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  • Writer's pictureFiona Prior

Tuesday Sanity Break, 19 December 2017 - good news at last

Great win for Messrs Alexander and Turnbull in Bennelong. A moderate swing to Labor, no more than the average swing for a by-election, and the coalition keeps its tiny majority.

Now the heat is on Labor leader Bill Shorten for his foolish claim no Labor candidate had failed in the dual citizenship fiasco. By the look of it, coming soon in 2018 will be by-elections for Labor candidates ruled ineligible by the High Court. Big loss of credibility Bill.

Finally, some goodish economic news - somehow, detail largely not available yet, government debt is alleged to be falling. Unless I am missing something about unusual capital movements that means Australia has just scored some debt reduction due, presumably, to a seasonal variation of the budget, since reduction of debt normally is a result of a budget surplus. Or else there has been some monkey business involving 'good debt' and 'bad debt'.

Alan Kohler has praised the Chair of APRA for (so far) engineering a flattening and probably a gentle fall in house prices. Said Chair will be in strife if house prices take a tumble, but unless there is some other domestic economic problem that seems unlikely. How well Aussie house prices would avoid the effect of a big fall in US shares, expected by many pundits, is to be seen.


Fiona Prior has been to see the new Star Wars and enjoyed it greatly.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' pushes all the right buttons. It is thrilling, philosophical, has great production values and is a ripping yarn. Even better, though you know it is of a classic film franchise and that a certain outcome is more than likely – good over-coming evil in some way, shape or form – there is enough ambiguity in the states-of-mind of the key characters and suitably diverse strands in story-line to deliver plenty of tension and surprise. And of course there are those delightful extra-terrestrial critters; automata and other!'

The Sporting Life

A major reason for delaying the regular 'Sanity Break' was to see the result of the final test match at the WACA. It was a ripper. England batted first and made a respectable score, of 402, equivalent to 250 on a normal pitch some pundit opined. Then Australia batted with several of the top order making a start but no-one starring. Until, Cap'n Smith came out, bat blazing with fierce concentration and was joined by recalled, rehabilitated and apparently reformed Mitch Marsh. Together they piled on 300 runs to leave Australia with a commanding lead.

A massive storm - raining in Perth we thought was banned - and water somehow got under the pitch cover. Cap'n Joe - 'We're not batting til the pitch is fixed' - Root fussed about as men with leaf blowers strived to return the pitch to the previous day's condition. England were something like 4 for not much and when the bowlers were summoned carnage reigned, due mostly the experts said to a massive crack in the pitch just where balls landed when a right harder was facing the music. Some balls jumped, some slid through low and some 'cut' violently toward leg. It was all over all so quickly, with the final comment from Corporal Jones in dads Army. 'They don't like it up'em, or even at'em.

Henry apologies for his earlier criticism of the selectors. Tim Paine has kept brilliantly, Shaun (Eighth chance) number 5 batter scored a big hundred when one was needed and Mitch (All rounder) bowled well and joined Cap'n Smith in that 300 run stand that won the game and the Ashes. According to the pundits, the reformed Mitch has stopped 'plonking' (whatever that might be), nor concentrates and hits with less, but still considerable, power.

Henry is looking to the Melbourne test but failed to secure a ticket for day 1 so it in front of the telly with a mate and a crate of cold beer in the fridge.

Image of the week.

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