ABC chair Ita Buttrose takes the attacks seriously and personally, telling me on Friday: “It’s disappointing and disheartening not to have the role of the ABC recognised for what it is – the voice of Australian democracy.
“Our critics conveniently overlook the important role the ABC plays in the Australian way of life – how our emergency broadcasting reporters and their crews deliver crucial safely messages and advice to people affected by floods and bushfires. The ABC saved lives during the recent summer bushfires.”
Spotted in Bunnings Artarmon last Sunday morning, on a singularly busy day for trade, with shoppers en masse going about their business: Prime Minister Scott Morrison with daughters in tow, picking up what appeared to be a DIY doghouse. The two AFP officers trailing stayed well back, meaning the PM had to heft it himself. Gotta love this city.
The silent type
Your humble correspondent heard from our former premier Barry O’Farrell this week, and the short summation is he is going well as “Our Man In Delhi”, filling his new role as High Commissioner. But enough of that. What about a longer summation, Barry, something for quotation, so I can tell the reade . . .
“Hello? Hello? Hellllloooo, Barry?”
Not a word. As it turns out, our erstwhile leader is one firmly in the camp that there is nothing so ex as an EX-pollie and he firmly declines to be quoted on anything at all, including even a couple of mild remarks on his own life. But I say the hell with it – he is going well, and really enjoying the new challenge, the fact that India is up to its eyeballs in the pandemic notwithstanding.
Joke of the Week
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Donald Trump: “I’ve been told by many sources, good sources – they’re very good sources – that the chicken crossed the road. All the Fake News wants to do is write nasty things about the road, but it’s a really good road. It’s a beautiful road. Everyone knows how beautiful it is.”
Joe Biden: “Why did the chicken do the . . . thing in the . . . you know the rest.”
Hillary Clinton: “What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road.”
George W. Bush: “We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.”
Dick Cheney: “Where’s my gun?”
Bill Clinton: “I did not cross the road with that chicken.”
Dr Seuss: “Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.”
Ernest Hemingway: “To die in the rain. Alone.”
Albert Einstein: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
Colonel Sanders: “Did I miss one?”
Quotes of the Week
“Instant experts pop up on Facebook like mushrooms. And they thrive on the same fuel.” – Anthony Albanese at the National Press Club, talking of Australia’s response to The Plague.
“We were at a crowded party with one of my good friends. And Mel Gibson was smoking a cigar, and we’re all talking, and he said to my friend, who’s gay, ‘Oh, wait, am I gonna get AIDS?’ And then something came up about Jews, and he said, ‘You’re not an oven dodger, are you?’” – Winona Ryder in an interview this week. Gibson – stop the presses – denies it.
“Whilst I acknowledge the need to expand Sydney, I remain completely opposed to the fast-tracking of all medium and high-density development in my electorate of Baulkham Hills. My view is that all medium and high-density housing should be postponed until the Hills Shire catches up on the infrastructure it was denied over the 16-year Labor administration. Unfortunately this cannot be done overnight.” – NSW cabinet minister David Elliott taking an extraordinary swipe at one of his government’s key planning policies, warning he will not allow development to be rushed in his Sydney electorate.
“Cake making lesson No. 2 – don’t focus on making the cake look in proportion with little to no attention on structural integrity. There is a jar of lentils propping this thing up.” – NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on social media showing off the cake she made for her daughter Neve’s second birthday. She made the piano-shapped cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book.
“Nothing peeves me more than seeing young kids like I was myself with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths. I started at 13. It was a man thing to do back in those days … It was great stuff, to be considered a man. I was smoking 90 cigarettes a day.” – John Delaney, a Kamilaroi elder who was diagnosed with lung cancer six years ago after smoking cigarettes for 37 years before quitting at the age of 50. He now tries to impart upon the younger generation the importance of avoiding tobacco.
“The thing about COVID is, once it gets away from you, it’s very hard to put the genie back in the bottle.” – WA Premier Mark McGowan announcing a careful easing of lockdown restrictions.
“That’s what shocked me the most and why I recall it, because of who he was and his title. I told my friends, ‘That guy is a grub’.” – A former female University of Canberra student who says she had an encounter with former High Court justice Dyson Heydon when he sat down at her table at a social function in 2013.
“[The names] have overtones which are out of step with Nestle’s values, which are rooted in respect. This decision acknowledges the need to ensure that nothing we do marginalises our friends, neighbours and colleagues.” –From a statement from Nestle saying that the company will change the name of its Red Skins and Chicos lollies. Redskin has been used as a derogative term for Native Americans, while Chico has been used as a derogatory term for people of Latin-American descent.
“Sydney Water has been ineffective in driving water conservation initiatives, delivering detailed planning and resourcing for ongoing initiatives, and in increasing its investment in water conservation during drought. As a result, Greater Sydney’s water supply may be less resilient to population growth and climate variability, including drought.” – From a report by the Auditor-General saying that Sydney’s water supply will struggle to cope with population growth and future droughts because the NSW government has failed to investigate, implement or support water savings measures.
“I’m very sorry robodebt created the dismay and the distress that it has. The way this system was designed and, I think, in particular, implemented, left a lot to be desired. Look, it failed.” – Malcolm Turnbull.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist and columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald.