Give us a poll. Any poll will do. The love affair of the press with opinion polls has reached a new low with the Sydney Daily Telegraph political editor Simon Benson actually taking seriously one of those “have you stopped beating your wife yet” questions asked every day of online readers. “The public has already turned on new Labor Premier Nathan Rees — angry at his decision to stick by Joe Tripodi and other factional players on the front bench,” thunders Benson this morning. My guess is that the overwhelming majority of the people of New South Wales have never even heard of Nathan Rees let alone know enough about him to feel angry. This is not even clever political rubbish and will probably prove as wrong as the assessment by the same journalist that John Della Bosca would end up before a court because of the incident at the Iguana.

Cooking up a storm. Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej will learn today whether he will lose his job for engaging in extra-curricular activities. Before entering politics Samak was a celebrity chef and a successful cookbook author.

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After becoming Prime Minister in February he continued making appearances on Channel 5’s Chimpai Bonpai (Tasting, Complaining) but a group of Thai senators, charged him with violating the constitution by continuing his job as a TV presenter. The nation’s Constitution Court heard the case yesterday with Mr Samak denying the chares saying he had done the program on a freelance basis. “I consulted with legal counsel after I became prime minister, and they all agreed it was not a breach of the constitution if I was not a regular employee of a company,” he told the court. If he is found guilty of a conflict of interest Mr Samak will have to step down as Prime Minister.

Note: The cooking Prime Minister’s recipe for Tom Kha salmon can be found here.

A double standard. Interesting standards applied by the Melbourne Herald Sun to its coverage of that remarkable story about the stripper at the bucks party accused of raping the best man with a s-x toy. The paper’s internet version carried the warning:

The print version of the same story contains no warning although the content is just as explicit…

Rudd for the record. With Morris Iemma now departed and electricity privatisation no longer on the New South Wales agenda perhaps the Liberal Opposition in Canberra will finally get around to asking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd what he thinks now about the subject. Back in February I recall Mr Rudd gave his full support to the privatisation proposal. “I understand how politically problematic it is,” said PM back on 6 February, “but we need to make sure that we get proper generating capacity for the state for the future; I support Premier Iemma’s direction.” And to reinforce message: “Iemma has my complete support. This is a necessary reform for the nation. I understand how politically problematic it is.” By May, of course, our courageous PMK was beginning to retreat with his support becoming more equivocal. “Well, I have been absolutely clear cut in my support for Premier Iemma and I do not back away from that one bit,” he told Sydney radio 2UE yesterday before adding his “but”. “But this is a very difficult negotiation and what I have encouraged all sides of this argument to do is to try and find a reasonable compromise through this.”

Another Rudd memory. Another reminder of Rudd times past with the news this week that the end may be near for Scores, the legendary strip club that has attracted celebrities while withstanding Mafia infiltration, FBI raids, ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s crusade against smut and a visit by our Prime Minister in the company of a Murdoch newspaper editor. Apparently the institution is in a little bit of trouble over its liquor licence after a January police raid led to prostitution charges against several dancers at another club in the Scores chain.

Gas in the beer. Drinkers really will be able to decide soon just how much gas they want in their beer. The Japanese brewer Sapporo, I note is starting to label products with information about their carbon footprint.

I wonder if bake bean manufacturers will soon start disclosing the average methane production that results from every tin.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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