Science is so amazing it can put an ear on a mouse and make Dolly the Sheep, and yet they still haven’t managed to make a unicorn. What’s with that?
Scientists themselves have shown just how whimsical they can be – they’ve studied belly button bugs and made glow-in-the-dark cats (LOL!) and created the perfect woman (Lisa).
Why stop there? Here’s five things they should get cracking on.
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After John Faulkner unloaded 30 tonnes of truth bombs on the Party apparatchiks, let’s test how the Party will respond using the tried and true method of a multiple choice quiz.
Question 1: Labor got this way because:
A) Australia’s conservative by nature and Labor’s run by union ogres anyway.
B) Lefties are stoopid.
C) The centralisation of control stifled reform and excluded idealists.
D) Mark Arbib is actually Voldemort in a really terrible disguise.
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Who is Labor listening to when it comes to policy?
Senator John Faulkner last week blasted his party for setting its policies based on focus groups tapping public opinion, instead of heeding the voices of its own members. He warned that Labor risked losing a generation of supporters and voters if it did not listen to its inner voice and accept that internal debate was not disunity.
In that case, whose opinion is Labor heeding in persisting with its pursuit of a proposed carbon tax?
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John Faulkner last night raised an issue which is undoing the authority of the ALP and the Liberal Party, and turning voters to alternatives which have thrived over the past three years.
Faulkner, who would not have spoken out in his Wran Lecture address had he not reached a painful decision that criticism was necessary, identified this issue as a failed commitment to party democracy.
He is prouder of the internal fights he lost than of the fact that these days fights of those dimensions never happen in the 21st century Australian Labor Party.
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A couple of years ago in one of his excellent machine-gun sprays Paul Keating lamented the emergence of a new class of political leaders who wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning unless they had focus group research telling them to do so.
The jibe was aimed at the thinness and timidity of what was then the Kevin07 juggernaut. This new political glibness was again in evidence during this year’s campaign, reaching a low point with Julia Gillard’s “moving forward” slogan, a catchline so dead in meaning that The Real Julia had it euthanased.
The debate over the rise of focus groups, spin and message management in modern politics is now being conducted vigorously within the ALP. Labor heavyweight John Faulkner used this week’s launch of the excellent book by former NSW Minister Rodney Cavalier on the shambles that is NSW Labor to take aim at what has been called “the NSW disease‟.
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NOW there will be a new Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, who will have the rotten task of taking to the podium with Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston to announce that yet another Digger has been killed in action.
Senator John Faulkner did it too many times.
It was clear from watching Faulkner that he truly hated these death calls. He appeared to feel almost too deeply the burden of being the minister in the government which has ordered its troops to fight.
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Like Samson and his hair, I’ve a long held theory that John Faulkner’s powers actually reside in his huge red rimmed glasses.
This may have been an optical illusion, but in moments when Faulkner’s significant consolatory powers were most in demand, such as sitting between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in the Prime Minister’s office two weeks ago, the glasses appeared to double in size.
Today, as the wise old owl of the Labor Party announced he would be moving back to the backbench, the size of his specs looked almost regular - or at least within the range of sizes recommended by OPSM before they give you long-term neck problems.
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Well we’re leaving Afghanistan, it’s just not entirely clear when.
Today Defence Minister John Faulkner has announced changes to our role in Afghanistan that have been made necessary by the withdrawal of Dutch troops in August.
At the same time the Defence Minister gave a qualified timetable for withdrawal between 2012 and 2014, and then assured us that he wasn’t doing that.
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UPDATE 2pm: Kevin Rudd just announced Faulkner’s got the gig.
Who would be defence minister? The poisoned chalice effectively killed off the political careers of the last four people who held it. Peter Reith, Robert Hill, Brendan Nelson and now Joel Fitzgibbon were all so battered after scrapping the military top brass they ran out of the ammunition needed to take things to the next level.
The last person to hold the position without it completely wrecking his public image was Kim Beazley, who was so defined by his ability in the difficult portfolio he’ll be forever known as “Bomber.”
Talk of putting former union chief Greg Combet in the job is madness. Union heavies are one thing - war, both militarily and with your own department, is another. Bring on the owl glasses, forensic nature and hard arse exterior of John Faulkner, he’s the only man for the job.
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