The big question on everybody’s lips right now is whether Prime Minister Gillard will be any different to her predecessor Kevin Rudd. But it’s difficult to see how Julia Gillard can legitimately claim to be different unless she adopts a completely different approach to running the national economy.
So it seems passing strange that she has decided to keep the architect and principal manager of the economy, Wayne Swan, on as treasurer. And stranger still that he has been promoted to deputy prime minister.
Notwithstanding Kevin Rudd’s faults as Prime Minister – and there were many – Wayne Swan’s failings as Treasurer are equally appalling.
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Julia Gillard agreed to a surprise interview with controversial radio hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O this morning, where she refused to make any changes to the governments ban on gay marriage. The Punch listened to the interview and reports back on how it unfolded.
I didn’t want to like them, but there was a lot of laughter in the studios of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O this morning, as they tackled their first interview with Julia Gillard.
And while I’m yet to be convinced that Sandilands should take his comparison to a “slimmer”, “funnier” Alan Jones too seriously, the easy banter and free flow of questions between themselves, the Prime Minister and listeners calling in, was a good example of what shows like theirs can achieve.
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The passing of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership has caught many publishers off-guard and this website is among them. Last month we launched a subscriber competition offering entrants the chance to win a $1000 Tiger Airways voucher for the best description of Kevin Rudd in five words or less. In the middle of the competition we sort of lost the prime minister.
We are not alone in this predicament. Both Annabel Crabb and David Marr have just released books about that guy who used to be PM – you know, what’s his name – and satirist Jonathan Biggins is putting the finishing touches to a book about the Ruddster due out in September.
The interesting thing about our competition is that in the initial weeks the entrants reflected many of the gripes and grievances which cost Rudd his job, and as it came to a close last week, and with Julia Gillard securely installed as PM, it turned into a derisory reflection on the Rudd era.
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Just in case you haven’t realised, Australia has a new prime minister. Very few of us were prepared for this (least of all that bloke called Kevin who’s currently squatting in The Lodge), and it happened so suddenly, Australia still doesn’t know quite what to make of it.
To put it bluntly, by being female, Welsh, and a redhead (or a ranga, if you prefer), Julia Gillard has left us spoilt for choice. So which direction do people take in categorising her?
At this point, many people would venture into Facebook groups or Twitter, but all you’re going to find out is what a few random, vocal people are posting. Like a secret recording device, the true voice of the people is held by Google.
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If I were ever going to rob a bank I would do so in character. Specifically, I’d go in wearing the giant green St George Dragon mascot suit.
Aside from the delicious irony of a bank being robbed by its own mascot, the stunt would serve as a timely reminder to Reverend Fred Nile- and others- that there are a range of uniforms, sporting apparel, masks and other coverings that conceal the face and the identity of the wearer.
Last week Nile from the Christian Democratic Party introduced a Bill in the NSW Upper House to make it an offence (maximum penalty $550) for “a person, without reasonable excuse to wear a face covering in a public place.” Note, that’s not just in banks or service stations, but in any public place.
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So our new Prime Minister is a working woman with no kids. What of it?
Just as Gillard’s de-facto status brings into the public forum discussions about the institution of marriage, (and if you missed Bettina Arndt’s extraordinary polemic yesterday, it’s here), so too her choice to be child-free shifts the focus to working mothers.
Unfortunately, the discourse surrounding the working mother/child-free woman debate has - as these kinds of discussions often do - the potential to degenerate into a polarised argument.
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Around a third of Australian road fatalities are the direct result of drink-driving. Add to that the millions of random breath tests that occur across the country every year and you’re looking at some fairly good reasons not to drink-drive.
Not that you’d know that from the statistics; the percentage of alcohol-fuelled road fatalities has remained constant in the past two decades. In fact, our collective apathy toward the separation of alcohol consumption and motor vehicle control is so great as to warrant its own show on the Nine Network.
Premiering last Sunday, RBT is Nine’s attempt at discouraging drink-driving or, depending on your point of view, an attempt to capitalise on the inability of Australian drivers to understand that driving home after six beers is probably a bad idea.
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“Out, damned spot! out” moaned the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth after the murders committed to ensure that Kingship came to Macbeth. “What will these hands never be clean”.
“Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand”.
And yet the “spot” seemed to be worn as a badge of honour on Sunday morning TV with the newly anointed Prime Minister choosing Joan Kirner giant polka dot jacket to begin her reign.
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Welcome to Wednesday at The Punch
London’s Tower Bridge first opened on this day in 1894.
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Morning – 6:00am
Back at work refreshed from long weekend, took ALL of Sunday off. Watched Socceroos draw with Ghana. Thought they did well but media seemed REALLY hostile to the coach!
Check latest Newspoll. Great for PM: ALP 52 – Libs 48. Everyone feeling more relaxed, except Rudd Press Secretary (RPS). Economics Adviser (EA) tells RPS that if he had a healthy understanding of statistics he would probably relax a bit more. RPS agrees but says he enjoys being a normal person capable forming lasting and meaningful relationships with the opposite gender. EA points out he has long-term girlfriend! RPS asks EA if he’s ever heard of “outliers”.
Just found out EA and I are going to G20! Might meet Obama! OMG so West Wing!!!
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