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01 September 2009 @ 10:40 pm
In brief, but happy, political news ...  
I am up to my nose in deadlines of doom, though I have had time to work on beta-ing some spectacular stories of late, but have to take a moment to share this story.

Tim Holding is the Water Minister for Victoria, Australia's secondmost populous state. (Yes, we have Water Ministers here, as we have bugger all water, because global warming is real and while people whine about carbon taxes, Australia is drying out. Tuvalu is drowning. The irony is not lost.) He is a young and attractive man and has spent the last two and a half days lost in the Victorian alps in freezing conditions and without a phone signal.

Now, Victoria has form for losing politicians. In the 1960s, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Portsea and has not been seen since. Not satisfied with losing a Prime Minister, they built a memorial to him. It's a swimming pool. Truly.

Tim, on the other hand, was found today, for which everyone is grateful and relieved. He did everything right, save take an emergency beacon on his walk, and thanks to his good equipment is in generally good condition.

However, the question of how he was found has no clear answer. The police have declared that he was found at night by a non-police aeroplane, and that they could not release further details for security reasons.

Yes, my friends, not only did today bring the happy news that Tim Holding lives, but also the very probable news that Australia has functional spy planes! Given that the RAN is filled with submarines that leak, and the RAAF with helicopters that do not fly, you can imagine the national relief!

It's a Deensedeensey on September 1st, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
They really built him a pool? That's AWESOME.

Also. I came SO CLOSE to buying you DVDs today. SO CLOSE. Does your dvd player play all regions?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 1st, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Yes it does. What DVDs were they and should I buy them myself? XXX

And I KNOW I have told you about the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Complex before!
Anwynanthraxia on September 1st, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
I always laughed when a friend who is a chronic sinker described herself as a graduate of the Harold Holt Swimming School. Found out later she un-ironically meant that she learned to swim at the HHMemorial.
It's a Deensedeensey on September 2nd, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)

IT was going to be a belated BDAY gift, though, so don't.

You must have. I must have forgotten.
Dedicated Escape Artist: That's Rightjadzialove on September 2nd, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
And I KNOW I have told you about the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Complex before!

You have, yes. *nods knowingly* In 'Beneath Boundless Skies'. Every once in a while my noggin retains information. It helps that I love that one.
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on September 1st, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
Truly, this is a great country! In weather-related news, the drought down here has been declared over.
*looks down the hill at the river, which has been flooding the flood plain for almost two weeks now*
And now, having softened my brain watching 'Blades of Glory' (and enjoying it! Oh, the shame!), I'm going to bed.
I wish the stupid goats would stop dancing around. Grr.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 1st, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
You know that I am now calling your Lucius clone Aberforth, don't you.

Yeah, we had the drought lifted for a bit during the floods. Back now. :-(
maevemistmaevemist on September 1st, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
I hate to say this but I will.

The whole Tim Holding disappearence/lack of rescue details seeoms very set up to me. It's as if the Victoirian Government is trying to reassure it's people that their rescue-emergency response teams are indeed capable of averting disasters.

I also do not think it helps in my opinion forming that the only coverage I saw was on the 7pm Project which is mostly crack and does not give off a serious vibe about anything.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 1st, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
Let's be fair, they are quite good when it comes to rain and snow. Rubbish at fires, though. (The thing I love about Australia, it's never too soon for the boot, unless it's kids with cancer.)

Nah, not a set-up. The reports coming in have all been consistent and the witness accounts all backed-up the Minister's story. But I bet he buys an emergency beacon now!
old_enoughold_enough on September 1st, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
Early today, the Danish papers reported that he was spotted during the night by a news-plane (literal translation of the words they used); claiming that the people in the plane had seen the light from his forehead (again, translation of their term) lamp. Is this different from what you were told?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 1st, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, though it is mixed in with truth as given by the Victorian police: he was apparently spotted with aid of his headlamp last night, and he was first found at the location given in daylight by a news helicopter.
Meredyth: Oh Shitmeredyth_13 on September 1st, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Honey, I have to say I think you're being just a tad harsh on our RAAF and its helicopters.

They fly perfectly well, as long as you want them to fly straight towards the ground or other large, immovable objects, or each other, as soon as the light gets dodgy or someone uses the radio. Down is a perfectly acceptable direction for a helicopter to fly in and any landing where someone can walk towards the wreckage is a good landing.

Bubba: Mourningabsynthedrinker on September 2nd, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
The Holt swimming pool and the fact that Ted Kennedy once wrote a book about his dog Splash makes me wonder about the world. Nice to see you darling.
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on September 2nd, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Leaky Submarines
Despite the bad press the Collin Class submarines receive they are not as bad as the press would have us believe.

To put it simply the navy CANNOT respond. What I mean is they can neither confirm nor deny in any great detail without breaking security protocols.

Yes there was leakage a few years back, but those problems have now been fixed!!!!

About 8 years ago there were war games of the coast of Hawaii. The Orion class planes with the airforce COULD NOT detect the diesel engine Collins Class Submarines in use by the RAN, they could however detect the nuclear submarines that the US Navy uses. There is even one instance of a RAN Sub sitting underneath a US Navy Sub and while the Aussies new exactly where the Americans were, the Americans had no idea where the Aussies were.

There is nothing wrong with those submarines.

End Rant

FYI, my eldest brother helped build those submarines.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
Yeah, except that HMAS Collins broke down the other month, leaving Australia with only one operational sub, as the others are all undergoing repairs or being used for training ...
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on September 2nd, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
They are 8 years old, what do people expect?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
Um ... our car is 12 years old, it's fine. The Royal Navy runs a fleet of eight submarines, the youngest was commissioned in 1991, the oldest in 1976.
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on September 2nd, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
Are you talking about the Submarines as a whole or just the Collins class submarines?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 08:42 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
The Royal Navy runs no Collins class subs, they are specifically RAN subs. My point is that the RN does run a set of Fleet subs that are much older, but more reliable.

When they work, I agree that the Collins has had a track record of some very effective operations. But it took an incredibly long time to build them, they had a long list of failures in the CSIRO report from the early 2000s (a number of which, I will grant you, have since been fixed), and the whole project cost far more than it should because too many decisions were made for political, not pragmatic reasons.

I don't think Australia runs any Oberon class subs anymore, so as far as I know, the Collins class represents our whole sub capability.