Squiz Today / 05 February 2018
Squiz Today – Monday, 5 February
“When you walk into a room, walk through the middle of the door.”
That’s the advice the Queen Mother gave a young Queen Elizabeth, according to former Lady in Waiting Lady Penn. And by that she meant; “Don’t sort of go in apologetically. You walk through as if, you know, ‘I’m in charge’.” We can feel another royal doco coming on…
SOUTH OZ OUT OF THE ELECTION BLOCKS
They’re off and racing in the South Australian election campaign with Crow-eaters set to vote on 17 March. The state has fixed terms meaning there’s a state election on the third Saturday in March every four years. Which frees up thousands of hours to admire Christopher Pyne's accent (a distinguished South Australian) instead of wasting time speculating on when the election might be.
WHAT WAS THE OPENING OFFER?
The fun and games started yesterday.
• The Liberal opposition launched its campaign in Adelaide with celebrity guest star Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and a promise to scrap payroll tax for small business.
• Meanwhile, Labor Premier Jay Weatherill countered by name-dropping his own celebrity bestie, Elon Musk and a plan to build the world's largest virtual power plant in suburban Adelaide.
Which is a bit of a proxy for what’s expected to be the major parties’ campaign themes: the Libs on the economy and business; Labor on projects it says will strengthen the state.
Roll out one of these five points and you’ll be a hit at any dinner party during the next six weeks:
• Labor is seeking its fifth term in power. It is already the longest-serving Labor government in South Australia's history.
• Labor leader Jay Weatherill has been premier since 2011. He doesn’t take a backwards step in confronting the naysayers (just ask Josh Frydenberg…). For extra points: his university girlfriend was Labor senator Penny Wong.
• The Lib’s Steven Marshall has been the leader for five years. He leads a side that's lost what was considered un losable elections in the past.
• SA Best, headed by former senator Nick Xenophon, is new on the scene. He's set to shake it all up and says his party will run candidates in up to 30 seats
• In a recent ‘better premier’ poll: Xenophon scored 46% support; Jay Weatherill 22%; Steven Marshall 19%.
Hold on to your hat.
SQUIZ THE REST
MELBOURNE MAYOR RESIGNS
Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle has resigned. He stood aside almost two months ago after a fellow councillor accused him of harassment. A draft report of the investigation was slated to be released today - reports say Doyle feels the process has "lacked a semblance of natural justice". Doyle has denied the allegations and his wife Emma Page Campbell says he is on "the brink of being broken". The council says the investigation will continue despite the resignations.
ANOTHER AMTRACK TRAIN CRASH
Over to the US - two Amtrack staff members were killed and 116 were injured when a passenger train collided with a freight train overnight. The incident occurred in South Carolina and the cause has not been determined. It is the third crash involving an Amtrack train in three months.
A FAMILIAR TUNE HEARD FROM CANBERRA
Contain your excitement – federal parliament is back for its first sitting week of 2018. And there’s something reassuringly familiar about the playlist:
• A polka of polls – The first Newspoll for the year says the Coalition is up one point but is still trailing Labor 48:52 in the two-party preferred race. PM Malcolm Turnbull rose four points as preferred PM taking his lead to 45:31 against Bill Shorten. And Tanya Plibersek polled better than Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese as preferred Labor leader (although Shorten leads if you ask Labor voters).
• A citizenship concerto - Yesterday’s focus was on Liberal MP Jason Falinski.
• A symphony of shifting sands - independent senator Lucy Gichuhi joined the Libs on Friday. And prominent same-sex marriage ‘no’ case campaigner Lyle Shelton has joined Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives as communications director.
• A politicking pop song – Labor says if in government it will freeze private health premium increases to 2%. The Libs say it’s all about tax cuts. And there’ll be no federal funding for Adani to develop a rail link to its controversial Carmichael mine development in Queensland while the state government is opposed.
UMA THURMAN READY TO RAGE AGAINST WEINSTEIN
It’s taken the actress some weeks to feel ready to talk about her experiences with the disgraced former movie producer Harvey Weinstein. She’s told the New York Times:
• On calling herself “compliant” after one incident: “When I got home, I remember I stood in front of the mirror and I looked at my hands and I was so mad at them for not being bloody or bruised.”
• On her relationship with Weinstein-backed director Quentin Tarantino: “I went from being a creative contributor and performer to being like a broken tool.”
• Team Weinstein’s response: “Ms Thurman's statements to the Times are being carefully examined and investigated before deciding whether any legal action against her would be appropriate.”
SUPER BOWL LII
The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the favoured New England Patriots in America’s sporting event of the year. Here’s the drill:
• Hosted in Minneapolis this year, it’s meant to be cold (like -20C cold…) which is why it’s going to be played indoors.
• But really, at $US5 million for a 30 second spot, the game is just there to host some of the year’s most anticipated ads.
• And then there’s the half-time entertainment – this year Justin Timberlake taking the stage sans Janet Jackson and her dodgy wardrobe.
• There was a (false) rumour that hometown favourite Prince would appear via hologram as a tribute to the legend who delivered one of the all-time greatest halftime performances in history, ever (we’re fans if you can’t tell…).
• Other than that, just say; “how amazing is Tom Brady” and you’ll be considered well-informed.
VALE MICHAEL GORDON
If you’ve been a newspaper reader at some point in the last 30 years chances are you would have enjoyed something written by Michael Gordon about politics or national affairs. He died suddenly on Saturday during an ocean swim off Phillip Island leaving behind wife Robyn, two children and a grandchild. Colleagues and political leaders paid tribute to a man known for his professionalism, lack of ego and intense interest in giving a voice to people who struggled to be heard. He was 62yo.
SQUIZ THE DAY
10.30am (AEDT) - Super Bowl LII - Minneapolis
Former Federal Labor Minister Barry Cohen's State Funeral - Canberra
Birthday celebration for 'Our Mary' (aka Crown Princess of Denmark) (1972)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.