The Friday Funny – The Hollowmen

This week we are revisting a classic moment in Australian comedy which seems strangely relevant to this week’s headlines.

 The Hollowmen is an comedy-drama from 2008 set in the offices of the Central Policy Unit, a special think tank personally set up by the Prime Minister to help him in the most important job of all – getting re-elected. Their brief is “long term vision”; to stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines, and focus on next week’s. 

 In episode one, Fat Chance the Prime Minister is caught out on talk-back radio, promising to tackle the problem of childhood obesity. Now the Unit must come up with a policy that keeps everyone happy.  Their investigation begins with consultations and research review that support significant regulatory changes – and ends with a token call for self-regulation. 

This week life seemed to imitate art as the Australian government decided not to implement the recommendations of a taskforce set up to investigate these issues. The Age reports:

In contrast to the crackdown on cigarettes, the Rudd government has rejected its own experts’ recommendations to take on the powerful food and alcohol industries.

Obesity was recently found to trigger more diseases in Australia than tobacco, but the government has given the thumbs-down to the call from its preventative health taskforce for a ban on junk-food advertising before 9pm.

It has also refused the taskforce recommendation to phase-out alcohol advertising during live sport broadcasts, in a detailed response to the taskforce recommendations released with Tuesday’s budget.


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