Canine progress …

  1. The dog is not allowed in the house.
  2. OK, certain rooms.
  3. Well, all rooms but not on the furniture.
  4. OK, the old furniture.
  5. Fine all the furniture except the bed.
  6. OK, the bed … by invitation.
  7. The dog can sleep on the bed but not under the covers.
  8. All right then, under the covers by invitation.
  9. OK, under the covers, every night.
  10. Excuse me, dog, can I get under the covers, too?

Thanks, Trish.

Muzzles ready …

Gemma Daley in the Fin Review reports …

Federal cabinet is set to approve and present to Parliament a tough public interest test for media ownership …

Labor MPs have been told to sell the idea of a media crackdown to their electorates over the next six weeks …

Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon to say the Australian media was beginning to behave like that in the UK. “I think what we have seen over Craig Thomson is the first step down a Fleet Street style of journalism and clear evidence we need an independent regulator,” he said at the time.

Labor senator Doug Cameron cited the Slipper affair yesterday in his push for greater regulation of the media, particularly News Ltd.

“The conduct of News Ltd over a long period . . . is a threat to democracy in this country,”

The greater threat to democracy is over-regulation of the media. There is no constitutional right to free speech enshrined in the Australian Constitution, possibly because the founding father’s thought the necessity of free speech to a Westminster style democracy so obvious that it didn’t need to be stated. Much of the Fin Review article concerns the Thomson and Slipper affairs. Labor has been unable to sweep these matters under the carpet because a section of the media have not allowed them that luxury. Labor’s response – muzzle the press.

Hi, mum …

The hot news, from PerthNow

THE Government’s road to electoral recovery rests with a new demographic known as “mummy bloggers”, Labor MPs have been told.

And they have been urged to get on Facebook to reach this new generation of “soft” voters.

In the last caucus meeting before MPs break for winter recess, Prime Minister Julia Gillard subjected her backbench to a one-hour PowerPoint presentation on how she would restore Labor’s credibility.

Soft voters? They’d have to be soft in the head. I heard it put quite neatly the other day, “Re-electing Julia would be like backing up the Titanic and smacking the iceberg again”. However …

 One senior right-wing MP said Ms Gillard told them she had a plan and “not to worry”. Asked what the plan was, the MP replied: “I can’t remember. I stopped listening as soon as the PowerPoint screen came down.”

Stopped listening … well whine not. Labor Party national secretary George Wright also addressed caucus over the disastrous polling.

“There is no need to tell you that things are rugged out there,” Mr Wright was reported to have said.

However, he said Labor’s hopes for revival rested with so-called “mummy bloggers” – a new social demographic that needed to be tapped as they were regarded as “a soft” vote and could be lured to Labor.


Vale George …

Lonesome George, last of his subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise has died. He was found dead by his long time keeper on June 24th.

George was discovered on the Island of Pinta in 1972, and in his later years was cared for at the Charles Darwin Research Centre. He was about 100 years old. All attempts to preserve his genes by mating him with females of closely related subspecies failed.

The life and times of poor old George are well reported by the BBC.

The Sun (UK), possibly the best argument against freedom of the press I can think of, ran the headline – SHELL SHOCK – and tell us …

He was seen by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year – including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie only a few months ago.