solid penalty claim. He looked far more comfortable with a strike partner and took his goal with extremely well. Coming along very nicely.


Mario Balotelli - 7: His introduction opened up space for Daniel Sturridge.
Balotelli was fantastic, though. His ability to win a free kick resulted in the second goal which he was unlucky not to score. With two solid performances in a row, Balotelli can be a crucial element of Liverpool's attacking play from here until the season's end.

Rickie Lambert - NR: Replaced Coutinho and played up top on his own. Had one chance, but other than that, his introduction was perhaps to deal with Palace's set plays.

Dejan Lovren - NR: A late inclusion on to shore up the defence and see the game through. Looks to be slowly building some confidence with a lovely pass to Balotelli late on. Can see him being reintroduced as a part of the back three in the coming weeks, with Emre Can moving into the midfield.

Brendan Rodgers - 8: Once again, a great decision to introduce Balotelli so early in the game. A facet of Brendan Rodger's management where he has received various criticism, it appears that his decision making during matches is improving, along with his team.

By Simon K.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Player Ratings - Liverpool vs. Tottenham: 3-2

Okay, so a "culture" blog isn’t complete without some culture of the terrace variety. That's my opinion, anyway. Yes, it’s time for football musings, folks. The mighty Liverpool (or not so mighty depending on where one's persuasions lie) reigned supreme this morning, 3-2 victors over the very impressive Tottenham Hotspur.

From here until the end of the season, I’ll do my best to post player ratings as each game passes.

Starting XI:

Simon Mignolet – 7: Made one world class save from an Erik Lamela effort, as well dealing well with a Christian Eriksen free kick. Was unfortunate with the follow-up (debatable offside). Looking assured since he regained his place back into the starting XI.

Emre Can – 8: Man of the Match. Changed the game with his introduction in midfield. Assured on the ball, reads the game as good as anyone in the Liverpool squad. German engineering, indeed.

Martin Skrtel – 7: Dealt with Harry Kane well enough. Continues his renaissance as the sweeper in the new back three system.

Mamadou Sakho – 5: Looked very shaky, particularly in the first half. Slipped during the lead-up to Spurs’ opener and looked careless at times on the ball. Looked more like himself as the game went on.

Jordan Ibe – 8: Very much looking like a player for the future, as well as a player for the now. The step up in level hasn’t phased him one iota, while his physical attributes for a player his age are almost unprecedented. He’ll get an extended run in the side.

Steve Gerrard – 6: Scored Liverpool’s second but was largely overrun in midfield. Sadly, he no longer has the legs to play in the central midfield role. Was rightly substituted.

Jordon Henderson – 6: Also overran in the midfield. Henderson’s performances seem to suffer when paired with Gerrard. Looked a lot brighter with Can beside him.

Alberto Moreno – 7: Very solid display both in defence and attack. His marauding runs down the left hand channel are becoming a feature of his game.

Philippe Coutinho – 5: By his standards, a poor game. Gave away possession far too often and lacked precision with his final pass. Spurs did a good job on him, though, very much like Everton at the weekend.

Lazar Markovic – 6: Mixed night. Got his goal with a Hugo Lloris error, and looked bright thereafter, but faded in the second half. Coutinho seemed reluctant to find him with the final pass.

Daniel Sturridge – 7: Could’ve had a brace, but it just wasn’t his night for the scoresheet. Won a cast iron penalty with his trademark trickery in tight areas. His movement off the ball makes those around him even more dangerous. His match fitness isn’t far away.

Dejan Lovren – 6: Looked quite comfortable as a part of the back three. Made a vital tackle against Harry Kane late on. He needs another run in the team, despite the stick he’s copped from the Anfield faithful.

Mario Balotelli – 7: Another who has copped the ire from many, Super Mario’s match winner may just be the start of something. Undoubted quality, and with Sturridge back in the fold, I think many could see a more productive Mario.

Adam Lallana – 7: His movement off the ball in the lead up to Balotelli’s goal was fantastic. A tireless runner off the ball, too; a feature that goes largely unnoticed in the way of plaudits.

Brendan Rodgers – 8: He’s been largely criticised for his substitutions this season. Tonight, though, Rodgers got it spot on. Moving Can into the midfield was the right call and a late one, judging by the action on the touchline with Allen being readied beforehand. Balotelli’s introduction was important, too. Rodgers could’ve easily looked towards Rickie Lambert. All told, I think Brendan Rodgers progressed as a manager tonight.

By Simon K.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Book Review: An Introduction to Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is one funny cat. Some people have cast comparisons to the late Elmore Leonard, but I believe the difference between the two bridges too far a gap to compare. Hiaasen isn’t a crime writer. Sure, crimes throughout his works evolve, but I see Hiaasen more as a satirical social commentator than a writer who envisages penning a crime novel.
His streams of social consciousness are second to none. The way in which he scrutinizers society holds no bounds. It’s not reactionary. It’s clever. It’s not heavy handed. It’s calculated. During his first novel, Tourist Season, the way he picks off his fellow American when describing expeditions abroad in the voice of psychopath, Skip Wiley, is pure genius. His comic tones are first class. He’s a fun writer. Just like Christopher Moore. Just like Tom Robbins. In fact, his comic satire could be likened to the latter, if anyone.

