Squiz Today / 01 February 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 1 February
“When they travel we say; 'Just remember three things: stay safe, have fun and learn lots.'”
Julie Coates is the managing director of bread and ingredients company Goodman Fielder. She also has three daughters who like to get out and about, but we think Julie’s words are applicable whenever you leave the house. Welcome to her Three Minute Squiz.
FILING CABINET-GATE… IT’S A THING
There are Cabinet leaks (from those who can’t keep their gobs shut), and there are cabinet leaks (when two filing cabinets full of sensitive government documents accidentally end up in a second-hand furniture shop). In one of the most extraordinary breaches of government process, hundreds of confidential documents from the Howard-Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott days are now in the hands of the ABC. Normally these documents would not be released for 20 years.
UMMM… COME AGAIN?
Yep. The ABC said; “The documents were in two locked filing cabinets sold at an ex-government sale in Canberra. They were sold off cheaply because they were heavy and no-one could find the keys. A nifty person drilled the locks and uncovered the trove of documents inside.” You can see the full list of what has been published so far here. It includes the proposal that was put to Tony Abbott’s Cabinet to cut welfare to the under-30s (you’ll recall we wondered why this was leaked – little did we know…). But the biggest shocker is the ABC says there are docs relating to our national security that it will not publish. Yikes!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You’d have to think it’s going to be hard to pin down the person or people responsible for this incident. But you’d also have to think that someone should be held responsible for the terrible breach of security. And who knows if the ABC has it all? The government would be lucky if the public broadcaster is the recipient of the trove and not an organisation with (more) sinister motives. But one thing you can be sure of - there will be a government inquiry (or 50).
SQUIZ THE REST
TRUMP OOZES POSITIVITY
The same point keeps coming up in the analysis of US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address yesterday – his calls for unity aren’t in line with his divisive politics. Putting that to one side, he’s outlined a big second-year agenda in his one-hour-and-twenty-minutes-long speech including a US$1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, immigration reforms and drug price cuts. He also nominated his highs of the last year including business tax cuts and lower unemployment. The bottom line? “So the test is not how well the president delivered his State of the Union. It will be how he deals with the problems that will confront him in the coming months,” said the Washington Post’s chief correspondent Dan Balz.
PRICE PRESSURE LOWER THAN EXPECTED
Inflation for the last three months of last year has come in with another lower than expected result of 0.6%. That delivered a consumer price index rise of just 1.9% for 2017, which is lower than the Reserve Bank’s target of 2-3%. That means interest rates are unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. On the up was fuel, tobacco, domestic travel and fruit. And coming down was international travel, computers and telecommunications.
QUIKSILVER BOSS MISSING
Pierre Agnes, the CEO of Boardriders (think Quiksilver and Roxy, and the newly acquired Billabong), has gone missing off the coast of southwest France. His empty boat was found washed up on a beach at Hossegor and a search is underway. Surfing champ Kelly Slater said; “I’m praying for a miracle but it’s just starting to hit me what a profound effect this man had on my life and the surf community at large.”
FOXTEL BOSS MOVES ON
We didn’t even get through January before the first media industry shakeup happened. Foxtel (which is jointly owned by Telstra and News Corp) has decided to replace its CEO. Peter Tonagh is out and Fox Sports boss Patrick Delany is in. Everyone said nice things about each other, as they should. It’s not entirely unexpected with Foxtel and Fox Sports (which is wholly owned by News Corp) planning to merge. But there’s a challenge ahead: Foxtel is struggling with declining subscriber numbers and profitability as audiences switch to streaming services to supplement their free-to-air viewing.
HAWAIIAN BUTTON-PUSHER SACKED
You know the button we mean – the one that alerted the island state to an incoming ballistic missile that wasn’t coming. The employee responsible has been dismissed from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency because he didn’t understand they were doing a drill and froze at the controls after issuing the alert. An investigation found he also "had a history of confusing drill and real-world events." Incredible.
LAY EE ODL LAY EE ODL LAY HEE HOO
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – there’s nothing wrong with a song that some yodelling can’t fix. From Julie Andrews to Gwen Stefani, yodelling has catapulted careers from ordinary to extraordinary. Ok, those two may have been someone long before they recorded yodelling songs, but it can only have helped. So we were thrilled to see a Swiss university will offer degrees in the Alpine art-form. Students will learn vocal techniques, musical theory and history. They will also take a business module so they know how to manage all the money they will go out and make.
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