The New Australian

Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The New Australian - Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

Know your customers

Because I’m a sucker for punishment, I’ve been watching the England vs India test cricket series in the evenings.

My hopes have been duly raised this week as a resurgent English batting line up managed to post a terrific score on the Indians. Of course, we all know this ends in a disappointing draw but, what the hell, that’s the price one pays for watching international sport.

I am somewhat confused by the coverage on the Sky Sports channel though. Bearing in mind that the people most likely to be sitting on sofas in Australia watching this test match are;

1. English ex pats.
2. Indian ex pats.
3. Die hard cricket fans from other countries.
4. People who haven’t yet woken up from the rugby league match that was on prior to the cricket (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, kick, snore).

So why then, is the lunchtime analysis (10pm to 10.50pm) a bunch of Australians talking about Australian cricket?

Granted, Jeff Thomson was a brilliant fast bowler back when Rolf Harris and Mel Gibson were Australian.

Indeed, it might have been nice to have heard his opinion on the match at hand rather than the usual montage of him hitting hapless tailenders and smashing David Lloyd’s box.

No such luck, I’m afraid.

In fact, even an Indian pundit offering opinions on why his team will bowl England out quickly after lunch and perhaps apologising for the BCCI continuing this avoidance of the DRS would have been more relevant.

But no.

Instead, we got our old friend, Australia’s answer to Dr. Jonathan Miller, the polymath Adam Barrington Spencer.

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Of course, Adam is eminently qualified to regale us with his informed and erudite opinions on a cricket match being played 12,000 miles away between two countries other than his own due to his enviable sporting credentials and record.

Erm.

The Spencer’s entire raison d’être for being in the public eye is his “funny maths geek” schtick.

You can’t have it both ways, young Barrington, unless you’re going to amuse us with a witty monologue on the geometry and physics of finger spin (he didn’t).

In fact, the maths geek qualification isn’t really that credible either seeing as how his degree was in the arts.

Which probably explains why, in a recent interaction on Twitter he sent me a message explaining that the earth hadn’t warmed for nearly 18 years because the heat had all sunk ino the depths of the ocean.

‘Cos that’s what heat does, innit? Sink.

So that just leaves the humour.

And we’ve harvested that barren ground before.

UPDATE:
The entire research department and chief sub-editor of this organ have just been fired as it has been since pointed out that Pearly Spencer’s degree is in pure mathematics.

Mea culpa, Adam. Join us for a Denier Bier to make amends, eh?

Thanks, but what about the interval drinks?

Opera isn’t for everyone, let’s face it.

We all know it’s a bit of a niche musical genre with the demographic of those who appreciate it being usually reasonably well-heeled and a tad challenged in the chin department.

Obviously Charlie and I don’t fit into that generalisation at all, what with our overdraft facility and mentum protrusions, but nonetheless we don’t mind going to watch the fat ladies with big lungs try to kid us that they really are the young lithe pulchritude that the part requires.

Yesterday evening at the Opera House, for example.

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Witnessing the Sydney opera crowd is worth the ticket price in itself, mainly for the conclusions that the experience reinforces or encourages.

For example, the ethnic balance of the crowd was heavily tipped in the Asian favour. If you want to know what Mr and Mrs. Chan do with their extensive disposable income, the membership list of the Joan Sutherland Theatre would be a good starting point.

The dress code was of interest too. When taking the love of my life to an opera, I work on the assumption that a shirt with a collar is the minimum acceptable standard, most probably accompanied by a suit. My hand did hover over my dinner suit whilst getting dressed (it would have been the default option for the opera in London) but I selected a standard suit instead and gave myself the day off with regards to the tie.

And of course, I was overdressed.

The vast majority of the Anglo Saxons in the audience had stayed in the jeans and tee shirt they had probably worn to the office the day before on casual Friday whilst their wives hadn’t made significant further effort, beyond perhaps wearing a bra, either.

