21 July, 2014
Look what happens when you stay away from the incessant news cycle for a day or two: suddenly two universes are created. In those two universes, two very different Ukraines emerge, two Vladimir Putins, although only one plane has crashed. In one universe, ‘Vladimir Putin breaks his silence on MH17 crash’ – so proclaims the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (part of the Fairfax media chain). The hard-working journalists at this paper seem to have sourced their story from Agence-France Presse, which claims to have ‘200 desks in 150 countries’. For some reason, these 200 desks have missed the fact that Putin first broke the news to Obama a few days ago, then spoke with Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime, Rutte in the Netherlands, Merkel in Germany … and then, well down the pecking order, that embarrassment of a ‘leader’, Tony Abbott, who is still huffing and puffing and trying to look important on the world stage. He may actually believe that he forced Putin to ‘break his silence’. Meanwhile, Putin has been saying for some days now that a proper and impartial international investigation should be undertaken (here and here) and that people shouldn’t rush to rash conclusions and use the crash for narrow political goals (also here, here and here – perhaps a little self-castigation on that one). Of course, no one actually believes what any politician says, but that doesn’t mean they don’t speak.
If I stay away for a few more days, perhaps another universe or two will be created.
30 December, 2013
Has the French President, François Hollande, recalled a trace of socialism? The new super-tax on those earning over 1 million euro is set to go ahead. In a nice twist, it will be companies and employers who pay the 75% tax if they pay an employee over the ceiling. Of course, it is a weak measure and should really kick in no higher than 100,000 euro per annum.
Contrast the latest proposal by those ‘mean little people‘ in power in Australia, with the clueless Tony Abbott in charge. In order to
save some pennies penalise low-income earners, they have proposed a $6 fee for those who visit doctors who charge only the medicare rate (and thereby charge nothing to the patient). Obviously, this targets the poor. Such vision!
13 August, 2013
I know this one has achieved quite a bit of coverage here in Australia and in some places overseas, but for those readers not up on the election campaign happening here … yesterday, the leader of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott, opined: ‘No one — however smart, however well-educated, however experienced — is the suppository of all wisdom’.
Puns were soon aplenty, but the best were some photo-shopped images:
And my favourite:
Bourgeois democracy, I love you …
31 May, 2012
Nothing like returning from an ‘authoritarian’ communist country like China to encounter a great moment in bourgeois democracy: back in Australia, Tony Abbott (leader of the opposition) runs from parliament so he doesn’t have to vote on his own motion. No argument here about which system is best.
23 May, 2011
As news is out that Murdoch has let it be known that a ‘regime change’ is needed in Australia (that is, to Tony Abbott and his bunch of rabid conservatives), and as the 70% of media he owns in Australia slavishly follows his every whim, I could not help thinking of Lenin’s comments concerning freedom of the press: it is merely the ‘freedom’ of one or two billionnaire media moguls to express their opinions. Time for some good old ‘re-education’ of the Murdoch press?