The stimulating stimulus

It seems that as time passes – more and more of the stimulus package seems to be having the desired effect of, um, stimulating the economy.

An unexpected jump in commercial lending commitments is evidence that business is responding to the federal government’s economic fiscal stimulus package although a definite trend is yet to emerge, economists say.
The value of commercial lending commitments in March jumped by $5.187 billion or 20.5 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, to a five-month high of $30.498 billion, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data today showed.

Just sayin’ – that’s all.

Budget Right of Reply – Add your thoughts…

Following on from Last night’s LIVE BLOG, what did you make of Malcolm’s performance and announcements.

Apart from adding 3 cents to the cost of a pack of cigarettes, did he really say anything worthwhile at all?

Already there is some internal bickering with Bronwyn Bishop disagreeing with the 3 cent tax on ciggies.

This was the Minister for Health under the Howard Govt that wanted to bring back tobacco advertising! 🙄

Where do they get these people from?

Australian Rugby League and Women.

I don’t know about you, but I found the revelations of the group sex “incident” as reported on ABC’s Four Corners on Monday night as not really all that surprising.

For years the ARL has been earnt itself a pitiful reputation for its attitudes towards women.

The players that took part in this hideous episode that took place in a New Zealand hotel seven years ago believe that women can be treated like sexual objects; humiliated, abused, and then discarded.

It is fitting that Matthew Johns has been sacked by Channel Nine and stood down from his football career.

Johns maintains that the sexual encounter was “consensual”.

The woman concerned says it was consensual between two players, but suddenly the room was full of other players – each taking a turn to sexually assault her. Where is the consent in that? A 19 year old girl in a room full of intoxicated naked rugby players each wanting to “have a go?”

Interestingly, Johns concedes that he has been carrying “the guilt” of the incident for the past 7 years and apologised to the girl after the incident – for the other players entering the room. So it would appear the masquerade of “consent” is something that he is trying to convince himself of, otherwise why would he feel guilty?

Reports suggest that Johns sacking from Channel Nine will mean the end to the poorly rating “Footy Show” which also features another controversial figure Sam Newman. As far as I’m concerned the end can’t come soon enough. Newman is a grotesque individual.

Maxine McKew gave an articulate commentary on the entire affair this morning and I hope to be able to post a transcript soon.

According to McKew, after years of so called “counselling,” and education about the treatment of women, it’s seems that attitudes have changed little at the ARL.

This report appears to confirm this:

One senior NRL representative player warned group sex among NRL players would continue regardless of a warnings from chief executive David Gallop. The representative player told the Herald that his colleagues were left stunned by Gallop’s hardline stance when no player had been convicted of sexual assault, adding that the caution would quickly be forgotten.

“It’s fine for David Gallop to come out and say you can’t have group sex but the last thing blokes will be thinking about on a Friday night at the club is David Gallop,” said the player, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t know how a chief executive can come out and say we can’t have group sex if it’s consensual. It’s like discrimination because that is a person’s private life.

However as Maxine McKew points out, it seems the culture of group sex is alive and well at the ARL and that the players view women as falling into two classes. One where they can be treated as objects to be sexually abused, humiliated and discarded, and the other where they are “nice” women like their wives or girlfriends.

Maxine McKew urges players to consider;

What if this woman was your sister or your daughter?

Would you still be happy for her to be treated like that?

What do you think?