Resurrection
at Easter:
News of a special function for the Pittwater Liberals appears in
this week’s NSW party email bulletin – a roast for president Ross Barlow
featuring Michael Photios and none other than John Brogden. We can’t ever
imagine Photios playing dead for longer than three days – but is this a second
coming for J-Bro?

He loves a
man in uniform:
There’s rumbling in the ranks after Downer’s derogatory
comments to Cole about the “junior American officer” who uncovered the Iraqi
bribe scandal. He’d better hope his political career is over. There’s a bunch
of people in uniform determined to make his life a misery should he ever end up
defence minister.

God in them
thar Hills:
Liberals in The Hills district of Sydney are crying out for divine
intervention. David Clarke is attending most branch meetings and “preaching at
us,” Crikey is told. Meetings that discuss urgent issues that need to be
canvassed less than 12 months out from a state election like, er, abortion. “It
is not the Liberal Party I joined,” a source says. “It has been taken over by
religious right wingers. I don’t want to attend any more meetings.” There are
lots like this individual. And they want the message passed on.

Freedom of
speech:
Did you catch yesterday’s guest at the National Press Club – “Minister
of the State Council Information Office People’s Republic of China Cai Wu”.
Incredible. Just as, thanks to Jung Chang, 60s leftovers can finally put
down their copies of the Little Red Book and admit that Mao was a sadistic
satyrimaniac responsible for the greatest mass murders in human history, the
nation’s “best known institution for informed discussion and debate” indulges
his heirs and their censorship of the media. Incredible – and utterly contemptible.
Presumably all members are urged to self-censor from now on.

The sky falls
in on Chicken Little:
The Australian Democrats agree with Clerk of the Senate
Harry Evans’ claims that the sky is falling.
Leader Lyn Allison has issued a shrill release in which she warns “Harry Evans will be forced out of his role as Clerk of the
Senate in 2009 following legislation introduced by the Howard Government in
1999 under the new Parliamentary Service Act and supported by the ALP which
limits his employment to a 10 year non-renewable term.” Who the hell else in politics
has a contract like that? Like Evans himself, the Dems are distracted. What
matters more? Hyperbole and Harry, not the here and now.

Spin
doctoring 101:
The UK Press Gazette reports “The Home Office has been accused
of burying bad news by timing all of its reports to go out on just one day each
month. Some 23 senior journalists, representing nearly every major national
news organisation, have written to its director of communications, Julia
Simpson, protesting against what they call ‘dishonourable tactics’…”

Just how
dismal is the dismal science?
“We do not really know what causes economic
growth,” admits François Bourguignon, the chief economist at the World Bank.
“We do have a good sense of what are the main obstacles to growth and what are
the conditions without which an economy can’t grow. But we are far less sure
about what are the other ingredients needed to create and sustain growth.” More
reasons why Mick Jagger dropped out of the LSE here.

Prostate
yourself:
From the makers of the controversial Baby Jesus Butt Plug comes their latest product due to hit stores this month – the Praying Abbott.

And, finally:
I don’t have an Easter Bilby for all the Greens out there, but…

Peter Fray

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