Archive for November, 2011

New Zealand election results and a Melbourne Cup holiday

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Good morning John,

I’ve been listening to New Zealand radio for a while so that I can listen to them discussing the results of their federal election and must say that I am very pleased by the result.

John Key and his National Party, which is a conservative party, have been returned with greater numbers, and with the help of other conservative parties, will have a majority in parliament. Labor had one of their worst results in history with about 26% of the vote, and it seems that the Greens have picked up a bunch of Labor votes as the Greens got more than 10%…it’s similar to the situation here in a way with the Greens slowly but surely taking the more left-wing voters away from Labor.

They have voluntary voting over there and had a fairly low turnout by their standards…only 65% of people voted. I wish we had voluntary voting here John. It worries me that our close elections are probably decided by votes from people who probably couldn’t care less about politics or elections. I wonder how different our last federal election would have been under a voluntary voting system, especially seeing as the Coalition had more votes but ended up losing the election.

Anyway, I’m in awe of New Zealand and how well they seem to be doing in spite of the natural disasters which they have endured. It’s a testament to the success of John Key and conservatives in New Zealand, and I’m glad that New Zealanders are getting behind him.

Just quickly on the subject of a Melbourne Cup holiday. We tried that in Canberra and it failed miserably. Venues had to put prices up because of public holiday pay rates so people tended to stay home and the venues lost business. Work functions ceased because nobody was at work and caterers lost out as a result, and the general culture of the day, which promoted workplace harmony and added a bit of interest to an otherwise fairly standard work day, was lost. It works in Melbourne because the race is based there and people can go to the track…it doesn’t work anywhere else because everywhere else has an existing Melbourne Cup Day culture which mostly revolves around work and private functions.

Have a great week John.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

November 27th, 2011 at 01:37am

New Zealand election

An email to Larry Williams of New Zealand radio station NewsTalk ZB

Hi Larry,

I just wanted to say thanks to you and the NewsTalk ZB team for the great election coverage tonight. I’ve been listening from Australia and have to say a very big congratulations to John Key, the National Party and conservatives in general.

As an Aussie who is suffering from a Labor government, it’s great to see the New Zealanders have the common sense that Aussies seem to lack.

If I work out the time difference, I’ll be listening for a little while in the morning before I go to sleep. I’m on night shift at the moment so I think your show starts around the time my shift finishes.

Have a great day.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

November 26th, 2011 at 10:41pm

Paul Henry coming to Ten’s Breakfast

If Sunrise and Today are cereal, and ABC News Breakfast is toast with soy-bean butter, then Ten’s new breakfast show might just be bacon and eggs: worthwhile and not ashamed to not fit the notion of a “healthy and balanced breakfast”. OK, so I’m stretching the analogy a bit too thin (like Vegemite…oops, sorry) but I am quite pleased to see that the Ten Network’s entry in to the adult Breakfast Television market will contain New Zealand broadcaster Paul Henry who, until recently, hosted a similar show on New Zealand television.

Paul is a controversial figure, but seems to be unafraid to say what he thinks. Given the current state of free speech in this country, this could be just what the doctor ordered.

I have been wondering for a while what Ten have been planning with their new show, as there really is no room for yet another Sunrise or Today. Those two barely have enough room for each other. ABC News 24 has carved out its own niche in both being more news focussed than Today and Sunrise, and also stealing the left-wing audience from Radio National. I was thinking that Ten’s show might try being heavily news focussed in an effort to take some of the ABC audience and starve Sunrise and Today of the viewers who actually care about the news but won’t watch ABC News…instead I think they’re going one better, news with solid opinions to back it up.

Given that Andrew Bolt works for the Ten Network and MTR1377’s future remains under a large cloud of confusion, I wonder what the chances are that Andrew will make regular appearances on Ten’s Breakfast. I would love to see Paul and Andrew host the show (it won’t happen, but I’d like to see it)…I’m sure that the people at Ten who deal with viewer complaints would dread such a thing, but I reckon it would set a record for ratings of a breakfast television show.

Another option, and Ten, please consider this, is to borrow what NBC Today does. They use David Gregory, the despicable “moderator” of NBC’s Meet The Depressed as a political analyst, giving him seemingly endless amounts of time to opine on matters of…uh…something (sorry, I struggle to stay awake through his editorials and I find myself yelling loudly at him whenever he interviews anyone) and Ten could do something similar with Bolt, albeit something much more interesting seeing as Bolt is infinitely more interesting than David Gregory. My proposal is that Ten’s Breakfast could use Andrew Bolt, “host of The Bolt Report” as their resident political analyst, opining on the matters of the day. It would be a bit like the “Kings of Talkback” segment on Sunrise, except that the hosts of the show would actually be paying attention…and I can imagine some great conversations between Paul Henry and Andrew Bolt.

Anyway, as sent by our good friend Padders over at The Right Aussie, here’s a fun clip of Paul Henry on breakfast television in New Zealand during the utterly bizarre “Maori Language Week”.

And here’s a highlight which gave me a good laugh.

I hope we get to see plenty of Paul at his best when he joins Australian television next year.


