Archive for the 'Australia' Category

Fairfax versus News Limited

December 1st, 2006

First, the background (from the Sydney Morning Herald):

The annual Walkley Awards for journalism were rocked by an attack on stage on Thursday night at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.

Controversial crikey.com.au writer Stephen Mayne was attacked by Sunday Telegraph columnist Glenn Milne.

Mayne had just finished awarding the best business news report to the Australian Financial Review’s Morgan Mellish when Milne rushed up onto the stage and accosted Mayne, pushing him off the platform and onto the floor.

But how did the audience react? According to the Herald:

Milne then began berating Mayne from the stage as the audience, which consisted of a representation of Australia’s top journalists, looked on horrified.

Dear oh dear? That sounds dreadful. But I wonder what News Limited has to say:

“You are an absolute disgrace,” an outraged Milne shouted, as an audience of the nation’s media elite erupted into laughter.

[….]

The ballroom full of guests at Melbourne’s Crown Casino cheered and whistled as Milne stumbled down the stairs and, still yelling insults, was led away.

Now which of these is true? Let’s go to the video.

Yep, that’d be whistling and cheering. Bad Fairfax, trying to spin things against News Limited.


Victorian elections

November 26th, 2006

First off: I miss Jeff Kennet. I haven’t cared about Victorian politics very much ever since he left the scene.

That said, it seems that the Victorian government is just about where the NSW government was one term ago – getting a bit long in the tooth perhaps, but still with enough talent to justify another go. And judging from Saturday’s results, Victoria agrees with me. A swing of 4-8 seats is pretty much what everyone expected, and once again shows that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them.

(What makes NSW so interesting at the moment is that both parties are competing very strongly to lose the election, with the Liberals trying just a little bit harder at the moment).

The claims that this was decided on ‘federal issues’ is laughable – every sign suggests that people have worked out the difference between State and Federal Labour…


What free trade agreement?

October 23rd, 2006

From The Courier-Mail (via Boing Boing):

THE United States has slapped a ban on Vegemite, outraging Australian expatriates there.

I don’t feel that I’m exaggerating when I say that this is the greatest outrage ever! Where’s Mark Latham when you need him?


From the Annals of Laws Certain to be Followed

May 15th, 2006

The Australian Government Attorneys General’s Department has just announced (long overdue) changes to copyright law with respect to making personal copies of television shows and CDs. Most of it seems fairly sensible, albeit long overdue. But one aspect of it strikes me as… somewhat optimistic about the willingness of Australians to comply:

The first private use exception will allow consumers to record most television and radio programs to view or listen to once at a later time (known as ‘time-shifting’). This exception will not allow a recording to be used over and over again or to be distributed by others. (Emphasis added).

So you can tape a TV show, but you can only watch it once. Sadly, the current press release does not address the important question of whether or not you’re allowed to rewind the tape to watch a bit again if someone phones you during the program. Or whether you’re allowed to fast forward the ads or not.

(And I note that the genius types at Slashdot failed to pick up on this aspect entirely…)

(And this is probably a good moment to point towards the Disclaimer over on the right).


Jeff Kennet back? Oh please oh please!

May 5th, 2006

From today’s news, Jeff Kennett is considering returning to the Victorian lberal party leadership. All I can say is: oh please, let it be true! State politics in Australia is populated by such a group of bland nonentities that I find it very hard to get interested. Jeff Kennet would be such an entertainment.

(He might even be good – I always thought he did a pretty good job in Victoria, although there were certainly problems in some areas).

Update: Damn!.