Keeping an eye on petrol. The inflationary fears that the Reserve Bank may hold centre around the strong growth year in commodity prices with oil being at the forefront.

This chart from the Australian Institute of Petroleum shows the upward trend but the good news is in the levelling out that has occurred since the end of March. Petrol is still near its high point but no longer rising steeply and when it comes to this quarter’s inflation figure it is the increase that counts.

Perhaps even better news is yet to come because crude oil, along with other commodities, in the last couple of weeks has been falling in price.

This graph of market prices include the Singapore price of petrol (MOPS95 Petrol) and diesel (Gasoil 10ppm sulfur) and the market price for Tapis Crude Oil on which the price of petrol at Australian refineries is based

A touch of hypocrisy? The Australian Capital Territory is definitely Labor Party territory. The local government is a Coalition between Labor and the Greens and in Federal elections the left of centre duo get around 65% of the vote.

You would think it was the kind of political environment where support for government schools was strong. And you would be wrong. Figures this week show that the ACT has become the first state or territory in the country where more students attend private secondary schools than public ones.

The future of books. Thanks to Ezra Klein’s Washington Post blog for leading me to this interesting insight into what the book of the near future might look like.

Please! Put it in our back yard. It’s a modern equivalent of man-bites-dog! Residents of the Swedish town of Östhammar are 77 percent in favor of hosting a nuclear waste dump. Der Spiegel has the intriguing story of  how the Swedish nuclear industry has approached the task of defeating nimbyism.

The Turnbull strategy. Giving a little helping hand to Julia Gillard by being consistent about his view on what Australia should do to contribute to the world’s efforts to control global warming was natural enough for Malcolm Turnbull. He basically is that rare commodity in politics — an honest man.

While we should not read to much in to his comments this week, they will help remind his Liberal colleagues that he has a different approach to Tony Abbott and that will become relevant if down the track fears about the impact of a carbon tax disappear. If and when the tax actually operates and it is clear that the consequences are not as draconian as Mr Abbott is running around the country suggesting, presumably support for Labor will rise.

I know it’s an “if” but don’t rule out the possibility. Malcolm Turnbull clearly hasn’t