Shirley MacLaine made a unique contribution
to Australia’s silly season with her suggestion that Andrew Peacock
could make a suitable older man for Jennifer Aniston – but it’s
generally agreed that The Bendigo Advertiser has taken this year’s prize for the stupidest summer story.

They reported the concerns of local Richard Fayle that baby Jesus
looked, well, poofy, on Australia Post’s special Christmas stamps
because he was depicted in roseate robes:

“It looks very suspect,” the sophisticate said. “I’m concerned
Australia Post is putting out the impression that Jesus was bisexual.
What other way can you look at it – you dress your boy in blue and your
girl in pink.”

The story isn’t on their website – but it’s available with all its majesty revealed at The Spin Starts Here.

Acting Opposition Leader Jenny Macklin proved that she shared Fayle’s keen insights into issues when she warned last week that universities have become dangerously dependent on overseas student fees.

The economics whiz made her comments in the wake of figures showing
Australian Universities received $1.9 billion in fees from foreign
students during the 2005 academic year, a 140% increase since
1999.

No doubt shadow treasurer Wayne Swan will be sitting her down at some
stage to explain that earning $1.9 billion in a services industry from
overseas at a time when Australia’s current account deficit is running
at around $35 billion a year is A Good Thing.

And there was more coverage
of Barnaby Joyce’s constructive contribution to the abortion debate “If
I shoot a woman and don’t kill her but kill the baby, I haven’t
actually committed a crime?”

Even bush lawyers, we thought, were familiar with concepts such as
attempted murder, aggravated assault and grievous bodily harm.