Tuesday, December 4, 2012
I reckon it's that myriad of little compromises as the bureaucracy gets involved in attempting to implement ideas and turn dreams into practice. Not, of course, that the ideas people necessarily have it right either . . . although perhaps they've got more hope than the bureaucrats of making something liveable.
This is only my second article on the city in a decade.
As you can see, I think it needs to be improved . . .
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I suspect that the role of the individual in the party has been subsumed. The structure rules supreme, cannibalising those who fail to submit to the new dominant ethos of the party - the extraction of personal wealth from the commonweal.
This was published in the Canberra Times today . . .
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sometimes what I'm really trying to say only becomes clear at the end - when I'm revising for the fifth time what I'm attempting to say.
That's the case with today's column.
I went for the 'interesting' start. I suspect I should have just concentrated on the way the fragmenting of the electorate means politicians will have to find new ways of communicating with, and keeping together, smaller communities of interest.
See what you think . . .
Monday, November 12, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I'm very proud to call Matt Peacock a mate.
I think he should sue the ABC, though. Those sideburns he's depicted with in the '70's were atrocious! Cigarets aplenty as well, of course. But what about the booze and the women? A very partial 'history' . . .
Thursday, November 8, 2012
This piece describes the end of Mitt Romney's campaign for the US presidency.
But look at the way it wraps in so much more as well . . .
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
I saw it as soon as I re-read it (the fifth time).
I mention Jim Thompson. Of course I mean David.
That's brain damage for you . . .
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Journalists spend ages attempting to craft their stories to make them 'accurate'.
But what happens when you know that what you're meant to report on - be it the assurances contained in the government's 'Asia White Paper', or the solemn protestations of a politician pretending to assure us of 'x' or 'y' - is rubbish . . .
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Particularly when it comes to politics.
That's hardly surprising. One of the things that makes for great journalism is passion, and McKew's passionate about politics. This is (sort of) a review of her book, Rudd's chance to return to the Lodge (virtually negligible) and Gillard's prior knowledge of the coup (I believe she did know prior to the morning she announced her challenge) . . .
Amidst all the verbiage launching the Asia White Paper today she listed the reasons we need to engage with the region.
Money, economy, security - all of the usual suspects were front and centre, just as you'd expect. Yet how utterly devoid of imagination!
The reason to be engaged with Asia is because it's interesting, exciting, challenging, fun and wonderful and to interact with foreign cultures . . .
Friday, October 26, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Just like Brutus turning his dagger on Julius Caesar, Superman has departed the Daily Planet. He won't be using his alias as a reporter any more, because, let's face it, there soon won't be a paper to report for.
This extract is straight from the amazing;
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The BBC's current Director General appeared overnight at a parliamentary inquiry into the affair http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/9628228/Jimmy-Savile-George-Entwistle-heckled-by-BBC-reporters-after-brutal-grilling-from-MPs.html .
What astounds me is a comment half way through this report . . .
Monday, October 22, 2012
Because of the usual strong Labor vote in the territory, Labor didn't lose and will probably be able to form government. The last time the Liberals came this close to having a Chief Minister was in 1995, just before the Keating government lost in a landslide.
This column considers the dynamics behind the vote:
Monday, October 15, 2012
The details of the work are on the Moodle page.
This is a bit extra . . .
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
If you were going to have one you'd have to begin by reforming the Reserve Bank, so perhaps that's a good place to start.
This column published in the Canberra Times considers the Bank, and then the banking system . . .
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
"It may surprise you to learn who Britain's third most popular "porn babe" has been for the past couple of weeks. It was none other than the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton. Until last week, she was listed in the top five most searched UK "babes" on freeones.co.uk, a site which aggregates free pictures of mostly porn actresses, but also celebrities . . .
"Indeed, I feel a little guilty writing this piece, as my own disapproving post on the Middleton nudesgenerated 300,000 hits for the Telegraph."
So, will the words "Porn Babe!" and "Middleton nude photos" spike traffic to my blog? I'll let you know what the stats are soon . . .
PS. Foston's post is at: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/willardfoxton2/100007870/how-those-kate-middleton-topless-photos-make-a-fortune-for-online-porn-sites/
Monday, October 1, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
At some point, however, the mis-match between revenue and expenditure becomes just too great.
This column suggests that point was reached long ago . . .
Friday, September 21, 2012
makes the simple point that it's vital to question every bit of received dogma.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
She says what makes the novel work is not the sex (which isn't there) but rather that it "
But there was an earlier gaffe, that US columnist Gail Collins nails here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
On the other hand, perhaps not.
The point is we don't know, as this column seeks to make clear . . .
PS ON THE DAY THIS COLUMN WAS PUBLISHED STEPHEN SMITH ANNOUNCED AN INQUIRY WOULD BE CONDUCTED INTO THE KILLINGS OF THE TWO AFGHANS.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
She values education and particularly the skills she identified as vital, such as Maths and English.
So let's use those skills to ask if there are any journalistic questions we'd like to have answered . . .
Saturday, September 1, 2012
War is terrible.
The senseless waste of a death at the hands of someone who was supposedly an ally reeks of something worse; an incompetence that should never have been allowed to occur.
Saying nothing will allow the tragedy to continue, which is why I was spurred to write this column for the Canberra Times . . .
One was from Canberra, although the names have not yet been released.
It is a terrible event. We can best remember the sacrifice of the soldiers by carrying on with our duties, as this post on The Strategist sought to make clear . . .
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Journalism isn't called the 4th Estate (after the clergy, nobility and commoners) for nothing. Telling stories about society is, and always will be, important.
How many people do this, and how well they're paid, is a different matter . . .
Thursday, August 23, 2012
It seems to me one of the most vital elements of journalism is editing. The knowledge that someone else has done some of the sorting and correcting inspires confidence and results in a broad audience. But today the old model of journalism is under threat.
Who will do the editing in the future?
Here's an example of different interpretations of the same statistics. This time with regard to Climate Change. How would you interpret the statistics? What qualifiers would you leave in?
Where exactly does the boundary lie between News (note the capital letter) and commentary?
Take Niall Ferguson. As an historian, he attempts to anchor his arguments in fact. News is, of course, fact. But our definition of fact can still be problematic.
An article he wrote has polarised opinion in the US and fired many liberals with fury at the way he has misrepresented facts, as I attempt to show for anyone in my Tutorials who's interested . . .
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Hi to those in my reporting tutorials at the University of Canberra.
Because I'm still new to Moodle I'm going to maintain this as a duplicate site - providing general information about the course, some working notes for the particular weekly tutorials, and finally some more general thoughts about journalism with, hopefully, some extra reading you may be interested in following up on.
And, by the way, I can always be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org by anyone . . .
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Another way of beginning this column would have been to reprise Tom Cruise's movie role; the one where he's obsessed with getting people to say. "show me the money".
Because that's what government is all about. Money.
As this column attempts to explain . . .
Saturday, August 18, 2012
So I'm shutting down my Saturday contribution.
I hope you enjoy this one, published in the Canberra Times today . . .
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
This is a podcast of an interview I've just done with Alex Sloan on 666 ABC Canberra.
Gosh she's a great interviewer. And a lovely person too.
The radio is at:
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Those living with a brain injury are aware of the injury every minute of the day. As are there carers.
But I suppose we've got to bring the rest of society along with us. This is my effort to do so . . .
Saturday, August 11, 2012
I've always believed that governments should supply the necessary services the community requires.
Particularly for the disabled.
Unfortunately, here in Canberra, the Territory government appears to have some difficulty 'finding' the money, as this column tries to show with one vital project in particular . . .
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
We expect far more political choice today than we used to in the past.
Parties aren't just expected to balance the budget - there's a whole range of smaller issues that we expect to know about before we vote for them.
This is all having an unforeseen effects, as this column explores . . .
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
What are the factors that elevate a performance, and a person, beyond the everyday?
This column makes an attempt to discern the elements that propel individuals to greatness, both at the Olympics and in their everyday lives . . .
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Without this we are reduced to groping around blindly.
This makes the stupidity of AusAID's cancellation of a contract obtaining relevant intelligence in Afghanistan bizarre, as this column in todays Canberra Times attempts to make clear . . .
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
If so I argue it is because they have stopped being a conservative, environmental party and changed to become a party of the hard left. . .
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The aim of politics is to build a winning coalition, but unfortunately this insight appears to have escaped the Labor Party.
The other political requirement is compromise, but this time it's the Greens that appear to be unaware of the requirement . . .
Monday, July 16, 2012
Of course you don't need to have children to live a good life, and I apologise for the implied linkage . . .
Friday, July 13, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
There's an increasing divide between the war and the words surrounding what's actually happening.
This column displays two instances of the divergence . . .
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It's either the third day of the Carbon Tax or the sixth day since the government failed to do anything about the asylum seekers . . .
This column, for a change, examines the failure of rhetoric from the Opposition, rather than the failed policy making of the government . . .
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
"It's war Jim, but not as we know it", Spock would have said.
Hence the following meditation in the Canberra Times . . .
Monday, June 11, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
In decades to come we'll look back on the predictable causes of the current economic turmoil and be able to say precisely how institutions should have reacted.
But the real problems are embedded in the economic system. This story simply considers the dysfunction of a central bank which considers fighting inflation one of its primary tasks . . .
Sunday, June 3, 2012
There is a story behind this, but I don't know or understand what it means yet. What I've done here is simply attempt to revisit some of the complexity involved.
Of course, even this sketch is far too simplistic . . .
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Naturally I have no knowledge about the alleged illegalities themselves. This column refers merely to the fact that the government - and Julia Gillard - has already been 'convicted' by most Australians.
It needed have been this way . . .
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
That's the disaster that accompanies the series of 'culture reviews' Defence has undergone over the past year. They'll change nothing.
Far better to consider how it might have been done differently . . .
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
This time, of course, it will all be different. Apart from the stuff that's the same.
This was written and filed to the Canberra Times hours before yesterdays ballot (forgive the boasting). nothing has required any changes . . .
Saturday, February 25, 2012
If only. Commercial soapies have a beginning, middle and, most importantly, an end. Will Labor's? I doubt it. At least until an Abbott government is installed, anyway . . .
Friday, February 24, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
This is something that this column explores. But only right at the very end.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Surely the only way to stop the ongoing disaster that is Federal Labor is to conscript a third person to lead the party.
These are some thoughts on the leadership battle . . .
Monday, February 13, 2012
This is because we can't defeat the Taliban . . . but that's another story.
This article was published in the Canberra Times on the weekend . . .
Friday, January 27, 2012
This comes from London's Daily Telegraph. It is by Peter Oborne.
Now we turn to the case of Stephen Hester, the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who is reportedly pressing for a substantial annual bonus in addition to his already colossal £1.2 million salary. There are no questions of integrity with Hester, as there are with Huhne and Laws. However, an extremely important issue is at stake, concerning the values that guide Britain as a nation.The key point to bear in mind is that Mr Hester is not a banker. He is a civil servant, heading an organisation which is 84 per cent owned by the British government. His immediate boss, Robin Budenberg, the chief executive of UK Financial Investments, earns just over £145,000 a year. Mr Budenberg in turn reports to Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, who earns at least £175,000.It is outrageous and insulting that Mr Hester should insist on such a huge salary, and beyond belief that he should be insisting on a bonus. Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that he is by no means the hungriest RBS employee. His colleague John Hourican, the head of RBS’s calamitous investment banking division, is reportedly demanding more than £4 million.Consider this: supposing that Mr Hourican gets his bonus, it will pay him approximately £11,000 every single day – as a state employee. In just three days, it would surpass the amount that a young corporal, risking life and limb in Afghanistan, gets in an entire year.
Monday, January 23, 2012
This is actually my third column for 2012. I'll post the others over the next couple of days. I've been a bit slack in keeping up to date.
This is about the need for Australia to keep "making things" and the importance of government in ensuring it continues to do so . . .