The Null Device
Seemingly going for the Pauline Hanson demographic, disposable Australian celebrity Dannii Minogue (she's the less talented one, apparently) recently was quoted ranting about Asian immigration and liberal policies in a British men's magazine. "Even some of the street signs are in Asian!", she is quoted as having opined, before coming down on Blair for being soft on crime, blaming crime on foreigners, and stating that French right-winger Jean-Marie Le Pen "struck a chord with people".
"She may have somewhat controversial political views but at least she has the defence of being Australian," he said.
There you have it; Australia is now seen as the new South Africa, that rough redneck cowboy state somewhere in the godforsaken Southern Hemisphere, where bigotry and narrow-mindedness are par for the course. If you're an Australian, people pretty much expect you to be racist, reactionary and xenophobic (and probably to scratch your arse in public and spit on the floor as well). Remember that next time you're in Europe, and give thanks to Pauline and Johnny.
The pundits at Crikey analyse the Greens' chances in the upcoming election. Their analysis treads a middle ground between the ebullient optimism of Green supporters and the peremptory dismissals of traditional political commentators.
(I'm not sure I'd categorise the Greens as "radical left"; they're not rabid Trotskyites or neo-barbarians, and indeed seem less inclined towards totalitarianism than the Democrats (who at times leaned towards Scandinavian-style social engineering and similar ideologies). And is wanting decent public transport and an emphasis on renewable energy really an extremist position?) (via Graham)