Some argue that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is keeping the bastards honest on a scale never before attempted. Others say his slapdash form of editorship, if you can call it that, is incredibly irresponsible if not downright dangerous.
One thing we can all agree on: the leaks on Wikileaks, though geopolitically momentous, haven’t exactly reached water cooler status in Australia yet. Come on, Jules. You’re one of us. Give us something down home and dirty we can all chew on. Here are seven to get the ball rolling…
What’s really in Vegemite, anyway?
Apparently it’s the end result of the beer brewing process, which probably explains why it’s so good when you’re hungover. Point is, we want the documents, especially when we’re feeding it to the kiddies in such great volumes. Oh, and while we’re at it, we’d also like to know what’s actually in meat pies and chiko rolls. Or maybe not…
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Julia Gillard says she for one was not surprised by the closeness of the August federal election result, maintaining with an `I-told-you-so’ tone that she’d always argued it would be close. But why? Had the Government not successfully steered Australia around a massive global crisis, keeping people in jobs and businesses trading?
Her ready resignation to a cliff-hanger result at best raises fundamental questions: What’s gone so wrong with the Australian Labor Party that voters are deserting it in droves. Why is that even competent governments (the pink batts fiasco notwithstanding) cannot seem to muster enough support and enthusiasm to form a majority?
Take the federal poll about which Ms Gillard proved correct. Despite the leadership change, (or perhaps because of it) Labor fell well short of the 76 seat minimum needed to govern in its own right.
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If Dickens was alive he’d concede talent counts for little and intelligence for less in one’s bid to become famous in modern society.
Thanks to the internet and TV today we’re breeding a generation of talentless twits who view fame as a right, not a privilege.
In the Dickensian era, society had great expectations of those who aspired to walk among the elite.
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I am not sure how much bad publicity you can buy for $801.91. If you based it on newspaper advertising rates you would get about an eighth of a page. To err on the side of generosity, here’s a couple of pages’ worth from Sydney’s biggest newspaper, aimed squarely at the miserable sods at the electricity company AGL.
To be clear from the outset, this isn’t some sly journalistic attempt to dodge a bill, albeit a ludicrous, unjustified bill. In my dealings with AGL – two convoluted telephone conversations and an email which they have not answered - I have not identified myself as a journalist. If their PR department tries to get in touch, they should save themselves the phone call as I’m paying this bill through gritted teeth, but writing about it here with a perverse degree of glee for two public interest reasons.
The first is that it simply shows the staggering increases in power prices which, while capable of being begrudgingly absorbed by an affluent person, would blast a hole in the budget of any normal family on the average wage.
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People love to complain about the customer service we get here in Australia. In general though, I think it’s pretty good. Especially after spending time overseas where attending to a customer sometimes looks like it ranks below flirting with co-workers or reading the paper.
But do you reckon customer service is now going one step too far. To me, Aussie businesses are going to the extremes of refined customer service when all we really want is the elusive middle ground.
On one hand there is the long-winded and irritating, small-talk fuelled barrage of over-customer service. The one where the kid on the other end of the phone asks for your whole life story.
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I have a confession to make. This isn’t easy, but I feel the time has finally arrived to come clean.
No doubt, my actions will bring shame upon my family, friends, colleagues and various stores I frequent, but I can no longer hide in the shadows. If there is a God, I pray he forgives this twisted soul and all its hideous imperfections.
Here goes: I don’t care much for Harry Potter.
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So much for opening the curtains and letting the sunshine in. The last few weeks of the Federal Parliamentary year have highlighted the farcical lengths the Gillard Government will go to avoid the sunshine of parliamentary scrutiny.
Demanding unprecedented seven year secrecy clauses from MPs. Blocking legislation to allow the Productivity Commission to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Then finally, dragged kicking and screaming, releasing just a flimsy 36 page summary of the NBN 400-page business plan.
It begs the simple question: why be so secretive?
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Today in 1950, US President Truman announces that he is prepared to authorise the use of atomic weapons to bring “peace” in Korea.
It’s Tuesday at The Punch. What’s on your mind? Share it here.
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Any captain wants one of two things out of his pace spearhead, and ideally he’d like both.
Firstly, he wants strike power in the mould of Jeff Thomson, whose famous sandshoe crusher broke both Tony Greig’s foot and England’s resolve in the corresponding match at the Gabba way back in 1974.
Secondly, he wants unerring accuracy. He wants to be able to throw the ball to his main man and say “hey if you can’t get rid of them, at least dry the runs up and build a bit of pressure”.
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NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has had enough. According to this morning’s Daily Telegraph: “Ms Keneally yesterday demanded the head of NSW Labor Party boss Bernie Riordan after his union told members to consider backing parties other than Labor at the March election.”
Yesterday Keneally was approached by the Telegraph and asked if she could pose defiantly to help illustrate the story. The Premier reluctantly agreed, shifting her schedule and time with her family to assist the paper. The result? Page one coverage and a lesson for politicians everywhere.
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