The Flack

The Week the Olympics Finished and Cigarette Plain Packaging Got the Green Light

Posted August 17, 2012 by Mina Durack in Regular Items
FNDP cigarettes

What a week! Someone lost the label maker and things remained unlabelled. People had birthday cake. People parked you into your spot in the carpark. You certainly didn’t have time to read the paper or watch the news. But now you want a martini and you want to talk knowledgeably about many things. What to do? … A solution is at hand.

What to read if you’ve been too busy to read this week.


  • The refugee debate hit the headlines again with a new Bill poised to pass the Senate on offshore processing. Speaking points: I hope the new policy has something in it that fast tracks refugees with gold medal abilities. Maybe from Kazakhstan.
  • Plain Packaging for cigarettes will go ahead after cigarette companies’ High Court challenge fails. Tobacco giants vow to fight packaging verdict. Speaking points: First Don Draper. Now the High Court hates cigarette companies.
  • Melbourne remains world’s most liveable city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.  Speaking points: the same survey said Adelaide was a better place to live than Sydney. Than Sydney. Randi Zuckerberg (sister of Mark) visit (unrelated) and tweets of Melbourne, “Beautiful architecture, outstanding food…and so clean!” I love that cleanliness is important to her.
  • Police find Sydney teenager Ethan Gordon safe and well, more than 24 hours after he went missing from his private school. The school says, “We now need to begin to try and understand why it was Ethan absconded from school. This is clearly a pastoral matter and one that we will be treating very sensitively.” Speaking points: I bet it was algebra.


  • British Government threatens to storm Ecuadorean embassy to arrest Julian Assange. Ecuador grants him asylumSpeaking points: Assange has been at the embassy for nearly two months. Who is paying for this? What is the food and lodging like at the embassy? Is claiming asylum something I should try when considering accommodation options for Knightsbridge?
  • News Corp has set up a global ethics team to enhance ethics in the company. Speaking points: is this a little like a Healthy Workplace Initiative at Philip Morris?
  • Iran earthquake toll reaches over 300 people. Iran asks for sanctions to be lifted, claiming other offers of aid are not in good faith. Speaking points: Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines and suffering more than 126,000 casualties caused by earthquakes since 1900.
  • 91 year old Prince Philip is apparently back in hospital but only as a precaution. Speaking points: but a precaution for what exactly?

Entertainment & Gossip

  • Jodie Foster defended Kristen Stewart this week, noting that being a star was hard. Speaking points: The one thing I would most like Jodie Foster’s assistance defending me for is….
  • Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his VP pick. Paul Ryan has been the subject of an internet meme comparing him to Ryan Gosling about which Gosling is not impressed. Someone on twitter has started taking the mickey out of Paul Ryan Gosling. Are you even following this? Read this. Speaking points: Ryan Gosling is the Tom Hanks of the 2010s. Discuss.
  • Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux get engaged. Speaking points: maybe, just maybe, we will finally stop hearing about the Aniston/Jolie love triangle. Don’t be stupid!
  • Big Brother started again in Australia and all the contestants apparently have secrets. Speaking points: don’t talk about this. no one will thank you for talking about it. If you must talk Big Brother, refer to ghost of previous Big Brothers such as Hot Dog, the Turkey Slap, and the fish and chip lady.


  • The Olympics are over and the Spice Girls sang at the Closing Ceremony. Speaking points: Posh Spice looked aloof throughout the performance but seriously, how is she that different other than marrying Becks, having way more money than the others and being BFF with Katie Holmes? Not that different at all.
  • Australian Olympians return home but Stephanie Rice stayed overseas for a holiday. Nick D’Arcy was also absent having gone on a family holiday to Croatia of which he posted photos on Facebook even though he declared bankrupt after the case where he was ordered to pay money to the guy he thumped. Speaking points: speculate wildly on where Rice was. Also, if you were Nick D’Arcy, would you maybe take a rest from Facebook?
  • Collingwood star Dayne Beams re-signs with the Magpies until the end of 2015. Speaking points: Are there a lot of people called Dayne these days? Is that a thing?
  • Reynolds signs a new deal with the Rabbitohs. Speaking points: is there a lot of pressure on sportspeople to get tattoos these days? Was this always the case? Is the logical conclusion that all footballers get full body ink?

Emergency go to subject

Prediction for next week

  • Julian Assange will blow the lid on the quality of the linen at the Ecuadorean embassy.

Photo: Some rights reserved by curran.kelleher



About the Author

Mina Durack
Mina Durack

Wilhemina (Mina) Durack was born in Lithgow, NSW to Henry and Shirley who, in the absence of sons, forced her into the family business. She became an apprentice blacksmith at the age of 15 but her true passion was Cheese Rolling at which she longed to turn professional. She trained secretly in the Blue Mountains. Despite her parents entering her in the Lithgow St George's Day International Jousting Tournament, she ran away to Gloucester, England where she entered The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, coming twelfth in 1995 and third in 1996. She struggled to break into the cheese rolling speakers’ circuit and eventually resettled in Fitzroy, Melbourne where she lives with her husband Fred, offering a boutique cheese advisory service. She collects vintage swimsuits and is an avid swimmer and online shopper.