Keating’s Boswell gives Sherry a serve. The publisher Scribe describes David Love as Paul Keating’s modern-day Boswell as Love details the former Labor Prime Minister and Treasurer’s “interrupted revolution” in his new book Unfinished Business.

The veteran financial journalist Love has written quite a eulogy about the Keating contribution to Australian life but includes a scathing assessment of the current Labor Government man now charged with handling compulsory superannuation.

The “innocent stupidity” of Senator Nick Sherry, writes Love, is responsible for Labor under Kevin Rudd misunderstanding Keating’s legacy and proceeding to build for Labor a pensions policy that was largely the opposite of what compulsory superannuation created. He continues:

I see his [Sherry’s] place in this story as largely another example of the operations of Shakespearean chane: history is strewn with examples of a huge enterprise being thwarted by the actions of confused small players, and this is just another one of them.

It is such a savage put down that it could have been written by Keating himself!

Give Gareth’s team a tick. Followers of the views of the International Crisis Group headed by Australia’s very own former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans would not have been surprised by the recent outbreak of violence in South Ossetia.

Writing shortly after “a precarious peace is back in place between Georgia and South Ossetia after the long-frozen conflict nearly became a hot war again and drew in Russia when dozens were killed in August 2004 fighting” the ICG was gloomy about future prospects for peace:

Many of the grievances and ambitions developed during the war that broke out as the Soviet Union was dying remain tough obstacles to peace. Unless they are addressed, efforts to re-integrate South Ossetia into Georgia are almost certain to lead again to violence. Many of the grievances and ambitions developed during the war that broke out as the Soviet Union was dying remain tough obstacles to peace. Unless they are addressed, efforts to re-integrate South Ossetia into Georgia are almost certain to lead again to violence. … The greatest lesson from the May-August period is that attempts to resolve the conflict swiftly will lead to war.

A timely release. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has a timely release this morning illustrating why it is more than just the South Australians worried about some lakes at the river mouth who should be interested in what is happening in the Murray Darling Basin.

The ABS has drawn together data from ABS and other sources to produce Water and the Murray-Darling Basin — A Statistical Profile. The region covers 14% of Australia’s land area, contains Australia’s three longest rivers (the Darling, the Murray and the Murrumbidgee), and it is home to 10% of Australia’s population.

Most (83%) of the water used in the Murray-Darling Basin was by agriculture, and this represented around 65% of Australia’s total agricultural water use. Other key findings include:

  1. 13% of water consumption in the Murray-Darling Basin was by the water supply industry (mostly lost in delivery systems), 2% by households, 1% by manufacturing and 2% by other industries.
  2. The highest agricultural water users in the Basin were cotton (20%), dairy farming (17%), pasture for other livestock (17%) and rice (16%).
  3. The Murray-Darling Basin generated $15 billion, or 39%, of Australia’s agricultural production.
  4. The Murray-Darling Basin contained 65% of Australia’s irrigated land.
  5. Over a third (38%) of Australia’s farmers reside in the Basin.

Peter Fray

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