After 103 years of intermittent construction, the last Gothic cathedral to be built in the world was officially “finished” with the formal consecration of the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Brisbane by the Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, Archbishop Philip Aspinall. However, the formal guest list was a bit light on — no Governor-General, no state Governor (through Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey is his guise as deputy Governor was there), no Prime Minister, deputy PM, Premier, deputy Premier and even no Lord Mayor or deputy Lord Mayor.

The front row of dignitaries was made up of two Opposition leaders (Malcolm Turnbull and John-Paul Langbroek), one Opposition Senator (George Brandis) and one “spare parts” Brisbane City councillor (Margaret De Witt). For a building that has received significant funding from all three levels of government, particularly over the past 20 years of the final stage of completion, the absence of anyone from the current governments was noted and commented upon by those who filled the building to overflowing.

While this building primarily has a religious focus, cathedrals historically are seen as civic buildings with a great deal of involvement with the city in which they are situated and this particular building boasts the only stone-vaulted ceiling in the Southern Hemisphere.

For Anglicans who don’t see the LNP as a party that has in recent years best exemplified the articles of the Christian way of living, it was a strange choice of officials to witness the event and if members of the current federal and state governments were not there, the question that was repeatedly asked on the night was: “Why not?”

A few weeks back it was a “survey” that purported to show Coalition backbenchers would refuse to back negotiations on an ETS. That turned out to be wrong. Today The Oz is claiming Coalition frontbenchers are in revolt on the same issue, and used it as a hook to promote a British study of the EU emissions trading scheme launched by greenhouse denialist Cory Bernardi yesterday.

Pity neither The Oz nor Bernardi saw fit to explain exactly where the study came from — the Conservative-connected British Taxpayers’ Alliance, a clique of millionaire right-wing ideologues, including a bloke who doesn’t even pay tax in Britain.

There’s a rumour Mallesons will ask partners to vote on their proposed merger with UK law firm Clifford Chance next Tuesday, Melbourne Cup Day! Brings to mind a lot of racing wisdom like “never bet on the favourite”. Cliffesons is also not a seven letter word.

The Melbourne Observer-Melbourne Trader‘s online guide for their salespeople highlighted in yesterday’s Tips and rumours certainly makes interesting reading.

Observer owner Ash Long’s sales tips include this “gem”: “Accents and names. A thick accent will not help you in a telesales career. Neither will a difficult first name; you may consider using a short, easy-to-use ‘stage’ name with your clients. This is all about being ‘user-friendly’.”

There ought to be a law against it. Oh, wait — there is. If prospective employees can speak fluent English (thick accent or not) they shouldn’t be discriminated against when seeking such employment, according to the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission.

Boeing released this media release on October 28 regarding placing a second 787 assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina:

SEATTLE, Oct. 28, 2009 — Boeing (NYSE: BA) today announced that it has chosen its North Charleston, S.C., facility as the location for a second final assembly site for the 787 Dreamliner program. Boeing evaluated criteria that were designed to find the final assembly location within the company that would best support the 787 business plan as the program increases production rates. In addition to serving as a location for final assembly of 787 Dreamliners, the facility also will have the capability to support the testing and delivery of the airplanes.”

It is a sad day for many in Seattle to see this happen. Locals view it as very unfortunate that the second 787 production line is not going to be here! However, one of the biggest issues is very basic. The average pay of the local line worker who is building the fuselage of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner in Charleston, South Carolina is $14 per hour. Average pay of a Boeing Machinist in Seattle is $28 per hour. Do the maths.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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