Royal reputation, a flash in the pan

Prince Harry. In the Nude. In Las Vegas. Pratting about. Just about the second after the Queen had finally managed to reinvigorate respect for the royal family with her goodnatured participation in the London Olympics (and, indeed, her own diamond jubilee) along comes flashing Harry, caught on camera disporting himself in a manner unbecoming. He was snapped while allegedly playing ”strip billiards” and while one assumes royalty has always found a way to have its own kind of fun in the past, the sight of Harry once more looking less the senior royal statesman and more like an extra from American Pie VIII was too much for the Palace. It tried to have the two offending pictures banned from the US celebrity website on which they first appeared. To which the world said: Barn Door. Horse. Bolted …
Nanjing Night Net

Speaking of diplomacy – the week kicked off with celebrity publisher and international information ”fence” Julian Assange stepping onto the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge, London, and pleading earnestly to be left alone, especially by the US government. Good luck. The US has a terrific record of flexibility and leniency on the issue of national security, as Bradley Manning, incarcerated for more than 800 days without trial, will attest.

At home the big news was that the mining boom was suddenly over – the Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, was sure of it, after BHP shelved its Olympic Dam mine expansion. Ferguson probably just meant that it had peaked but once he’d put the grey cloud in the political sky everyone rushed to give their own interpretation. The Finance Minister, Penny Wong, thought the cloud was more off-white than grey, saying the boom had a long way to run. On the other hand, Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott, in galoshes and sou’westers, declared the cloud evidence of a big storm approaching, with Abbott asking ”How can you have a government whose policy is to spread the benefits of the boom, now that the boom is officially over?”

One person for whom at least the fun of the boom might have peaked was mining magnate Nathan Tinkler. It was revealed on Monday his horse racing company. Patinack Farm, had failed to meet its employees’ superannuation payment since November, and those employees were on the verge of mutiny.

Channels Seven and Ten were on the verge of apoplexy when a last-minute deal saw Channel Nine and Fox win the rugby league TV rights. Seven had come close to a winning bid that would have meant up to four live games a week broadcast free-to-air, as opposed to the mere one we are stuck with. State of Origin matches will remain on Wednesday nights, the issue of mobile broadcasts remains unresolved with Telstra, and Nine will continue to pick and choose which game and what time it will screen matches.

After the deal it was said of Nine’s chief executive, David Gyngell, that he had done ”a Packer”. If so it wasn’t half as impressive a Packer as realised by Lachy Hulme in Howzat!. Hulme gave us a fearsome, fearless unstoppable Packer. Nearly 2.1 million viewers watched the first episode of the two-part drama for Nine, a figure Kerry would have approved. Kerry Packer was Australian royalty of a sort: rich, brash, of the people – and certainly no Flash Harry.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.