Friday 20th of April 2018

the double standard news...


tweets and twits...

The mainstream press fails to grasp the opportunities social media presents, says Victoria Rollison, including the ABC’s “Social Media Reporter” — Latika Bourke.

Two of my recent posts – ‘The rise of the outrage brigade’ and ‘Why the mainstream media are losing it’ – have focused on the failure of our mainstream press to understand and embrace the opportunities social media presents. One of the journalists I mentioned in this analysis was the ABC’s Latika Bourke; I noted her propensity for ‘blocking’ Twitter followers. For the uninitiated, check out this link for an explanation of how Twitter works.

Bourke was recruited by the ABC from radio station 2UE in 2010 as their first Social Media Reporter. ABC’s director of news, Kate Torney, is quoted in this Mumbrella article announcing Bourke’s appointment:

“The ABC has a strong tradition of embracing and exploring new ways of communicating with our audience across a range of new and emerging platforms. This latest appointment continues that tradition.”

Bourke has successfully become one of the most followed journalists in Australia on Twitter. People obviously appreciate that she contributes political news directly to her Twitter feed. Bourke is not employed to speak on ABC radio, to appear on ABC TV, or to write articles for ABC’s news website. Her full time job is to be a member of the Canberra press gallery – supposedly investigating news – and then reporting it to a captive audience on social media. Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it! And a great job! There’s just one catch. And I’m not sure if Bourke has worked out what this catch is yet.

The key words in Torney’s statement are ‘communicating with our audience’. Communicating. Twitter is not a broadcast media. It is a social media. The difference is, when you throw comments, opinion and news out on the Twitter feed, you are joining a conversation. A two-way conversation. I’m sure this two-way conversation is all fun and games when you check your @Connect stream and see lots of lovely comments like ‘Good work Latika’, or ‘you’re doing a great job’. But what about when you get feedback which isn’t positive?


breaking news...

breaking news


The 2013 federal election promises to be the first in 20 years in which both leaders have negative ratings, says Barrie Cassidy. We can expect strange results.

Next March will be the 20th anniversary of one of the weirdest federal elections on record, and it's a sobering reminder of the unpredictable nature of politics in this country.

The Coalition under John Hewson went into the 1993 election needing to win just five seats to gain government.

The prime minister, Paul Keating, was - as one tweeter recently observed of Tony Abbott - about as popular as warm Fanta, or barrier 11 in the Cox Plate. His approval-against-disapproval rating was running at -25. No prime minister had previously won an election with such a lousy approval rating.

Hewson, on the other hand, wasn't popular either. He rated -2, and every opposition leader since, both the victors and the vanquished, right up until Tony Abbott in 2010, went into elections with a positive rating.


Gus: One thing for sure, the leaders are not going to get any more popular.

Unless the media starts to point out some of the positive actions by both sides of politics in a a good and fair light. But day-in day-out the media gurus heap garbaged commentariation on politics — boasting themselves as know-alls who know nothing except the greasy sound of their own voice. The bullshit-O-meter applies far more to the mass media than to our politicians. I have far more respect say for a Tony Abbott than for an Alan Jones — who, in the long run, scores like Alan Davis on QI — always in negative territory. At least Alan Davis is mildly entertaining and the pollies are trying to do something, whether good or bad.

Most of the opinionated media sits on its bum and understands zip but keeps talking to itself like a deranged loony. The madness of the media tends to permeate the culture of the asylum eventually.

On the side of Labor there is more positive than negative, on the side of the Liberals (conservatives), there is zip or idiotic policies. But in its effort to make the silliness of Tony Abbott palatable, the media taints Julia with the same brush... hence the negative perceptions. Meanwhile the media itself, is permanently inside the barrel of tar and feathers fiddling with itself as well...


idotic perceptions and no reality...

I was prepared to give the merde-och press another benefit of the doubt... So I just went through every columnists' articles in that stable and most of its recent news items... I could have missed something but I could not see A SINGLE MENTION OF THE REPORT ON GLOBAL WARMING nor of the Doha conference... on its website... Not even a word of denial... NOTHING... But in that mediocre media empire, all the columnists are gunning fast and furious for Gillard and most are praising god, er sorry, Tony Abbott — that detritus of a politician who has no other goals that to stuff your life by aggrandising his... Every second day, the merde-och press organises more glorious opinion polls about that other odd couple, Rudd and Turnbull... The merde-och media loves these two old farts and always present them with fond memory as if they were the solution to... What's the problem again?... Ah I see... It's perception not reality... And of course the perception is cultivated by the media. Perceptions and illusions is the bread and butter of the merde-och media. News is often a side issue. Reality is a nuisance in the spinning of good porkie... 


the battle for grunch...