I saw one bloke in an AC/DC tee-shirt, jeans and running shoes. Well, perhaps the kindest thing to say is that he has eclectic taste.

Sometimes I feel Australians take this “classless society” thing a bit too literally.

The Asians wore more formal attire, however.

On the basis of this outing alone one could be excused for believing that the ruling class in Sydney is Asian in origin whilst the proletariat is from a European background. The New Aboriginals, if you will.

Digression aside, today’s whine is to you, dear reader, the Australian taxpayer…..

You’re not pulling your weight, frankly.

The arts are a serious business and you need to contribute more or risk Australia being even more of a cutural wasteland.

Let’s go back to those programme notes shall we and zoom in a little closer….

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Excuse the shaky shot (drinks had been taken) but that’s 5 taxpayer organisations subsidising our tickets last night including one in Victoria, which must please my mate Wes no end.

Yet, and here’s the thing which almost ruined the night for us, we had to buy our own fucking drinks!

Seriously, if the high arts are worth public funding, surely they are worth funding properly?

If Charlie and I and about a thousand of our bogan and Asian friends are prepared to commit an evening to hear about the fall of the jester Rigoletto and the tragic murder of his raped daughter (a crime beyond even Rolf), I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you the taxpayer to open your wallets and have a bottle of Chandon waiting for us during the interval.

You might not appreciate the operatic delights on offer but, for just a small extra financial effort on your part you can outsource the attendance to us. Think of it like that gym membership you never use; you’re getting a psychological benefit without the faffy effort of actually having to turn up.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes is playing Don Giovanni next month, so do your bit and call the Opera House bar and make a contribution in advance, please.

Class in a glass

$44 for your Darren Lockyear Bundaberg Rum.

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One must admire the marketing chutzpah required to take a very poor quality, high alcohol, distilled sugar drink best served with a sugary cola drink to annihilate the taste and pitch it as a well-crafted and matured tipple perfect for the discerning quaffeur.

Hmm, I deserve something of value and refinement this evening. Jeeves, leave the Glenmorangie 18 year old this evening; take the Darren Lockyear Bundaberg into the billiards room where my guests and I shall enjoy it over a fine Romeo y Julieta or two“.

Join us for a celebratory beer

Another reminder of a good excuse for for a party arrived in the email inbox at The New Australian Towers this week, courtesy of the Falls Creek (Fall’s Creek, surely?) daily snow update;

 

Global Warming

 

Jeesh, that global warming is a load of old bollocks made up by the same folk who brought us Communism bit of a bugger, isn’t it?

No doubt the concerned handwringers amd thumbsuckers will point to a northern hemisphere location that is currently quite warm during their summer.

When I was at school we were taught that there is a noun available to label this phenomenon of the weather getting warm during the summer and cold in the winter; “seasons“.

And for nearly 18 years now those seasons have been traveling quite nicely without any measurable warming. Don’t take my word for it though, go and ask the UN body in charge of measuring it; the IPCC.

That 18th birthday is due at the end of August.

Perhaps we’re being a bit presumptuous but we’ll be throwing a coming of age party for the pause in global warming.

Come and join us on the evening of September 5th at The Lord Nelson (one of the few place in Australia serving a reasonable facsimile of a decent beer) in Sydney’s historic Rocks to congratulate The Pause being old enough to vote. I wonder whether The Pause would vote for a Carbon Tax?

I’ve already gone on to Twitter and trolled invited several high profile Australian climate rent-seekers and warmists along to raise a glass with us and it would be great if you could join us too.

For those interested in these things, the long-suffering and soon to be canonised, Mrs. TNA, aka Charlie, will be joining us mid-evening once she’s handed over responsibility for the wee bairns to our true blue Aussie babysitter, Uncle Rolf.

Are you joining us?

No response from Comrade Tim yet but he did send this message of support;

Notice that he isn’t asking for donations to tackle global warming but for donations to tackle people who dare to question whether it is occurring at all.

