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spires from Carfax

the Anglo-Saxon chain of being

Books + Ideas — August 2010

The British media really only cover Australia when there are major political events, disasters, or "man bites kangaroo" stories.

Australians can get a feel for how this works by considering the treatment of New Zealand in the Australian media. And of course the United States does the same to Britain.

Going the other way, of course, Australia looms large in New Zealand, Britain looms large in Australia, and the United States dominates the English-speaking world across most media.

Economically, Britain and Australia aren't so far apart in this chain - the nominal GDP ratios are US/UK 6.7, UK/Aus 2.1, and Aus/NZ 8.5 - but the cultural edge seems similar.


  1. First cab off the rank again.

    Are Vera and Peter at your place in Oxford now? I remember you said something about their going to England in August.

    If that was the case, Peter and Vera won't be around for the main event Down Under : the general election. It surely rates a mention in the UK. The Greens are going to miss their help in handing out how to vote cards.

    I can't stomach Tony Abbott winning. He was not called the Mad Monk or Howard's attack dog for nothing. I've seen him up close a couple of times. He came across as a cold and aloof person. I think I am a pretty good judge of people.

    On pollies: I had met a few heavies including Malcolm Fraser when I was carrying a tray at the Wentworth Hotel. I even managed to have a short chat with some of them, ministers included. Once, I identified a former DLP senator Frank McManus. He was then a Boral director, and was pleasant surprised when I asked him if he was the Frank McManus. Of course, the egregious DLP was wiped out in 1972.

    BTW, I don't even vote. My name is out of the electoral role. Last time I voted was in 1972.

    Hope your candidate gets up tomorrow night our time.

    Comment by DL — August 2010
  2. It looks like the DLP may have got a senator elected in Victoria. Seems incredible, but then Victoria is where Fielding got elected on preference flows.

    The UK seems to be managing with a Coalition government, so perhaps a hung parliament or a coalition with a tiny majority will prove viable. The major parties have moved closer together - the Political Compass graphic illustrates that nicely - so there may be no ideological issue which will scuttle a 76 member government.

    Comment by danny — August 2010
  3. It is news to me that a DLP senate aspirant got up. But it is good riddance to bad rubbish, Stephen Fielding is no more come July 2011. He is full of himself, a narcisstic, self-aggrandising moron. He said pensioners lived on pet food and baked beans, and put on a one-man farce by producing the cans to illustrate his claim in the Senate when there were no social workers backed up his wild assertion. I think he was responsible for passing Voluntary Student Unionism; he was against the tax on alcopops; he went to pseudo-scientists and known climate sceptics to bolster his own view on climate change. There is no end to his buffoonery.

    Comment by DL — August 2010
  4. The senate situation is pretty clear, DLP senator not-withstanding. Whoever forms government will have to get support from either the other major party or the Greens to get anything through.

    I fear, however, that that will get us delusional climate change policies (with the majors hard to distinguish), xenophobic treatment of refugees, and general opposition to human rights.

    It's a real shame the Democrats don't seem viable any more. There's a real need for a small l liberal party, for voters who are socially progressive but more market-oriented economically than the Greens.

    Comment by danny — August 2010
  5. The dust has settled, we have a minority government. The saving grace for Labor is its NBN policy. I am no tech-head,or computer nerd, but I appreciate the significance of the fibre optic cable roll out. It is an inevitability.

    How do you read the NBN?

    Comment by DL — September 2010

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