The Opposition’s negative attack campaign, directed principally and personally against the Prime Minister, is supported mainly by the News Ltd newspaper group, some journalists in the Fairfax group, a few former MSM journalists who are now “independent” bloggers, the blatantly biased former News Ltd editor Andrew Bolt and (most disturbingly) some journalists and hosts of various ABC television programs.

The bias of the hopelessly committed and compromised News Ltd is understandable and will not change until the board wrests control from the Murdoch family, or the organisation is broken up by government decree, as one of the steps towards creating decent and honest democracies around the world. Perceived bias by ABC News and Current Affairs, however, is neither understandable nor acceptable, and much information about that is provided elsewhere on my site.

Some journalists – independent or employed – and some news media outlets always will be biased. I am a fence-sitting Labor supporter, but not a party member. I was thoroughly trained in being objective and balanced and had no difficulty in abiding by the rules, which I agreed with anyway. But in relation to the federal Opposition’s relentless campaign of negativity, personal attack, unsubstantiated allegations of criminal conduct by the PM (the highest elected person in the land) and support for that campaign by certain parts of the news media I find it difficult to be calm, fair, balanced and objective. The simple reason for my anger is that I see the campaign, and support for it, as treating the parliament with contempt, potentially undermining our democracy.


The sad infuriating case here is that the merde-och media sets the tone for ALL other media, including the ABC... That the Prime Minister has no case to answer and did nothing wrong 20 years ago is not going to stop this media witch hunt nor Tony Abbott's rage — keeping this nasty baseless dirt campaign going on till the next election. It would be a good thing if at least one media outlet, such as the ABC, started to stop the muck and the innuendos FOR WHICH THERE IS NO PROOF (the idea being that since there is no proof, thus something must be hidden — after 20 years of digging!)

But the ABC's own muck inquisition would not allow this... News and programming at the ABC has to be "balanced": 50 per cent boring truth and 50 per cent entertaining dirt, crap, muck, allegations, reports of allegations, rumours and baseless opinions.

Same caper with global warming at the ABC... Any serious report from the scientific community has to be ignored or should they be unavoidable, they have to be equally "balanced" by the important opinion of "two bullshit artists"... most being well known for telling porkies.  

To be on the safe side of their handlers (namely the internal ABC inquisition), reporters and journalists often stray on the side of opinions that take Labor over hot coals for whatever reason (the economy is good but it's going to go bad sort of prediction) and praise Abbott as much as possible beyond decency (Abbott was god in a previous lifetime)... Anyone who thinks (or promotes the idea) that the ABC is a hot bed of "loonie lefties" has rocks in their heads — but all the ritewingnuts will do it non-stop day in day out....

Since John Howard stacked the board with "his mates" (remember Janet Albrechtsen,... Judith Sloane, et al) and through this loaded board "chose" a CEO — Mark Walter Scott AO (born 9 October 1962), the current Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.[1] He took up his position in July 2006, having previously been the Editorial Director at John Fairfax, responsible for the editorial content of the group's major newspapers including The Sydney Morning HeraldThe AgeThe Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age. He worked for the New South Wales Greiner Liberal Party Government, as chief of staff to the Education Minister, Virginia Chadwick and as a senior adviser to education minister, Terry Metherell.[2])  — who seems to have little idea about investigative journalism and seems to think news should be entertainment — and who is in bed with a compaints department designed to whiplash proper journos into pulp fiction.  

The ABC has gone far rite-wing in a quiet way...

No, the dirt is not going to stop and the media will pile it on with NO proof, just for the purpose of being simply shitty and being on the band-waggon of wafty writing wankers... People like Judith Stone who want to get rid of the ABC and like Janet Albrechtsen who tells porkies upon porkies, will carry on piling on the virtual shit, with no evidence whatsoever, but with well-crafted prosaic crap.

As well, why does the ABC always invite the same ritewing lying ratbags (including Tony Abbott who admitted to fudging the truth on national TV) to its program such as Insiders and Q&A, as if they were knowledgeable or reality? As one should know, lies and porkies are easier to concoct than explaining the simple truth... As most of us know as well, unfortunately, there is little value in truth, for the media... 


