When news broke Bert and Patti Newton were going on A Current Affair to talk about their son Matthew a lot of people rolled their eyes, and then nearly 1.8 million of us tuned in.
I was definitely in the fairly large skeptics camp, wondering what good the interview could possibly do, and if in fact, it could turn out to be self-indulgent and harmful. And then I watched it.
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I don’t know about you, but I feel beaten over the head by the demands of the four Independents.
What about our demands?
Here are some of issues plaguing Australians. Feel free to add your own.
1. Who shrunk the Weet-bix? Is it an evil ploy by the Seventh Day Adventists at Sanitarium to slowly starve us until – low on carbs and high on delirium – we agree to join their religion? And who decided that Sultana Bran shouldn’t have as many sultanas? Discuss.
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When the political history of 2010 is written, every element of the closest election in a generation will be rightly scrutinized. The winning side will get home by a hair’s breadth but could it be hair that determines the result?
Because there is a minority group whose natural connection with their chief advocate did not translate into votes on August 22 Australia’s rangas turned on Julia Gillard at the moment she needed their support most.
Exclusive hair-based research from the Punch shows that redheads turned their locks away from Gillard, being the least likely hair coloured group to support the ALP.
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Did anyone else choke on their breakfast cereal hearing Rob Oakeshot demand party discipline from the Liberal leadership to protect him from ‘rogue’ MPs? This from a guy who wants us to believe that unwillingness to be bound by a party room is the defining virtue of a good local MP.
There’s been a lot of naive commentary about how having independents control our Parliament would be good for democracy. Here’s a realist perspective on what a Parliament with a decline in the dominant two-party political setting would look like.
First prediction: the weaker the discipline that the strong two-party setting imposes, the greater the influence would be of lobbyists. We need only look to the effect the weaker party discipline of the Republicans and Democrats in the US has on American politics to back this prediction.
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For about the fifty-millionth time on my television screen in recent times, I recently witnessed yet another slimy current affairs story that shouldn’t have been screened at 6.35 pm.
This time it was the tale of a woman who is taking her former boss to the cleaners for sexual harassment. In itself, the story on Today Tonight didn’t particularly offend my sensibilities; it was quite newsworthy and, if told sensitively, may not have aroused my ire. But it’s the sleazy manner in which these stories are so often portrayed that really gets up my nose.
Why did they have to give the intimate details of the case – word for word? Why did they have to quote the man who supposedly said to the young woman during dinner that the dessert was so good it was ‘like a **** in the mouth’? Oh yes, they beeped out the ‘offensive’ word. Woohoo! Good on them for being so ‘family friendly’.
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Australia has its own identity, there is no question of that. What it doesn’t have, while we have this umbilical cord link to a foreign power, is its own unambiguous Australian identity.
Try to explain Australia’s current arrangements to an Indian or a Greek person and you can see them struggling to keep a straight face.
One of Australia’s most distinguished diplomats, the former Indonesian Ambassador Richard Woolcott, once wrote that when Australian diplomats are received at official functions overseas, the anthem that is played is ‘God Save the Queen’ and the Queen is toasted at the end as head of state.
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Thursday, 26 August, 2010
Horrible nightmare. Dreamt election never ended, then suddenly realised I was awake.
Meeting in my office with Abbott, Alby Schultz and Hockey to discuss negotiations with Independents and costings.
Abbott says Treasury cannot be trusted. Just look at lying leakers like Godwin Grech. Point out that Grech leaked to Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott says that’s exactly his point.
Schultz proposes divide-and-conquer approach to Independents. Says it worked with the three musketeers. Unclear whether Schultz took away central message of Three Musketeers.
Abbott likes idea. Schultz will talk to Windsor. Shultz says they share language: Fair-Dinkumese.
Wants me to speak to Oakeshott.
Abbott will talk to Katter.
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Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed died in a car crash in Paris today in 1997.
And it’s Tuesday so what’s on your mind?
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Julia Gillard is now in a bit of strife. Since the inconclusive result on polling night - almost 10 days ago - she has argued that Labor has the right to govern because the two-party preferred vote shows a majority of Australians voted for the Government.
Not any more. As of late this afternoon, a majority of Australians voted for the Coalition.
Both in her public rhetoric and her lobbying of the independents, Ms Gillard had placed great store in the fact that Labor was ahead on the 2PP vote. When she made the claim on the Sunday after the August 21 poll, Labor enjoyed a lead of 50.66 per cent to the Coalition’s 49.34 per cent, and no-one thought it likely that the lead would change.
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Most OTT: January Jones
Look, I applaud her for going there. She really experiments and most likely wants us to know she’s not the inspid, vacant, pretty doll character she plays on Mad Men. She’s really driving that point home here, ‘cause holier-than-thou Betty Draper wouldn’t be caught dead in this! I’m not saying I like it. Far from it. It’s too blue, too shiny, too short in the front and too long in the back, not to mention those pointy bosoms, where did they come from and WHY? And try as I might, I can’t figure out WTF the dress is made of. Is it furry fabric? Does she think dressing like a descendant of the Cookie Monster is hot? The mind boggles. But I understand where she’s coming from. ‘Cause sure, Betty Draper looks beautiful and dresses amazingly, but I wouldn’t want to be known around Hollywood as the dumb blonde either, that’s a stereotype I’m sure would be often labelled on beautiful actresses. So January Jones is setting herself apart, and I say, let her.
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