More secret thoughts of John Winston Howard

What’s in John Howard’s diaries? C’mon, Crikey readers. Have a guess. They’ve been a hot topic of conversation round Canberra since Malcolm Farr revealed their existence in The Telegraph yesterday.

Private Eye magazine famously second guessed what John Major was scribbling in his little black book for years. Here’s how it saw Major’s second day in office back in 1990:

“The phone has not stopped ringing. It is Mrs Thatcher telling me what to do. How kind she is. First she gave me a piece of paper with all my policies written out. How could she have guessed? She really is brilliant. I agreed with every word…”

Our John has no such strong willed woman leaning over him – or does he? What’s in the Howard Diaries? Send your suggestions to [email protected]. We’d love to know what you think could be hidden there.

The Queensland Libs take on Big Brother

We think Queensland Liberal deputy Bruce Flegg is getting on the god-botherers’ latest bandwagon with this media release (shame he couldn’t be bothered to proof it):

Enough is enough, time to close Big Brother porn site.

The State Liberals today called on the Big Brother website to be immediately closed and for the State Government to withdraw its support for the Big Bother television series after it was revealed the website contains sexually explicit videos and full frontal nudity pictures of contestants…

The full work is here.

The nuclear debate sparks up

A stroppy staffer emails “Your piece in today’s Crikey strongly suggests the Albanese motion at NSW State Conference was just anti-nukes. Wrong.”

“The motion included a lot of comments re other energy sources, including gas and clean coal… In the interests of balance and fairness, I suggest you let your readers know the full story. Perhaps even suggest they get the release at our new website.”

A pleasure – but how are we going to ensure that we’re not left in the dark about where we’re going to get out power supplies from?

The NSW government will soon have to tackle a serious tightening in the state’s electricity supply. The present peak demand growth in NSW requires an increase of about 350MW a year in supply capacity. The National Energy Market and the capacity to transfer power between states means that this is a national problem – or at least one with the potential to affect that vast majority of the nation’s population who live in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

There’s an interesting green-tinged debate about the mixed price signals we send out to consumers about the true cost of energy and water. Petrol, it argues, is cheaper than bottled water, electricity for a typical home costs a few dollars a day and water less – creating no incentive to reduce our energy and water usage.

That’s demand management – but what about supply? Where can we get power from? Around 90% of NSW’s power comes from coal. But if coal is suddenly dirty, how will those “other energy sources” measure up – and what do they mean for costs and the economy?

Why not have a look at the NSW Energy Directions Green Paper over the weekend so we can talk more about this later?