Drama In The House As Speaker Jenkins Threatens To Resign

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins, came close to resigning today.

The possibilities that could have flowed from his resignation are intriguing to consider.

Abbott moves a motion of confidence in Speaker Jenkins

 

What happened?

In the course of a raucous and disputatious Question Time, Jenkins warned and then named Liberal member Bob Baldwin for “continuing to interject after having been warned by the Chair”. “Naming” by the Speaker is the precursor to a motion to suspend the member from the service of the House.

The government’s Leader of the House, Anthony Albanese, accordingly rose and moved the motion to suspend Baldwin for 24 hours. [Read more...]


Carbon Tax Ad Causes Minor Media Stir

A television advertisement exhorting people to “say yes” to a price on carbon pollution has created a stir in News Limited Sunday newspapers.

The actors Cate Blanchett and Michael Caton appear in the ad.


Obama Searches For Lost Apostrophe In Dublin

President Obama speaks in Dublin, IrelandPresident Barack Obama has delivered a rousing speech to a massive outdoor gathering in Dublin, Ireland.

Obama told the gathering that he came in search of the Irish apostrophe that was lost from his name.

In a speech filled with tributes to the Irish contribution to America, Obama assured his audience that Ireland’s future was assured, invoking his campaign slogan, “yes we can”.

In an equally rousing speech, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, introduced Obama as not merely a man who had lived the American dream: “He is the American dream.”

  • Click the PLAY button to listen to Kenny’s introduction: (8m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to Obama’s speech: (24m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Bob Brown Jousts With The “Hate Media”

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown jousted with some members of the Canberra press gallery today.

Brown referred to “the hate media” whilst one journalist accused him of regularly “bagging News Ltd”. The national daily, The Australia got several mentions.

  • Listen to the audio (27 minutes) or watch selected moments and judge the maturity levels for yourself.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Joe Hockey’s Budget Reply Speech

The Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has delivered the traditional Budget reply speech to the National Press Club, in Canberra.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey addresses the National Press Club

  • Listen to Hockey’s speech (31m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to Hockey’s responses to questions (29m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to Hockey’s response to a question from Fairfax journalist Peter Martin (2m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Prepared text of Joe Hockey’s Address to the National Press Club.

THE WRONG BUDGET FOR THE TIMES

The Budget is the most important economic statement of the year. It provides the Government with an opportunity to detail its response to the policy challenges of the day.

It is also a unique opportunity to lay down a policy road map that will contextualise Government statements and give confidence to business and consumers that the nation is navigating a clear and decisive course. [Read more...]


Katy Gallagher Elected ACT Chief Minister

Katy Gallagher was today appointed Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, following the retirement of Jon Stanhope.

Katy Gallagher, Chief Minister of the ACTGallagher was elected unopposed by the ALP caucus on May 13. She was endorsed by a vote of the ACT Legislative Assembly today, winning 11 votes to 6 for the Liberal leader Zed Seselja. Her deputy is Andrew Barr.

Gallagher, 40, brings to four the number of female heads of government in Australia. She joins Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings, all of them from the Labor Party.

The five male leaders are: Premier Barry O’Farrell (NSW), Premier Ted Baillieu (Vic), Premier Mike Rann (SA), Premier Colin Barnett (WA) and Chief Minister Paul Henderson (NT).

The longest serving head of government is South Australian Labor Premier Mike Rann who has been in office since March 2002. The longest serving Opposition Leader is Tasmanian Liberal Will Hodgman who has held the position since March 2006.


Bin Laden, Twitter, And Gaudy Media Baubles

At 12.15pm yesterday afternoon, I turned on ABC News24 and was told that Barack Obama was due to appear on television at 12.30pm. There was no information on what he intended talking about.

Since this was 10.30pm on a Sunday night in Washington, you didn’t need to be particularly bright to work out that something was up. Obviously there was an announcement that couldn’t wait. Without really thinking about it, I assumed it was related to Afghanistan or Iraq.

I had work to do and didn’t get back to the television until 12.35pm. Obama had not yet appeared. I opened up my Twitter client, TweetDeck, and discovered reports that Osama bin Laden was dead.

By about 12.50pm, multiple media outlets were claiming they had confirmed these reports. Many of these claims were tweeted. Some tweets contained a link to a website report.

Between 12.30pm and 1.35pm when Obama finally appeared (at 11.35pm Washington time) most television stations and every cable network were all over the story. Twitter was heaving.

A number of people retweeted Keith Urbahn, Chief of Staff to Donald Rumsfeld. Urbahn is now seen as the man who first published the news about bin Laden.

During this time, I also became aware of a Twitter user @ReallyVirtual, who had unwittingly tweeted about the assault on bin Laden’s compound as it happened. Many hours later, I looked at his account, read the tweets, and laughed at his dry humour.

Keith Urbahn's tweet at 10.24pm Washington time, May 2, 2011

Tweet by @ReallyVirtual, May 2, 2011

By the time Obama appeared, I had read a number of articles on various US media websites, mainly CNN, Washington Post and The New York Times. The Times site was hard to reach, such was the traffic. Most of these articles had little to say, apart from claiming that various sources were anonymously confirming the death of bin Laden. Some ran profile pieces and timelines from 9/11. [Read more...]