That’d be us then.

Why doesn’t he just get some investment properties?

The excellent Paul Wallbank wrote recently about shite business ideas and he invented the perfect term; parasitic start-ups.

 

Well, here’s another parasitic start up; pay us to help you maximise your air miles.

 

 

This year we helped a fruit and vegetable shop earn 1.6 million points, simply by showing them which credit cards to use for all their business expenditure,” he says. “Previously they were paying their suppliers with a combination of cash, cheque, EFT, and with credit cards that hardly earned any points. They used their points to fly their family of five to Europe in business class.

 

Hang on just a minute, back it up a little, old chap.

 

Fruit and vegetable shop, you say? Unlikely to be a sole trader, most probably a Limited Co. or a Trust. The credit card will be either a business credit card or a personal credit card and then the individual will be refunded as staff expenses.

 

Whichever way they are doing it, those points are a business asset, not the individual’s, regardless of whether they are the only shareholder or not. Strictly speaking, that family holiday to Europe was a taxable benefit in kind. Was it declared as such?

 

I doubt it.

 

Fortunately, I’m not a tax whistleblower so won’t be dobbing anyone in, although I did make an exception for my old mate Craig “red hot turbo room” Thomson. But how do you think that client of IFlyflat feels today when he realises he’s potentially been fingered to the ATO by the ex-Macquarie bank accountant he paid for the service?

 

I wonder how much Steve Hui paid for the infomercial in the Sydney Morning Property Adviser, by the way? Nobody is seriously going to suggest that it was a piece of unbiased journalism……

 

Anyone care to speculate on the longevity of the single Excel spreadsheet brilliant and sustainable business Steve is building?

 

Let’s say Qantas makes some changes to its frequent flier programme to remove some of the variances between the methods of earning and spending the points. Obviously that might reduce the potential benefit Steve can bring to clients so they’ll be less keen to pay for his service.

 

Worse though, what if some bright spark in the Qantas marketing team realises that perhaps they would sell more services if they made it clearer and easier for people to navigate the points system?

 

There goes another start up dot bomb.

Penalising employment

There are many crimes which are unique to Australia; riding a bike without a hat, saying cunt in earshot of a policeman in New South Wales (apparently it’s OK in Victoria), being drunk in a pub and writing something in a newspaper which someone else can take offence at.

 

This is a Frontier Nation after all, forged on the hard work and bravery of several generations of tough, robust battlers.

 

Perhaps the most unique of all of Australian crimes though, is the crime of running a business and employing staff.

 

Yes, there are a few (increasingly fewer though) heinous and venal people here who seem to think that they can throw their money around at other people and somehow expect that they will receive assistance in return. I think the term they use for this assistance is “jobs”.

 

Luckily, over the years this has been identified by the various state and federal governments and acres of legislation has been sown to clamp down hard on this sharp practice of giving people money for doing work.

 

If you’re an Australian reading this and you’ve not lived or visited other countries, this next paragraph might come as a bit of a surprise……

 

Australia is the only country in the world with Award Rates and state-legislated and enforced Enterprise Bargaining Agreements. Follow the Wiki links to check. Other countries have a minimum wage, yes, but it is A minimum wage, i.e. in the singular, just one, not a hundred different rates depending on whether you are a waiter handing hot beverages versus cold, a washer of dishes but not glassware, a gardener who uses powered lawnmowers versus hand tools, etc.

 

Other countries don’t mandate the hourly rate for a barista in a café working on a Sunday, for example.

 

Ok, maybe there might be another one or two countries with similar governmental interference in the free market of the provision of labour, but their names would be Cuba and Venezuela.

 

There’s a couple of good real life examples over at Steve@thepub’s place, here and here.

 

But, but, but”, I hear our correspondents in the People’s Republics in the inner west shout, “but how do we prevent employers, from exploiting the workers?”.

