Squiz Today / 21 November 2017

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 21 November


Host: Hey, have you got a favourite AC/DC song? We’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this morning.

Prime Minister: Ahhhh. Well tell me, what’s your favourite AC/DC song?

PM Malcolm Turnbull kept a Stiff Upper Lip but was left Thunderstruck by a High Voltage question from Brisbane’s Triple M breakfast team yesterday. While the hosts let the PM off for his Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Twitter did not. The incident was like a piece of TNT that has left a music-loving nation thinking “Hells Bells”…


The Turnbull Government yesterday announced the House of Representative won't sit next week. Instead, it will reconvene a week later on Monday, 4 December. The reason it's given is the Senate needs another week to deal with the legislation for same-sex marriage, which will take place next week. And, it says, given that legislation is the government’s priority, along with dealing with issues arising from MPs declarations on their citizenship status (due by 8pm Tuesday, 5 December), it makes sense to push the lower house’s sitting schedule back a week.

Well, Labor and others aren’t buying that it’s a scheduling problem. They say it’s all about the government’s vulnerability with two MPs off fighting by-elections. “I think this is the sort of thing that happens in a dictatorship. When parliament becomes inconvenient, the government suspends democracy. It is outrageous,” said Labor’s Tanya Plibersek. The government’s Christopher Pyne said that's rubbish because Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce won't be back on 4 December (his by-election is on 2 December and the result is unlikely to be declared for some days) and backbencher John Alexander's by-election isn't until 16 December. The government has the power to change the sitting schedule, but it’s an unusual move nonetheless.

Labor, the Greens and independent Bob Katter all say they're turning up in Canberra next week whether the Coalition is there or not. Which seems like a big waste of time and money to make a point… But even Coalition supporters were surprised by the decision. Yes, next week had the potential for some messiness (eg moves for a Royal Commission into the banks), they say. But the PM is betting the heat for playing with the schedule will be less than a bad week in Canberra would deliver. Mind you, it’s probably fitting that the political year ends with a dramatic crescendo…


After drawing criticism all day, Turnbull did a good job of changing the subject last night. In an address to the Business Council, he’s flagged middle-income tax cuts that will “ease the burden on middle-income Australians, while also meeting our commitment to return the budget to surplus.” The PM didn't provide a lot of detail but said its something he and his team are working on. The news will be music to the International Monetary Fund’s ears. It released a report on our economy yesterday saying any tax cuts should not endanger our planned return to surplus. It also says our wage growth will be flat, our “generous tax concessions” ought to be wound back and stamp duty should be phased out in favour of higher land taxes. Who asked the IMF anyway?

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe surprised the world yesterday by vowing to fight on. Flanked by military leaders, the 93yo leader was expected to use a televised address to say he was stepping down, but instead, he said he would preside over his party Zanu-PF’s national congress in a few weeks time. That’s going to be difficult given the party sacked him as the leader and will now seek to remove him via an impeachment motion in the parliament. Reports say ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (who is nicknamed "The Crocodile" for his shrewdness) may take over as interim leader.

Talks to form a government in Germany have broken down. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have been in talks since the 24 September election and were hopeful of forming a governing coalition with the Greens and Free Democrats, but the latter pulled out of negotiations on Sunday. Merkel says she would prefer to go back to the polls than form a minority government with the Greens. Meanwhile, for a completely unrelated Merkel-inspired Tracey Ullman giggle, check this out, currently doing the social media rounds.

The Argentine Navy has fessed up that its missing submarine reported a mechanical breakdown in its the last communication on Wednesday last week.  Naval commander Gabriel Galeazzi said it had something to do with the batteries short-circuiting. He also confirmed the seven satellite calls received on Saturday were not from the San Juan. The only good news is the US Navy believes it has picked up sounds it says could be tools being banged against the sub's hull. The sub and its 44 crew remain missing, and fears for their safety are mounting.

Girls creator Lena Dunham has learned the hard way that just as readily as Twitter sainthood is conferred, it can just as quickly be taken away. The TV star was forced to apologise yesterday after releasing a statement suggesting an assault allegation made against one of her male co-writers was vexatious. Meanwhile, Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor yesterday denied allegations he harassed co-stars of the award-winning Amazon-commissioned series, adding he doesn’t see how he can continue in the job. And just to round things off, the British singer Morrissey has done little for his enlightened male credentials telling Der Spiegel magazine that on some occasions "the person referred to as a victim is merely disappointed". Yikes.

Former Czech tennis champ Jana Novotna has died from cancer at just 49yo. You’ll remember she completely teared up when she lost the Wimbledon final in 1993 and was consoled by the Duchess of Kent.

And murderous cult-leader Charles Manson is dead at 83yo. He was serving nine life-terms in a Californian prison.

This one sounds so outlandish as to be scarcely believable: but we love the idea of it so much, we're prepared to go with it. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Star Wars star John Boyega let slip that Princes William and Harry feature in the upcoming instalment of the intergalactic saga – making clandestine cameos as Stormtroopers. It’s not entirely without precedent: Bond star Daniel Craig secretly played a Stormtrooper in the last movie, The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi will be out in mid-December. Is there no limit to the accidental coolness of these two blue bloods?


12.30pm (AEDT) - Sir Roger Carr, Chairman of BAE Systems addresses the National Press Club on 'Business in Society' - Canberra

ABS Data Release - Producer Price Indexes, September

Annual General Meetings - a2 Milk Company; Cabcharge

World Television Day - this is a UN-mandated day...

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