Macquarie Bank is the best lobbyist in the country, or maybe second only to the AMA and ASX (OK, third). The shorting ban should be called the Macquarie survival ban.

The red carpet product placement at the Logies was hilarious. Considering Myer and a chicken shop sponsored the red carpet schmoozle, all the “best dressed” gongs (handed out by the likes of designer Alex Perry, journalist Melissa Hoyer, Myer man Carson Cressley and Nine’s Richard Reid on various morning TV shows) were all to designers from guess where? That other store, David Jones. A few unhappy Myer marketing execs, no doubt, this morning.

And how can Twitterers (who tended to bag most of the night) have such a different view to the newspaper and magazine TV “experts” who all thought it was “amazing”. Get with the times gang … or are the press in the pockets of the networks that much?

I teach at a private High School north of Sydney. All staff received an email from our Principal stating that if any students are unwell they should be at home, and if any staff are “unwell” or “coughing” we also should not be coming in. I have had a cold for the past couple days — and thus I have done my duty and write this from home. I hope the sneezing continues to Tuesday.

Hot on the heels of the Waratahs/Grace Bros/NSW logo fiasco, then the ANZ squillions on re-branding, comes the announcement last Thursday by Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) of revenue of $1,734.7 million giving a NPAT of $6.7 million! Reason, a $5m investment in a rebranding exercise of Priceline, their major retail banner.

From this:

To this:

Result: No dividend declared. Major shareholders WHSP and Solomon Lew must be impressed! But then, aren’t WHSP on the board?

Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has closed down its regional offices due to budget shortfalls and in doing so has inherited a $900,000 deficit. As a result this central agency is looking at making 30 staff redundant. So it looks like this Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio is seeing tough times and has not escaped the economic crunch.

First Home Owners Grant to continue in next financial year. However … all major banks are about to announce a loan policy change requiring evidence of three months genuine savings (not including the FHOG), not including gifted funds; before they will be eligible for a loan. This will render the FHOG defunct.

I wonder how many Aussies are aware that the Rudd government is well advanced in its plans to force doctors to provide full access to patients’ complete clinical records for the purpose of Medicare expenditure auditing. This access is proposed to be done by “specially trained” (non medical) public servants and, moreover is proposed not to require patient consent or even to advise patients that such access has been undertaken.

As with all expansions of government power this proposal is dressed in the guise of “greater good” (in this instance the monitoring of public expenditure). In principal the notion of unauthorised access to medical records by any third party (except in exceptional circumstances) should be anathema to any free thinking person.

In practice the unauthorised access to medical records by a government department opens a Pandora’s Box of opportunities for abuse.

Former Channel Nine Sydney newsreader and Sunday host Jim Waley to return to TV in June, reading the evening news on Sky.

A huge howler in The Sun-Herald‘s Television magazine on Sunday. The mag bills itself as “Sunday’s best TV magazine” and its lead story is on Shelley Craft from Domestic Blitz, about whom it says: “Recognition is not something Craft should worry about.”

Oops. It quite clearly is. The main headline on the front page of the magazine describes her as: “Shelly Croft”. It’s quite a feat to spell both a surname and first name wrong in a headline — but that’s what happens when you get rid of all your senior sub-editors and proofreaders.

From The Daily Show forum:

Yesterday, April 28, we restricted access to full episodes of The Daily Show for several countries outside of the US. We did so at the request of the content licensees who control the television broadcast rights to the show in those respective territories. We want to make it clear that we hear you, the Daily Show fans. We read your posts and comments on the boards. And given the very reasonable user feedback you’ve posted, we fully appreciate that fans of the show outside of the US want access to full episodes. Regrettably, the nature of international licensing makes that extremely complicated.

Please know that Comedy Central will continue to work with local TV broadcasters around the globe in hopes of granting access to these episodes in your country. In the meantime, you still have access to the rest of, including these forums.

Thanks for your understanding.

The ban includes Australia. I might have guessed that local licensees were behind this. Typical of their outdated business model. Has this move encouraged me to buy a Foxtel subscription? No, but it’s encouraged me to learn how to assign a US proxy. So I guess it’s been educational.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey