Hmmmmm . . .

Not a great first innings from the Coalition. Even partisan supporters probably flinch from time to time as fresh details of the latest lurch emerge. Early days, mind you. As I recall, the Howard government looked something of a rabble at this stage as well.

The own goals have been impressive. Abbott playing the hard man with Indonesia after the phone tapping details emerged was downright bizarre in the wake of that early goodwill trip bearing assorted apologies. Couldn’t he see he’d eventually have to play nice? After all, who’s the supplicant in this relationship just now. As for Pyne, could he have set his sights on a quick slot in the Guinness book of records . . . most egregious unforced error with backflip, perhaps? All very strange.

First impressions aren’t easy to change. Continue reading

Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells MPs

“The astonishing suggestion that this sort of journalism can be equated with aiding and abetting terrorism needs to be scotched decisively,” Emmerson [UN special raporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights] said. “Attacking the Guardian is an attempt to do the bidding of the services themselves, by distracting attention from the real issues.”

via Guardian will not be intimidated over NSA leaks, Alan Rusbridger tells MPs | Guardian

What would Maggie do now? | Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson can be a funny guy.

People aren’t remotely interested in how much tax these characters pay. That does nothing to palliate their primary offence, which is to be so stonkingly and in their view emetically rich.

Emetically, for those who (like me) haven’t run across it before, means vomit inducing.

He loves stirring things up, saying the unsayable, tweaking friends and opponents. By all accounts, he rides easily over his own stumbles and idiocies, an irrepressible, privileged, well educated, scruffy and oversized urchin.

Last week, he gave the Margaret Thatcher Lecture at the Centre for Policy Studies.

Somewhat careless comments about the uses of greed and the distribution of IQ in “our species” got most of the critical attention. Still, alongside this, and his boosterism for Britain, and his unabashed enthusiasm for free markets and meritocracy, worries about rising inequality dotted the speech. I rather liked his summary of the dilemma. Continue reading