I’ve only read two of Hiaasen’s books; Tourist Season and Sick Puppy. The former has all the traits of a first novel: raw, poignant and a culmination of an expanded idea. It’s good. Sick Puppy is on another level, though. His ability to create characters seems to have flourished from Tourist Season to Sick Puppy. No surprises there, considering the length of time between the two novels.
An array of characters hosts the pages that greet the reader during Sick Puppy. Quite a few more than Tourist Season, but that’s to be expected, given his evolution as a writer over time, which naturally leads to greater creative ambitions. Sure, Sick Puppy can be hard to follow at times and after my first two experiences with Hiaasen, he does jump around a bit which at times can feel like you've got the bends, but that’s okay. His ability to create a chaos of the farcical variety overrides any slight flaws to set a scene. I can’t wait to delve into the rest of his works.

By Simon K.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Not Even A Sausage Sizzle Will Get You My Vote!

I don’t write about politics. In fact this is the first time I ever have, so do excuse me if this sounds off-kilter and/or nonsensical. It’s just the musings of an ordinary chap who takes a moderate interest in the political landscape this country serves up. It can be said that the hypocrisy I was greeted with on Saturday forced me into this position of perplexity.

As most Australian’s will know, last Saturday, residents of Queensland took to the polls for the 2015 State Election. Upon my arrival to the polling booths I was met with the usual nonsense where those whom occupied both the left and right sides of politics waved useless paraphernalia in my face in hope to win my vote. Uselessness that no doubt cost tens of thousands of dollars to print and distribute, all from the tax payers’ back pocket, of course!

After my name was ticked off and I dropped my ballot paper in the box (contrary to most governments, I didn’t care to waste anything, despite the fact it was only a pencil’s lead; principles!), a madwoman started waving her hands at me, professing I shouldn’t miss out on my free sausage sizzle. Like it was some sort of reward for those who’d just voted, despite the fact that voting is mandatory! It’s empty reward at best, neo-blackmail at worst! I asked the lady what was so free about the sausage sizzle. Her gormless look made me even angrier. Yes, lady, the sausage sizzle was about as free as the useless paraphernalia your colleagues were attempting to throw my way sum five minutes earlier.

These points may seem trivial to most but it’s this attitude which is the root cause to a major problem and is fundamentally the reason why I refuse to cast a valid vote. Governments incessantly waste money! Our fucking money! Can one elaborate on the hypocrisy of it? Because I'm struggling! Aren’t there a thousand more feasible places to part with such funds? Like, erm… health care? Show the rest of the world we have the resources to look after each other when it counts. Is that so much to ask? Apparently, yes. Yes it is!

Onto the results....

The fact that majority of Queenslanders voted for Anastacia Palaszczuk, who most hadn’t heard of before the turn of the year, and who also couldn’t answer a simple question regarding the percentage of GST, says just about everything concerning the failures of Campbell Newman.

After losing the seat of Ashgrove to Labor’s Kate Jones, Saturday night was met with “Can Do Campbell’s” timely resignation from politics. Sunday morning came and “Can Do’s” arrival at Parliament House, Brisbane to collect his personal effects was imminent. As reporters gathered, they were met by the man himself. One question was asked and the answer typified the reasons why so many hold a fierce disdain for the man. The reporter simply asked Newman how he was. To which he jovially replied “I’m alright!”

Of course you are, Campbell. Over the past three years, you’ve probably earned four times the amount of money most in Queensland have. Of course you’re “alright!” Your response epitomised your disregard for those you claimed to lead during this time. Your preferential votes were about as bare as the office you once occupied!

On the back of the Newman implosion, I find it alarming that a quasi-nobody in Palazcuk is about to occupy such a summit. Granted, she’s be in and around the political game for some time, but even those in her own political party forecasted Palazcuk to be no more than a “night watchwoman” for this election. Her win wasn’t a win. It was more like an epic defeat on Newman’s part, to the point where Palazcuk only had to turn up. It was as if she went to the corner shop to find she’d won the lottery with a two dollar scratchy she’d received as a Christmas gift!

Is this out of the fry pan and into the fire? Maybe not, but to me it suggests ticking the ballot box of the lesser evil. We know that the LNP will always render policies where the rich prosper and the foot soldiers are left to conduct the heavy lifting. Survival of the fittest, which fails on so many levels. However, I can’t agree with those claiming the ALP isn’t a neo-conservative machine, either. Not to the great lengths of the LNP, but at a fair enough length were they, too, would never win my vote.

What do both parties have in common? How about this: they’re self-serving, treacherous naval gazers who exist to experience power. One group of people aiming to dominate another group of people. PUP, the Greens. Throw them in, too. Both as useful as screen doors on a submarine. Neither could manage a crisis even if you promised to increase their already ridiculous salaries by 10 per cent (more waste, who would’ve thought?). What about the minnow up north; the Katter Australia Party, you ask? All I’ll say is this: Robbie Katter clearly doesn’t see the irony in politics and cowboy hats. His old man is still umming and ahhing over the question of same sex marriage, but that's one for another day, isn't it Bob?

All told, I don’t believe in voting for someone so they can stop someone else from gaining or retaining power. I’m with Russell Edward Brand and Steven Patrick Morrissey on this one. If you don’t believe in the candidate, then don’t vote. Make a stand and stop subscribing to mediocrity. Isn't there too much at stake for half measures? Surely those of us lucky enough to live in a democracy should stand up for democratic principles? Believe it or not we could even do it without a “free” sausage sizzle.

By Simon K.