Wednesday, 17th October 2012

NONE THE WISER

What are we to make of the newspapers this morning? The Age splashes across its front page that there's a 17-year-old file missing from the Slater & Gordon archives, and the legal firm has no comment to add to previous ones about Julia Gillard. The Daily Telegraph, in a wilful misreading of an education department document, cries out that schoolkids are being taught that 'straight isn't the norm'.

The Australian launches a vigorous, multi-pronged defence of Tony Abbott's visit to Indonesia, while attacking the government ('Truth lost') for criticising Tony Abbott. The test of Abbott's new 'no-surprises' policy with Indonesia was always going to be whether or not he raised the Coalition's tow-back policy with President Yudhoyono. He clearly didn't. The Australian, however, waxes lyrical about the Coalition's new co-operative approach to asylum seekers, redefining the tow-back policy as 'joint interceptions' by Australia and Indonesia.

"Jakarta seems to be so impressed with Abbott's approach to illegal boats that it has itself embraced it," writes Greg Sheridan. "You could well imagine this evolving even into joint navy patrols, or joint search and rescue efforts, such that illegal boats that seek help could be rescued, and the passengers transferred to an Indonesian boat and taken back to Indonesia."

One could imagine many things, but the general public is still none the wiser.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Police Will Charge 'More Than One' Over HSU Graft

"NSW police have said for the first time that they will lay criminal charges, possibly before Christmas, over allegations of systemic corruption in the Health Services Union's NSW branch. They have also confirmed that independent MP Craig Thomson remains a subject of inquiries. The senior officer overseeing Strike Force Carnarvon told The Australian that more than one person would be charged over the original allegations levelled by HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson."

Hicks Charge Ruled Invalid By US Court

"The charge with which David Hicks was convicted at Guantanamo Bay in 2007 has been ruled invalid by a US appeals court because it could not be applied retrospectively, meaning Hicks can claim to be an innocent man."

Britain Could Point Way For Labor Recovery

"At the [British] Labour annual conference, the young left-wing Labour leader, Ed Miliband, walked the stage for more than an hour delivering a brilliantly conceived and executed 'off-the-cuff' address to party delegates… Miliband delivered something out of the ordinary: the potential makings of a new philosophy for his party as it seeks to get back into office within a single term. And in doing so he provided the Gillard government with something to ponder: maybe, just maybe, the road to electoral recovery leads to the Left."

Queensland's Unemployment (And Women) Problem

"Last week's labour force figures were Premier Newman's job cuts coming home to roost. The cuts have targeted women, and have also had the impact of sending Queensland's unemployment soaring – and are a rare instance of a government purposefully increasing unemployment."

Also: Macquarie Dictionary Has Last Word on Misogyny – Gemma Daley (AFR)

The Hollow Campaign: Empty Hype And Forgotten Woes

"Tens of millions tune in and these debates matter, but probably not as much as everyone says. Many Americans are casting early ballots and a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that, like Congress, voters remain deeply split along partisan lines, with two thirds saying they don't need any more information. Only one in eight said they could change their mind… In all the hype over debate style points, fundamental problems with both campaigns are being largely skated over."

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