Why the wait? Tapping the phone of the monarch and the Prime Minister. Bribing policemen. Invading the privacy of hundreds. Causing extreme distress to innocent victims of crime. What further evidence is needed to prove that News Corporation is not a fit organisation to be in charge of a national reputation? So why the delay in disqualifying Sky News from the tender process to provide Australia’s government financed international television service?
Whatever the ABC’s faults may be, criminal activity and outrageous cover-ups of dishonesty are not among them. Our politicians should show the spine that’s finally being displayed in the UK and tell the Murdoch empire that enough is enough.
Give her a 10. She’s certainly gutsy, our Prime Minister. There she was last night on the 7PM Project looking jovial and relaxed as the headlines flashed up on the screen showing disastrous opinion poll ratings.
Good humour did not desert her despite such provocation and the smiles were natural not forced. Quite an achievement by any measure so I have to give her a 10 and, to make a sensible gap, I’ll have to revise Bob Katter’s Monday night appearance down from a nine to an eight.
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I noticed somewhere on the tele too that a Roy Morgan measurement of reaction to her Sunday night address showed that the mention of Margaret Thatcher brought a generally favourable reaction — with Green voters being a notable exception.
Perhaps the “lady is not for turning” factor will end up working a miracle for Australian Labor as it did for the UK Conservatives. Thatcher’s approval rating, Wikipedia reminds us, fell to 23% by December 1980, lower than recorded for any previous prime minister, yet she convincingly won the election of 1983.
Irish junk. Measures to aid Greece proposed by euro zone finance ministers on Monday night would benefit Ireland, the country’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan assured his nation yesterday morning. The reforms proposed would reduce the cost of Ireland’s bailout, provide scope to cut the state’s burden and ease its return to private markets. And then along to ruin the reassurance came the Moody’s ratings agency.
It cut Irish debt to “junk” status because there was an increasing possibility that the involvement of private investors (in effect a default) would be required as a precondition for any new aid for Ireland.
Defaults are what the European Central Bank has warned might fan interest rate market volatility throughout the continent as the finance ministers try and find a form of words to force losses on Greek, Irish and Portuguese bond holders without the ratings agencies such as Moody’s calling them a default.
And the initial response of the bond market?
This slow motion financial crash has further to go yet.
A little nostalgia. It wasn’t a bad creative double — The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island. Sherwood Schwartz, who died this week, not only created both of these classic television series but composed the theme songs as well.
Asked in an interview he gave the Archive of American Television, how he’d like to be remembered. He said:
“As a man who tried to explain in his own way that people have to learn to get along with each other. I did it with comedy because that’s what I’m familiar with, and I think it’s more acceptable to tell it in comedy form. But that’s how I’d like to be remembered.”