It was feeding time at the media zoo on Wednesday. Hot on the heels of the PISA report showing that 26% of Victorian 15-year-olds’ educational proficiency was too low “to enable them to participate effectively and productively in life,” the long-awaited Ombudsman’s report into the Victorian public service under Emeritus Chairman Dan Andrews was fed to the salivating media mouths.
There was more than enough for indigestion. Victoria’s public service, the Ombudsman’s massive report said, is “ruled at the highest level by a culture of fear.” No subtlety there.
It’s been a busy week at the Members’ Entrance to the pearly gates to heaven.
On Tuesday Charlie Munger arrived in a limmo longer than a bus. Charlie was Warren Buffett’s conservative investment alter ego. He arrived and immediately began arguing with St Peter about heaven’s recent investments (remembering that time doesn’t matter in heaven): “That St Peter’s Basilica property development in Rome was a waste of money.”
It took an hour for Marie Antionette to be taken from her cell to the Place de la Révolution. On the way to the guillotine, she was jeered and abused by the Parisienne Mob. The Mob wanted a head on a platter. And it got it.
More recently, it took three days for Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin to go from appearing before a Senate Committee to self-decapitation.
Political opinion polls published on Monday screamed gloom for Albo. His preferred PM rating had fallen to 40% from 47%.
In response, Albo gave the Alfred E Neuman comment. Well, he actually didn’t say it. He didn’t need to: the same poll showed the Coalition’s primary support falling to 30%. Albo will be soundly sleeping; albeit in the pointy end of a Qantas A380.
The news last week that former PM Keating had lost it completely with a recurrence of RDS was only a modest surprise. The bad news this week is that RDS is spreading.
Readers will recall that former PM Scott Morrison hailed his 2019 election victory as a miracle, for which he himself was entirely responsible. Clearly hoping to repeat the miracle in the epicentre of miracles, Morrison flew into Israel over the weekend.
Some weeks ago, Wry & Dry suggested that the incoming head of the Productivity Commission Ms. Michelle Wood might get the DCM before starting her job. Her then sin was proposing an inheritance tax.
Wry & Dry mused then that perhaps she suffered from RDS. Proposing an inheritance tax certainly got the headlines.
But then on Wednesday, she again put her head above the parapet.
Saturday: Florida. Played golf with some champion golfers. An Irish fella called McIlroy, a chick from South Korea, Jin Young Ko and a bloke named Tiger something. I WON!
Sunday: New Hampshire. Spoke at a rally. Told them “I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela.” I am willing to GO TO JAIL to defend democracy. Mandela was a patriot, like me. India should be proud of him.
The Voice debacle gave rise to claims and counter claims that would make a lawyer richer than Croesus. The most risible was from journalists, newspaper-letter-writers and deniers who blamed the loss on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.
Really? Dutton would be pleased to claim he single-handedly defeated a campaign backed by the full forces of the government, the ACTU, an overwhelming casket of cash, the major churches, large companies, universities, the major sporting codes, major industry superannuation funds and… Alan Joyce. SuperDutton? Yeah. Nuh.
The massacre and kidnappings of Israelis by Hamas terrorists that occurred just north of the Gaza Strip have rightly sickened most of the world. And the self-righteous triumphalism by Australian anti-Semites has ripped the cover off their latent hatred.
Wry & Dry writes of this subject carefully. And asks Readers to also read carefully.
In a DCM-move that surprised many, Chairman Dan gave himself the DCM on Tuesday. This is a disaster of great magnitude.
Cartoonists all over Australia have lost a subject that yielded the Everest of political satire and ridicule. They feasted on the opportunity provided by arguably the most hated politician since Julius Caesar, whose DCM, unlike Chairman Dan’s, was not self-inflicted and caused by 27 knife wounds from six grumpy conspirators.
Emboldened by his own outstanding oratory and aided by an Opposition as weak as the Wallabies and as divided as post-war Germany, a fawning media and an upper house cross bench that were easily bought, he bestrode the political world like a colossus.
“No Minister, I beg you,” replies Sir Humphrey. “A basic rule of government is never look into anything you don’t have to, and never set up an inquiry unless you know in advance what its findings will be.”
And with this exemplar of responsible government at the forefront of his mind, Albo has set up an inquiry into Covid that is without teeth, ears and eyes.
In a media debut up there with Moses publishing the Ten Commandments, the incoming Productivity Commissioner on Monday called for the re-introduction of inheritance taxes. Ms. Danielle Wood got the gig only last week.