 

How do you mean, “exploiting”, exactly? By asking them to work weekends or overtime?

 

Um, let’s have a look at how it works in other countries shall we? Oh yeah, they offer them a different rate of pay and if the worker doesn’t like it, they don’t take the additional work. If the unsocial hours are an integral part of the job (bar work, for example), the worker probably ought to find some different work to do. Frankly, with the current unemployment rate of 5-ish percent, that’s a very viable alternative for most employees, I’d suggest.

 

As if the situation couldn’t get any worse, Australia also has some of the most militant and corrupt unions in the world. The state-mandated pay awards are considered starvation wages by the unions and they use strikes and work to rule intimidation to ensure the EBA is significantly higher. I struggle to find details of how many workers are actually on the true minimum wage of $18.70 (yes, you read that correctly, my American friends) but I suspect it’s probably zero.

 

The Australian Council of Trades Unions suggest 1.5m are on minimum award rates, but that will be above the minimum wage.

 

So considering the very unique and highly-restrictive employment legislation in place in Australia, can anyone offer an answer to the following question;

 

Why are there still some goods or services being manufactured or delivered in Australia if there is a viable alternative produced or delivered from overseas?

Raised on shite poetry

We’ve previously seen how Australian advertising agencies seem to think that shite poetry is a good sales technique.

Maybe it is, perhaps due to the fact that Australians have low expectations of rhymes.

Here’s another example currently being fast forwarded while we watch foreign produced TV shows and movies (Christ knows there’s nothing domestic worth watching other than the AFL);

One can only ponder in bemusement at how many script-writers, editors, sub-editors and client representatives witnessed the following highly-tenuous rhymes without wincing;

Country with Manli ™

Girl with World

Sit with Kid

 

But hats off to them for matching Kitchen and Mathematician. That’s right up there with the classic Spandau Ballet “diplomat” rhyme.

 

What colour would sir like his Socialism?

 Red, Blue or Green?

 

If ever an example was needed to illustrate why Australia is a country reversing its way down the economic prosperity road, the reaction to this week’s decision to award the contract for the provision of military boots to an Australian company with an Indonesian manufacturing base should be enough.

 

The outrage card was waved high and proud at the perfectly reasonable choice made on the grounds of quality and value for money. When spending my money, that’s how I do it and I expect my tax dollars to be used in a similarly frugal and sensible manner.

 

But no, here people expect Aussie tax dollars to be used to subsidise inefficient Aussie businesses.

 

Why else would we see apparent proponents of the free market such as Paul Murray and Peter van Onselen bemoaning the decision to not award the $15m contract to Rossi Boots down in ShagYerDadAlaide?

 

Ah, free market means within our borders, right? If the best pair of boots money can buy or the best value boots are manufactured elsewhere we should ignore these as options and go for the lower quality or expensive domestic versions? Not forgetting, of course, to make extensive use of the phrase “Fair Go”, like some 8 year old appealing to a teacher on playground duty about the interpretation of the rules of handball. Exclusion is bullying, after all.

 

Sure.

 

What might be the unintended consequences of this? Here’s a few I could predict as likely;

 

  1. The next tender issued by the Defence Department will only receive domestic responses.
  2. Where domestic suppliers would have otherwise been forced by market pressure to improve quality and value for money, slam dunk sole tender contract wins will result in neither occurring and an atrophy of the business output quality.
  3. Soldiers turn up in conflict zones with sub-standard footwear compared to their counterparts from other UN countries.
  4. Entire sections of Australian manufacturing will be kept alive purely due to defence spend.
  5. Taxpayers will pay more for less.

 

Here’s the thing, Neville Hayward, CEO of Rossi Boots, ShagYerDadAlaide, perhaps you should ask yourself the question, “what does Rossi Boots exist for?”.