After leading a six-year battle for the reinstatement of the staff-elected director position to the ABC board, veteran public broadcasting activist Quentin Dempster finds himself ineligible to stand under Labor’s long-awaited legislation.

Dempster, a veteran journalist and host of the NSW 7.30 edition, broke the news in a note he emailed to all ABC staff late yesterday. He said he was “distressed by this turn of events but have no choice now but to withdraw”:

“My legal advice is that the recently passed National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill and associated regulations about to be proclaimed will retrospectively and unfairly discriminate against ABC employees who served two successive terms as director before the abolition of the position by the Howard government in 2006.”



The need for a merit based selection process has been long identified. In 2001, a Senate committee inquiry recommended the method of board appointments be altered to 'embrace a system characterised by the principles of merit and transparency'. The Howard government, however, disagreed and failed to act. I would like to take a moment to ponder why the coalition, then in government, would oppose the recommendations of a Senate committee inquiry. It was reported on 16 June 2006, by the Age, that:

John Howard has transformed the leadership of the national broadcaster in the past decade. There is now no one serving on the ABC board who has not been hand-picked by his cabinet.

…   …   …

Mr Howard's first step in changing the culture was to appoint his friend Donald McDonald as chairman in July 1996 …

…   …   …

Mr Howard also shook things up early with the appointment of Victorian Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger, who parted ways with the board in 2003. Other government appointees to raise eyebrows were pro-labour-market-deregulation academic Judith Sloane, selected for the board in 1999, and former Liberal MP Ross McLean. The board now includes commercial QC John Gallagher, appointed in 1999; Dr Ron Brunton, a former fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs, appointed in 2003; and Janet Albrechtsen, conservative columnist appointed in 2005.

I am certainly not the first person to wonder just how the then government felt it was appropriate to use the ABC board as a way to reward mates—the result being a board of known conservatives. This had quite an impact on Australia, and I refer to the 'culture wars' as an example of one of the problems created by such a board.













ugly erroneous opinions...


Arguments about the press can be a political minefield. Gus Leonisky here does some revisionism, editing to correct a slanted post told by Peter Reith on the Drum (what is this proven liar doing on the ABC once more?) and to look at the necessity of better media regulation. There is a lesson Australian politicians can draw from the Leveson inquiry.

One of the issues facing the Gillard Government in 2013 will be the increasing lies and the taller larger inflated porkies told in the Australian press.

One of the responses would be to do nothing. Australia does have a rotten media problem though and we should encourage a strong debate about the value of the freedom of the press, though minimising its right to tell porkies. Labor's strategy for the next election is thus NDIS, Gonski, living standards etc. and is also to promote proper and sensible media reform.

The Government has used the controversy in the UK as the trigger for a policy change in Australia. The UK's situation is no different - arguments about press freedom are always a political minefield. To see the proof of this claim, follow prime minister David Cameron's somersaults since he established the Leveson inquiry into the behaviour of the British media.

The Leveson inquiry was necessary due to public outrage over the shenanigans of elements of the British media — mostly merde-och (Steptoe and sons) driven. Cameron said the success of the inquiry would be judged by the reaction of the victims; and repeated this opinion when responding to the Leveson Report. I understand he made this statement in good faith though the issues surrounding the media industry are also relevant to the entire population as well as to the victims — who, to say the least, are NOT HAPPY with Cameron's latest backflip.

In the case of a criminal act, of course the views of the victim are important to how society treat the guilty, and a grief ridden victim should have a strong view when the laws are weak or diluted. It is widely accepted in the making of criminal law policy that when the Parliament considers reform of the criminal justice system the interests of victims should be taken into account, and make sure the national interest fits neatly around it. The whole of society has an interest, of course in a better justice system. And so it is with the reaction to the Leveson inquiry: there is a broad interest in a much better media...

Cameron's initial response was correct. He said the interests of victims are paramount, and the interests of society to have a free press have to fit around this.

Politicians don't like being pursued by a rabid press for no reason... Nor should they be harassed... 

Labor politicians are far more victim of such press harassment. Personally I think Liberal politicians should be fair game as well, in the name of "balance". I thought it was a bit poor for the media to once take photos of Peter Reith at a funeral (it was one of the few times he complained about press behaviour) because the low class media was always favourable to his shenanigans... 