Ms. Wood could make history. Her role doesn’t commence until November, and she could get the DCM two months before starting her job. In fact, to give herself even more of the attention she clearly craves, she should give herself the DCM.
The word ‘Qantas’ received more bad media mentions last week than Chairman Dan has in a year. How did the Yes, Alan chairman of Qantas respond?
Well, Richard Goyder hastened to How To Keep My Job as Chairman In A Crisis For Dummies, a bright yellow tome that sits on the bookshelf of most listed company chairpeople. And ripped open the Panic Envelope glued on the inside front cover.
The competition regulator (ACCC) yesterday parked a tank on Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s front lawn. And spun the turret so that the barrel was aimed at the front door. Inside, Mr. Joyce barricaded the door with sandbags filled with 24,000,000 dollar coins. Wry & Dry’s spy was there.
Moses had 40 years of wandering around the Sinai desert. His budget had red ink as far as the Red Sea, as demands upon his goatskin purse became larger. An ageing population, shrinking revenue base from date and palm sales, the need for increased defence spending to counter Egypt, that nearby wannabe world power, and his ballooning NDIS costs all caused grief.
But, with the help of manna from heaven, after those 40 years he somehow led the Hebrews to the land of milk and honey.
When the Indians are circling your wagon, the lessons of Politics 101 are clear. Divert attention away from the Indians until the cavalry arrives. What better diversion than a big, ‘nation building’ policy.
Former PM Bob Hawke was a master at this. Readers will remember either of “no Australian child will live in poverty” and/or “we will plant one billion trees.”
Who did the CBA’s CEO think he was fooling when he said that the bank’s massive profit will “fortify the balance sheet to support struggling borrowers” Good grief, does anyone think that the CBA is going to forgive the debt of a defaulting borrower?
What proud citizen of the USA would not want a president who admitted to a business relationship with a porn start? Really, it’s about free speech. And free trade.
Or one whose high intellect and sense of history meant that building a personal library of really historic documents was really understandable.
And now, conspiracy. Really? What’s the fuss? Who in politics hasn’t conspired before, during or after office?
Albo earned more frequent flyer points this week, from a trip across the Tasman. He met with the NZ PM to discuss “simplified border checks”.
Wry & Dry is not sure why a mundane matter such as border checks needed a meeting between two prime ministers. But, it is what it is: Albo needed the FF points to keep his Platinum status within reach.
Anthropologists believe there may be tribes living in the farthest reaches of New Guinea who have yet to hear that Chairman Dan has cancelled the state of Victoria holding the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
It must be tough being a US president. So many things to remember. And all of those names and faces. And this on top of the shocking ailment that affects some 50% of the people on the planet: being male.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a batsman who is unhappy with the method of his dismissal will cry that it wasn’t “in the spirit of the game.”
And so it came to pass that in a recent cricket Test match, English batsman Bairstow was silly enough to leave his crease when the ball was still in play. He was correctly dismissed (“stumped”).
An outburst of outrage not seen at Lord’s since the Great Pimm’s Shortfall Crisis of 1926 then arose.
Today, there isn’t a person in the world who is not familiar with Russia’s highway M4. And that it starts on Rostov-on-Don (more-or-less) and finishes in Moscow, some 1,100 kilometres away to the north.
It was along this stretch of mostly wide and smooth asphalt that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army (Wagner Group) commenced its threat to Tsar Vlad’s restful night’s sleep. It left the difficult terrain and unfriendly people of Ukraine for the ease of a paved road and reasonable cafes.
A Senate report accused PwC of “obfuscation, intimidation and unwillingness to give full and frank explanations.”
Of course, Senators never obfuscate, never intimidate and are never unwilling to give full and frank explanations. Of course.
The Trumpster has pleaded not guilty to each of the 37 criminal charges relating to him coveting his neighbour’s ox. The ox being highly classified documents. His neighbour being They-The-American-People.
Make no mistake, some individuals at PwC should end up either in the slammer or fiscally eviscerated. For either or both the original crime and then the cover up. Those bean-counters clearly didn’t spend their formative years studying history. How could they not have known that former US president Richard Nixon was shredded for the Watergate cover-up, not the crime?
Once upon a time there was a country, looking like it was in Africa in the 1960s. It was once prosperous.
Sleepy Joe has decided to cancel his trip to have gumnut tea and a lamington with Albo. His acolytes speak of the need to negotiate the raising of America’s ‘debt ceiling’. Nuh.
The real reason is the worry that Sleepy Joe might fall victim of the food on the Jetstar flight to Sydney. And return to the US in a more horizontal position than is usually found on Jetstar. Then Armageddon: Kamala Harris would get the gig in the White House, at which she has already been measuring up curtains.
