Still chugging along nicely. The good economic news continues. Australia’s GDP continues to make a stunningly good contrast to most of the rest of the developed world. The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the June quarter out this morning suggest that the Reserve Bank has no need to panic yet about lowering interest rates.

The only surprising thing to me about this growth record is how the Labor government has managed to avoid being given any credit for it by the people opinion pollsters consult. It really is an incredible achievement to turn such good economic times into such a vote losing position.

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Accentuate the negative. Perhaps we have to give the credit to the opposition coalition for the skill with which it manages to highlight any negative factor while Treasurer Wayne Swan fails to accentuate all the positives. Undoubtedly we will hear plenty about the signs of slower growth to come provided this morning by the Australian Industry Group – Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index.

It reads like New South Wales. From the BBC comes this report that police in India have carried out raids across 10 cities as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in the allocation of coalfields. Allotting coalfields at below market rates has sparked a political crisis with parliament deadlocked for days over demands by the opposition that the government should cancel the allocations and order an independent probe into the matter.

Seems like they need an ICAC where inquiries about NSW coal mining rights is underway.

And like Sydney. In London the coalition government is having a nice little stoush over whether Heathrow airport should be extended despite an election promise not to do so. Prime Minister David Cameron has shuffled out of the Transport portfolio a minister committed to keeping the promise leading London’s Conservative Party Lord Mayor Boris Johnson to do everything he can to stop any expansion.

I suggest the mayor contact Anthony Albanese, who is an expert in thwarting any plans that would increase aircraft noise anywhere near his own electorate. With Albo’s track record I am sure his tactical advice would get a decision on this vexed question deferred for another decade or so.

Actions don’t match words. For a team that big notes itself about the importance of social media in modern political campaigning the Prime Minister’s communications staff are a tardy lot about actually using it. The home page of the official Julia Gillard website this morning still invites readers to take part in a Google+ hangout that happened back on 21 July and refers to a blog where this is the latest entry:

Coalitions are difficult things. Rather nice to see Tony Abbott’s Liberals being reminded that coalitions can be difficult things.

A cat video of the day. Don’t tell my American bull dog Miss Polly but I was quite taken with this winner of the best cat video in the Open Field Best Cat Video Competition.

Don’t tell Miss Polly either that when she’s not listening I still sometimes brag about the day years ago when my red Burmese was best of breed in the Canberra cat show.

News and views noted along the way:

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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