Squiz Today / 20 October 2017

Squiz Today – Friday, 20 October


"I thought I was going to make it through this but I'm not. It hurts."

Said Canadian PM Justin Trudeau as he was reduced to tears while speaking in the parliament about the death of national icon Gord Downie at 53yo, the singer and songwriter with rock band The Tragically Hip. One trusted Squiz’er says the closest comparison we have is probably Paul Kelly. Long may he reign. Paul that is. Ok, and maybe Trudeau too.


New Zealand Labour has been chosen to form government in New Zealand making Jacinda Ardern its third female PM and its youngest in more than 150 years. It’s been a long haul for our cuzzy bros over the ‘dutch’ since the Kiwi election almost four weeks ago. And now we finally have a result.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters played kingmaker. Coalition governments are BAU for NZ. But this time, the party that won the most seats in parliament didn’t win the election. The National Party won 56 of the 120 seats but the party they partnered with to form government last time was wiped out. Labour and the Greens together won 54 seats. So it was New Zealand First with its nine seats that were in the hot seat. In Peters’ words, it was a choice between the “modified status quo or change”, and he chose change – and Ardern. It’s a big call because the National Party and its leader Bill English had a good track record of economic management and competence. Which is probably why Peters’ started his press conference with the disclaimer that if it all goes wrong, it's not his fault. Nice try…

At just 37yo and Labour leader since just 1 August, we've not had a lot of time to get to know her. But here’s what we’ve gleaned:

• She’s been involved in politics since she was 17 and worked for previous Labour PM, Helen Clark. Some say her rise has been quick, but she’s probably been working towards something like this for 20 years.

• She became leader after Andrew Little stepped down on 23 September, conceding he couldn’t win the election. Since then, Ardern took her party from being unelectable to government in about eight weeks. Incredible.

• Jacindamania soon swept the country helped along by her astute handling of a question about her plans to have kids when she was six hours into the job

• Ardern is a pro at soft power. During negotiation meetings with Peters, she took ginger nut and chocolate wheaten biscuits, said to be his favourites.

•  One thing she’s not is our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s BFF. But they’ll smooth that over – they’ll have to…


Unemployment fell in September to a four year low of 5.5% with 19,800 new jobs added. That follows the 53,000 jobs added in August. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull crowed the success; “There hasn't been a longer run of jobs growth in 23 years. Jobs growth is the highest it's been since 2008 and is now faster than in any G7 economy.”

The jobs figures would have been cold comfort for the 950 workers finishing up at Holden’s Elizabeth manufacturing plant in Adelaide today. The plant’s closure marks the end of car manufacturing in Australia. The market has changed significantly since Holden reigned. One expert said we now have the choice of 65 car brands (we could name about five…) and a wider price range. The government has spent as much as $35 billion over the last 12 years to keep car manufacturing in Australia, according to one analyst. Local representatives say Holden has done a good job of assisting workers with retraining and finding new jobs. So that’s something.

He’s super narky. It's no big thing, but he’s accused China of subverting the global order. Geez! He also said it's undermining the sovereignty of its neighbours and is using predatory economic policies. Kapow! Now, we don't know much about diplomacy, but a suggestion might have been also to say it has nice panda bears to help balance the feedback. Or maybe we’ll just stay in our lane…

Towards the end of the week, we can get a bit weary. So you’ll understand it took a little while to appreciate that this was a real news story. “Will the real Melania please stand up?” actress Andrea Wagner Barton (never heard of her…) asked Facebook, suggesting US President Donald Trump was talking to the media with a body double of wife Melania by his side. (You'd think that if they were going to use a stand-in, they'd pick someone who looked happy to be there. Or maybe that would be a giveaway…) After seeing a later picture with her sans sunnies, the interwebs decided all was well. As you were…

Wedding photography seems to have gone in a new direction lately. We’re not going to highlight the rather unsavoury pics that have been doing the rounds on social media lately, but this is different. And if you want to check out the full assortment, have a look here. We could (...ok we have) spend hours going through the galleries…

Who doesn’t love dressed up dogs? Well, these guys are on a whole other level of cool. They’re all in a new book At Home with Dogs and their Designers: Sharing a Stylish Life by Susanna Salk. And with Christmas coming up, what a great pressie it would be. If you use this link, The Squiz will get a little commission on this and other titles on the Booktopia site (or at least think we will… we’re new to this).

A new initiative from Walmart in the US caught our eye. They’re trialling a system where if you’re not at home, you can arrange for the delivery driver to have a ‘key’ to your house and they’ll go in and stock your fridge. Kinda weird, but also kinda great.

And check this out for a segue… another mob improving things for customers is the Commonwealth Bank*. They’ve changed their tellers’ contracts so they aren’t rewarded for sales anymore. Their only measure of success is customer service. We’ll keep that in mind next time we go into our local branch with a plastic bag full of 5c coins…
*Ding! This is sponsored content.



World Osteoporosis Day


4.30pm (AEDT) - Racing - Caufield Cup - Melbourne

8.00pm (AEDT) - Rugby - Wallabies v All Blacks - Brisbane

International Day of the Nacho


10.15am (AEDT) - Women's Ashes Cricket - Australia v England - Brisbane

4.00pm (AEDT) - Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

Japanese Election

caps lock day

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