It’s said that all’s fair in love and war. But when it comes to elections in a democracy like Australia, you’re supposed to play by the rules.
Australian electoral law is intended to guarantee a level playing field; an open and transparent political system that will accurately reflect the will of the voting public.
Yet in last week’s state election in South Australia we saw Labor conducting a centrally orchestrated con job that assailed the very foundations of our democracy.
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With My Kitchen Rules coming to an end, news of the return of MasterChef couldn’t have been timelier.
For quality cooking shows, within a few short months, we’ll have gone from a smorgasbord to a piddling entrée. Let’s face it – five minutes of Fast Ed each week is not gonna cut it.
And if, like me, you’re a regular viewer of Man vs Wild, starring wilderness survival expert, Edward ‘Bear’ Grylls, you’ll have an extra reason to celebrate: you can toast the return of your appetite.
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More than eighty years separate the publication of Evelyn Waugh’s first novel and the Tory campaign for government in the British election, but the two are oddly connected.
The narrative spring that sets ‘Decline and Fall’ in motion is the expulsion from Oxford of its hapless hero, Paul Pennyfeather; and the reason he’s expelled is an act of bullying by the members of something called the Bollinger Club.
They “debag” him (pull down his trousers and pants) and force him to run around the quadrangle. He’s caught, ‘sent down’ as they say at Oxford, and left with no choice but to take a low paying job teaching at a seedy prep school, where his humilations grow steadily worse.
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The thing about Alex Chilton is that he was a musician from the south of the United States.
The hardest part of that sentence was to put this brilliant, idiosyncratic, iconoclastic, genius singer, songwriter, musical innovator, guitarist in the past tense.
Chilton died in New Orleans on St Patrick’s Day from a heart complaint. He was on his way to Austin, Texas to play at the South by South West music conference and festival.
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The ABC drama “Curtin” put into focus the life of John Curtin – one of Australia’s greatest Prime Ministers.
Like so many people, alcohol was Curtin’s greatest challenge. He had grown up around it with his father running several pubs. But it was during his time as the Victorian Secretary of the Timber Workers’ Union that Curtin’s fondness for the demon drink grew into a major disability. According to his biographer David Day: “the culture of the male-dominated union movement was steeped in beer” and Curtin was steeped in the culture.
Suddenly in November 1915 Curtin resigned his post. He went briefly to work for the Australian Workers’ Union and then was appointed the organiser of the anti-conscription campaign being run by the Congress of Australian Trade Unions. The work was stressful and intense and his drinking continued and became worse.
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With consumers already being let down so badly on grocery issues by Mr Rudd and his Competition Minister Craig Emerson, you’d think that they would do better on basic consumer law issues. Well, you’d be very disappointed as Minister Emerson has presided over a continual watering down of consumer rights in the vital area of unfair contract terms.
Unfair contract terms may prevent the sale of items like this
We know or should know about unfair contract terms. We more commonly know them as the “fine print” in consumer contracts. These are the nasty terms of the contract that stack the contract well and truly in favour of the larger party, commonly a big business. Banks use unfair contract terms as do mobile phone companies. Car hire companies and your local gym also try to stack the contract terms in their favour.
Unfair contract terms are also found in contracts that small businesses may have with larger businesses. Small businesses also deal with banks, mobile phone companies and car hire companies. In this regard, small businesses are also consumers of basic goods and services. Sadly, small businesses can also get hit with unfair contract terms in franchise agreements, retail leases and supply agreements.
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Welcome to Wednesday @ The Punch
Harold Wilson won majority vote in the British House of Commons today in 1966.
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Just a hunch, but if a mate ever asks you to snap a pic of them with their favourite high-powered weapon, you might want to reassess your friendship - and possibly call the police.
As give aways go, snaps such as this one of Daniel Cowart, who’s just pleaded guilty to plotting to kill Barack Obama, are a bit of a no brainer.
Just in case no-one was alarmed by the enormous great gun he’s holding, Cowart helpfully had a Swastika tattooed on his upper arm and shaved his head.
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The decision by a Shanghai court to sentence Stern Hu to ten years should teach us a lesson about the future of our relationship with China: Australia cannot expect to continue to reap the benefits of Chinese cash without periodically accepting some of its pernicious qualities.
Following the Hu sentence there will no doubt be a temptation to invoke what could be called the “Corby Protocol”, which assumes that whenever an Australian is arrested in a non-Western country they are ipso facto innocent and victims of a corrupt and dictatorial regime.
But in this case it would probably be in our interest to understand that while Hu has become a victim of the workings of the Chinese state and business, he was also very much a product of it. This was a position that up until this point had made him, and by extension Australia, very wealthy.
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For a subculture obsessed with “absolute discretion”, Australia’s swingers haven’t had much luck in flying under the radar recently.
In January, the alleged murder of prominent businessman and clandestine group-sex enthusiast Herman Rockefeller resulted in a tabloid feeding frenzy. Police will allege the 52-year-old millionaire property developer was dismembered and buried after a planned hook-up went horribly wrong.
A month later, the telemovie Wicked Love: The Maria Korp Story was nationally broadcast, recounting the sorry tale of the 50-year-old Melbourne mother of two, and her husband Joe, 47, who posted pictures of themselves on a swingers’ website in 2005. They attracted the attention of Tania Herman, 38. Herman became Joe Korp’s mistress and ended up choking his wife with a bag strap and leaving her to die in the boot of a car. She was convicted of attempted murder.
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