Top of the pups
Earlier this week on Sydney’s WSFM, Malcolm Turnbull found himself in a conversation with hosts Amanda and Jonesy about black labradors and what Russian President Vladimir Putin might call his in the event he had one. Jonesy: “I think Putin would have a dog called Rex, wouldn’t he?” Turnbull: “Or Fang.” Amanda: “Fang! Sic ’em Fang!” Jonesy: “Or Stalin.” Turnbull: “On reflection, yes.” As Strewth noted the other day, Putin used to have a black labrador but she was not named after the greatest calamity to befall the Russian people so far, answering instead to the less problematic name Konni. Konni, alas, is no more, but Putin is far from dogless and has a Japanese akita called Yume and a karakachan (or Bulgarian shepherd) called Buffy. Barely a few days later and the Kremlin kennel has been expanded, this time with a Central Asian shepherd puppy handed to Putin by Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at a meeting of leaders of former Soviet republics in Sochi. We have never seen a puppy presented this way, hoisted aloft like a grisly trophy in a terrorist video. And judging by the look on his face, Putin — who doubtless has seen interesting things through the years — hadn’t either. As The Times’ Moscow correspondent Tom Parfitt puts it: “Mr Putin may have his hands full though, as Central Asian shepherd dogs can grow to 50kg and are capable of killing a wolf.” The pup is called Faithful.
Not quite on brand
Some words uttered in the High Court yesterday: “There should be no place in Australian law … in 2016 for some dichotomy to be drawn between so-called naturalborn Australians and immigrant Australians.” That such words could come from a barrister representing a One Nation senator should be enough to make you believe in magic again. So thank you, Robert Newlinds SC. And good luck with Malcolm
Roberts; Strewth’s fingers are well and truly crossed!
Dodging the IQ bullet
Meanwhile on ABC radio in Adelaide with David Bevan. Bevan: “We have the President of the United States challenging his Secretary of State to an IQ test … None of you are in a position to challenge your leaders on IQ tests? You not interested in doing that, Nick Champion?” Champion: “No, don’t think so. Don’t think it’s wise.” Bevan: “Sarah Hanson-Young?” SHY: “No, but I do think perhaps we need a few more lie detectors in the parliament.” Bevan: “Simon Birmingham?” Birmingham: “As the Education Minister, I live in absolute fear of such challenges.”
Over and out
Strewth’s mum made a rare cameo in this space yesterday, which got a lovely response from fans of her appearances in other parts of this august organ. Endlessly entertaining, she was, in writing terms, the salami we thought we could slice forever. Turns out we were wrong. Eszter Szekelyhidi’s run has come to an end and she will be laid to rest tomorrow. This sudden quiet, it must be said, does not suit her. In her honour, Google a Hungarian curse and shout it at the sky. She would have liked that.
What’s up, dog? One president passing young Faithful to another