It is thus contrary to the public interest to constantly paint Liberal politicians with a glorious appraisal in the media. Celebrities are beneficiaries of public interest, and they should be protected from the press grubby sexist hands.

Cameron should adopt Lord Justice Leveson's proposed legislation. The legislation would be only a small constraint on a press hell-bent on telling porkies or selling privacy down the gurgler. The victims support Leveson's recommendations. Cameron seems to have failed his own view when he rejected the new press regulation.

The situation in Australia is not much different. Gillard should not follow Cameron's example. 

Though we "have not had" the amount of telephone hacking that has plagued the UK, there has been some in this country — not one occasion mentioned by the press, obviously for self-protection. The media here is subject to civil and criminal law (and the provisions of our criminal laws could be inadequate to deal with hacking) and data protection law — but that does not stop the media from inventing fake or doctored news and promote, like the ABC, ugly erroneous opinions like Reith's.

One of the issues is the substantiated claim that there is not enough diversity in the Australian media. This claim could become less relevant as anybody can read online newspapers from virtually anywhere round the world, though many news-websites copy each other using the same biased source. Thus there is lack of diversity. The small-print market in Australia being tinier than that of the British media results in not enough diversity.

The British debate is not so much a debate about bias than about grubbiness, gutter and garbage dump. In London the different press all have their bias; the Guardian is read by the left (often described as Labour), the Telegraph is read by the ritewing grocers and the Times is read by the rich males, though the ratbags with lordish titles used tongs to keep it at length while perusing. The choice in the UK is to buy the paper that tells you what your opinion should be in your station. When you buy the Guardian, you know what you will get. Readers in the UK do not go around whinging aloud about bias? Apparently, in his six years in London's hiding from the hotbed of the children's overboard affair, Reith never heard the term 'hate media', though many Pommy stand-up comics seem to have made references to similar trends, which could prove he is slightly deaf. 

In America, the press is still diversified enough, though most are on the right hand side of politics, including the far rite Uncle Rupe's New York Post...

In Australia there are some of us who want at least one lone media, one paper or one news outlet to be 'fair' and accurate... All we get is tough titties from the entire media platform, apart from SBS.

The definition of 'balanced' is self-evident: equal truth versus equal porkie.  But often the truth is boringly served and the porkies are embellished with shimmering tinsel. Slanted equality.

In reality, the truth, nothing but the truth should do and "balance" is an extremely ugly term, often mistaken for accuracy... The incentive for policy makers is that since a lack of media accuracy is a MAJOR problem, the next step is to compel newspapers to provide at least some 'balance'. A bit like in the community radio stations.

In the end to enforce accuracy, someone, other than Mr Murdoch, has to impose accuracy over the media that lacks 'balance'. So, who will judge the accuracy and 'balance"? The media is totally incapable of balance, let alone of accuracy in its opinions... Thus the social media (the people-media side) will have to sort the mass media out, in order to minimise justification of government intervention. The lying commercial media, like the one-way merde-och media should be hit by the people-media and die. Of shame. Or lack of custom... Hold it, I am not encouraging a blanket boycott, this could be "illegal", but only of your applied personal people's choice.

This is ultimately part of the solution on top of the Leveson recommendations. Lord Justice Leveson proposes an industry-based approach, but he also wants a bit of legislation to back up the system. Unfortunately Cameron did not say: "...for the first time we should crossed the Rubicon of press regulation to minimise media porkies, and increase accuracy in reporting using the laws of the land."

Cameron is thus wrong. Legislation can be a arduous slope but I do agree with the Leveson proscription of it, and I do agree with Leveson's characterisation of the issue as of public interest. Like 'balance', it is all a matter of accuracy. Lord Justice Leveson nearly said: "There can be many reasonable views of what is, or is not — those that are accurate are in the public interest, those that are plain porkies are not."

I can only hope that Labor develops some incisive thoughts for a keen discreet eye over the media, including the ABC. A free press is one of the best things about Australian society, as long as the merde-och press does not abuse it like it has done lately (for the last 40 years) with increasing shriek... 

Any steps to hand a tiny bit of control or supervision of the media to the government would of course be a disaster for the Liberal party — a party only hanging onto the polls, mostly because it is the darling of the press that keeps promoting its porkies as gospel...