 

Is it to,

 

  1. Make Aussie boots in Australia?
  2. Employ people in South Australia?
  3. Provide quality footwear to the proud Aussie Diggers in peacetime and war? Or,
  4. Make money?

 

If the first thing that leapt to your mind wasn’t the last one on the list, it’s time to go to the stationary cupboard and get two envelopes.*

 

Anyway, I know the real reason Rossi Boots didn’t get the contract; if you watch the video footage with Nick Xenophon and Neville Hayward, you will clearly see them placing new boots on a table.

 

* There’s an old (possibly apocryphal, but widely re-told) Russian story that says the deposed outgoing shoe-banging Soviet premier Nikita Krushchev wrote two letters for his successor. In a jam, Brezhnev was to open the first envelope, which reportedly read  ‘Blame everything on me.’ It worked. The second, to be opened in the next crisis, was alleged to have read, ‘Sit down, Leonid. Write two letters.’”

Blood on his hands

Across Australia today, the meaning of the noun “news” is being stretched to its absolute limit as everyone is being reminded of what they’ve known for a decade;

Ian Thorpe is camper than a row of tents.

 

Since the 90’s, there have only really been three major sporting open secrets; Lance Armstrong was a drug cheat, England will never win a major Wendyball competition and Ian Thorpe is a confirmed bachelor.

 

In fact, probably the only person in Australia who didn’t know about Ian Thorpe’s sexual preferences during this time was Ian Thorpe. Apparently, he’s just worked it out in recent weeks, according to the interview with Parko.

 

Of course, because we already knew it we actually don’t give a stuff. Who cares who he shares the contents of his Speedos with anyway? Most Australians are just breathing a sigh of relief that he’s diverting attention from Rolf and the bloke from Hey Dad.

 

But the more sinister revelation is the fact that, for over a decade, he’s been vicariously responsible for the deaths of people he’s never met.

 

Thorpeiopath

Such is the tolerance level for dickhead statements in Australia, the likes of Rodney Croome can get away with illogical crap like that.

Hey Rodders, what about the ten years where everyone thought he just liked show tunes for their subtle melodies and abrupt key changes, is every suicide during that time his responsibility or does he only get credit for the subsequent saved ones?

Still, Croome is a rank amateur at the Australian tradition of making daft public statements. Apparently, Sarah Hanson-Young (of the Hanson-Youngs of Surrey, presumably) loves him even more because he is now gay.

Gay pride

 

The obvious corollary being that she didn’t love him as much when he was straight?

 

Oh I dunno, these are confusing times. I’m going to watch Rock Hudson’s heroic performance in Ice Station Zebra tonight and remind myself what a real man is all about.

This isn’t Bermuda you know

A lifetime ago I nearly ended up working in Bermuda.

The interview process went well enough until the HR twinkie got on to the subject of the office dress code.

“You’ll need to buy some formal shorts and long socks before we send you out there”, she said in the London office where the interview was being conducted.

“Pardon?”, I enquired.

“Here’s some pictures to give you an idea of the summer dress code”, she replied and pushed an image rather similar to this in front of me;

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I’ll be honest here, I suspect that the fact that it took me five minutes to regain my composure might have been a contributing factor to the subsequent “good luck in your job search” letter that arrived two days later.

I’m much more mature these days and my poker game has developed to the point where I can hold a straight face when I see blokes in Sydney who are incapable of buying correctly-fitting work clothes.

This chap, for example;

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He must be really proud of those stripey socks to have them on public display like that.

CBD Dress Code Bingo

A date for your diary

The next public appearance of The New Australian will be on the evening of Friday the 5th of September in The Lord Nelson, The Rocks.

We shall be celebrating either the coming of age of our prodigal son, The Global Warming Pause OR holding a wake for his (is a pause male or female?) early demise. It seems that the latter could be most likely as the clever money is on an el Niño is likely to toast things up a bit during the northern hemisphere summer.

Either way, drinks shall be taken and speeches made. The New Australian will also attempt to “do a James O’Connor” and refer to himself only in the third person all evening.

