Showing posts with label Peter Costello. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Costello. Show all posts

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Floods, Cyclones and Lavish Dinners

One glamorous guest at the Lavazzi calendar launch on Monday evening in Potts Point was hotelier to the stars, Terry Schwamberg.

Terry Schwamberg
Terry owns a few boutique hotels here and there along with some luxurious houses you can hire by the night or month-Paris, Byron Bay, Bali, Palm Beach , the Amalfi Coast, and some of Queensland's most beautiful tropical  beaches and of course, the Medusa Boutique Hotel just near Kings Cross-a favourite with Hollywood movie stars filming at Fox Studios including Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen during the Star Wars trilogy and Keanu Reeves who called it home for a few months.

Terry reports that one of her Bedarra Island beach huts was borne aloft by the terrifying Cyclone Yasi and vanished in the wind as it swept through QLD twelve days ago. But fortunately that was the only damage and considering the island was in the eye of the storm she reckons she got off lightly.

Sadly business will preclude her from attending tonight's Rose Bay Flood Relief Fundraising Dinner at the Rose Bay Promenade to aid victims of the dreadful floods that preceded Yasi. 750 guests at $1000 a head with food prepared by Michael McMahon's Catalin and other prominent chefs. It should be something quite amazing. Providing the weather holds.

Bedarra Island
Also raising funds for flood and cyclone victims in Queensland were 400 prominent businessmen at the Hilton Hotel last week at a lunch hosted by the Hon Bruce Baird AM , chairman of the Tourism and Transport Forum and sponsored by Qantas.

Anna Bligh
Guest speaker was the QLD premier Anna Bligh who through adversity in her home state has surely resurrected a faltering political career with her approval rating jumping a whopping 35% . There are whispers that a Federal Parliamentary seat now beckons.

Anna's heartfelt speech at the lunch , just as she has delivered on several TV news broadcasts, some that were  screened on the BBC has impressed all with her ability to empathise with the flood victims. Watch out Julia Gillard. A competitor is on the horizon.


In the interests of always bringing Shuttle readers the latest in gossip and innuendo with the knowledge that today's tittle tattle is tomorrow's news, we can report the latest  rumblings in both state and federal politics.

Our mole disguised as a Qantas trolley dolly reports on a conversation overheard on a recent flight from Melbourne to Sydney between two very senior Labor Party identities who know what's what and whose tongues loosened as the Chardonnay was sipped.

If Prime Minister Julia Gillard has Anna Blair already breathing down her neck, party heavies have given her just six more months to impress the electorate. Should she fail and the axe falls-Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, former union heavyweight is waiting in the wings with a lot of support.

And it's not so rosy for Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The very strong mail out is that Shadow Treasurer, the large and cuddly Joe Hockey is ready to takeover, sooner rather than later.

Joe Hockey
Not that Joe will around for long. Step forward- Malcolm Turnbull, the man who would be king and as predicted by the Shuttle many moons ago, will finally claim the crown.

Stateside-when ruling NSW Labor is swept aside in 5 weeks and the ever so nice but dull state Liberal leader Barry O'Farrell who could surely win a gold medal with his Olympian efforts at boring an audience witless becomes premier, he shall remain for 12 months which is about how long Coaltion heavies figure it will take NSW voters to realise they have elected a dud of Titanic proportions. Which takes us to March 2012-the Ides of March and all that as knives come from all directions aimed at Barry's ample back.

In his place will be the member for Manly, the clever, young and good looking Mike Baird, co-incidentally the son of former MP  Bruce Baird, host of last week's flood lunch.

That gives Mike 3 years to consolidate the Coaltion's 10 years of power to come.

You have been warned !

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Former Foes Love-In & Germaine Greer Speaks Out

From a political standpoint they are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

 Bob Ellis, poetic writer, darling of the left and a speech writer for the Australian Labor Party and the conservative Catholic politician and Federal Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott.

In Ellis's new book  Suddenly Last Winter-An Election Diary Bob gets stuck into a few Labor Party heavies while announcing his admiration for Abbott.
On Prime Minister Julia Gillard  he says she is  "not well informed". He says Gillard is part of a Melbourne clique called the Mouse Pack, a reference to the size of their intellect.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald  Ellis said : 
" She hasn't I think read a novel or seen a film that has subtitles and I doubt if she has read Encounter or The New Statesmen or Vanity Fair or The London Review of Books or The New York Review of Books and therefore she doesn't have a hinterland. She has not much except a kindergarten sandpit response to things-'Nyah Nyah you're just jealous because I'm Prime Minister and you're not' "

" Civilised people already have their hands over their faces when she speaks!"

Ellis has form in courting those from the right. Often spotted lunching with Christopher Hitchers when in town or the famed right leaning poet Les Murray. And he has expressed an odd admiration for the xenophobic Pauline Hanson who Ellis swears attempted to pick him in a Surfer's Paradise bar long before her political career took off

But it's the astonishing turn around in his relationship with the political love-child  of the strange Catholic theologian and political fixer B.A.Santamaria and Margaret Thatcher-Tony 'Mad Monk'Abbot that is raising eyebrows.

Several years ago Tony Abbot and his wife along with a  fellow cabinet minister Peter Costello and his wife sued Ellis and Random House over Bob's new book Goodbye  Jerusalem and Ellis was badly bruised to the tune of a $277,000 libel payout that came right upon his uninsured Palm Beach home burning to the ground in a bush fire.

Ellis says he has just about forgiven Tony Abbot  over that episode and invited Abbot to launch one of his books a year ago which Abbot did.
The Opposition Leader who once studied to be a priest openly admires  the philosophies of the late B.A.Santamaria who railed against Communism and socialism in the 1960's, split the Labor Party and  in the 1930s supported Mussolini and Franco.
"resembles F.Scott Fitzgerald"
But Ellis reckons Tony Abbott  may be a closet socialist :
"He is no more a Liberal than I am . Liberal is the name of the suit he is wearing. He is actually a Catholic socialist. He's DLP [Democratic Labor Party] and always has been."

Ellis goes further in his SMH interview : "The person he most resembles, I've just decided, is F.Scott Fitzgerald. The classic good looks, big flashing smile, easy Irish eloquence, angelic writing style, self-doubt, Catholic guilt, hot temper, Gatsby-like yearnings for past relationships long gone and luminous in remembrance, fondness for football and self-flagellation and his need for a son, all bespeak a literary genius drawn by life and lesser pursuits into spiritual shallows and drunken remorse like Scott, poor Scott."

Writing in the UK Guardian newspaper Germaine Greer has slammed American architect Frank Gehy's plans for the new University of Technology describing the building as "five scrunched up brown bags"
The building (pictured) is to replace the ugly concrete bunker that stands on the proposed site and when the model was release the UTS Vice Chancellor Ross Milbourne said "We've got the Opera House, and it's hard to say we are going to beat that, but from what I've seen we'll have an equally outstanding icon at this end of Sydney." 

Responds Greer:" The Sydney Opera House may be one of the best known structures in the world, but it is also a worse building than anything Gehry would want to put his name to. The original design by Danish architect Jorn Utzon was rejected by the Australian judges in 1956, only to be reinstated. By the time the opera house opened in 1973, it was more than 10 times over budget. Utzon struggled to protect his vision of a building made of sails until 1966, when he was obliged to close his Sydney office and return to Denmark, because the New South Wales state government would not meet his fees. Government architects took over the project.