Six surprising power partnerships. Most power players have oodles of charm and charisma, so it’s no wonder they collect some unlikely allies along their way to the top. Here are six power partnerships that cross the ideological and generational divide.
Tony Abbott and Louise Adler. When it comes to politics, there are few points of agreement between Tony Abbott and his “left-wing publisher” Louise Adler. The two have wildly divergent views on asylum seekers, the republic, abortion, same-s-x marriage and climate change — yet they have real respect and affection for each other.
When feminist Susan Mitchell published an anti-Abbott polemic last year, Adler stormed into print to defend the Liberal leader as “unflailingly gracious” and “reflective”. Adler, who featured on our Arts and Culture power list, is famous for using her charisma and persistence to talk people into writing books. So it was with Abbott and his conservative manifesto Battlelines.
“We were both on Q&A and we always laugh and say it was on the casting couch of the green room that we consummated the deal,” the Melbourne University Press boss told us. “In the most chaste fashion, of course!” — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)
Julia’s orchid moment. Julia Gillard is set to receive the celebrity treatment in Singapore, as the national botanic gardens name an orchid after her.
It has become custom for visiting dignitaries to have one of the country’s famous orchids named after them. Dendrobium Julia Gillard will bloom in the VIP Orchid Garden alongside Renaglottis Ricky Martin, Renantanda Paul Keating and Vandaenopsis Nelson Mandela. The hybrid species will be unveiled during the prime minister’s upcoming visit to Singapore, during which she will hold security and trade talks.
Other prominent Australians to receive the orchid treatment include governor-generals Quentin Bryce and Michael Jeffrey.
Kevin Rudd joins Weibo platform. Meanwhile, ex-PM Kevin Rudd has joined China’s most popular social media platform Weibo, racking up 100,000 followers in his first three days. The Mandarin-speaking former foreign minister has posted a number of comments on the Chinese site, which boasts 300 million members.
One post shows him playing Chess with his cat Jasper, another addresses some errors made while posting in Mandarin. His posts have received hundreds of comments and forwards.
”Thank you, my Chinese friends. I love the opportunity to read and write Chinese characters. It has just dawned on me that I have forgotten so many characters already and your language is certainly the most difficult language in the world,” one of his posts says, according to a Fairfax report.
Rudd signs his posts off with the name “Old Lu”, referring to his adopted name Lu Kewen. You can follow his Weibo here.
Nine, finally, finds its Voice. Channel Nine has finally reclaimed some of its old magic, defeating arch rival Channel Seven in the ratings for the first time in 18 months. Backed by reality talent show mega-hit The Voice, Nine share was 33.6% compared with Seven’s 28.6%. The Voice drew in more than 2.6 million viewers last night and has helped boost the fortunes of other Nine reality shows The Block and Celebrity Apprentice.
Channel Seven won every ratings week in 2011 on the wave of a string of popular shows such as Packed To The Rafters, Australia’s Got Talentand Dancing With The Stars. The same hits have so far failed to have the same resonance. Nine’s win will come as a blow to Seven chief (and no. 6 Media Maestro) David Leckie, who last year claimed the network would street its old foe this year.
“I’m hugely confident we will still be No. 1 in 2012 and we will win every week except for the two weeks Nine has the London Olympics,” Leckie told the Australian Financial Review last year. “We will come bursting out of the gates in February and we won’t be beaten.”