1 comment November 8th, 2011 at 03:52am

2CC change their phone number

2CC, Canberra’s commercial talk radio station, have changed their open line number to something a bit more reminiscent of their on-air identity. The old 6255 4444 is gone, replaced with 6255 1206, a nod to their frequency, 1206 kHz.

This isn’t the first time 2CC have changed their phone number. In fact it has changed three times in the last fifteen years. Originally 2CC used 11611 as their open line number having somehow managed to retain it despite Canberra moving beyond five-digit phone numbers. Eventually (it may have been during the change from seven to eight digit phone numbers in 1997, but I thought it was later) 2CC changed to 6255 6666, and later on in the early 2000s they changed to 6255 4444. At the time of that change I was jokingly told that it was because a Feng Shui expert told them to do it.

It is nice to see the number change to something a tad more logical, especially given that 2CC’s sister station 1053 2CA has had both 6241 1053 and 6242 1053 for yonks. Hopefully the new number serves them well for a long time to come.


November 8th, 2011 at 03:13am

When “transparency” backfires: The tender process that just won’t provide the preferred outcome

I don’t understand this one any more. The federal government is clearly intent on awarding the next contract for the operation of the Australia Network to the ABC, but is also so hopelessly intent on pretending to be following correct processes that it has yet again changed the rules in the hope that the inferior bid of the ABC will somehow be declared the winner.

The Government has terminated the tender process to find a new operator for the Australia Network due to “significant leaks” relating to the contract to run the broadcaster.

The communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy announced the decision to terminate the process late on Monday afternoon, saying the process had been compromised to such a degree that a fair outcome could not be achieved. A decision will now be made by March next year, he said.

Of course when Conroy says “fair outcome” he actually means “giving the contract to the ABC because those people at Sky will corrupt the Asians with a ‘Bob Brown’s hate media’ view of my inept government”.

Recently, the Government requested that the Australian Federal Police investigate developments surrounding the tender including the leaks, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review. That request came after The Australian published a story claiming that Sky News had been nominated as the preferred tenderer for a second time.

(h/t Media Spy’s bacco|007)

Yes, that’s right, a second time. The last time Sky News were about to win, the government changed the rules as well. Back to July goes the time machine…

Doubts have emerged about the tender process to determine who will run the Australia Network, after it emerged that the Federal Government sidestepped an independent assessment that Sky News would be better placed to run the broadcaster.

Fairfax newspapers report today that Sky News’ bid was originally favoured over the ABC’s offer by a majority of the public servants charged with overseeing the process. But the panel’s role was effectively ditched after the Government made a late decision to modify the rules governing the tender.

(h/t Media Spy’s Cyril Washbrook)

This all reminds me of the good (aka bad) old days of the ACT Government under the leadership of then-Chief Turnip Jon Stanhope where every decision went to a “public consultation” where people who could be bothered going along to the consultation sessions were promptly ignored and ridiculed by the government officials in attendance, and the government just went ahead with its own plans anyway.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a Labor/Greens federal government is using the tricks of a Labor/Greens territory government…I just wish that if they were going to do stuff regardless of the outcome of reviews/consultations/committees/etc that they would just do it instead of wasting money on the reviews/consultations/committees/etc, but then who would they pass the blame to when it all goes badly? Oh, of course, Tony Abbott, just like she did with the boat people policy when they fell in a giant steaming heap, and didn’t the opinion polls absolutely love her for that?

Julia, just give up and call an election. It’s clear that you have no idea how to govern…just let us elect someone else, please!


November 8th, 2011 at 02:45am

2011 Melbourne Cup: The complete finishing order

Here they are, in order down the left column first, then the right column.


2 comments November 1st, 2011 at 03:49pm

2011 Melbourne Cup: Final results and dividends


November 1st, 2011 at 03:26pm

2011 Melbourne Cup: Interim results and dividends


November 1st, 2011 at 03:15pm

The 2011 Melbourne Cup

It’s that day of the year again…alas this year I won’t be able to provide as full a coverage as I have in previous years due to my own work commitments, however I will keep you updated as much as I can throughout the afternoon, including the full finishing order of every horse.

My tips for today’s big race (The Emirates Melbourne Cup at 3pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time):
2. Jukebox Jury
8. Fox Hunt
11. Precedence

I see that there is also some racing in Bunbury, Western Australia today, so as a bonus tip:
Bunbury Race 2 (The Instant Waste Management Maiden at 4:28pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time)
2. Satellite City
3. I’m No Eagle

The Melbourne Cup will be, as usual, live on the Seven Network across Australia, however if you can’t get to a television, there are plenty of radio stations covering the race, both on the air and online. You could twiddle your radio dial at 3pm to find a station which is covering the race, or if you want some webstream links, Sky Sports Radio (formerly 2KY) can be heard at (requires Flash Player). Sport 927 in Melbourne have a Windows Media webstream at 2GB in Sydney are covering the race in Windows Media, MP3 (compatible with most players such as Quicktime, Real Player, VLC etc) and via their website. 2CC Canberra are also covering the race in Windows Media format.

Good luck with the races today.


November 1st, 2011 at 11:02am


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