Sympathy may be winning. Perhaps I mix in the wrong circles but I have not yet noticed any surge in anti-boat people feeling. Among my associates there is a growing sympathy towards people desperate enough to try to get to Australia on fragile wooden boats rather than a demand for our government to take tougher action. And that sentiment is right across the political spectrum.

Bring out a Brit. The pollster Gallup has looked at where in Europe has the greatest proportion of people who would prefer to be living somewhere else. And the winner is? The United Kingdom.

19-12-2010 gallupwantingtomigrate

A nice little slap in the face of a colleague. Environment Minister Tony Burke has given his colleague and Peter Garrett a nasty little rebuff by deciding to totally ignore the work the former Environment Minister did on over-hauling Australia’s environment laws. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald,  Burke said he had requested fresh advice from his department on the recommendations of the review, which was headed by the former senior bureaucrat Dr Alan Hawke. Burke said he had not asked to see Garrett’s cabinet submission: ”I have only asked the department for advice from scratch.”

Extradited for questioning? In all the stories about the efforts to extradite Julian Assange from Britain to Sweden, the one thing that confuses me are the references to the Swedish prosecutor wanting to question him about offences rather than have him appear in court to answer charges. The Guardian on Saturday attempted to explain but I am still confused.

20-12-2010 assangequestionsorcharges

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey