Concentration camp? More like luxury day-release prison

THE quality of your life depends on what camp you're in.

For example, I'm sure Pug Gallen's supporters will feel very uncomfortable sitting in the "two heads" base camp tonight.

And the dwindling number of folk residing in the blue tie leaders' camp remain happy with his performance, in spite of his fondness for stuffing his own foot into his gob each week.

If you follow me (wink WINK) then have a cigar!

Over in the red camp, Shorty the Invisible Man has been happily welcoming the hordes of elderly, sick, unemployed, students, workers, single parents, disabled and poor flocking back to his campground after discovering that life in the Blue Blood Park was far too rich for them.

So last week, when the State Opposition camp compared mining camps to concentration camps, it almost didn't make the news.

But Caretaker Campbell seized upon the comment to deflect the barrage of burning toilet rolls being flung at his tent; mostly from his own followers.

Now, like most local tradesmen, I've done hard time in CQ's mining camps.

Typically, they were poorly furnished dongas, filled with men on the run (from the law or wives); alcoholics; the lost, lonely and violent; gamblers and boilermakers.

We endured regular food poisoning, lack of clean and hot water, filth-encrusted amenities, frequent brawls, vermin nesting in our mattresses, and the horrors of "hot-bed handovers".

On the bright side, it was a small step up from sleeping in my car.

The new workers' villages have more mod-cons and better food, security and cleanliness than many hotels I've stayed in.

They're far from concentration camps; more like luxury, day-release prisons.

Still, I don't care how good they are, I've done my time and will quite happily camp on this side of the razor wire; regardless of what my family wants.

Topics:  gladstone greg bray humour column mining camps opinion

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