Well, it didn’t take too long for number numbness to set in. It was at 7.36pm. At that point, on Tuesday’s alternative-to-sorting-out-the-sock-drawer, Treasurer Grim Chalmers tossed his first use of ‘billion dollars’ into what was a Thermomix of a budget speech. As best man Tom said of his speech at the second of four weddings that were made into a movie, “there’s a little in it for everyone.”
Sounding very much like Captain Louis Renault in Casablanca, Treasurer Grim Jim Chalmers was shocked, shocked to find that that the Chief Teller of the RBA increased interest rates on Tuesday.
In an announcement that surprised nobody, Sleepy Joe announced that he will spend his retirement years pretending to be President. Like an ageing Soviet Politburo member, he will be fortified by Swisse vitamin pills, a nearby ventriloquist and an unseeable whole-of-body Zimmer frame.
Y’see, all this talk about nuclear powered submarines to defend Readers against that nasty Emperor Xi is a giant hoax. The real aim is to plug Australia’s electricity grid into these nuclear-powered subs.
The very earnest Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton still doesn’t get it. The Coalition will be on the wrong side of the House for at least the next election and probably the one after that. So, surely, he should not act like a Leader of the Opposition, but rather put down markers as the alternative Prime Minister.
Three and a half weeks ago, Apprentice Jim Chalmers presented to the world his pleasant sounding but really vague ‘objectives of superannuation’ paper. But as each new subsequent morning dawned, he found that he had become the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It started as a theoretical ‘shoot-the-breeze’ exercise that would lead to a rational way to increase taxes on some superannuation investors. It soon turned into a media circus, the RPM of which was daily increasing.
Twelve months ago today, Tsar Vlad told his lads to park their tanks on a neighbour’s lawn.
The problem was that the neighbour got grumpy; showed spirit; had some powerful friends; and Tsar Vlad’s well-oiled military machine was found to be, well, an embarrassment.
A 56-kilometre single file of Russian tanks and trucks stuck in a traffic jam on the road to Kyiv would have comical if not for its deadly purpose.
The epitaph for former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi will not be of his time pulling the levers of corruption in government to enrich both himself and his mates. It will be for introducing a term into the global lexicon: the ‘bunga-bunga party’.
That quiet, courteous, well-spoken Greens Senator, Lidia Thorpe has turned her coat. And left the Greens to become an ‘independent’.
She now has a job until 2028, without needing to be part of the Greens, that party that gave her the number one spot on its Senate ticket last May. That’s gratitude for you. Her voice will now be louder than any other voice.
Wry & Dry has read Dr Chalmers’ opus. And has lost three hours of his life in so doing, three hours that might have been devoted to more productive enterprises, such as sorting out Wry & Dry’s sock drawer.
Impersonator of the Year: He lacked the beard, his biceps were flabbier, his girth was greater and his footwear sturdier. But otherwise, Morrison saw himself as a modern Moses. To lead Australia into the new world.
As Readers count the sleeps to the 2022 Football World Cup Final on Sunday, more than a few questions are still being asked why Qatar was awarded the gig. Netflix subscribers might find more answers and truth in its documentary “FIFA Uncovered” than they did in “Harry and Meghan.”
The current “something must be done” panic by Albo over energy prices shows that Albo is ill-prepared to manage ‘events’ over which he has little control.
His thought-bubble of energy price caps is now floating to the clouds, untroubled by process or clear thinking. Y’see, he has walked into a trap of his own making.
Readers will know that Victorian premiers can be memorialised by a statue at we-the-taxpayers’ expense after 3,000 days in office. Chairman Dan can hardly wait until 21 February 2023.
Nor can his “I-Stand-with-Dan” acolytes. They and their descendants will be able to stand with Dan’s statue into eternity.
FIFA, the body that runs world football, has, since 1978, been the global benchmark for giving lessons in corruption in sport.
And in 2022, FIFA has set a new global benchmark, providing a host city outcome not previously considered for a global sporting world cup: a lesson in geography.
The Trumpster’s chances of again sitting in the Oval Office would be an oval number without Mrs. Trumpster. She has a pre-nup contract and a marriage contract. And now there’s a new political contract. With a sort of Lady Macbeth clause.
Over the years, there have been many federal ministers who had no idea about their portfolio. Whether Liberal (Scott Morrison, Prime Minister), Labor (Jim Cairns, Treasurer) or National (Barnaby Joyce, any portfolio), the list is long.
