LATE FINAL EXTRA. Printing problems held up the latest edition of the UK Spectator and to compensate they have put the whole edition on line.
Peter Boettke on the failure of governments to learn anything from the financial crisis.
Blast from the past. Tim Dunlop on Tony Abbott.
That a lightweight, puffball cypher like Tony Abbott, who demonstrably lacks popular appeal, and who has singularly failed to articulate a viable, positive justification for his claim to the prime ministership, is in hot contention for that very job is as good an indication as you could find of the power of those oligarchs to shape the world to their own will, of the ineptitude of those who stand against them, and of the inability of our media – old and new – to deliberate outside the narrowest understanding of the national interest.
Compare with the present:
In the campaign, rounded Abbott only shone through once, revealing himself to Annabel Crabb on Kitchen Cabinet. Then the public glimpsed an intelligent, well-read, self-aware and thoughtful man, who resists the hype and adulation that invariably surrounds political leaders.
Conversing with Crabb, Abbott showed that he has gained, from his life experiences, successes and failures, the maturity and judgment to make a very good prime minister. He finally tore up the caricature of conservative Catholic zealot that his opponents and detractors have made for him. Allowing Australians to see more of this “full Tony” surely is key to his longevity as PM.
Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. This weeks edition appears in the afternoon.
IPA HEY! on line, statements of the week.
Education. Ed West, champion of the market in education, and an enduring legacy, The Ed West Centre to promote private education, with amazing success stories in the most unlikely places, like parts of Africa.
Sport and recreation. Ron Barassi interviews Garry Ablett.
For nerds. There are some very interesting and revealing comments on this article on the Coalition move on ARC research grants.
Fungal contribution to the plant/soil interface. This kind of thing was under investigation in the CSIRO Soils Division in Adelaide a few decades ago, key figures were Albert Rovira and Glynn Bowen who shared the supervision of my research on the mucigel and root hairs with Keith Barley at the Waite Ag Research Institute.
These fungi colonize plant roots and extend the root system into the surrounding soil. (Figure 1.) Estimates of amounts of mycorrhizal filaments present in healthy soil are astonishing. Several miles of filaments can be present in less than a thimbleful of soil associated with vigorously growing plants. The relationship is beneficial because the plant enjoys improved nutrient and water uptake, disease resistance and superior survival and growth.
Nearly all commercially produced plants form mycorrhizae and require the association for maximum performance in outplanted environments. (Figure 2). This not-so-glorious association between plants and mycorrhizal fungi is fundamental to plant establishment and growth.
Which reminds me, next month I will return to Hobart to celebrate 50 years of Ag Science at the Uni of Tasmania. I think that is me on the left end of the front row (head partly cut off). They will announce the introduction of a John Beattie Memorial Prize for Soil Science. John Beattie was the man who encouraged me to go overseas to study with Keith Barley in Adelaide. He introduced me to the books of Karl Popper.