The great turn off. Temper tantrums by politicians, like those of pre-school children, are one of the great turnoffs for voters, so Coalition MPs have done themselves no favours with their behaviour this week in the House of Representatives. Screaming and shouting and downright rudeness are not going to win back electoral support. I would now confidently predict that Tony Abbott is emerging as the least liked Liberal politician in the country. Malcolm Turnbull should give him a real job as quickly as possible to occupy his fertile mind. Perhaps play dough would do the trick.

Some cautionary missing tonnes. Along with cranes in the sky, those ready-mixed concrete trucks holding up the city traffic give a rough and ready indication of how the nation’s economy is travelling and figures out this morning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest there is still reason to be cautious about how quickly this economy is recovering. Pre-mixed concrete production in the six state capitals in August at 1133 million cubic metres was down a massive 17% on the 2008 August figure. For the three months ended August this year, production was nearly 13% lower than in the same three months of last year. There is no green shoot in that lot of figures.

Very softly, softly. The tumult and the shouting really has died. There does not seem to be a peep out of the Australian Government, or the Opposition, these days on behalf of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and his three colleagues currently languishing in a Shanghai jail. I hope it is not a case of out of sight, out of mind, and that the efforts to have them dealt with quickly and fairly are not being sacrificed to appease the trading partner so vital to our economic prosperity.