But in these modern times, Readers would expect deeper talent, especially in matters fiscal. Err, no.
The “election steal” cry will re-emerge from the rabbit hole of internet conspiracy theories. The candidates who campaigned on a platform of ‘electoral integrity’ will, if they lose, ape the Trumpster’s mantra. And bleat “we wuz robbed.”
Liz Truss was poleaxed after 45 days as UK PM. A masterful display of pragmatic political assassination to end a period of government chaos not seen since the last days of the Roman Empire. Such pragmatism could not be said for the Australian Liberal Party. Case study: Scott Morrison.
The last two weeks have unarguably been the UK’s biggest unforced humiliation since Suez. After the UK gilt market and sterling collapsed, she dumped her ideological newbie Chancellor of the Exchequer; agreed to overturn polices she backed days earlier; and fired her Home Secretary (is there an Away Secretary?). It was only then that her parliamentary colleagues began to wake up from their afternoon snoozes at their St James’ clubs. And looked at the latest polls.
The Trumpster can defy the order and be charged with contempt of congress. Or he can appear. And create big theatre. He will sit with his arms folded and refuse to answer any questions.
Imagine that you are the Chairman of a struggling inner-suburban football club. The club concerned has a proud history. Sadly, in recent times it has fallen on ‘ardship, which a previous administration had attempted to overcome by injecting its players with cocktails not heard of in the best bar at the Ritz Carlton.
Meanwhile in Uzbekistan… two modern day autocrats will be attending a CPD course on “How to invade a neighbouring country.”
Death unites all in a family. No matter how big the family.
And so the English speaking peoples and those whom they touched will, for a moment, be united in memory of a remarkable woman.
Albo was doing so well. And then a rocket surgeon in his apparatchidom observed that the mood of the meeting was drifting against Albo’s pet project: The Voice. And suggested that engaging a former NBA player and gambling company promoter to advocate for the Voice would be a fine idea.
The planning of the Australia 2020 Summit reflected the Ruddster’s own organisational ability, being scheduled over the first two nights of Passover and having just one woman on the 11-member organisational committee.
Wry & Dry # 7. At last, Morrison unites Australia. Trump enemy loses pre-selection. Tasmanian tiger.
For the first time since Australia won the America’s Cup in 1993, Australia has been united. Former PM Scott Morrison has done it all by himself.
Not only was he Prime Minister of this sunburnt country, but also of five other portfolios. This delusional megalomaniacal is podium stuff, up there with Tsar Vlad and Walter Mitty.
A large group of FBI agents searched Trump’s Florida estate looking for government documents that he had from his time in the White House. He then did what any modern, narcissistic and venal American politician would do. Ignore the FBI. And tout for donations from They-The-People.
Senator Thorpe’s knowledge of history matches her courtesy. Australia was colonised when George III reigned. Of course, had Lieutenant Cook not discovered Australia for the British, the French surely would have.
So the Trumpster returned this week to a hero’s welcome from an audience that sees him as only a little less than a saviour that came down from the cross. Which contrasts to his own view of that he is actually The Saviour.
Regulation of personal financial advice is always bureaucratic. The government has moved to simplify things, but the devil is in the details.
Women face many challenges when it comes to building financial security. However, those who have a good income and outsource their wealth management can meet and exceed their financial goals.
Through this case study on a high income client seeking high returns we show how true ‘wealth management’ is a blend of wealth strategy advice and individual investment management.
A small business owner and his or her partner face a unique financial challenge: their personal wealth management issues are woven into their business. Having served such clients for more than 22 years, we know that this integration presents both challenges and opportunities.
The folk at the ATO are depressed most of the time. Imagine that your sole purpose in life is to extract dosh from every worker and many non-workers. Nobody is going to invite you around for dinner. Or to meet the future parents-in-law.
But help is at hand. Thanks to the massive anti-pandemic and Allow-Me-To-Buy-Your-Vote fiscal stimuli, Australia’s unemployment rate has plummeted to a 48 year low of 3.5%.
Borisconi was straight out of ancient Greek central casting. He was blessed by the gods with brilliance, breeding, ambition, (in his youth) good looks and easy charm. But the gods also gifted him flaws: arrogance, dishonesty, explosions of childishness and a wandering sexual appetite.
“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”
Macron usually faithfully follows a strict order of priorities: 1) his own place in world history; 2) photos of him taking his place in world history; 3) him being crowned Emperor of Europe as the logical successor to Charlemagne.
