Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Latham Labor wants to be seen to be opposing the Agreement while proposing only a token amendment to the enabling Act, and then to support the unamended Agreement as if its tokenism had had some beneficial effect. Which it won't.

The Howard Government wants to keep ownership of its achievement while not being seen to oppose motherhood tokenism just because it's come from Labor.

The latest pas-de-deux has Labor's proposed amendment - useless, according to FTA opponent Professor Peter Drahos - going under the government lawyers' cold eyes.

Labor's Stephen Conroy says they'll wait to see the result, promised for later today, and continue discussions. His leader, Mark Latham, has already said that he won't compromise on his draft. Never, ever.

Meanwhile, Britain has found a new way of getting better value for nationalised health dollars - recycling:
Britons could unwittingly be swallowing traces of the anti-depressant Prozac and other drugs in drinking water.

Environmentalists have described the situation as "hidden mass medication of the unsuspecting public" after a new study showed that pharmaceutical residues can travel through the sewage system and end up in the "aquatic environment".

Australians, fortunately, don't drink pre-used water. Here's an opportunity for Mark Latham to steal the agenda yet again, solving our cities' water shortages in the process.