The Ministry of All the Talents. In 1806, on the death of Pitt the Younger, with Britain at war, Grenville formed a government that drew on almost all the political groupings. It became known as the Ministry of All the Talents. John Howard hasn’t been able to pull off something similar – but there’s a fantastic fit between his frontbenchers and the Seven Deadly Sins. The Short Man even manages to get top billing in it, too:

Lust – Brendan Nelson

Gluttony – Amanda Vanstone

Greed – Mark Vaile

Sloth – Alexander Downer

Wrath – Tony Abbott

Envy – Peter Costello

Pride – John Howard

Dispatches from the clash of civilisation. Culture warriors, we hope you didn’t miss the story at Christmas that Mohamed and its most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular babies’ names in England and Wales than George. Then again, going through this list of bogan babies spotted in the weekend Canberra Times, we wouldn’t be complaining if anyone named their kid Osama. At least it’s a good traditional name.

Only following orders? How does Channel Seven feel about hosting a directory of white supremacist hate pages on its Yahoo7 directories?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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