Macklin / Thickly spreading the bread-and-butter news

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THIS past week was absolutely dominated by our own local bread-and-butter news – especially the sort we buy from those huge supermarket chains that bestride our shopping centres.

Robert Macklin.
Robert Macklin.
Woolworths came under fire from all sides, much of it well deserved. As our family’s shopper, your columnist long ago abandoned the nearby Woolies for a Coles outlet in the next suburb. The prices were comparable, but the Coles experience was much more pleasurable – wider aisles, a good range to choose from, but most important, a happy and helpful staff.

However, Coles’ performance in its own stores doesn’t mean their takeover bid for Supabarn is a good thing. Competition rules! And let’s hope the proposed David Jones outlets come our way, too.

OUR Mr Fluffy nightmare really hits home this week with the release of addresses showing that 30,000 Canberrans might have been exposed to the toxic insulation. But exposure doesn’t mean you’ve contracted mesothelioma. In fact, while the government really had no choice but to release the info, given the incurable nature of the disease you have to wonder what it will achieve.

NOBEL Prize winner Brian Schmidt, the next ANU vice-chancellor, told the ABC’s Leigh Sales he’s set his sights on making it “comparable to Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford”. Excellent ambition. Mind you, an Oxford education is no guarantee of a good result. The dreaming spires have produced three of our last seven Prime Ministers – Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke and Tony Abbott. Oh well, I guess two out of three’s not bad.

SPEAKING of “our ABC”, what a lot of silly fuss over the “Q&A” appearance of Zaky Mallah, “a one-time terrorism suspect”, who actually asked a question at the tail end of the program. Tony Abbott used the incident to label the broadcaster “a lefty lynch mob” and to call for “heads to roll”. This is the same Tony Abbott who the previous week publicly applauded the ABC for its marvellous documentary series “The Killing Season” that scarified Labor Party Prime Ministers Rudd and Gillard.

Freedom of speech, it seems, is okay as long as it’s directed at his political enemies. Happily, MD Mark Scott had the bottle to hit back. “The A in ABC is for Australian,” he said. “It is the ABC’s independence from government that shapes [it] as a public broadcaster, not a state broadcaster [like] North Korea and Russia, Vietnam and China.”

A MUCH friendlier side of China was highlighted locally with the announcement by Chief Minister Andrew Barr in our sister city Shenzhen of a 10-year deal to co-produce a range of movies with Australia-China themes. Local Silver Sun Pictures CEO Andy Marriott, who co-signed the deal with partner Cindy Li, of Jia Films, said: “We expect the first production will be ‘Aodaliya Gold’, a $15 million feature film based on the life of Australia’s only Chinese bushranger.”

Really? Whoever could have thought of such a wacky idea?

[Macklin, himself, actually – editor]

BUT when it comes to dumb ideas it’s hard to go past the latest ACT number plate slogan, “Age Friendly City”. It’s not only meaningless, it’s boring. If we must have a slogan on our number plates, then surely “Heart of the Nation” says it all.
robert@robertmacklin.com

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Robert Macklin
Journalist and author. Contact robert@robertmacklin.com

1 COMMENT

  1. if only i could raise a walking stick and belt hell out of whoever came up with “age friendly”, without falling over.
    Even cigarette companys can come up with “your passport to international pleasure” and “when only the best will do”.
    Canberra produces, ” come and die in the cold old pensioner.”
    Absolutely fabulous. (thanks BBC and ABC)
    At least, I live in a place true to its name, “Struggletown”.
    Thank God. (I can’t afford the rates in ACT)
    PPS. I can’t afford the parking in ACT (free in Struggleville).
    PPPS. I can’t afford a small clay block of subsiding poorly built crap in the ACT
    PPPPS if I could, I would not anyway.
    PPPPPS Retire to Greece. It is warm and you cant spend money, coz you can’t get it out of the bank.

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