No what if strategy. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last night told the National Business Leaders Forum meeting at Parliament House in Canberra of the three pillars of his Government’s long-term response to climate change. The first is to help shape an effective global solution; the second is to reduce Australia’s emissions along the lowest cost path; and the third “adaptation – the changes we make to adapt to the impacts we cannot avoid.” All very fine words but what was completely lacking was any talk of what his Government is planning to do if global warming is a reality yet there is no agreement among the world’s major emitters to reduce emissions. Australia’s emissions trading scheme, the development of which is the major task currently being undertaken within our government, will be of little value if the United States, China and India do not have parallel schemes. So if the world does keep warming because of the activities of man while the rulers of the world keep talking about doing something but achieving nothing, what plans are there for Australia to cope with the changes? Perhaps next time Prime Minister Rudd might have a view.
Diamonds are forever. He’s a loyal fellow that Joe Hockey. In return for his seat in the prime camera position on the right hand side of his leader in the House of Representatives, Shrek is loyally backing Brendan Nelson. This morning on 3AW he was refusing to be drawn on the current round of leadership speculation because “it bores the listeners” beyond observing that “diamonds are forged under pressure” and of course he supported Malcolm Turnbull as Shadow Treasurer and “Treasurer as well.” Common sense observations really. No Liberal of sound mind would want the job of Opposition Leader while the Rudd honeymoon continues. I’m not sure where that places Malcolm Turnbull but if Joe went on the Mike Huckabee diet and lost a few kilos he would be in the right shape when the time for a leadership change does come.
A couple of sporting notes. Good to see competition law finding a place in world swimming. TYR Sport Inc this week began legal proceedings against Speedo alleging unlawful restraint of trade and an attempt to monopolize the competitive swimwear marketplace. Get ready for an injunction as our Olympic team gets on to the blocks. Meanwhile, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee is challenging the National Football League’s dismissive attitude toward the New England Patriots’ extensive cheating. The N.F.L.’s flagship team and its head coach, Bill Belichick, were caught violating league rules and using video cameras to spy on sideline signals of opposing coaches. You can read about this complicated gridiron business in the New York Times but suffice it to say that Senator Specter reckons “If you can cheat in the N.F.L., you can cheat in college, you can cheat in high school, you can cheat on your grade-school math test. There’s no limit as to what you can do. I think they owe the public a lot more candor and a lot more credibility.” I reckon we should get the Senator over here to have a chat with that Demitriou fellow at the AFL about getting our extra two points back at North Melbourne from that rule breaking Sydney Swans lot.
Disclosure of interest: Richard Farmer was once a director of the North Melbourne football club.
A hand on the neck and a peck on the cheek. Rove Live , that major influencer of public opinion, has drawn to my attention the difficulty that Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has in working out how to relate to her male ministerial colleagues. The incident that the eagle eyed Rove team seized on this week was the exchange of congratulations after Treasurer Wayne Swan finished his budget speech. There were handshakes from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner but a kiss on the cheek from Ms Gillard that was not your standard European stylized peck. Accompanying the lip movement was an affectionate looking hand placement not just on the shoulder but touching the Treasurer’s neck. See it for yourself here.
The Daily Reality Check
At The Age they clearly think that good news deserves repeating.
Note the treatment on the “Readers’ most viewed” list of that wonderfully important report on business at Fairfax a year after the merger with rural press. We must assume that the staff are playing tricks.
The Pick of this Morning’s Political Coverage
Christian Kerr returns to Crikey this morning, albeit in a very minor way, with his story on forced redundancies at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. It makes the best of the morning’s coverage list for the novel reason of actually containing real news. Most of the Canberra journos preferred to concentrate on the made up news of the opinion polls and the supposed verdict of the people on the budget or that long running soap about whether there will or will not be a leadership challenge by someone sometime somewhere.
- The biggest hammering in history – Phil Coorey, The Sydney Morning Herald
- Libs left reeling by Labor surge – Michelle Grattan, The Age
- Fears flatten budget bounce: Newspoll – Dennis Shanahan, The Australian
- Ming needs more than lip service – Gerard Henderson, The Sydney Morning Herald
- Brendan Nelson accuses Malcolm Turnbull of petrol excise leak – Dennis Shanahan and Imre Salusinszky, The Australian
- Job casualties from budget cuts at ANSTO – Christian Kerr, The Australian
- Culling field: roos put down – David McLennan and David Curry, The Canberra Times
- Omodei loses another round in preselection fight – Kate Campbell, The West Australian
What the world is reading on the net
The reason I put the UK paper The Independent on the list of the international websites I survey is that it regularly dares to be different while still covering subjects seriously. The most read story this morning on the link between mobile phones and behavioural troubles for babies is a good example. Probably tomorrow the most read will be the impact of the economic downturn on pets.
It might be slightly eccentric but it sure beats the dullness of reporting the froth and bubble of politics.
- UK – The Independent: Warning: Using a mobile phone while pregnant can seriously damage your baby
- UK – The Times: MPs back creation of human-animal embryos
- United States – LA Times: Thirteen injured in San Diego explosion
- United States – USA Today: Time’s really flying for the ‘Housewives’
- China – The People’s Daily: China begins three-day mourning for quake victims
- Singapore – The Straits Times: Cops in car upset
- Canada – Toronto Globe and Mail: BCE shares tumble as lenders behind buyout seek new terms
- India – Times of India: Top s-x ‘mishaps’ revealed!
- Australia – The Australian: Brendan Nelson accuses Malcolm Turnbull of petrol excise leak
Quote of the Day:
You can have a core corporate set of values but the primary influence on an employee is really the local site. I don’t have aspirations of making Fairfax into one culture. You have to let people create their environment. They have to be empowered to be able to make decisions.
— Fairfax deputy chief executive Brian McCarthy at a briefing.