The date is chosen as being the next day following the monthly corroboration of the IPCC figures from the definitive “climate denier” Watts Up With That?.

Dress code; business formal including ties or turtlenecks for the gentlemen.

Hmm, I wonder why he was never Prime Minister?

I made the mistake of listening to their ABC radio this morning. There was an interview with some chap called John Hewson who was speaking on behalf of “59 leading economists” who had written an open letter to the Prime Minister requesting that the government rethink their plan to repeal the Carbon Tax this week.

Not having heard of this gentleman before, I was mildly sceptical at his economic and academic credentials when he described the 59 signatories as “a representative sample, if you will“.

Representative of what? The entire population of economists? Can’t be can it; they’ve self-selected to the point where they are putting a signature on a letter stating a particular point of view. Therefore they can’t be representing any economist who doesn’t share that view or opposes it. Basic High School Statistics Primary School Venn Diagrams, innit?

The full content of the letter is here, but this paragraph tickled my fancy (highlighting is mine);

We are writing this open letter as a group of concerned economists with a broad range of personal political views, but united in the judgment that a well-designed mechanism that puts a price and limit on carbon pollution is the most economically efficient way to reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming.”

They’ve employed a subtle linguistic trick there, I think the NLP twinkies would call it Sleight of Mouth. It’s the same one the Protestant side of Northern Ireland’s politics once used to link Sein Fein with the IRA by only ever referring to them as Sein Fein/IRA. See also HIV/AIDS.

Of course,  what they are hoping with this is to close down the debate in two areas; 1. Whether or not global warming is actually happening and 2. If so, whether carbon is actually causing it.

Sadly though, our young friend, The Pause, turns 18 years old next month. We should probably throw it a coming of age party or something, maybe like an inverse Earth Hour where the well-meaning progressive-thinking people of the world switch on all their lights in the hope that they can reverse a trend that would be now old enough to get drunk, married and vote if it were a person.

While we’re looking for evidence of global warming, we shouldn’t just look at those pesky thermometers. How about the depth gauges? The historical trend of sea levels shows a centuries old trend of a yearly rise of about 3mm per year. Oh, and that’s what we think we’re experiencing today. Of course, based on the fact that the satellites we use to measure these levels have an uncertainty of 20mm, it’s frankly anyone’s guess. Al Gore’s beach house is safe for the moment anyway.

But if you don’t believe me, do your own research. Buy a copy of this chart from 1891 and compare the depths shown on the modern day version. Sardinia is a good spot to check depths because the effect of the tide there is fairly neglible. If you can find a depth measurement on the second chart which has changed by more than 0.3m, I’ll buy you a pint at The Lord Nelson (appropriately enough) at the next New Australian drinks evening.

Anyway, a bit of research revealed what all the Australians reading this already knew; John Hewson isn’t a proper economist (whatever that means), he’s just a failed politician who didn’t win a general election to be Prime Minister (apparently, this was an “unloseable” election).

One struggles to understand how a political player of his guile and influence could fail to achieve a seat at the pinnacle of Australian government. The old open letter to the government directly challenging one of the two or three key election pledges tactic has countless examples of success, after all.

I’m just struggling to recall one at the moment but that’s probably only due to my poor memory.

Lastly, in case anyone has read all this talk of economists and thinks that I’ve used the term with any degree of respect, let us remember that it is such a bullshit and unprovable bunch of mumbo jumbo passing itself off as science that they had to invent a fake Nobel Prize for Economics to give it some credence.

So perhaps the 59 of them writing a futile letter this week should accept this as my open letter to them suggesting that they get a proper job?

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to our American readers

This organ has a warm place in its heart for Americans.

Not all Americans, obviously, but quite a lot of them.

Especially the ones who made this advert. It’s not going to change my opinion that Cadillac makes shite cars but I did chuckle nonetheless;

…..got a car up there, left the keys in it. Why? We’re the only ones going back up“.

