Continuing that great political tradition of treating the electorate as complete morons, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has engineered a rum election – unlike her namesake who engineered a rum rebellion. A highlight of Cap’n Bligh’s year has been to turn a $800 million surplus into a $1.5 billion deficit. Our Prime minister said of the early election move “Now more that ever Queensland needs stable and experienced leadership”. Julia Gillard suggested in the parliament that Liberal member Chris Pyne was a ‘mincing poodle’, but The Australian’s Christian Kerr thought Timon the meerkat, from The Lion King, a better likeness. Robert Mugabe’s 85th birthday bash is to be shared with 10,000 children, rounded up and bussed into Harare, where a mountain of ‘sticky cakes and thousands of fizzy drinks’ will be provided. Elsewhere in the country 80,000 Zimbabweans were battling cholera and the majority of the population were facing starvation. Happy birthday Bob.
Retrenched French traders and bankers are claiming over $A12,000 unemployment benefits per month. Their Australian counterparts (if they qualify under our stringent means tests) would receive, at the most, less than $A1,000. California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is to team up with Silvester Stallone in a movie. Arnold was photographed with Michelle Obama who was wearing a massive 6 strand pearl choker which must have deprived three to four hundred pearl-shells of their sole assets. Annie Leibovitz, famous American photographer has pawned the copyright of all her snaps, past, present and future, for $US10.5 million to pay off debts. “It’s very discreet,” said Ian Peck, co-owner of Art Capital, the lender. Debt ridden Dubai is to be rescued by nearby Abu Dhabi which will buy $US10 billion newly issued bonds issued by the city state of Dubai. Meanwhile the International Criminal Court in The Hague is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir next month. Pig organs, tainted with steroids have made seventy people in China unwell.
Rupert Murdoch’s right and left hand man, Peter Chernin, is to leave News Corp with about $US38 million in a deferred pay and pension bundle, which includes continued use of the corporate jet and automobile. A blond wire-haired daschund called Chanel is claimed to be the world’s oldest dog. She is 20 years old. Chanel wears goggles to protect her cataract-infected eyes and a sweater in winter and a T-shirt in summer. Moves are underfoot in India to patent Yoga while in Devon a woman fell over a cliff while chasing a feather. There was no report on the fate of the feather.