Re the new ABC TV. Independent production companies will welcome Kim Dalton’s proposed changes if it comes with a clear manifesto as to what content is required, for what audience, for what channel and for what time slot. Many of his predecessors for better or for worse have had clear views not only on content but on the need to make decisions in a timely way (e.g. weeks not months) and taken a hands-on approach. This approach provides certainty for content suppliers. If the ABC’s model to contract out in major areas such as factual, drama and documentary is to succeed this must be addressed. As many positions as possible should be advertised¬† internally and externally. Current poor performers should not have contracts renewed and nobody should regard such positions as jobs for life. Such a strategy could get ABC TV back on track and regain the respect of the independent production community. ABC Television may not have got all the money it wanted from Canberra in the last Budget but it got enough to prove if it is up to it.

I recently had an argument with a friend in Surry Hills (NSW), who swore that the Thomas Dux store there was a locally owned “corner store”, run by a couple of local guys. When I told him that it was a Woolies company, he was astonished. Ditto, look at the Thomas Dux website and try to find the mention of Woolies, anywhere. Now did I see some article somewhere today about government plans to rein in the power and scope of Coles and Woolies? Well that should start with full disclosure by those two giants of exactly which companies they own. For those of us who don’t see the funny side of oligarchic duopolies and would like to spend our grocery money at independent operators, imagine the shock when we discover that we have been giving it to the competition-killing giants all along.

SMH and The Age going a bit nuts today about the supposed lack of airport security in Australia. One obvious flaw: e-tickets for domestic flights mean that you can effectively fly without ever needing to demonstrate your identity. Great for dirty weekends. Probably not so great for all that unpleasant stuff. Or is it a civil liberty that we can be instantly identified almost everywhere (like at Coles, via our FlyBuys card) but we can fly around the country anonymously?

Scarlett Pimpernell has again been correct with Annette Ellis’ retirement and now understands that Kate Lundy will be appointed to workplace relations commission, given her back ground in industial relations.

With food so scarce and water hard to get, how are Australia’s foreign correspondents dining in Haiti? Where are they getting their food and drink? Someone must know?