Borisconi may see himself as a latter-day Thatcher. His hair probably has as much product in it as hers. But that is where the comparison ends. Thatcher was never one for turning. Borisconi has changed wives/ girlfriends only a little less than he has changed his mind. And like him, formally, simultaneously maintaining more than one wife/ girlfriend, so too he can simultaneously maintain more than one position on any single principle.
Australia has arguably the world’s most diverse and abundant supply of energy, with the exception of Tsar Vlad’s empire. But somehow, this abundance has gone pear-shaped this week
It wasn’t a successful trip. Emperor Xi’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wang Yi, had booked an all-expenses paid tour of eight sunny, friendly Pacific Islands. The factor 50 sunscreen and Emperor Xi-emblazoned budgie smugglers had been packed, and the Out of Office message switched to ‘on’.
Notwithstanding all the money spent, all the hours worked and all of the collective thinking, the Teals were so successful in the election that they failed.
Wednesday’s 4% fall on Wall Street was not caused by the rumour that so-called ‘Teal’ candidates had formed a political party and might win a majority in tomorrow’s Australian election.
Why do Australian petrol prices (‘at the pump’) sometimes rise faster than the price of oil? The answer lies in something called, the crack spread.
Finland is expected apply to join NATO next week. NATO will accept. Tsar Vlad will get grumpy and rattle his rusty sabre.
Whilst NATO’s current borders with Russia are tiny, Finland adds a further 1,340 kilometres. Thus, Tsar Vlad’s desire to curb the expansion of NATO by invading Ukraine has achieved the exact opposite, and gone down his gold-plated toilet.
The Chief Teller of the Reserve Bank didn’t fall on his sword, as he might when he raised interest rates by 0.25% points on Tuesday. After all, he did say last year that rates wouldn’t rise until 2024. Only missed by, well, two years.
With headlines normally reserved for the death of a princess (or the marriage of one), the media feverishly leapt on Wednesday’s news that Australia’s inflation hit 5.1%, the highest since, well, the last time it was this high.
Wry & Dry chose sorting his sock drawer over watching the first election debate between PM Jimmy Morrison and Wannabee PM Albo. And having read the media reports on the wordfest, he senses he made the right decision. And is moved to ask the question, “Is this is as good as it gets?”
For O’Bama, it’s always been about O’Bama, forget anybody else in the room. For Sleepy Joe, gotta hang in there, old man. No matter who actually makes decisions for you. Just gotta last until November 2024.
Kamala Harris has the removalists on standby.
Solomon Islands? Where? Not since former Minister Julie Bishop, Cinderella-like, lost a left Jimmy Choo shoe somewhere in London has there been so much activity in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The polls are showing that Jodie Haydon will soon be measuring up the curtains in The Lodge. But Jenny Morrison likes living in The Lodge, and so she has given Jimmy the task of winning the election. Jimmy cannot possibly go home to an unhappy Jenny. What to do?
The Chief Teller of the US central bank hoisted US interest rates by a modest 0.25 of a percentage point. But no-one in the US is asking the US government to save them from this inflation. There are no demands for tax cuts to relieve ‘cost-of-living’ pressure. However, Australia is not only in another hemisphere, it is also on another planet.
Admiral-General Morrison is hardly the very model of a modern Major-General. With little knowledge, one suspects, of “…information vegetable, animal and mineral”. Only of what needs to be done to win an election.
Those born after about 1989 have enjoyed, more or less, an Elysian view of the world. An epic and chronic problem is… an internet outage for an hour. And then along came Tsar Vlad. His invasion of Ukraine is epic and its consequences will be chronic.
It’s not about NATO. Or the EU. It’s about an old man, soon to be 70, the object of whose belief was shattered 21 years ago. Who now seeks to rebuild something in which he can believe. No matter the cost.
Mrs. Jimmy Morrison gave a soft interview on a normally hard-edged (if tabloid) television programme. Wry & Dry was surprised that the soundtrack from the Ten Commandments wasn’t played. Or a clip from Happy Days not shown.
Textgate is yet another traitorous brain fade from Barnaby. Critically, it now gives the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary the opportunity to insert “Barnaby” into the lexicon. As a noun; in the manner of “Quisling”.
For PM Jimmy Morrison 2022 will be the Year of the RAT. That clever pathology device – with easy-to-read instructions and yielding a result within 15 minutes – will be his downfall. Or, rather, the inability to provide plenty enough, soon enough, to voters who have had enough.
Wry & Dry looks back at a year highlighted by the suffocating imposition of Chairman Dan’s view of freedom and PM Jimmy Morrison’s ability to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to show sound judgement.