Pounding a Premier. I guess there’s hardly a person in South Australia now who does not have a theory about what the assailant said to Mike Rann the other night while beating him around the head with a rolled up magazine. When there are 500 people at a dinner where such an incident takes place it is not long before the magnifying impact of gossip reaches hundreds of thousands. Toss in a couple of tales from the local tabloid telling of an estranged husband and a woman who used to work at Parliament House and it’s not hard to imagine how distorted the versions accepted by many people might have become. To provide even more fuel to the naturally inquiring minds of the people, was the extraordinary decision by police not to immediately take the charged man before a court. The upshot, fairly or unfairly, will be to tarnish Rann’s goody two shoes image before he faces an election in the first half of next year. By the time the matter is finally dealt with you can be certain that the accepted wisdom of the involvement of the Premier with the woman and her husband will be far more salacious than the reality.

Frankly, I don’t know how we in the media should handle such stories.

Predicting a rate rise. I noticed that the normally measured and responsible Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald reckoned there was a high chance the Reserve Bank board will decide to raise the official interest rate at its meeting tomorrow. Failing that, he wrote, it will move at the following meeting on Melbourne Cup Day. That was enough of a tip to encourage me to have a little play on the prediction markets backing a quarter of a percent rise whereas no change is still by far the most favoured outcome:

Becoming vegan. Well, maybe not a vegan exactly, but the lengthy article in the New York Times about production of “beef” patties sure is putting me off hamburgers. A frightening tale of abattoir practices and E. coli is told with the only good news being that the vast majority of E. coli illnesses resolve themselves without complications.

Nothing is sacred. I am feeling uneasy about this week’s release of Return to the 100 Acre Wood. I understand the wish of the executors of AA Milne to earn an extra pound or two but the creation of an entirely new character — one Lottie the Otter to join Pooh the bear of very little brain, Piglet, Eeyore and Owl – just doesn’t seem right to me. I will with hold final judgment until after I have read this new version written “by David Benedictus based on the Pooh stories by AA Milne, with decorations by Mark Burgess in the style of EH Shepard” to the grandsons.

Getting me confused. Malcolm Turnbull has me properly confused. After the statements of the weekend I’m not sure if he is coming or going, threatening to leave or stay, if his party colleagues do or don’t agree with whatever actually is his policy on an emissions trading scheme. What I do know is that the Coalition between Liberal and Nationals is now in a worse state than it was during the Joh for Canberra campaign. Kevin Rudd should get to the polls at the very first opportunity to put us all out of the Liberal Party’s misery.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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