Which is where Prince Andrew comes in. We already know from his recent interview that the Queen’s second son is a world class git with a sense of titled entitlement that would kill a brown dog. We know that while he denies all of the claims made against him of sleeping with the young women allegedly provided for him by Epstein, courtesy of Maxwell’s procurement, his credibility is not far north of zero. For we also know that while he claims to be co-operating with New York prosecutors in their investigations, they insist they can’t get a word out of him.
If Maxwell does tell all under oath, and even a tenth of the allegations are proven true, it will change everything – and cut right to the heart of the monarchy, which lives off the nonsense that these are special people, inherently above us all because of their blue blood. Watch this space.
Victorians can navigate choppy waters to sail into NSW
Well, we never. In the wake of the Peter V’landys edict mid-week that under no circumstances would the poxy Victorians be allowed to enter NRL matches this weekend, your humble correspondent put out a tweet mid-week asking for tips on how we could spot the Vics. The answers came thick and fast, including many replies from south of the Murray. The most cutting one came from one Tony Robb. “Pretty easy to get around the ban,” he wrote. “Simply enter NSW dressed as a cruise liner.” Oh too shay!
Byelection result a mere chapter in larger story
You will appreciate that at the time of writing, I have absolutely no clue as to the result of the Eden-Monaro byelection. The bookies seem to have it going the ALP’s way, while journos pick the Coalition as the likely winners. Whatever it is, might I make the one quick point? That is the sheer absurdity of reading too much into it. Just as when in sport one side or the other wins the grand final by a point it changes the narrative of an entire season – which is absurd – so too with most byelections. If the Coalition wins, good luck to them. It doesn’t mean that the electorate has “rejected the ALP and the leadership of Anthony Albanese”. And nor, if the ALP wins does it mean that “the PM couldn’t recover from his performance in the bushfires”. It just means one side won by a point or two. Not the end of the story, just a small chapter within it.
Unscripted drama away from set
It is not, I grant you, earth-shattering news – just a sign of the times. One of the industries all but wiped out by The Plague has been Sydney’s hire car services. Now, as we just start to emerge, the number of drivers appears to be down to about half what it was, with nowhere near enough jobs to keep them even a quarter as busy. It has seen tensions boil over between the drivers themselves and on Thursday afternoon outside the set of where they are shooting Home & Away at Avalon, the situation resulted in two drivers actually coming to blows. As the seagulls caterwauled all about and the waves crashed on the shores, so did the drivers and their fists – so vigorously that one ended up in hospital. One witness said: “It was for all the world as if there were some toilet rolls at stake.”
Joke of the Week
Despite Brexit, the European Commission has finally agreed that English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and accepted a five-year phase-in plan for what will become known as “Euro-English”.
In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20 per sent shorter.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing ‘th’ with ‘z’ and ‘w’ with ‘v’.
During ze fifz year, ze unesesary ‘o’ kan be dropd from vords kontaining ‘ou’ and after ziz fifz yer ve vil hav a reil sensibl vriten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.
Quote of the Week
“I don’t know if you’re across this, but currently the country’s going through what scientists call the ‘Spice Girls paradigm’. Everyone’s trying really hard, but Victoria’s ruining it!” Comedian Ross Noble on The Sunday Project.
“I can’t believe that there would be any other city in the world where a government would be dissolving a major museum collection built up and nurtured by its people over generations, to scatter and disperse its contents for all time.” Former NSW Premier Bob Carr, before the state government reversed its decision to close the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo.
“As shown by the recent success of the Green Ban on the Bondi Beach Pavilion, the CFMEU won’t stand by while local communities are ignored and important heritage sites are destroyed.” Darren Greenfield – I know – secretary of the CFMEU NSW, which has put a green ban the Berejiklian government’s $1.17 billion plan to demolish two heritage buildings to make way for the new Parramatta Powerhouse.
“I think it shows an incredible lack of appreciation, understanding and love of our aviation history. This is a slap in the face to our aviators. The United States, France, Russia, all of these countries have the most amazing aviation museums and really present them well to the world.” Gai Taylor, the daughter of Captain Gordon Taylor, who made an epic flight from Sydney to Chile in a Catalina aircraft hanging in the Powerhouse Museum, about her fears it will be irreparably damaged by the institution’s relocation.
“Look, it’s really, really tough out there.” Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, about how COVID-19 has affected businesses.
“The government will open the borders to other states from Friday, July 10, provided travellers complete a border declaration stating they have not been to local government areas in Victoria in the previous 14 days.” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk finally relents.
“[A Labor government would] reverse Scott Morrison’s $83.7 million cut to the ABC to save regional jobs, protect critical emergency broadcasting and support local news and content. ABC emergency coverage saved lives during the summer bushfires and staff came off leave to ensure Australians were kept informed. Now 250 dedicated ABC staff face the sack as a result of Scott Morrison’s cuts.” Anthony Albanese in his first national spending commitment since taking charge of the federal opposition.
“As I arose at 7.30 this morning, I was saddened to relive the day that led up to the election of a bankrupted and corrupt businessman who had no qualifications to be the leader of any country in the civilized world … At the same time, Hillary Clinton, who had all the needed qualifications to lead our beloved nation, had received 3 million more popular votes than our Russian-installed puppet President.” One of the last tweets by the great comedy writer Carl Reiner, just hours before he died this week. Never give up, never surrender!
“Acts of violence and atrocity were committed that continue to weigh on our collective memory. I want to express my deepest regret for these past injuries, the pain of which is regularly revived by the discrimination that is still all too present in our society.” King Philippe of Belgium, the first monarch to express remorse over his country’s brutal colonial past, in a letter to theDemocratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi. It was published on Tuesday, on the 60th anniversary of the DRC’s independence. Time for the English Queen to express her own remorse for British colonial atrocities? Discuss.
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist and columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald.