- HarperCollins Australia has apologised and agreed to pulp unsold copies of its flagship 2015 release – Paul Keating: The Biography by David Day – to settle a fierce legal battle with the former Labor prime minister.
The spectacular capitulation resolved the previously unreported dispute over incendiary – and it turns out false – claim by the author, that Mr Keating suffered from the reading and comprehension disorder known as dyslexia.
The dyslexia hypothesis was fundamental to Day’s characterisation of Keating and was mentioned multiple times in the text. HarperCollins agreed to pay Keating’s legal costs of legal costs of $27,500.
2. A new space for social democratic ideas
When Mark Bahnisch, Eva Cox and John Quiggin resigned as Fellows of the centre for Policy Development they said:
- we are working together to create a network to facilitate discussions and policy development around the core value of the public good.
A new site Social Democratic Directions: Alternative policies for Australia has now been created.
We wish them well!
3. Depp’s dogs
Johnny Depp, film star, thought it was OK to bring his dogs Boo and Pistol with him while filming on the Gold Coast. Barnaby Joyce found out that the pooches had avoided quarantine and demanded they leave on pain of death. He told them to “Bugger off!”
Apparently the dogs couldn’t be put in quarantine, because they lacked the paperwork. Strictly speaking, for the same reason, they shouldn’t be allowed back into the United States.
Depp did bugger off with his pooches, and he will be back without them. Apparently he had already taken considerable time off for less than plausible reasons, and the word is that if he doesn’t show the film studio will sue his arse off.
Meanwhile Kyle Sandilands and Clive Palmer got stuck into Barnaby for acting like a clown, which he was, because he is.
I understand that the shack where Depp and other A-listers hang out when here belongs to Mick Doohan who pops down to Coolangatta in his helicopter to pick them up.
- Academic website The Conversation will lose a quarter of its annual budget because of the federal government’s decision to scrap its funding.
The government announced in Tuesday’s budget that there would be no new funding for the website, created in 2011 to give academics a platform to promote their research to a broader audience.
The website is now pondering its future.
The cut must be considered ideological. The amount involved is not even small change in a budget of $434 billion.
5. Brandis to call the shots in arts funding
George Brandis now gets his very own National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (note the spelling) courtesy of $104.7 million hived off the Australia Council’s funding. That’s 27.7% of the total arts budget placed in a special fund run by the Minister. The Council also loses an “efficiency dividend” of $7.2 million.
Joanna Mendelssohn at The Conversation sees it as a return to the Menzies era.
Artists, apart from the major companies, are worried.
6. Nepal earthquake
While we play ideological games, Nepal has suffered another earthquake, with 96 dead so far.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.