1. The loser as always is you!
To begin with something light, the Australien Government, courtesy of Juice Media, explains what is going on with the socalled Newscorp bargaining code whereby big media gets a slice of the action with big tech.
In effect, she says, they are ganging up on us, since they have a shared interest in destroying human civilisation.
The real answer is quite simple, she says, tax big tech companies and invest the funds in quality journalism.
Reportedly Nine Entertainment was going to get $30 million a year from Google, which chairman Peter Costello said would be invested in Australian content. Michael Pascoe reckons that’s more Married at fist sight.
Pascoe continued in Josh Frydenberg sure got Zucker punched in this tech-giant fist fight:
- If I was a cartoonist instead of a journalist, I’d be drawing a bashed and bruised Josh Frydenberg with black eye, stitches and Band-Aids, saying “You should see the other guy” while a gleaming and unscathed Mark Zuckerberg sits in the background, filing his nails, not having raised a sweat.
And thus, with a picture worth a thousand words, my column for the day would be done.
And finishes with:
Google and Facebook are very large, very nasty, highly manipulative, tax-avoiding monsters – but the media code extortion is simply wrong in principle and practice.
They got what they wanted.
Being a simple person, I can’t see how Google publishes news, or why Murdoch should be paid by Google when the links to News Corp papers they provide are in fact pay-walled.
Christopher Warren – Diversity hit between the eyes as old media pockets about 90 per cent of big tech cash
Annette Kimmitt, CEO of Minter Ellison, sent an all-staff email expressing concern about the company’s work for Attorney-General Christian Porter saying the firm’s working for Porter had “triggered hurt” for her and other female employees and may not be in accord with the firm’s values.
- Kimmitt told the firm’s 2000-odd employees that news MinterEllison was acting for Attorney-General Christian Porter had “triggered hurt for me”.
“I know that for many of you it’s a tough day and I want to apologise for the pain you may be experiencing.”
It was made all the worse, she said, by only learning about this via Twitter and news reports the previous night. It had not gone through the firm’s consultation or approvals process and assessed through “the lens of our Purpose and our Values”.
Less than a week later, Kimmitt was gone. She was simply told not to come back to the office, but to stay home until they worked out the severance settlement.
One of Kimmit’s problems is that she wasn’t a lawyer, she was an accountant, employed in 2018 on a five year contract to extend the firm’s services into general consulting. She perhaps did not understand that lawyers get to represent all sorts, like Crown when it was accused of money-laundering and having business with triads or any number of CEOs who have been accused of sexually harassing staff.
Her other problem was that the renegade lawyer who didn’t consult before taking on Porter’s defamation claim was Bret Walker, the most senior of 257 partners who own the firm, a 49-year veteran who had done two stints as chairman in his 20 years on its board.
His Wikipedia entry says he had been, inter alia, president of the New South Wales Bar Association, was one of the leading legal counsel representing tobacco companies in their fight against the Australian government’s plain packaging legislation, has successfully acted for Cardinal Pell in his High Court appeal, and in April 2020 had been appointed to a Special Commission of Inquiry to “… investigate all matters and agencies involved with the Ruby Princess’ departure and its return to Circular Quay on March 19”.
What’s more the firm had $93 million worth of work for the Australian Government.
When Kimmit was appointed some said she was “the dead CEO walking” and gave her 10 days, so she perhaps did well to last that long.
BTW I understand Walker also did a spot of work for Geoffrey Rush.
I’m thinking the ABC might settle out of court.
3. Cormann wins OECD post
Bevan Shields in the SMH tells The inside story of how Cormann got his magic number. Seems he had to win up to 10 European votes. It also seems the Morrison government was usefully active on his behalf. He even had a testimonial from Athony Albanese, plus support from unions and industry groups.
According to Jacob Greber in the AFR, the big issue was taxing the US technology giants rather than climate change.
The EU has plans to rip something like $US100 billion ($129 billion) a year off the big Tech companies. The US normally defends its corporations in their mission to plunder the world, so was probably uncomfortable with the other remaining candidate, EU insider Cecilia Malmström from Sweden who had been European Commissioner for trade.
It was a near thing, apparently, but there were plenty (apart from Malcolm Turnbull) to attest to Cormann’s integrity and negotiating ability.
Adrian Blundell-Wignall, a former director of the OECD, says in the AFR Cormann should tackle China, education, climate and big tech at OECD.
Apparently the OECD is the only international body to take an interest in the use of tax havens, such as the Cayman Islands, so it’s not just about big tech.
On education, its about school student performance, and access to tertiary education. On the latter:
- The evidence is overwhelming that the best predictor of high tertiary outcomes is the tertiary education of one’s parents and their relative wealth. We are not getting the most talented people in all countries due to this form of elitism.
From my experience, I’d say that if Cormann can crack that one he’s a genius, and Nobel Prize-worthy.
On China it is in part about China’s insistence on doing things their way, and about Stae-owned corporations and their tendency to corruption.
Cormann on climate:
“I say to all who have a strong passion in relation to this issue, work with me,” Cormann said of the climate issue after his win was announced in the early hours of Saturday.
“If we want to maximise the outcomes, if we want to maximise the success of policies to reduce emissions globally, we need to bring people together. We need to find ways to create consensus that gets us to zero net emissions at a global level by 2050 at the latest.”
Amen to that.
4. Katter names his price
Independent MP Bob Katter has likened himself to a “grenade with the pin pulled” during a meeting with Scott Morrison in which he listed a series of demands in return for shoring up the government.
He told both PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg that his vote could not be taken for granted:
- He made three key demands of the Prime Minster and Mr Frydenberg.
The first was about $3 million he says he has long been promised to enable Indigenous communities in his electorate to establish market gardens.
“They get no fresh fruit or vegetables,” he said.
His second, and largest, demand was for a $500 million government loan on top of $700 million already committed from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to help build the $1.5 billion Copper String electricity transmission line from Townsville to Mount Isa.
Mr Katter said $500 million would be a government loan and not from the NAIF.
He said Mr Morrison was “very, very engaged”.
His third demand was for something to be done about the high cost of insurance policies in north Queensland. Home insurance costs are so high that many households no longer have cover.
He wants a [government] reinsurance pool for north Queensland.
On the third, I heard him say that 25% of homes in his electorate are uninsured because it is outrageously expensive. His point is that every home that was built before a new standard was implemented post Cyclone Tracy in 1974 has already been knocked down by subsequent cyclones. Insurance companies are looking back rather than forward. Allianz has indicated that they will play ball with cheaper insurance if the government backs them with reinsurance.
Katter says he is not threatening the PM, but if he is a Christian and a patriot there are things that need to be done. If Morrison walks away, there is a downside.