Australia the iron man of the OECD. Wayne Swan surely could not have put it better: ”Australia’s long period of uninterrupted economic growth makes it the Iron Man among the OECD countries,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria this morning.
Gurria was commenting on the release of his organisation’s latest Economic Survey of Australia. While noting that the main challenge for policy is managing a sustained recovery by promoting important structural changes, the report says Australia has continued to weather the global economic crisis well reflecting sound macroeconomic policies and strong demand from China.
Although non-mining tradable sectors have struggled with the strong exchange rate driven by the mining boom, fundamentals remain solid with the unemployment rate close to its structural rate and inflation and public debt low. Growth strengthened in 2012, and the outlook is positive, even though there are mainly negative external risks, to which Australia is however less vulnerable than many other OECD countries.
Damned if you do and … damned if you don’t. The Australian got it right in its editorial this morning — ABC boss Mark Scott has allowed his Insiders Sunday morning talk program to veer to the Right in a most biased way. As the editorial says:
Mr Scott rejects assertions about the progressive bias of Insiders. Yet if the ABC is convinced the host and panellists approach debates from the centre, why does it seek out declared conservative commentators? If the likes of Piers Akerman and Gerard Henderson are not recruited for a tilt at balance, they must skew the program to the Right.
Well written! They certainly do and the pair should be replaced to restore the balance the Oz thinks is so appropriate.
A heavyweight onlooker. Debates in the Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada make our House of Representatives look a bit tame. At its first post-election meeting to appoint a prime minister and parliamentary speaker there was a temporary delay as members sorted out a few procedural differences. Luckily for government members the leader of the opposition UDAR (punch) party, world heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko chose to look on rather than take a point of order.
A cultural difference. The results from my survey of the attitude of readers to annual lists and awards:
And by way of comparison the result of the same survey by National Public Radio from whom I shamelessly stole the idea:
From which I conclude that Australians are much more easily annoyed than their American cousins.
With fear and trepidation and thanks to the NT News. With that little matter out of the way, on to my own most-read list. Not of Crikey stories because I’m not privy to that information but from a Newsvine website I amuse myself with by occasionally posting a link to. And still well-clear on top of my list of popular stories in 2012 is another blatant bit of plagiarism — a rewrite of this NT News classic from February 2011:
And the truth that an old one but a good one applies on the internet is the continuing presence on the 2012 list of this item from February 2008 no less:
That Troy Buswell is an awful snedger
I can thank the Irish for help in finding a word to describe the eccentric sniffing habits of Western Australian Liberal Party Leader Troy Buswell. Apparently in County Cork the practice of sniffing bicycle seats after women riders alighted was prevalent enough for the word snedger to be coined and make the urban dictionary of slang.
An office chair is not an exact fit for a bicycle seat but surely the two forms of seat sniffing are close enough for “snedger” to become Mr Buswell’s nick name.
Note: for those of you who actually go to my Newsvine site and look with sharp eyes, the “richardfarner” (an N not an M) address is not a cunning attempt at anonymity but a typo I don’t know how to correct.