Another salmagundi

Ah democracy! Now in the good old days before all this nonsense took hold…


And quite right too. Sir George Gipps, shame on you. BTW, that’s Clover Moore’s Council, as it is now, but in 1842. Yes, employers should have the say. Just ask the delightfully named – childish of me I know – Malcolm Broomhead!

Two of Australia’s corporate heavyweights have admonished Prime Minister Tony Abbott for not tackling industrial relations reform in his first term.

At the same time, a younger member of the business elite called for corporate leaders to keep their mouths shut.

Speaking at a lunch in Melbourne, Lend Lease chairman David Crawford and Asciano chairman Malcolm Broomhead seized on Mr Abbott’s inaction on workplace issues.

Mr Broomhead said it was ”absolute madness” to defer reforms until 2016 at the earliest. The 2016 date was nominated by Mr Abbott in August, when he launched a set of pre-election workplace policies that left the Labor Party’s Fair Work Act largely unchanged…

They surely order things better in Russia.

Russia has one of the highest degrees of wealth inequality in the world. Over one third of Russian household wealth is held by just 100 billionaires. Globally, billionaires account for just 1 to 2 per cent of total wealth.

According to the Credit Suisse annual global wealth report: ““Russia has the highest level of wealth inequality in the world, apart from small Caribbean nations with resident billionaires,” An earlier report by Forbes showed that from 2,000 until 2013 the number of billionaires in Russia has increased from 8 in 2000 to 110 in 2013.

An article in the Guardian a couple of years ago points out:The richest slice of Russian society has doubled its wealth in the past 20 years, while almost two-thirds of the population is no better off and the poor are barely half as wealthy as they were when the Soviet Union fell, according to researchers.

Yevgeny Yasin, who is scientific director of the Higher School of Economics (HSE) claims:“The principal issue for Russia’s economy and society today is the level of inequality. Only the best-off 20% of the population is successfully participating in the rise in prosperity which became possible as the result of creating a market economy.

Mind you the transition from so-called communism – the USSR never really experienced “communism” – probably made this horrendous outcome inevitable. What did the average Russian have anyway before the kleptocracy took over?

Back to Mr Broomhead for a moment: my father once did some work for a Miss Corkhead, a teacher if I recall correctly. That must have had its problems for her.  I gather the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight call themselves “Corkheads”. Of course she could have had many a less felicitous variant. Dad also claimed to have done business with a Mr Ben Dover. Well, perhaps… I do recall being addressed as a boy at a Sydney High assembly by Rear Admiral Sir Leighton Bracegirdle. He had actually served as a midshipman in the NSW Navy during the Boxer Rebellion in China!

P01326.011 Rear Admiral Leighton Seymour Bracegirdle, KCVO, CMG, DSO

I remember being most amused by a compilation of such names called The Annotated Onomasticon by Peter Bowler. Who could forget the Reverend Canaan Banana, for example. First President of Zimbabwe…

Fascinated by things like this too:


The map, created as part of the Information Geographies project at the Oxford Internet Institute, has two layers of information: the absolute size of the online population by country (rendered in geographical space) and the percent of the overall population that represents (rendered by color). Thus, Canada, with a relatively small number of people takes up little space, but is colored dark red, because more than 80 percent of people are online. China, by contrast, is huge, with more than half a billion people online, but relatively lightly shaded, since more than half the population is not online. Lightly colored countries that have large populations, such as China, India, and Indonesia, are where the Internet will grow the most in the years ahead. (The data come from the World Bank’s 2011 report, which defines Internet users as “people with access to the worldwide network.”)

Map linked to source.