The Midday Meal

A repository for the various things i consume in the course of daily existence

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Beaze is Back

say what you will about Mark Latham, the bloke keeps finding the way out of every bind he gets himself into. By bringing his leadership rival and big bouncing ball of fun Kim Beazley back onto the frontbenches he's done it again.

Kim immediately increases the international relations credibility of the alternative government, and his obvious and repeatly expressed affection for the US and the importance of that alliance will mitigate one of the wedges that the Howard government had at its disposal. Unfortunately it also means that another potential wedge in the free trade agreement will also be removed, as Beazely is a big supporter of the idea and will probably use his new influence to gain ALP support for the FTA.

This is unfortunate as I am not convinced that the FTA is in our best interests and its approval, despite limiting the ammunition the coalition has at the election, will probably take place before the election rather than being revisted by a new government after it.

So thats one bad outcome from the return of Kim, but the goods are decent too... its further evidence of Latham's willingness and flexibility to adapt and change should the path he has chosen turns out to be not the best one, and the ability to make efforts to overcome interpersonal differences and cold relations for the achievement of the larger goal. I think both of these traits are significant positive attributes of a good leader.

I still don't like the FTA though.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Money and Music

In the past few weeks i've done a little bit of travelling, and am about to massively increase the number of miles covered in my life over the next month or so.

This has had an unusual effect on my finances. Because I am being sent rather than choosing to go, I am being reimbursed for the massive inconvience of being flown around the world. So I've been a little flush with funds over the past weeks... which has led to the purchase of more cds and books than I have otherwise been able to afford for the past year or so... so I felt the need to let you know what I have found (and hopefully what i discover in my travels)...

I'll assume you'll all have heard of the London club Fabric and their series of mixes (Fabric and FabricLive). Some of you may also have heard of John Peel. John Peel has been an fixture on BBC radio since 1967, and he introduced punk and reggae to the UK mainstream through his radio shows. In 2002 he recorded a session at Fabric and it formed this CD.

To describe it as eclectic is a fair understatement. The mix begins with a sample of commentary from a Liverpool v Madrid European Cup Final in 1981 and goes into old school reggae to jungle to blugrass covers of the sex pistol's "pretty vacant" to the rock of the datsuns while incorporating motown and doowop tunes. The pinnacle however is the second last track, which is further sampling from BCC football coverage... its the sound of the supporters at another liverpool match singing the liverpool fc anthem "you'll never walk alone" its quite a powerful track and (possibly due to the randomness of the previous hour) fits perfectly between the hardcore techno of Mark Smith v Safe 'n' Sound's "Identify the Beat" and the punk joy of the The Undertones "Teenage Kicks" which in itself is a pretty good way of ending a set anyway...

I've been wanting to check this cd out since I heard about it over a year ago... but most of the fabric stuff isn't necessarily available in canberra so when i found the little metal tin in fish records in newtown a few weeks ago I had to buy it... and I was not disappointed.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Will we or won't we...

its beginning to look like the latter... it seems that all the pundits predictions that we would be going for an August 7 election were wrong. We are definitely in an election campaign, but we just haven't got an end date in sight.

I for one am sick of it, particularly the incredibly dodgy and increasingly annoying, government self promotion...

the sooner they do it and get it over with the better... the more I see of Mark Latham the less i am inclined to believe that the result will actually make a difference so just get on with it and stop disturbing my footy watching with pointless adds claiming credit for a worthless patch on a dying system...

Maybe if they spent the money on the health system they've spent promoting it in prime time they'd have the money to fix it properly?