Silent differences of opinion are healthy. Not that it should surprise anyone that there are differences of opinion over what Australia’s policy towards Libya should be. I would hope there is always vigorous debate in our government when armed aggression is one of the subjects on the agenda. But surely we can expect foreign policy to be made in a measured and orderly way rather than by a Foreign Minister big noting himself by flying around the middle east as if his views really matter and a Prime Minister delivering a fawning address to the US Congress.

Adding a couple of years. What’s a couple of years between friends? Well when it is to do with the age of the Moroccan-born erotic dancer at the heart of the sex scandal engulfing Silvio Berlusconi it can be the difference between going to the slammer or staying free.

The Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported overnight that the Moroccan registry official was promised “a large amount of money” to change the birth date of Karima El Mahroug, known by her stage name as Ruby the Heart Stealer, by two years. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is due to face court next month for the criminal offence of having sxual relations with a woman under 18.

The cold heartless beasts are coming. Hyperbole is reaching new heights in the New South Wales election. Premier Kristina Keneally was reported as saying this morning:

“So, if the Coalition gets their way, I beseech you all.

“Look after each other. Take care of your neighbour, because there will be fewer police to do that for you. Take care of the old, the sick and the vulnerable because when the health budget is cut there will be fewer nurses and there will be fewer community care workers.

“And, as grim as it is to say this: be sure to follow up on the child who has gone quiet, who is out of character, who is withdrawn, because you can no longer assume that that child is protected.”

Desperate women clearly say desperate things.

Was this a lie too? An effective little message on YouTube this morning from the Liberal Party:

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