Blaming Downer as part of a Trump conspiracy is absolutely absurd

Blaming Downer as part of a Trump conspiracy is absolutely absurd

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My friends, this is not only insane, but obviously so. And instead of co-operating with the Trump administration in their request to investigate Downer, might I suggest the best response would have been to utter Jack Nicholson’s famous line in As Good As It Gets, when there was an unwanted knock on the door?

“Go sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”

Or, in more diplomatic terms: “Listen, you Yanks. Alexander Downer is a distinguished former Australian foreign minister who served in conservative Australian governments across two decades, before being selected as high commissioner by the government of the even more deeply conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The idea that he was working for anyone but Australia is as absurd as it is offensive. Good day to you, we said good-day-to-you!”

Night, night

Sad news last week that Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program – for which I fronted half-a-dozen stories over the years – has folded, throwing as many as 40 people out of work. Yes, it is the decision of the new CEO James Warburton but, more than that, a Seven insider points out the real upshot: “Long-form journalism is now too expensive for the commercial networks. Too many people are needed to produce too few minutes. They can’t make it work.”

A similar trend is apparent in print journalism where several brilliant feature writers of my acquaintance report that the market for 10,000-word pieces has all but dried up, as have their work opportunities – as the public’s attention span has become ever shorter.

Cue, Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Vale, my friend

I am continuing to process the tragic death of my friend Alex Hartman, the 2001 Young Australian of the Year. I had received an email from him as recently as last Friday – but within hours, he had passed away at his home in Europe due to circumstances as yet unknown.

I will remember him as a brilliant young man with a great entrepreneurial bent in the world of digital computing. He made a fortune out of it when he was young, and notched up many successes thereafter.

At the time he died he was working with the families of Formula One legends Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, applying technology that he had developed which – as I understood the technical mumbo-jumbo – created digital 3-D imagery of their finest achievements.

His other great passion was bringing to life lost parts of Australian history, none more than the great Indigenous warrior, Pemulwuy, who fought so strongly against white settlement in Sydney. His funeral was held on Friday, and I am told by father, Keith – the famed Sydney obstetrician – there will likely be a memorial service for him in Sydney in November.

Vale, Alex. You were a one-off. My deepest condolences to your fine wife, Domitille, and two children, Félix and Céleste.

Testing times

Take heart, you HSC students now struggling with exam preparations. In response to a piece I did this week with the theme that while these exams are important, they don’t define you and plenty of people do badly in them only to triumph, a reader replied: “My sister completely bombed her HSC. She finished in the bottom 5 per cent of the state. Her maths teacher told her she’d end up working nowhere but McDonald’s. And after failing to get a job at Woolies and Coles, that’s exactly where she ended up – McDonald’s. Anyway, she loved it, shot up through the ranks, was awarded a franchise, bought a small store outback, then bought a few of the busiest stores on the east coast. And today she employs hundreds and makes more money than God.”

Joke of the week

With thanks to British politician Andrew Adonis, a firm advocate of #NoBrexit and the need for a second referendum, it goes along these lines:

Leading Brexit advocate Nigel Farage goes into a bar and asks for a pint of beer. The barman draws it, only to throw it into his face!

“Why did you do that?” the outraged Farage asks.

“You asked for a pint,” the barman replies, “but you didn’t say how you wanted it delivered.”

“I’ll have a pint,” Farage says carefully, wiping himself down, “in a pint glass.”

“No. You can’t ask again.”

“Why not?”

“Democracy.”

Quote of the week

“Politics 2019

UK: Hold my beer

USA: Hold my beer

UK: Hold my beer

USA: Hold my beer

UK: Hold my beer

USA: Hold my beer

UK: Hold my beer

USA: Hold my beer

@Lisamboo, on twitter.

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