The "Honourable" Peter Reith was a senior cabinet minister in the Howard Australian government, from 1996 to 2001. He was famous for having lied about "children overboard" and also for having brought scab labourers from South Africa to destroy unionism on the waterfront. Peter Reith, like Frankenstein is presently heavily involved in reconstructing the dead-buried-cremated Work Choices, for Tony Abbott...


To read the original version by Peter Reith if you must:


where's the media — and the ABC?...


LAST THURSDAY, former Sydney Morning Herald “Webdiarist” Margo Kingston saw Tony Abbott criticising Julia Gillard about a slush fund she helped set up in the early 1990s as a lawyer for Slater & Gordon — I’m sure you’ve heard quite enough about that issue.

Margo described her reaction to Abbott talking about questions of character in relation to this fund as follows:

A QUESTION of character?

My mouth fell open when I heard Abbott’s final flourish in Thursday’s speech denouncing Gillard as unfit for office. I remembered, suddenly, vividly, Tony Abbott’s very own slush fund. Could he too have forgotten?

I was in London at the time of this affair, but even I remember it, as I used to read Margo Kingston’s Webdiary religiously ― until it was unceremoniously axed in 2005 by then Fairfax bureaucrat Mark Scott — the former Liberal Party staffer who took over running the ABC in 2006.

On Thursday night, I was up working late when I saw someone retweet on Twitter a plaintive message from Margo, saying:

“Damn – the Drum won’t publish my Abbott slush piece. Anyone want to do so?”

(She was referring to The ABC’s The Drum online.)

Naturally, I contacted Margo and read the piece. It was a cracker. In disbelief that our ABC would turn down such an explosive piece from such an eminent Australian journalist, I stayed up until 3am putting it up on the website.


i'd like to apologise...

Actually I am not so sure... but I think I spelt Sloan with an e at the end a few time, including cartoons, on this site... And I cannot blame my keyboard, which I must say is getting a bit tired nonetheless...

Thus, when I visited her blog again, I realised my (possible) error. 


Yes, the professor and company director rabbits on in the unAustralian:



And when Paul Keating's super child reaches old age?

IT is not unusual for former prime ministers to have at least one achievement they regard as particularly significant and enduring. Oftentimes, these achievements are a real source of pride, almost the equivalent of another child.

In the case of Paul Keating, the system of compulsory superannuation is akin to his fifth child. He continues to spout the virtues of forced savings on the part of workers intended to contribute to their incomes in retirement.


One would sniff some mighty disdain here, especially when she writes somewhere that Keating brags about his baby... But a few days before this Sloan wrote this other crap. (Sloan hates Labor. And the ABC... And the Gillard government... and though I don't know, I am prepared to believe she is a full-frontal denialist on the global warming issue).



It's ugly out there and this move won't help

LET'S face it - the economy is as flat as a tack. The retail sector knows it, the professional services firms know it, the housing industry knows it. Government revenues are falling dramatically short of expectations.

Were it not for the marked fall in the rate of labour force participation, unemployment would be currently well north of 6 per cent.

Therefore, yesterday's decision by the Reserve Bank to cut the cash rate by 25 basis points comes as no surprise, particularly as inflation is under control.

What we had thought were emergency low interest rates occasioned by the exigencies of the GFC have returned at the same time the federal government thinks it is appropriate to return the budget to surplus.


Judith of course has directorship and gold-plated management views in mind... The whip to flog workers is not far from her desk. Everything in life has to be done from a Liberal (conservative) angle — wedgies, enforcement, stick, bulldozer, floggings, tanks, wars... In two words: privat enterprise... She of course has not seen that, for strange reasons, the Australian dollar is strastopheric... Actually it is so because Labor managed to pull a big rabbit out of a little hat (more like a beanie), as the rest of the world was tanking.

Is this why she subtly goes all guns firing at the Keating superannuation success?:


This is because better paid workers, at least, have scope to substitute superannuation for the other forms of savings, so the net impact is unclear, When this dissaving is taken into account, the effect on the overall savings pool is quite small, and is entirely sourced from the enforced savings of hard-up, lower paid workers.

But here is the rub. These lower-paid workers, would could really do with the money now to pay off mortgages and meet family expenses will probably knock off their full entitlement to the age pension. In net term, they may well be worse off...

So workers are worse off, or at least some of them.... Judith Sloan is there to denigrate Keating. To piss on Keating's superannuation triumph, in the Weeken Australian, December 8-9, 2012.
From Wikipedia...

