Politics of desperation. The time has come to stop listening. From now until the election is over politicians will not be telling us the truth. Tony Abbott led the way into the meaningless zone with his budget speech reply and the Government will soon follow his example. Our would-be leaders and our leaders all fear that honesty is not a good policy. Hence the Opposition Leader wants us to believe that getting rid of thousands of public servants will not affect the services they deliver. And rather than having the courage to announce the cutting of some specific programs he pretended he will solve the nation’s budget deficit by waving his magic efficiency wand. Sad but inevitable I guess.

Mac-breakfast to the rescue. I knew the Sydney Daily Telegraph was in circulation trouble when I started getting the paper free with my hangover sausage and egg McMuffin breakfast. This morning came the proof. “Weekday sales of the other main NSW newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, fell nearly 11,000, or 3 per cent of its sales,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald. Goodness knows what the decline would have been without the week or so of freebies but McDonald’s sure sells a lot of breakfasts.

Now the gremlins have gone. The chart showing that the Chinese stock market is now in what those in the financial industry call a bear market – a decline of more than 20 per cent – had to be excluded from these snippets yesterday because of a few gremlins in this internet thing so here it is today:

14-05-2010 shanghaiindex

Not exactly a pretty picture for a country like Australia relying on a continued rapid expansion by our major trading partner. There was in fact a minor pick up yesterday but the downturn was back this morning.

It’s just tiny really – quote of the day.

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”

– Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, does his “don’t worry, be happy” impersonation in an interview with The Guardian

BP oil spill gets serious. So you haven’t been too worried by that oil spill of the Louisiana coast eh? Out of sight, out of mind kind of thing, eh? Or maybe you agree with Tony Hayward.  Well have a look at this from today’s Cairns Post and start worrying:

14-05-2010 prawns

Dearer prawns? Now that is serious.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has provided the struggling Far Northern prawn fleet with an unexpected boon after the US yesterday lifted a ban on imports, reports the Post. The deal-clincher, which followed nearly four years of negotiations between the US and the Australian industry, opens the door to a $4.1 billion market, but consumers at home will be forced to pay more.

Taking the PM’s advice. Readers will note from the above story that I am taking very seriously the chastising given by the Prime Minister to Kerry O’Brien about seeing what is reported in the provincial press. I don’t want Kevin Rudd turning on me.

Hence I can today also tell you that the Geelong Advertiser thinks that Mathew Stokes returning from exile this weekend when the Cats take on the Lions, while star forward James Podsiadly is out injured, is the most important news of the day. Meanwhile up in Townsville The Bulletin reports that a taxi driver was forced to push his panic button in his locked cab after he was confronted by a man wielding a tomahawk.

But the story of the morning just has to go once again to the Northern Territory News for this contribution:

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14-05-2010 commonwealthgames

Peter Fray

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