 

h/t to our California correspondent, Sergeant Bilko the Half a Bee, working hard in the marketing department.

Remember, why don’t the marketing team look out the window in the morning?

It leaves them something to do in the afternoon.

Dear journalists, we had a deal…..

 

This organ doesn’t often allow itself the indulgence of positing an opinion on the same subject in consecutive posts, unless there’s been a rush of Richmond Game entries, of course.

 

This is one of the rare occasions where I’ve been fired up enough at the hypocrisy and dual standards to have a second swing.

 

Why? Because I’ve got a load of kids (How many? More than you, let’s just leave it there; you won’t win this competition) and I can’t be there to protect them from predatory adults every minute of their lives. But I’ll do you a deal; you keep a watchful eye on my kids when they are in your proximity and say something if you see anything suspicious, and I’ll do the same for yours.

 

“You” being everyone with kids, of course. Or anyone who has ever been a kid.

 

That’s kind of how most of us hope that a civilised society works after a few thousand years of progress. It’s no longer the norm to sell our kids off to climb chimneys or be concubines; reports of abuse and pederasty in modern democratic countries shock us unlike they would have done, say, a couple of hundred years ago, because they are now thankfully rare.

 

But for this system of law underpinned by societal peer pressure to work, we need everyone to play their part when required.

 

One of the many notable factors in the case (actually, there isn’t a case; no charges were brought) of Sir James Saville OBE KSCG is that, despite the assessment that he may have been the UK’s most prolific sex offender of modern times, no charges ever resulted. Surprisingly, nobody ever punched his lights out either, not even the husband or boyfriend of a previous victim who later tearfully shared the secret. But worse, despite a career of many decades in the media spotlight, not a hint of the behaviour ever made it to the public eye before his death.

 

It just doesn’t make sense, does it? At thousands of media parties and drinks evenings, rumours abounded about what he did to his young guests in his dressing room yet not one career hungry journalist managed to get a story off the spike and into print. This in a country where the media considers consensual private sex between adults to be in the public interest.

 

Not once in 50 years.

 

Perhaps we’re dealing with more than one problem here.

 

Firstly, there seems to be a reluctance to report known facts of wrongdoing by some celebrities. It’s not a consistent rule though; compare and contrast Todd Carney’s latest moment in the spotlight, not for him the relative anonymity of being reported as a “29 year old rugby league professional from the Cronulla area”, yet Rolf Harris AO CBE was still described in the dubiously anonymous terms of being an “82 year old Australian entertainer” despite being arrested twice.

 

As far as I’m aware, it isn’t libellous to accurately report the arrest of an individual, regardless of whether charges are laid later. Craig Thomson would be suing all media outlets who reported his arrest in January 2013, otherwise. As would pretty much anyone arrested and named in relation to bikie violence.

 

Secondly, there seems to be a rule which offers anonymity to the alleged perpetrators of sexual offences, especially when minors are involved. A straw poll among colleagues today suggested that this might be to protect the alleged victims. Yet, how would naming the taxi driver arrested in this story have further identified his unfortunate alleged victim, given that everyone in the local area would already know? Back to the Rolf Harris AO CBE case, he was eventually named because a newspaper broke ranks, not because charges were brought. What happened to protecting the victims then?

 

Perhaps it’s not really about the victim, perhaps it’s because the stigma of an arrest for a child sex abuse crime is so great that the media are afraid of getting it wrong. Of course, in the case of the New South Wales’ idiotic re-write of the Statutory Declaration, that has the opposite effect of putting the victims at more risk. The Sir Jimmy Savile OBE KSCG and other Operation Yewtree allegations came flooding in once the first one was made public. Yes, some were fraudulent and opportunistic, but that’s why we have an investigative police force.

 

So what of our inferred deal?

