Archive for February 4th, 2008

What were you doing at 3:34pm?

How about informing people that federal treasurer Wayne Swan and housing minister Tanya Plibersek would be holding a press conference at 3:30pm?

One wonders if AAP were just watching Sky News, saw the press conference and decided that they better write something, anything, anything at all, about it.


February 4th, 2008 at 04:32pm

Afternoons in Adelaide are about to be very foreign

Radio FIVEaa, Adelaide’s commercial talkback station, have announced the fill-in presenter for afternoon host Amanda Blair…it’s none other than the former federal minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer MP.

Alexander DownerMr. Downer, who retained the seat of Mayo in last year’s election, will host FIVEaa’s afternoon show from February 25 to March 7.

Mayo appears to be on the outskirts of Adelaide and parts of it would undoubtedly be in range of FIVEaa, which makes me wonder about the merits of allowing a member of parliament to control what comes out of the transmitter for a few hours each day…I can’t find a specific clause in the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice which expressly prevents a member of parliament from hosting a program, however it is blatantly obvious whenever a politician is interviewed, that they generally like their own opinions at the expense of all others, which makes me wonder how well Mr. Downer will be able to uphold clause 2.2 (c):

2.2 In the preparation and presentation of current affairs programs, a licensee must ensure that:
(c) reasonable efforts are made or reasonable opportunities are given to present significant viewpoints when dealing with controversial issues of public importance, either within the same program or similar programs, while the issue has immediate relevance to the community;

Technically the station will be complying with the rules if, for example, Mr. Downer presents a hopelessly biased program and the next program is dedicated to people disagreeing with him…although I’m sure with Media Watch back in session by then, FIVEaa and Mr. Downer won’t want the attention.

On the positive side, it is a very interesting way of being available to your constituents and it is bound to generate a lot of calls. Mr. Downer will almost certainly be able to add a very thorough understanding of foreign affairs to any discussion, and hopefully will follow up on whatever local issues get thrown his way.

I wonder how many people are going to ring up and say that they voted for him?

I have a few concerns about having a current member of parliament hosting a radio program, but from a ratings and publicity perspective it’s a stroke of genius…the main problem though is that if it works, you can expect politicians to start filling in all over the country, and with some of them, that could be incredibly boring.


3 comments February 4th, 2008 at 12:11pm

It’s what we call a “teething problem”

China’s bureau of meteorology are under strict orders to make sure that it doesn’t rain on the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in August:

CHINESE weather boffins say they have stopped the rain from falling in experiments aimed at guaranteeing a dry opening ceremony at August’s Olympic Games.

With no roof on the showpiece Bird’s Nest stadium, the Beijing Meteorological Bureau has been charged with developing methods of preventing wet weather spoiling what promises to be a spectacular start to the Games on the evening of August 8.

“Our experiments with rain mitigation have been aimed at light rain,” said Zhang Qian, head of weather manipulation at the bureau.

“With heavy rain it is more difficult. The results with light rain have been satisfactory.”

But if this is the best the weather manipulation people can do, then we’ll be lucky if a typhoon doesn’t hit the Olympics:

GUANGZHOU, China (AFP) — Millions of Chinese workers battled for a precious train ticket home Sunday as authorities flew in emergency supplies to areas stranded by the worst weather in 50 years.

Food and medical supplies were airlifted to the snowbound southwestern province of Guizhou and neighbouring Hunan where many people have been without power for more than a week, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The blizzards and icy temperatures that have lasted nearly three weeks now have stranded millions of people at airports, railway stations and bus depots in China’s south, central and eastern regions.

The weather has destroyed crops, hit industrial production, disrupted coal and food supplies and led to power blackouts, for a bill estimated at around 7.5 billion dollars, according to official figures.

At least 105 million out of the country’s 1.3 billion population have been affected and more than 60 have been killed, the government says.

Or perhaps it’s me that should be worried, the department of weather manipulation will probably unleash a cyclone on Canberra now that I’ve had a go at them.


February 4th, 2008 at 10:11am

Could It Rain For The First Three One-Day Matches?

Yesterday’s one-day international cricket match between Australia and India at The Gabba was washed out by rain. The weather forecast for the next two matches has me concerned.

Match Two (February 5): Sri Lanka V India at The Gabba (Brisbane): Rain 23°C-26°C
Match Three (February 8): Australia V Sri Lanka at the SCG (Sydney): Showers 21°C-25°C

The fourth match is the first one to have a good weather forecast.
Match Four (February 10): Australia V India at the MCG (Melbourne): Mostly Sunny 14°C-26°C

The next match is in Canberra on the 12th of February, at this stage Canberra is in for rain until the 10th by which stage it will start to clear, in a couple days we will know more.


February 4th, 2008 at 08:53am

Samuel’s Blog Weekly Poll: Sorry

Next week on the 13th of February, Kevin Rudd plans to apologise to the stolen generation, so before we get there, a question:

Do you support Kevin Rudd’s plan to apologise to the stolen generation?

Total Votes: 40
Started: February 4, 2008

Kevin Rudd is adamant that his apology will not lead to compensation, although you can be guaranteed that it will be tested in court at some stage, especially seeing as Bruce Trevorrow, the first stolen generation Aborigine to receive compensation, received an additional quarter of a million dollars last week. Compensation is only part of the issue though, there is also the debate over whether the current government should apologise for the acts of a previous government, whether a blanket apology or a selective apology is appropriate, and whether or not we even need to apologise.

The issue is undoubtedly a minefield of controversy, hence the reason for keeping the question simple. If you want to elaborate on your answer, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

Last week’s question was:

Should the Australian Navy be deployed to stop the whaling?

Total Votes: 29
Started: January 21, 2008

Whilst the majority say “yes”, 41% is still an awful lot of opposition. I would be interested to know what method the 41% would use to stop the whaling, if they want it stopped at all.


February 4th, 2008 at 03:44am


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