Wise words of warning. Words said when in opposition have a way of coming back to haunt you when in government, so Tony Abbott and his team should be listening to the warning this morning from their colleague and former immigration minister Philip Ruddock. After an obligatory reference to Labor’s policies to stop unwanted arrivals by boat, Ruddock acknowledged that it would be harder for the Coalition to stop the flow of asylum boats than it was when they were last in power. The recent surge in arrivals would make the issue more challenging. “What we are dealing with is a situation very much more difficult because of the numbers involved and the expectations,” he said. “You won’t deal with those matters unless you use all the weapons in your armoury.”

A cautionary word of advice from the longest serving member of the House of Representatives. Time to start talking now, as Ruddock did, about how much more difficult the task has now become. That there is potential for later embarrassment from exaggerated promises was shown this morning by that always readable Cut and Paste section of The Australian.

A little civility. What a pleasant change to see John Howard asked by a Labor prime minister to formally represent Australia at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Illustrating a decline. You can argue about the whys and wherefores if you must but the evidence of declining ice in the Artic just keeps coming. This wonderful graphic from the creative mind of Andy Lee Robinson shows why some experts are using the term “Arctic death spiral.”

A blooming mistake just a matter of that. The Central Bank of Ireland set out to commemorate one of the island’s most famous sons with a 10 euro coin.

Above the face of James Joyce is apparently a quote from Ulysses:

“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things that I am here to read.”

But reading was not something the Central Bank proof-reader was good at. The line from the third chapter of Joyce’s work, published in 1922, does not contain the word “that” in the second sentence, and simply reads: “Signatures of all things I am here to read.”

Much embarrassment for the Bank but perhaps these comment-makers on the websites of Irish newspapers summed it all up:

News and views noted along the way.

  • Fleetwood Mac relives “Rumours” as crowd revels in hits at Verizon Center — “For an encore, the band went back to the night’s raison d’etre and reprised “Don’t Stop.” Although it’s now best known for being the theme song of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, Christine McVie originally wrote the song for former hubby John McVie after she’d left him for the band’s lighting director during the ‘Rumours’ recording.”
  • How high should top income tax rates be? (Hint: much higher) — “Unlike government spending cuts, increases in the top tax rate won’t markedly slow economic growth. In the near-term, tax increases on upper-income households are the least damaging option for deficit reduction.”
  • Why do so many women not get on with their sisters? – “Janet Street-Porter pushed her little sister down the stairs and bullied her so much she ran away from home.”
  • Obama budget makes cybersecurity a growing US priority
  • Myanmar’s spreading unrest — “In recent weeks, the Buddhist-Muslim violence that last year seemed mostly confined to Rakhine State has been spreading across Myanmar, even entering Yangon and other large cities. Muslim leaders in some parts of the country are warning Myanmar’s Muslims not to leave their homes, while many mosques and shops owned by Muslims have shut their doors for now.”
  • Ban all advertising aimed at young children? I say yes — “We protect our children from harm, except for the psychological damage many say ads cause. Parents have the power to end it.”
  • The day the middle class will rise up — “When the middle classes revolt, our political leaders will realise that they have been sitting on a powder keg, warns Polish philosopher Marcin Król. In the absence of any prospect of social advancement, they may choose revolution as a last resort to make themselves heard.”