It’s clear that the media have not bought into it. A particular crime committed by particular individuals will not be reported upon by any journalist until the police have confirmed that charges have been brought and a court date booked. Specifically, if you have a high-profile career and deep connections within influential areas of society (which is probably a function of that type of career), it is highly likely that you can get away with exploiting society’s most vulnerable.

 

Which means that, even if it wasn’t already your instinct to keep your children as far as possible from the celebrity culture, it damn well should be.

 

Take it away Mr. Coward;

 

Don’t talk about the elephant in the room

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Yes, yes, Rolf is goin’ dahn for a stretch. Thank you Australian media for reporting so accurately and diligently from the court.

Weren’t so quick to report his arrest back in March 2013 though, were we?

It took “the sister paper of the now discredited News of the Screws” to publish in the UK for you lot to grow a pair of bollocks and publish a month later.

And even then you hedged your bets and reported the reporting not the arrest.

In the meantime, the next alleged shooter in Sydney’s western suburbs will be doubtless named before their trial.

Why the dual standards do we think?

Nothing to see here.

While Rolf is being added to the UK’s Sex Offenders Register, he’s just made it onto an unofficial Australian register, the Disavowed Ex-pat List.

Rolf, meet Mel and Peter.

If 8 out of 10 cats all prefer Whiskers

…do the other 2 prefer Leslie Judd?

 

There’s a billboard advertising campaign on in Australia at the moment, highlighting the statistic that “1 in 10 Australian children are growing up disadvantaged”.

 

That’s a bit of a shocking claim. I wonder what the facts are supporting it?

 

They’ve used this survey to define “disadvantaged”. 167,000 kids grow up in a family where no adult has a job. For those of us familiar with the UK, that’s about how many kids there are in the northern city of Liverpool (and, in an amazing coincidence, probably how many grow up in families without jobs there too).

 

But you could also use the UNICEF definition, which reckons that it’s determined by how many families live below the level of 50% of median disposable income, which seems like there’s a big dollop of statistics sophistry involved there (of the range “$100, $200, $500, $1,000, $10,000, $10,500, $10,750, $11,000” the median is $5,500, meaning someone with disposable income of $1,000 is “disadvantaged”).

 

Obviously, regardless of the definition of the noun, some kids in Australia are “disadvantaged”. Maybe the figure is nearly 167,000.

 

But what’s the betting they are called David or Alice and look like this;

 Tarquin

 

Call me a sceptic, but I wonder whether the advertising campaign is showing potential donors pictures of kids who look like their own kids in the hope it might improve the generosity rates?

 

Why do I think that?

 

Well, how about because there’s over 200,000 Aboriginal kids in Australia, for starters?

This cost you $16m

That’s what Australia pissed away paid towards the organisation which, after diligent data collection, careful and accurate analysis, extensive peer review, proof reading and sub-editing followed by a teeny sprinkle of magic dust from the twinkies over in the marketing and communications department, proudly presented to you a report which explains why Canberra is the best place to live in Australia.

 

Sorry, I probably should have warned you to have cleared the desk of any mugs of hot liquid before writing that sentence.

 

No joke, Canberra is the place to be, apparently.

 

Yep, a bunch of people whose salaries are 100% funded from the contributions of national governments have discovered that a town that solely exists to house a national government is the place everyone would want to live.

 

Let’s pause there for a while as we observe a moment’s silence for the death of irony.

 

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And we’re back.

 

Yes, it’s true, Canberra is a great town because of their scores against the following criteria;

Irony

 

Voter turnout?

Disposable household income?

Unemployment?

 

You really couldn’t make this up, could you?

 

It’s a compulsory voting system and nobody is unemployed because they all get their above market rate salaries from us!

 

Anyway, before you all start making plans to relocate, I’ve done the research and I know Canberra is bollocks although they do treat us net contributors very well.

 

h/t AussiePride

UPDATE: Title changed to convert Euros to Dollars.

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