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Friday, May 14, 2010

JERUSALEM: 'Home again but not home alone, to make the desert bloom; fed with blood & tears, stymied by hate & fears, brothers twain yet not the same'

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
14th May 2010

Friday: My first job before 'retiring' was to phone Bob's social trainers and break the bad news that I wouldn't be able to take him to Perth today, as I was still too ill from my cold. Yes, I had just had another one of those day-night-days, and it wasn't till late morning before I got to bed, my sleeping habits shot to pieces, my head throbbing from sinus congestion.

So much for my plans to take Bob out twice this week, and get so much else done while Missus Inkletter was away.

I surfaced not long before six (p.m.), and I was treated to a phone call from the prima pommie in Busselton, planning to return to me tomorrow from her one week holiday with her farter and brutha. I drove to the local chemist to pick up a million prescriptions for us both, and then checked out Umple Dais' place for mail and put his rubbish bin back in his driveway.

Home again, and I was able to have a brief but enjoyable chat with brother-in-law Phamajames, while seeking his daughter Louise, to wish her a happy birthday for tomorrow and to ask her to get me a photo of a wandoo tree to put with a brilliant poem she wrote a couple of years back. No luck with tracking Louise down, whose mobble was only taking messages.

A great night for entertainment and education, not quite the equal of Wednesdays, but I enjoyed The Collectors on Aunty, an SBS doco about Iran, then back to Aunty for Ladies of Letters, Lateline, and The Graham Norton Show.
Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales eased away slightly from her best appearance in tonight's program, going the tiniest tad Picasso, but not enough to really matter make-up wise, but not so with her hair: she looks so much better with her hair convex curved at the sides. I've inaccurately described this as 'flared' many times, because, giving it some detailed consideration, a concave curve would flare at the shoulder and touch the sides of her face, but not do her face justice as does the convex shape, widening her face. The 'flare' I've been trying to describe, which so flatters her looks, occurs mid-face, putting an extra width to her face with the free space between her hair and cheeks. Yes I'm opinionated, and yes I may be wrong, but this is how my eyes inform me. And does it matter? Yes, a bit, because this is television, and she is so often arrestingly Rembrandt that it proves she has the ability and features to be so.
Ms Sales' rags were quite simple and effective: a black almost military uniform styled shirt, double pockets and all; her jewellery limited to simple ten cent sized gold ring earrings. Her long interview comprising the Friday night fight club was in-studio with Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop and the Employment Participation Minister, Senator Mark Arbib.

Mr Arbib went conservative in his rags, looking immaculate and James Bondish in a dark suit and white shirt combo, with a ceil square patterned tie, perhaps to strike a harmony with his opponent, for Ms Bishop's rag was a beautiful iris blouse, with simple jewellery consisting of a pearl necklace and earrings (they looked like the real damn thing too!), flattering hair style, subtle make-up except for heavy eyeliner (a trademark of hers which I'm not convinced helps more than hinders).

Of course this pair was as predictable as a pair of rabbits in Wisconsin in spring time, eating salad and making love, eating salad and making love, except that their behaviour was to exclusively lavish praise upon their parties and poo upon their opponents , delivered amid much bickering. The subject was centred on the Federal Budget just delivered on Tuesday.

Ms Bishop treated us to this piece of hypocrisy early on: "I have no doubt that Labor will run a very personal, very nasty campaign against Tony Abbott. I have no doubt that it will be as misleading as the last campaign Labor ran." And we have no doubt that your mob will be pillars of virtue and do no such thing, nor have ever done any such thing, Ms Bishop; you'll all choke on your halos if your rhetoric is to be believed.

Ms Sales gave the pair plenty of free rein, jumping in only when essential to put an end to their incessant bickering, a sign of confidence and control on her part. She couldn't have been expecting an answer, surely, to her question of Mark Arbib: "When does a party know that it's time to change leader? What are the signs that are, 'Look, you know, we really need to change courses now'."

And of course she did not get an answer.

Then she put the same question to Ms Bishop, who naïvely included this in her answer: "If they don't change their policies, it doesn't matter who's the leader." Well, in terms of re-election, it so often does.

This pair of bunnies kept bickering right to the bitter end, necessitating Ms Sales to good humoredly inform them: "You're going to have to take this outside, I'm sorry, we're out of time."

It was an entertaining interview, though nothing earth moving occurred, no political brilliance, not even a glint.

I have to commend Ms Bishop on a more mature performance – despite the bickering – than some of hers I've seen; is this a blip, or genuine progress? Mr Arbib is becoming more articulate under pressure, and even if his side is turfed out at this year's election he'll probably be quite an orator by then.

Thank heavens we had Stephen Long to come to be the antidote for the heavy dose of political epsom salts we just endured: The (Stephen) Long and Short of It: Wow, a dark blue broad pin striped suit made Mr Long hard not to notice, but I'm not convinced his busily patterned Carolina blue tie on his white shirt with lines worked so well against this bold jacket; however, his curly freshly-tousled-by-his-Mum hair made up for this fashion faux pas.
Not for the first time, not for the last I'm convinced, Mr Long's take on the proposed resource super-profits tax was completely free of the hysteria coming from the mining industry and the Opposition, and saturated with good sense. For example, try this for his opening remark: "…the hyperbole and rhetoric we've had around this, Leigh, is really, really silly." Then he added "Let's put it in context and get real about it…" before delineating the most pertinent facts surrounding the issue. He didn't spare the media reporting either, as well as noting the vested interests of the mining companies. Good on you Mr Long for giving a calm but incisive analysis of the blather flying around.

 I don't know what the best method should be, but I am definitely in favour of the Australian nation deriving substantially more from the resources we sell but once, and are then left with holes in the ground. We then need wisdom from our leaders to use the extra income for the long term benefit of our country.

He sunk the dagger into the stupid argument bandied by the Opposition that just as with cigarette tax increases, less mining will take place due to the mining tax, noting that they are vastly different markets.

A popular topic of discussion of recent weeks surfaced again: the Greek sovereign debt crisis. Mr Long assured Ms Sales that while the numbers for the bailout credit sound impressive, none of the money has been actually raised yet, nor does it anywhere near cover the liabilities of the shaky European economies. He put it well: "…this is still a live risk situation."

I cannot overestimate how much I enjoy this once weekly slot that Ms Sales brings us with the incomparable wisdom and sensibleness of Mr Long's analysis. And wow, over 4 minutes tonight, you greedy bastard, Stephen!

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