Caught in the crowd. Pleased to see John and Jeanette Howard found time for the test match overnight. The television cameras gave them a polite flashing-to when they took their seats at the Cardiff ground. Gone but not forgotten. And what went wrong with John’s successor? Surely a day in the Welsh sun could have been fitted in after his Italian sojourn. Downright un-prime ministerial behaviour.

Learning how to sell. I am not a share buyer but I would like to learn how to become a share seller. I notice that the ANZ Bank has raised a big bundle of money and is now off to invest it somewhere in Asia on something or other. My memory over the years is that every time an Australian bank ventures outside our shores it turns into a giant loss making operation. I’d like to bet that it will happen again.

Double hoon headlines. The anti-hoon campaign is spreading. Two lots of hoon headlines this morning – page one in the Northern Territory News and the heartfelt views of a hoon’s Mum in the Melbourne Herald Sun with an accompanying editorial to go with it.

This is the big sleeper story of 2009. Someone had better tell Kevin.

Defending the climbers. If the Prime Ministerial minders are slow in grasping the potential votes in attacking rev heads, they certainly are not slow in coming to the defence of the Uluru climbers. No sooner had a National Parks official suggested, ever so tentatively, that perhaps, maybe, sometime down the track, if everyone thought it was a good idea, the walk up Uluru rock might be closed, than our man in Rome took time off from his chat with the Pope to declare “no way Jose”. Speaking on 3AW from Italy this morning, Prime Minister Rudd said a management plan for Uluru was necessary to preserve the landmark, but climbing it should not be banned.

Failing to mention Mary. You have to wonder, incidentally, whether Kevin Rudd and the Pope were at the same meeting in Rome. According to the Australian Prime Minister there was much discussions about Sainthood and Mother Mary McKillop. And the talks according to His Holiness?

The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

Today, 9 July, the Holy Father received in audience Kevin Rudd, prime minister of Australia, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

During the cordial discussions mention was made of the Holy Father’s trip to Sydney in July 2008 for World Youth Day, recollecting the great spirit of collaboration between the ecclesiastical and civil authorities that characterised the organisation of that event. Attention also focused on the current international and regional situation, with reference to both respect for religious liberty and environmental problems.

Italian shoes are just so stylish. Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy deep in concentration outside the G8 meeting in Italy over night.