This is either very cool or completely unnecessary. You be the judge. A United States company called Nanny in the Clouds connected flying parents with babysitters who are already booked into routes. So if someone needs a nanny from Dallas to New York, for example, the service will find out who’s flying and let the parents make the connection. But there’s a catch: the sitters aren’t really screened. They only have to provide a few references to be put on the list and parents will make further arrangements themselves, or just leave their kids in their care for the duration of the flight. They’ll work out a mutually agreed payment as well.
THE VIEW FROM CANBERRA
Labor’s new leading man
As you head down a perfectly ordinary Commonwealth Avenue and cross over a murky Lake Burley Griffin, you’ll think you’re headed for a building full of boffins. And then, BAM! You’re smacked in the face by the bright lights of: Capital Hill. (a.k.a. Hollywood for the not-so-fortunate-looking.)
This week, the headline act is Senator Robert John Carr (The Artist Formerly Known As NSW Premier Bob Carr).
He made his debut to the Canberra media pack, with a witty circus themed assault on Tony Abbott:
“I thought of this over breakfast: Tony Abbott is like a cheapskate hypnotist in a rundown circus,” he mused.
You can tell when a pollie’s getting ready to deliver the clanger they’ve been rehearsing in the mirror all morning. There’s a flash of excitement that crosses their face.
“He’s saying to the electorate, Look into my eyes, you are growing weaker: No more boats,” he continued, hamming it up.
“Look into my eyes you are growing weaker: end Labor’s big bad tax.”
… there’s a slight clench of the jaw as they keep that smile under wraps …
“He’s trying to hypnotise the electorate with these slogans. It’s a very cheap performance”, he enthused.
… there’s a lick of the lips … a glance to the heavens as they pull that gem from the vault …
“And if you paid five bucks to get into Wirths Circus and that’s all you got from the hypnotists, you’d ask for your money back.”
For his opening act at Capital Hill, Bob Carr nailed it.
It was the first time in a while that someone from the ALP looked confident, attacking the Opposition. He managed to land some blows on Tony Abbott without looking whiny and petulant. He got the attention he wanted.
They are all performers. And we’ve all got tickets to the show.
The House of Reps is the blockbuster. It’s entertaining … not always cerebral, but you get bang for your buck.
The Senate on the other hand is a little artsy. Occasionally you need subtitles – because they actually talk policy. There are a small number of Senate fans out there. I think.
But Julia Gillard has just cast Senate’s Leading Man. Bob Carr’s here to add some star power to a supporting cast that’s often overlooked.
You have everyone’s favourite finance nerd, Penny Wong – who really knows how to nail a witty comeback. Like the time Senator David Bushby meowed at her, and her retort had women everywhere yelling, “GO PENNY!”
“Oh yes, why don’t you meow when a women does that? That’s a good idea” she shot back within micro-seconds of the cat call.
“It is just extraordinary. The blokes are allowed to yell but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It’s not schoolyard politics, mate”
There’s Farmer Bill Heffernan. He honestly doesn’t care what anyone thinks or says about him. It makes him particularly unguarded with his thoughts. And there are many…. But nothing will ever top his critique of Julia Gillard’s leadership chances in 2007.
“Na. Na. Na. I mean anyone who chooses to remain deliberately barren … they’ve got no idea what life’s about. We’ve got a few on our side as well. I’ve said this before, the most difficult job in the world is parenthood. Rudd’s got three kids. He knows what a bucket of nappies is all about,” he said.
And of course, you have Barnaby Joyce, with his face glowing like a shiraz grape, when he’s on a roll. This classic is about the carbon tax (roughly):
“You believe they should have green jobs. We’ll just send them back to university, they can all do arts degrees … and they can pontificate about duck ponds, and about windmills, and they can open up wind chime factories at Nimbin …”
“We have found today that the reason that Greens are in such a bunrush is that they have to go up to Durban and meet up with Leonardo Di Caprio, Angelina Jolie, and Bono from U2, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
Bob Carr has Barnaby’s theatrics, Bill Heffernan’s audacity, and Penny Wong’s wit.
Ready, set…. ACTION!