TREASURER Joe Hockey must be exhausting the patience of PM Tony Abbott with all his loose talk about cuts to old-age pensions, health, retirement age and the NDIS.Tony was quite unequivocal in his promises just before the election: “No change to pensions; no cuts to health, no cuts to ABC or SBS; and no cuts to education.” And Oxford boxing blue Tony is no man to be trifled with. Joe must be in his sights for a corker of a left hook.
TONY knows there’s no shortage of money in the Federal coffers. He made that perfectly clear this week with his announcement of another $12 billion for an extra 58 fighter jets. The F-35 Lightning II is the state of the art and its only identifiable drawback, according to the government’s analysis, is that it’s “not particularly manoeuvrable”.
That’s okay; it’s only expected to zoom across the sky in perfect formation above the War Memorial once a year on Anzac Day… hence the announcement just in time for this year’s celebrations.
WHAT wonderfully popular celebrations they were.
The Canberra turnout was spectacular. It’s only a matter of time before Anzac Day officially supplants January 26 as Australia Day. And when better to do that than next year on the 100th anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove leading to that famous Turkish victory eight months later? And who better to do it than the English-born PM who appointed a retired Army general as Governor-General?
GLORIOUS timing to have the future King William, the conqueror of Australian hearts, on hand in the colony for the celebrations. He’s not just a pretty face either.
“The harder you work, the luckier you get,” he told us. Of course, the South African golfer Gary Player said the same thing about 30 years ago – which only goes to show how widely read the prince really is.
No wonder young Australians are flocking to the colonial banner. It’s like “The Game of Thrones”, just without the sex and the violence…unless you include brother Harry. In America, their latest “Bachelor” TV show features a flock of gullible ladies who believe they’re actually bidding for Harry’s hand in marriage. Americans, eh?
FORMER PM Kevin Rudd leapt back into the news week with renewed reports of his quest to succeed Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary-General. As his biographer I was interviewed by the prestigious magazine, “Foreign Affairs”, which is following his campaign. The magazine was taken aback when I revealed that he had only ever seen The Lodge as a stepping stone to the UN’s New York HQ.
How did I know? Well, when I asked him his career role model he instantly nominated H.V. Evatt! The “Doc” was a disastrous ALP leader but an effective President of the UN in 1948-49. Well, Kev’s halfway there.
THERE’S something about NSW ex-Premier Barry O’Farrell’s resignation that remains tantalisingly unexplained: Whatever happened to that bottle of wine? Did Barry skol it and have a memory blackout. Did wife Rosemary snaffle it for tipples with the girls? Did it roll under the bed with Barry’s lost slipper? Come on guys, whatever happened to real investigative journalism in this country?