What would an election be without it? Law-and-order has made its early election campaign appearance with the Liberal leader Will Hodgman promising more policemen on the beat if and when he becomes premier. The Liberals have promised to spend $33 million to put 108 extra police officers on the beat during their first four years of government and restore police numbers to the level preceding 2011 cuts made by the Labor government. And where will the money be coming from to ay for this initiative? Well the magic asterisk will do the trick – it will be taken out of savings made in the Liberals’ alternative budget.
If you can’t get a footballer, get a footballer’s mum. Clive Palmer has a penchant for footballers. His Palmer United Party stood several of them at the federal election and one of them will be a Senator come 1 July. This week in Tasmania there was a variation on the PUP theme. Debra Thurley, mother of Clarence football star Cameron Thurley,is the lead candidate on PUP’s five-member ticket for the seat of Franklin. Ms Thurley’s son, reports Ther Mercury this morning, was left fighting for his life last year after an accident at a Hobart nightclub in September. The former AFL player was in a coma for 23 days and his mother said the time she had spent with her son gave her the opportunity to see firsthand the difficult circumstances Royal Hobart Hospital staff worked under. ‘‘Cameron really, really wants me to do this and was very supportive when I was running before [in the federal election],’’ she said.
From this morning’s Australian papers.
Jakarta bent upon rocking the boat – Cameron Stewart in The Australian writes how Australia and Indonesia are fast losing patience with each other over asylum-seekers, putting at grave risk Canberra’s hopes of repairing the diplomatic damage from the recent spy scandal.
“Yet it is Indonesia that is setting the tone for this latest slide in the relationship. Indonesia’s inflammatory response this week to unproven claims that returned asylum-seekers were abused by the Australian navy says much about Jakarta’s prickly mindset in the wake of boat turnbacks and the spying controversy. So does its overreaction to the mistaken intrusion into Indonesian territorial waters by the Australian navy, which has prompted Indonesia to send extra military forces to patrol its border zone.”
“Yet Abbott has used his three-day flying visit to Switzerland to full effect on every level and left a positive impression with some of the most senior business people in the world as well as ‘opinion formers’, WEF directors and other world leaders. Chief executives of foreign corporations were asking after some of Abbott’s presentations if they ‘could have one of him’ in their country because of his clear and positive outlook.”
Some of the alienated types are best described as belonging to the FIFOE set. That is, they are fly-in, fly-out-expatriates who make use of January 26 to give their nation of birth a dreadful pasting. Perhaps the most prominent FIFOE is John Pilger, the Sydney-born, London-based filmmaker and journalist who writes for the leftist New Statesman magazine. You have to admire Pilger’s chutzpah. For decades, he has been writing books and making documentaries about Australia, which he describes as a ‘secret country’. Never before has a so-called secret nation been examined in such detail from open-source material. Pilger’s latest documentary, Utopia, is produced by Dartmouth Films in association with the taxpayer-subsidised SBS TV Australia. Many of Pilger’s previous films have been shown on ABC TV. So Pilger gets taxpayer-funded assistance to reveal details about Australia which he claims were hitherto ‘secret’… Pilger’s alienated preaching seems to have little impact outside of the green-left set. His aggressive vox pops of selected Australians that feature in Utopia suggest he doesn’t like his fellow citizens very much and appears to regard them as uninformed racists. Australians tend to have good antennae with respect to alienated members of the intelligentsia who look down on them.”
Some links to other things I’ve found interesting today.
President Boehner? Not If That Rules Out Wine And Cigarettes – “House Speaker John Boehner used his first-ever appearance on NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to talk politics and, as President Obama and others have also done on late-night TV, have some fun at his own expense. Asked Thursday if he has any presidential ambitions, the Ohio Republican joked that: — ‘Listen, I like to play golf. I like to cut my own grass. You know, I do drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes. And I’m not giving that up to be president of the United States.’