A growing challenge for many nations is population ageing. As birth rates drop and life expectancy increases an ever-larger portion of the population is elderly. This leaves fewer workers for each retired person. In almost all developed countries this means that government and public sector pensions could collapse their economies unless pension systems are reformed or taxes are increased. One method of reforming the pension system is to increase the retirement age. Two exceptions are Australia and Canada, where the pension system is forecast to be solvent for the foreseeable future. In Canada, for instance, the annual payments were increased by some 70% in 1998 to achieve this. These two nations also have an advantage from their relative openness to immigration. However, their populations are not growing as fast as the U.S., which supplements a high immigration rate with one of the highest birthrates among Western countries. Thus, the population in the U.S. is not aging to the extent as those in Europe, Australia, or Canada.



Why is Australia solvent on the subject of retirement? No thanks to the little Liberal shits... No... It is so BECAUSE KEATING INTRODUCED compulsory SUPERANNUATION... Sure things are never universal — even in the best of the world — but in the relative world we live in, the best way to protect most people is to get everyone on the band wagon... Any "exception" is going to skew and stress the system with inequities... 

So one cannot expect anything better from Sloan, a professor in economics and director of companies, who HATES ANYTHING with a social stamp of benefit for most, including the ABC — for a modest cost to all. Sloan would prefer most would fail — or to fall under the heavy foot of free market machine guns — rather than have the smell of social equity permeate the atmosphere... It's a shame...

There is room from improvement in her head.





sloan — a full frontal denialist?...


Another list of worthies: this time, concerned economists

There is an enormous advertisement in The Australian today, surrounded by pictures of melting ice. It is signed by John Hewson, ex-patriate, Josh Gans, productivity guru, Saul Eslake, Glenn Withers from Universities Australia and assorted others giving us a five point plan entitled Supporting a Price on Carbon Pollution 2011.  (Don’t get me started.)

The advertisement is sponsored by WWF-Australia (gosh, you couldn’t expect the concerned economists to reach into their own pockets, would you?)

There’s some great language there, characterised by that specificity so loved by the Ruddster.  One example is technology neutral complementary measures may be necessary.  Que?  Are they supporting the RET or something else?  Big fat subsidies to renewable energy?  Who knows?

And then there is this sentence that doesn’t seem to make any sense: “Certainty on quantity targets can only be achieved by allowing the price to reach a level which is consistent with that target.”   Is this saying a low fixed price won’t get you to the quantity targets you set?

Having prattled on about the need for the citizens of Australia to adjust their consumption to this new carbon constrained world, the authors support “compensating low income and vulnerable [are they different] households for higher costs of living”.  Substitution but no income effects for that lot.

The thrust of their five points is ETS, but large up-front tax is OK.  And no exemptions – transport in, agriculture in, everything in, actually. And get this all administered by something that resembles the RBA.

I guess for all other economists not on the list, we must be unconcerned.

Written by Judith Sloan
No, I won't get her started... Sloan is boiling red at the mention of doing something to abate global warming... because does she think global warming is good for better sunshine on picnic days? No... On a snowy day in Davos — a playground for busillionaires, Sloan post a fiery missive that indicates that global warming is "a snow job"... It's now clear: in Sloan's mind, global warming is crap...

Chill winds and hot air produce snowjob
From:The Australian January 27, 2012 12:00AM
I AM high on a hill, but there's not a lonely goat-herd in sight. The snow is banked up across Davos; the locals tell me that the last time it snowed like this was in the 1960s.

The daytime temperature has been minus 6. It is much colder at night. Walking to the various venues is quite a treacherous undertaking. I wear my hiking boots everywhere. Security is tight: off come the parka, other cold weather paraphernalia and the watch several times a day.

Once upon a time, Davos, located east of Zurich, was a low-rent ski resort, regarded as inferior to its neighbour Klosters. But for the past 42 years Davos has been the location for the World Economic Forum annual meeting. This year, there are over 2600 participants -- from business, government, international agencies, non-government organisations, universities and assorted other groups.

There are very few Australians in the crowd, with the numbers down on previous years. Kevin Rudd is expected here today.


Rudd? And oodles of economic snow jobs, of course.... For many WEF participants, Davos would be a neat junket in which to exchange business cards with a fellow skier.... Why go there otherwise?... And to meet some flesh, in the apres-ski relax lounges.... Unfortunately, like bods on ski slopes, so goes the Davos economic adventures, down down down.... wheeeeeee...