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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WITHAM: "He wasn't a bit scattered, nor a blue sky dreamer, rather he strutted his stuff and was all ears," gassed P.L.Inkletter inertly, to a seagull

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
30th June 2010

Wednesday: Rapidly shaping up to be our third driest June on record here in Perth, yet another dry as a bone day transpired, in the middle of winter. Not a good portent for our farmers, our dams, our forests, our gardens, our duckies…

I took Bob swimming, but not before we walked from Woodbridge to Viveash and back, at Bob's request, and despite it bringing me close to giving up the ghost, it was a delightful walk along the river, going further than we'd ever been before. I took many photos of him, to his unconcealed delight.

We even called by later to visit Duncan Moon's wonderful sculpture 'Arcanum', which inspired my short humorous story of late 2008, on our way to Swan Aquatic. I didn't get home till after 8 p.m.

Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: A minority of women are blessed with the features to look great with the simplest of physical expression – Ms Sales is one of these: tonight she had for jewellery but the tiniest of earrings on, a very dark round necked top, subtle effect make-up, and wonderfully convex flared loose hanging hair; that was it, and she looked wonderful.

Her long interview was with one of my most admired Australian politicians, Lindsay Tanner, Finance Minister. He was a delight to listen to, being a politician who talks far more directly, frankly, and honestly than most. It is a shame that he will be not recontesting his seat of Melbourne at the next election, but at least we've had 17 years of his service.

Ms Sales did ask many almost confronting questions, should I say prying, as is her right, and Mr Tanner, as is his right, deflected many, but in such a pleasant way that I for one wasn't left feeling cheated.

However, credit to him when he did not bluster when Ms Sales asked this: "Do you think Labor could suffer any sort of backlash from voters who feel that the way Kevin Rudd was ousted was ruthless and unfair?"

Lindsay Tanner: "To be honest I don't know…" Most of the lesser politicians in Canberra, many of whom get their several minutes of glory on this very program, would have bulldozed the point of view that nothing but positive results would transpire for their party from such an event. I admire Lindsay Tanner for his general habit of acknowledging the bleeding obvious, which does not come naturally to politicians when near a camera or microphone.

Another moment of maturity came when Ms Sales asked: "Do all four of you (Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan, Lindsay Tanner) accept equal responsibility for the decisions about policy and strategy that were made?"

Lindsay Tanner: "As far as I'm concerned, yes. If you're part of the decision-making process you accept responsibility for that. In the same way that I accept responsibility for Labor caucus and Labor Government decisions." What a breath of fresh air blowing through the dank corridors of power on the hill – a straight answer to a confronting question.

Mr Tanner's handling of the questions of Ms Sales concerning the ethics of the downfall of Kevin Rudd was inspired, and I all but totally agree with his considerations. He simply explained the harsh but necessary realities of the mechanics of the value of the individual in a position of power versus the structure which lends such power.

Ms Sales will sorely miss this gentleman of the Canberra mob, as will I, as will many. His family will be enriched by the extra time he will be devoting to them. I hope she gets many more interviews with him before he leaves, but time and circumstances will militate against this. She has just delivered another fragrant interview, and a hefty 15 minutes' worth; thank you both.

Let me have a bitch about Windows 7: every week some new episode of flakiness disrupts the illusion I originally began with late last year when I began using this latest greatest iteration of Bill Gates' operating system. The latest infuriating and disappointing problem is with Windows Media Center: a few weeks ago it decided it could no longer get a strong enough signal from SBS, whereas previously it was dandy. Yesterday it decided that it cannot get ABC's program guide information, reducing me to having to manually program all my favourite programs for recording, including Lateline. Damn. All with no explanation for the changes. Thanks Bill, I love you too. If it was legal, and reversible (I wish him no physical harm), I'd jam every version of Windows up his jacksie and see if the sun would shine through…

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