In the race to see who can provide the most mundane details of the logistics behind President Obama’s 36-hour visit to our shores (doughnuts — ”brain food for American journalists” — more doughnuts, toilet sign turned to “washrooms“, time sheets left on the back seat of an unmarked van), the @USAembassyinOZ Twitter account is up there:
@USAembassyinOz: Some more of today’s essentials: phone, highlighter, and some water. #behindthescenes #POTUSinOZ
Of course the real story here is the disgracefully unpatriotic imbibing of French mineral water.
Then there’s the news just in that the coffee cart in Parliament House has been shut down for the duration of the president’s visit. There’s no telling the unintended consequences of depriving the good members of our press gallery of caffeine.
But believe it or not, neither of these explosive yarns are the biggest POTUS scoop to come out of Canberra. No, instead, it’s the story Crikey broke back in March last year: “When tiny planes attack!”:
Airservices Australia has taken the extraordinary step of banning model airplanes from entering Canberra airspace during next week’s planned visit of President Obama, Crikey has learned.
A radio-controlled model aircraft flyer received a document from his club released by the air traffic control body, which states that activities involving, but not excluded to, the use of gliders, hot-air balloons and model aircraft have all been prohibited from use during the president’s visit:
Of course, tiny plane operators were granted a reprieve after Obama broke the nation’s heart by cancelling his visit. But the crackdown in Canberra is back — Crikey has been leaked a memo from the ACT Aeromodellers Association Incorporated:
“Please read the RAPAC notice for the POTUS visit now. It basically says (I think) as far as Aeromodelling is concerned is that there will be times on the 15th 16th and 17th that it may be a serious airspace infraction to fly model rockets, model aircraft anything similar above SFC which is Surface level or ground level as far as I understand.”
What kind of ally deprives our nation’s hacks of caffeine and our skies of tiny planes? Perhaps it is time to turn our focus on China, and recognise the US for the overbearing and totalitarian regime that it is.