A Bit More Budget Reaction – Following on from its declaration of Peter Costello as a “working class hero”, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph has found something to criticise the Treasurer for – its front page story notes “his terrific budget for the hard-working people of NSW” but complains that he “has spurned his Sydney Rugby League team.” Apparently this means that he may not be fit for the job of Prime Minister. I would have thought Costellos’ assessment that Joh Bjelke-Petersen “will be seen as the outstanding premier of the 20th Century” was sufficient to disqualify him from fitness to hold that office, regardless of whether he is going to the footy or not. As Matt Price noted in The Australian, the same newspaper that dubbed the Treasurer a working class hero for his $6 tax cut for low income earners, two years ago described his $5 tax cut as “piddling”.
UK Electoral Reform – A further good sign on the campaign for electoral reform in the UK, with that country’s Independent newspaper reporting that “almost 100 Labour MPs, including several cabinet ministers, support electoral reform.”
Migration Detention & Deportation – The facts coming out about mismanagement and incompetence in our immigration system are getting more appalling every day. I managed to get an Urgency Motion passed by the Senate calling for a Royal Commission into the operation of mandatory detention, deportation and enforcement under the Migration Act. I doubt the Government will act directly on this, but I expect the wide community and political pressure in this area will continue, as there will be more stories coming out in the near future.
Nick Cave – Whilst everyone was out partying after the Budget, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were performing in Brisbane. This is the third time I’ve missed specific Nick Cave concerts because the Senate has been sitting. Nick is performing around Australia (and New Zealand) over the next week or two. I’m in Canberra until Sunday night, as the Democrats’ National Conference is on in Canberra over the weekend and I’m probably going to Nauru again on Monday, so I don’t know if I’ll get to see any of those shows, as he’s not playing in Canberra (or Nauru as far as I know). This is VERY annoying, but can’t be helped.
Albatross!! – A quick progress report on the Albatross race I mentioned last week.. My bird, Voyager, has been flying around in circles a bit, as birds do, but seems to have started moving westwards and looks to be about 9th in the field of 17. Go to this site for more info and to place a bet of your own to help save the albatross.