take a plea deal to admit guilt over the Stephen Dank drug saga, which means they only miss the remaining few weeks of the current NRL season. The amount of games they will miss is equivalent to that if they all injured a hamstring. On one hand, ASADA gets to claim a victory and focus on the club giving them most resistance, in Essendon. On the other hand, the "win" is about as hollow as the head of an average Sharks player. Unfortunately for Essendon fans, the EFC hierarchy are unlikely to be offered such a deal because of their intransigence. Even if such a deal was put forward, they most likely wouldn't accept it because it would mean the sainted James Hird would have to be rubbed out for life, and captain Jobe Watson would have to lose his Brownlow Medal. The sideshow of the current Essendon court battle is only a distraction before we get to the third act in that tragedy.
- Bill Shorten has addressed all the rumours about being the Senior Labour Figure at the centre of rape allegations, which have now been confirmed as never going to go anywhere. While the media are asking questions of every Labor politician who bobs his or her head up today, the only real remaining question is whether the media is going to pursue the story well beyond its nominal shelf life, in particular by airing the allegations directly from the woman herself. Who am I kidding? After the Gillard era, nothing is too grubby for the "mainstream" media to run with.
- Liberal Party failure John Hewson is now advocating for a Tax Commission, to remove powers to set fiscal policy just as the RBA was created to stop the National Party dictating monetary policy from Cabinet. This would be a complete abrogation of responsibility by the Australian political class, an admission of incompetence on a grand scale. Just because Hewson can't explain GST on a birthday cake doesn't mean we should abandon the ongoing search for a politician who can build consensus for reform. It is all too easy to look at the gradual degradation of the skill level of our politicians at a federal level and conclude that economics should be left to the wonks. Even if the Tax Commission was a paragon of Keynesian orthodoxy, that ideology must be leavened with healthy doses of democracy lest it become just another tool of unaccountable elites.