Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chardonnay At Ten Paces : Guardian's Nick Davies Attacks!

News comes of an incident this week between two leading journalists at a book launch in London. The occasion was the launch of Heather Brooke’s new book The Revolution will be Digitised at the offices of publishers Simons Muirhead & Burton in trendy Soho.

Nick Davies
One guest was the Guardian journalist Nick Davies who has been diligently plugging away in the back ground for years on the great hacking scandal  that recently brought about the demise of Britain's best selling tabloid, Rupert Murdoch's News Of The World.

In 1996 Davies also worked at The Age in Melbourne where he scored a major scoop by getting several doctors to say, off the record, that they had helped with assisted suicides and would do so again.It caused a political firestorm.

Enter another guest, Australian writer Guy Rundle, popular correspondent for websites , Counterpunch and more.

Guy Rundle
Rundle is a vocal defender of Julian Assange and had written a piece that appeared on crikey and Counterpunch, dissecting what he says was a 'stitch-up' of the Wikileaks founder Assange by The Guardian.

Davies took Rundle to task in this letter published in The Monthly claiming Rundle got his facts wrong. On the 11th April crikey ran this correction following Rundle's story.

Apparently this wasn't enough for Davies and upon spotting the hapless Rundle at the book launch was finally able to deliver a coup de grĂ¢ce
with a well aimed tumbler of excellent  publisher's white hurled into the face of Rundle. While Davies did a victory dance around the room Rundle trundled off to change his contact lenses, doused by the wine.                                                
Tom Albanese

Meanwhile not far from Soho at the British Museum, the mining corp Rio Tinto are sponsoring an Australian season with presentations on our fauna and flora, talks by writers Malcolm Cox and Phillip McLean along with an exhibition of Sydney Nolan paintings and a lecture on that iconic Aussie family saloon the FJ Holden.
A debate was underway about the environmental effects of European civilisation in Australia with Rio Tinto CEO Tom Alabanese at the lectern when a blaring fire alarm resulted in 340 guest fleeing  the lecture room. It was a false alarm.

The official explanation was that a fierce storm and wind outside had set off the alarm,. Not so according to Stephen Hopper, the Australian director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. He reckoned a slide of red-bellied black snake being used to illustrate a point by Albanese was the cause.

"They have evil powers according to Aboriginals " says Hooper. "they avoid them like the plague".