Turning in his grave. Edward Welsh Coon, patenter in 1926 of a method for curing cheddar at a high temperature, will be turning in his grave and they will be a bit troubled at the Kraft company as well. The latest move towards political correctness is to ban Coon as a product name:

Queensland activist Stephen Hagan cares not about Edward’s Coon legacy. He believes that the word Coon was used to describe cheese a decade before that patent and that the word is grossly offensive to indigenous people and should be banned from use. Fresh from success in having the State Government remove “nigger” from the E.S. “Nigger” Brown Stand in Toowoomba, named after the city’s first international footballer, Mr Hagan says he is ” now going to put my energies into this Coon cheese debate.”

A blood-nut Prime Ministerial challenger? Laurie Oakes described it as Captain Blather’s big day out – our Prime Minister might have missed three days of Parliament because of his trip to New York, but he was rushing to get home in time for the really important stuff. The RAAF pilot of the Prime Minister’s VIP jet understood the urgency. Rudd wanted to see the Hawks v Cats AFL Grand Final at the MCG. Or, more accurately perhaps, Oakes unkindly suggested, he wanted to be seen there – as a sports loving man of the people.

I think the reason was more serious than that. Kevin Rudd is getting terrified at how well his Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard performs in his absence and if he is not he should be. As the first paper starts editorialising that PM Rudd should stop jetting off around the world (see Saturday’s Sydney Tele) Ms Gillard keeps winning support with her assured performances.

Making people smile with a speech before breakfast is no easy feat but Ms Gillard achieved it at the traditional North Melbourne event preceding Saturday’s game. News of her wit and wisdom must have reached her leader when he belatedly arrived at the MCG which explains the somewhat sombre expression on the faces of a couple supposedly enjoying a happy day out at the footy.

Big brother strikes. Governments keep preaching the virtues of deregulation and at every level of government the new regulations keep coming. The latest offering is a proposal before a number of Sydney councils to introduce compulsory DNA testing of dogs when they are registered so that inspectors can track down owners who refuse to pick their pets poo. I kid you not! Genetic Technologies, Australia’s largest canine testing laboratory, wants to implement the DNA testing scheme and is preparing detailed submissions for councils. Sydney, North Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Ashfield have expressed interest in the scheme.

The lead widens again. Barack Obama has gone back to a comfortable lead in the US presidential race. The concentration on financial matters over the last week could not have been worse for Republican John McCain whose best hope is to have Americans thinking about national security rather than the safety of their savings. The Gallup tracking poll has the advantage at eight percentage points — 50 to 42.

Peter Fray

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