Saturday salon 13/6

1. G7 meets in Scloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps

As you can see from this lovely picture, there are actually nine of them.


The extras were Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker representing the EU. Once again Russia was not invited.

Apart from talking about Vlad behind his back, the meeting addressed all the important issues, just about everything in fact.

On the second day they usually have an outreach meeting. This time it was with African leaders.

Sir David King, the UK’s top climate diplomat, was impressed:

    During the G7 Heads of Government meeting on Monday, 8 June, world leaders from the developed nations pledged to remove carbon from the global economy by 2100.

That’s probably 70 years too late for a safe climate.

Matthew Rose asks the obvious question:

    could Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Government be any more out of step with the rest of the world on climate policy?

2. Angela Merkel on Facebook

As host, Angela Merkel was president of the G7. You’ll be glad to know

    Angela Merkel has said Facebook is “nice to have…like a decent washing machine” but cautioned that it “won’t make you happy in life”.

3. Bilderberg Group meets

Meanwhile the really important meeting was in an Alpine resort in Austria, where the mysterious annual Bilderberg conference took place. They were talking about “a range of subjects including cybersecurity, Greece, Iran, Russia, terrorism, the U.S. elections and Britain — most likely it’s future in Europe.”

Some say they are really lizard people, aliens who rule the world. Actually it’s by invitation of the Steering Committee, but you have to live in Europe, including Russia, Canada or the USA. They post their meeting topics and list of paticipants (not all men), but that’s all you’ll get out of them. No notes are kept and the press are specifically excluded.

Wikipedia records that the first meeting was in the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands in 1954 to promote Atlanticism, and it’s gone on from there.

4. The Killing Season begins

Here in Oz we had The Killing Season, “Sarah Ferguson’s gripping three-part examination of the forces that shaped Labor during the Kevin Rudd / Julia Gillard leadership years.”

The SMH records that

    all our networks rejected a telemovie about Australia’s first female prime minister because – in the words of one major broadcaster – “everyone hates Julia Gillard; no one is remotely interested in her”.

On the night 986,000 viewers tuned in, topping everything except Masterchef.

I missed it, but my wife said it was good. We like Ferguson as a journalist and wish she’d do the 7.30 Report instead of the airhead they have there now.

I believe Ferguson has said you will not learn the truth through the program. I think it was G.W.F. Hegel who said the truth lies in reality. Truth statements can only gesture towards reality. So history is constantly remade.

Anthony Albanese is apparently working towards an alternative version.

In truth Hegel also said “the rational alone is real”. That’s where he lost me!

5. Pope Francis puts the heat on bishops and child abuse

From Fox news:

    Pope Francis has taken the biggest step yet to crack down on bishops who cover up for priests who rape and molest children, creating a new tribunal section inside the Vatican to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect their flock.

    The initiative has significant legal and theological implications, since bishops have long been considered masters of their dioceses and largely unaccountable when they bungle their job, with the Vatican stepping in only in cases of gross negligence.

There’s more at SBS. Cardinal Pell should perhaps worry.

6. Unemployment drops a little

Unemployment dropped to just on 6% the lowest for about a year. South Australia went the other way, from 7.2% to 7.6%. Economists were surprised and, as usual, varied in their reactions. It’s probably too early to say whether unemployment has peaked. Bill Mitchell is worried about the young:

    And the most striking thing for me is that even though we did have some employment growth, the teenagers have virtually been excluded from many of that growth and lost about 7,000 full-time jobs this month. But I think it’s an absolute crisis.

He and the Reserve bank Governor want more infrastructure spending.

7. Wendell Sailor breaks an arm

Not his. Wendell broke former rugby league player Ben Ross’s arm on live television during an arm-wrestle.

Apparently it’s not uncommon, can happen to women too, and this explainer should put you off!

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.