When it opened in 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a bit of a flop, but then it rocketed to cult status and has never been off the screens since.
- Rocky Horror is full of strange bits and bobs: literally in its props and costumes and otherwise in madcap humour, lashes of pop culture references and the behaviour of an assortment of loony sexually liberated characters. It seems to takes place in a vacuum divorced from both time and space and the conventions of cinema – a garish, swirling patchwork joyfully here and there.
Susan Sarandon, who plays Janet, says it’s like love, don’t try to understand it. Sydney-based Jim Sharman who directed it says discussing the ins and outs of the film’s cultural impact as a job best left for sociologists, but then has some interesting thoughts of his own. He’s probably right when he says “a lot of what happened was to do with a particular group of people who combusted at a particular moment in time.”
In case you missed the good news, the jobless rate fell from 6.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent in October. The consensus forecast was for 15,000 new jobs. In fact there were 58,600.
The prospect of an interest rate cut this year is now zero, while a rate cut at any time in 2016, which had been at 100 per cent, has now fallen to 66 per cent.
3. OECD forecasts lower growth
The bad news is that the OECD has lowered its forecasts for global economic growth.
- The Paris-based OECD, which covers the major economies, reduced its growth forecast for the world economy to 2.9 percent this year and 3.3 percent in 2016. This compares with earlier forecasts of 3 percent and 3.6 percent respectively. The downgrade follows a similar move by the International Monetary Fund, which last month said global growth would be at its lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008–2009.
A slow-down in China is a concern.
Another negative is the prospect of rising interest rates in the US – 0.25 first with more to follow. This
- will trigger a financial crisis in so-called emerging markets which have large dollar-denominated debts. The IMF considers that these countries have over-borrowed to the extent of around $3 trillion.
The improvement in the Us economy is of course good for them, but there has been no increase in wages, which means the recovery could easily lose steam, with negative implications for the world.
Quantitative easing had been a failure, because the money had gone into speculation rather than investment.
Australia’s growth had been downgraded from 3 per cent to 2.6 for 2016.
4. China acquires Port of Darwin
A Chinese government enterprise has just bought the Port of Darwin. Actually it’s a 99-year lease, but that’s next to buying it. This same enterprise has provided logistic support for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Geoff Wade, a visiting fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU,
- argues the port purchase will be a key link in China’s ‘maritime silk road’ which is part of a plan to realise “regional economic domination and subsequent client dependency”.
“This in turn will facilitate contention for regional and then global primacy with the United States. The PLA sees one of its key roles as being to protect these economic initiatives offshore. The Darwin deal is thus, among other things, a key element in the PRC’s efforts to weaken the Australian alliance with the US. For these reasons there must be great security concerns about the Darwin deal.”
It seems the sale did not trigger the Foreign Investment Review Board procedures, but FIRB and Defence were consulted.
- “The Government is acutely aware of the sensitivities regarding foreign investment in strategic national assets and critical infrastructure.
“The Government is assessing options to strengthen the Federal Government’s ability to protect the national interest in these cases and we will have more to say on this issue in the future.”
A decision now looms on the NSW power grid, and the fibre optic cable on which the nation’s defence system operates.
Laura Tingle reminds us that:
- Malcolm Turnbull as communications minister pushed for an end to a ban on national security grounds for another Chinese company, Huawei, to help build the national broadband network.
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.