Squiz Today / 30 March 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 30 March
LET THE BREXIT BEGIN
After 44 years as a member of the European Community/Union, UK PM Theresa May yesterday signed the separation papers starts the two-year divorce process. The letter outlining the UK’s opening position in negotiations to exit the EU was hand-delivered by Sir Tim Barrow (UK ambassador to the EU) to the European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels. Haven’t these people heard about scanning and emailing documents? Even we know how to do it.
REMIND ME (BUT DON’T BORE ME), HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Here’s a very comprehensive, factual guide. But long story short: there was a (voluntary) referendum in June last year that resulted in a majority vote to leave the EU, and it's been nine months of crankiness/uncertainty since. The commencement of negotiations with the EU is a big next step in moving on.
WHY IS THIS A BIG DEAL?
It’s big, like a significant-moment-in-history big. The UK’s economy is currently geared around its participation in the EU single market. Their trade, customs and immigration arrangements and so many other things are shaped around their membership of the EU. Unpicking it is very tricky. Remember, it claimed the scalp of PM David Cameron who advocated remaining in the EU. The referendum vote was close and has been a very divisive issue. But maybe, in the end, it can be a force for good by giving the Poms a common issue they can all agree to whinge about?
SQUIZ THE REST
DEBBIE TO BRING RAIN AS FAR AS SYDNEY
The weather has been pretty wet and wild in North Queensland since Debbie came to town, and that continues to be the case. More than 60,000 homes and businesses are without power and Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen were cut off making it hard to start assessing the damage. Mackay's water supply is compromised. And isn’t that Debbie a generous girl? She just gives and gives. Heavy rain can be expected in Brisbane and all the way down to Sydney over the next couple of days. To prove she was the real deal, Debbie's winds smashed the highest on record for Queensland, and she was just 4km per hour off the Australian record.
JUSTIFIED (INDUSTRIAL) LAW BREAKING IS A-OK
Sally McManus, the new secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, addressed the nation via the National Press Club yesterday. What do you mean you were rearranging your sock drawer? McManus said the ACTU would support a $45 increase to the minimum wage (as set by the Fair Work Commission), that’s three times last year’s increase. She also reaffirmed her statement of last week that it’s ok to break unjust laws, however, clarified to say she meant industrial laws. We know where she’s coming from but experience tells us she’s on a hiding to nothing. It’s completely unjust we recently got a fine for parking in a perfectly safe, but stupidly marked, ‘no parking’ zone. Strangely the parking ranger had no time for our very well argued position of ‘you’re just revenue raising’.
LEW BEHIND MYER SHARE GRAB
Retail veteran Solomon Lew ‘fessed up yesterday that he (via his +40% owned Premier Investments) bought $100 million worth of Myer shares earlier this week. Why? Well, he doesn’t want to take Myer over, he says. He’s just concerned Woolworths South Africa, the owners of David Jones, may have been looking Myer over with a view to merging the two department stores. Lew says taking a significant share would ensure Woolworths SA makes a good offer, if indeed that’s what they want to do.
LIFE AND TIMES OF FORMER MPS
Sky last night ‘terminated the contract’ of former Labor leader turned media commentator Mark Latham. Latham has been the protagonist in a number of recent on-air incidents that have upset so many people via so many insults.
It would be easy to sink in the slipper, but we won’t. Peter Slipper was back in town yesterday for the customary portrait hanging in the former Speaker’s gallery in Parliament House. Slipper’s time as Speaker ended in tears, accusations, charges, suicide attempts and treatment for mental illness.
Another former Speaker came out swinging last night after the release of an official report into her use of parliamentary entitlements. If you feel like going over the ashes of Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest taxpayer-funded hits, including the use of a helicopter and trips to colleagues' weddings, read about it here.
WANT TO SEE SOMETHING CUTE?
Much excitement in Washington DC this morning with the hatching of a baby bald eagle just a few hours ago. There’s a live video stream via DC Eagle Cam (*squealy voice*). The parents are Mr President and The First Lady - adorable. Let’s hope it stays cute, they’re wild birds after all.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS data releases - Job Vacancies for February; Regional Population Growth for 2015-16; Migration for 2015-16; Australian National Accounts
Did you know that Alaska was purchased by the Americans from Russia? We didn't. Today is the 150th anniversary of that happening
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