The sauce bottle saga

Can you believe it?  Here we are having public discourse about Kevin Rudd’s use of the phrase ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ – used three times in the one interview!!!!

First there is an academic argument about what the phrase really is.  Is it ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ or ‘fair suck of the sauce bottle’?  As an ex-Queenslander, I’ve heard both, but an academic, Sue Butler, whom I understand has something to do with the Macquarie Dictionary of Slang, insists the latter is correct, and patronisingly explains that Rudd has mixed two expressions ‘fair suck of the sauce bottle’ and one of the following: ‘fair shake of the dice’ or ‘more than one can shake a stick at’.  Her subtheme was that poor Kevin has got so much going on in his head running the country, he got his expressions mixed up.  More...

Have we just experienced a crucial week politically?

Last week was one of the most politically eventful since the election of the Rudd Government.  But how crucial was it to the future of the Government and the Opposition? 

The National Accounts for the March Quarter showed a seasonally adjusted growth in GDP of 0.4%, avoiding two quarters of negative growth and denying oxygen to those who wanted to call a recession.  Moreover, there was evidence that the fiscal stimulus packages had contributed significantly to that outcome, although favourable terms of trade had contributed even more.  Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan were delighted, like parents of a lost child on its return.  They had feared the worst and the onslaught of criticism that would have followed.  Their relief was palpable.  In contrast the Coalition was frustrated.  While it might be unfair to assert that Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey wanted recessionary figures, they were clearly disappointed that one of the main planks supporting their debt and deficit platform, namely that the stimulus packages had not been successful in avoiding a recession, had been denied them, at least for the time being.  In a media conference Turnbull took less than a minute to say he was pleased with the figures and several trying to make the point that the result was mainly due to the trade figures and had little to do with the stimulus packages.  The tiny graph he exhibited to the media to reinforce this point seemed to attract more amusement than enlightenment. More...

The Fitzgibbon affair – endgame?

They got their man.  But who are ‘they’?

First it must be accepted that Joel Fitzgibbon shot himself in the foot – several times.  So when it all boils down he has only himself to blame for his exit to the backbench.  The first-revealed misdemeanours of not recording gifts on the pecuniary interests register betrayed lack of attention to such requirements, an air of carelessness, but were forgiven.  The one that brought him undone was lack of probity in his relationship with his brother and his colleagues seeking Defence Department contracts for health care. More...