Light bulb hoarding. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I have one delightful friend who is quite unreconstructed when it comes to the question of light bulbs. She feels so strongly about the subject that she knew when Malcolm Turnbull was the Environment Minister that he was not a fit and proper person to run the nation. The Turnbull decision to phase out incandescent light bulbs and have us all replace them with those strange curly fluorescent things was all the evidence needed. If he could not appreciate that the colour of the light from an incandescent bulb was far superior he would clearly never see the light about any important subject.

And so it was that the stockpiling of the soon to be outlawed incandescents began. Every weekly supermarket visit for the last two years has seen a few more packs added to the storage chest and my friend is now confident that by the time she runs out of the real things she will be so old she will not be able to see anything anyhow.

But now I notice that the Opposition Leader has a chance to redeem himself. The New York Times reports this morning that great strides have been made in improving the century old incandescent technology. One company is already marketing limited quantities of incandescent bulbs that meet the standard that has been set to take effect in 2012, and researchers are promising a wave of innovative products in the next few years. “Due to the 2007 federal energy bill that phases out inefficient incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012, we are finally seeing a race” to develop more efficient ones, Noah Horowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defence Council, is quoted as saying.

Staying the same. A Crikey Interest Rate Indicator update: on the eve of the Reserve Bank announcement on official rates, no change was the expected outcome.

Blown off course. They have hardly begun a race that takes nearly three weeks to complete, but the Australian cyclist Cadel Evans’ chances of winning the Tour de France have drifted considerably. After this morning’s leg where American Lance Armstrong managed to stick with the break away group but Evans did not, the Australian, who has finished second in the last two tours, is out to a 6% chance in the Crikey Tour de France Indicator. Armstrong has shortened in to be rated a 17% prospect. The firm favourite remains Alberto Contador Velasco rated a 50% chance of victory. The Crikey Tour Indicator will be updated every morning in the Breakfast Media Wrap.

A silly political error. Victorian Premier John Brumby should not have been surprised that he received a minor clip round the ears from the Royal Commission on bushfires for announcing new fire fighting policies before receiving the Commission’s interim report. Lawyers, whatever their political disposition, are always sticklers for propriety on matters like that. It is because Mr Brumby knew that he would be criticised for his statement but was prepared to wear it, that the only conclusion that can be reached is that he broke a paramount rule of politics when he set up this Royal Commission in the first place: never had an inquiry unless you are certain you know what the outcome will be.

The Premier no doubt began to get uneasy when Counsel assisting the Commission was critical of public servants that he the Premier had praised. As the proceedings went on there were signs that the Government itself might not escape unscathed. Moving to act early and unilaterally is the kind of damage control decision so favoured by spin doctors.

This week’s little confrontation between Commission and Premier is unlikely to be the last.