Champagne soaked boys and home security.

Nearly cracked up laughing when my house mate, a feminist, told me the organisers of the Vuelta a Espana bicycle race have decided that this year there would be male ‘podium assistants’ and there will be no kissing. Apparently the Spanish organisers were inspired by a similar move to include males by the organisers of the Australian “Tour Down Under” who reportedly believe the practice of kissing and the cyclists shacking up the champagne bottle and giving the girls a shower is sexist. Seen plenty of motoGP riders and F1 drivers spray each other and the crowd but anyway, logic would have it that if women have a problem with this type of behaviour, they could simply refuse to be podium girls.

LOL – I know one motoGP champion who would not be complaining if the girls were given the flick altogether and, was it not in ‘Republic’ that Plato suggested the way to get soldiers to fight harder would be to give the bravest amongst them first choice of the boys?

It’s expected this will be expanded to Formula 1 and motoGP and it will be interesting to see who between podium boys and podium girls gets the most camera time. Advertisers will be sitting in front of their televisions stopwatch in hand as will feminists at the ready to write angry emails if the girls get a second less on-camera time than the boys. In the words of doctor Gonzo – it just gets weirder.

Also – yes you guessed well – it’s our prime minister again and this time he announced on the public television not many watch and in the middle of the working day, that essential to our safety is putting the intelligence agencies, the federal police and border patrol under one super ministry. Yep that’s it, putting intelligence gathering and covert operations, policing and covert operations and border control under the authority of one minister is supposed to make the country safer from – drum roll please – terrorists. Not much mention of pedophiles and only in passing drug dealers this time.

Now, normally, let us say that as an investigative journalist, political dissident or member of a greenie group opposed to a coal mine the government supports, you would have two types of opponents. One, those who are required to respect the law (your local police for example) and the second, those who are not always required to respect the law. That could include Intelligence officers who might be given a task to complete and where the only rule is the eleventh commandment. “Thy shalt not get caught”.

Imagine you were the target of such an operation and survived and wanted redress. You might go to the police or in Australia to the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) who might instruct the federal police to raid and seize compromising documents from the spooks or even drag the spooks into a dark cellar to be questioned by a yellow-eyed woman with her sleeves rolled up. No chance of that happening now. Spooks and federal police will be under the control of one minister. I think they want to call this the ‘ministry for home security’ but maybe a more seventies-style South American name might be better such as, “Ministro supremo para la protección del poder estatal”.

Home” “Security” and “Ministry” (preaching the good word?) who is going to see anything but ‘good’ in that?

If you understand Spanish or know how to use Google translate, click here for the article about the podium boys.