Squiz Today / 08 February 2018
Squiz Today – Thursday, 8 February
Groundbreaking DNA analysis of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton shows the first modern Brits were dark skinned and had blue eyes. Twitter reacted. “Cheddar man: Black Britons date fromages ago,” said one wag.
JOYCE AFFAIR THROWS CANBERRA INTO A TIZZ
The media and politicians spent yesterday debating how public should the private lives of our elected officials be after the Daily Telegraph revealed Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce is having a baby with his former media adviser, Vicki Campion. Joyce confirmed late last year that he had separated from wife Natalie, and rumours of the new relationship have circulated in political circles for months.
WHAT DID PEOPLE SAY?
• Barnaby Joyce - "I'll say up front that one of the greatest failures in my life was the end of my marriage… It's a private matter and I don't think it helps me, I don't think it helps my family, I don't think it helps anybody in the future to start making this a public discussion.”
• Natalie Joyce - “This situation is devastating on many fronts - for my girls who are affected by the family breakdown and for me as a wife of 24 years, who placed my own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life.”
• Nationals’ Darren Chester - "(It has) nothing to do with his performance as leader of the National Party and I believe that private matters should remain private."
• Labor’s Chris Bowen - “The Labor Party has made no public statement about Barnaby Joyce’s personal situation for the last six months, despite the fact it’s been well-known in this building, and we’re not about to start today.”
• Greens’ Adam Bandt - "Unless it impacts on how [he] does his job or unless she chooses voluntarily to step into the public eye, it is not really anyone's business.”
DID I REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS?
It depends on your definition of what’s in the ‘public interest’.
• One test is if there was a misuse of office or public funds. No one has evidence of that.
• But Sharri Markson, one of the journalists who broke the story, says you probably wanted to know. "I don't think there are any punters out there who are saying, 'I wish I did not know this story' this morning," she said yesterday.
• Others say with the spotlight currently on the dynamics between men in positions of power and women who work for them, we should expect more public discussion on these issues.
• Thing to note - the US House of Representative this week passed legislation banning relationships between elected officials and their staff.
TEARS IN THE CHAMBER
Canberra’s Parliament House was full of feels yesterday… Labor’s embattled Susan Lamb tearfully explained her situation:
• She has been unable to formally confirm her citizenship status because she does not have access to her parents’ marriage certificate.
• That’s because her father dies some time ago and she is estranged from her mother.
• "One day when I was around six years old my mum dropped me off at school and she never came back to pick me up," Lamb said.
Government ministers said they were sorry about her family circumstances, but it did not change their minds about their push to have Labor refer her case to the High Court.
STOCK MARKET GREEN AGAIN
The Aussie share market bounced back a bit yesterday. Not a full bounce – just one of those half trampoline bounces you used to do as a kid. The Australian Stock Exchange recovered 0.75% after dropping 3.2% on Tuesday. All eyes remain on US markets with the expectation that things could be volatile for a while.
MYER BRACES FOR PREMIER ASSAULT
It sounds like a boring corporate request – yesterday Premier Investments asked Myer for its shareholder register. But its more than that:
• Solomon Lew is Premier’s chairman and oversees its portfolio of retail businesses including Peter Alexander, Smiggle, and Just Jeans.
• By getting his hands on the department store’s register, Lew's getting ready to tell Myer shareholders how its board is letting them down and his crew could do a better job.
Make no mistake - this means war.
MUSK SPACE LAUNCH A SUCCESS
Tesla/South Australian solar battery dreamer, Elon Musk had a big moment yesterday. His SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch was successful and notable.
• It’s the biggest rocket privately launched, which opens up the possibilities for other private space business missions and human adventures.
• He also launched his red roadster with a mannequin driver named Spaceman - it’s going to float around space for aeons. “It’s kind of silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important,” he said.
• Next is a new-generation rocket called B.F.R. (as the New York Times explains: the B stands for big and the R for rocket) for launch in a couple of years. The ultimate aim = getting people to Mars.
JAPANESE PRINCESS PUSHES WEDDING PLANS OUT
To bookend today’s edition with marital matters… Japan’s Princess Mako and her commoner fiancé Kei Komuro have announced the commemorative tea-towels will need to be warehoused for a while... They won’t wed later this year because they are not ready to walk down the aisle. They’re going to “take some time to think about marriage more deeply and concretely and give sufficient time to prepare our marriage and for after the marriage," she said. It was an event that the nation was greatly looking forward to, so it’s a gutsy call.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, December
Company results announcements - AMP; AGL Energy; Mirvac Group
Anniversary of the Japanese invasion of Singapore in WWII (1942)
Anniversary of the death of Anna Nicole Smith (2007)
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.