Let the shopping spree begin

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times
Originally published in The Canberra Times on March 18, 2011

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to give U.S. President Barack Obama an iPod of Australian music speaks volumes about the ongoing evolution of the strong relationship between Australia and the United States. While successive leaders have demonstrated their warm commitment to the international relationship, it is hard to imagine John Howard, or even Kevin Rudd, offering such a gift. But the Prime Minister’s choice of gift raises a number of big questions. First there is the controversy over whether she should have included some AC/DC. Second, how can anyone chose only one Nick Cave song for a compilation album? And finally, but most significantly, did the Australian taxpayer pay up to $2.19 for songs downloaded from the Australian iTunes site or did the PM’s staff wait until they got to America so that they paid only 99 cents for access to exactly the same songs?

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