Bleats

Great, There's Another Expensive Way To Be Pinged For Using Your Phone

And let's be honest, we've all done it.

Most of us know that Australian states have a bunch of laws about using phones in cars. And it’s for a good reason: they’re distracting and most us have ended up programmed to check them every time we’re in danger of having a second to ourselves.

And thus you’ve learned to restrain yourself from doing a cheeky check of Facebook mentions while at traffic lights. But what if you’re in a drive-thru, waiting on your delicious and nutritionally-hearty meal which you definitely not regret in the minutes and days to come?

Answer: a lot of fine-money, right there.

See, the car’s still running and you’re still behind the wheel and therefore still in control of it. And with that great power comes the great legal responsibility for some spicy, finger-licking fines.

Specifically, according to Yahoo, it’ll set back a snack-seeking Sydneysider $377 and five demerit points off their license, a peckish Perthian $400 and three demerit points, a munching Melburnian $484 and four demerit points, a drive-dining Darwinian $250 and three demerit points, a hangry Hobartian $300 and three demerit points, a chowing Canberran $447 and four demerit points, and a not-necessarily-vegan Brisvegan $391 and three demerit points.

Weirdly enough, it doesn’t appear to be an offence in South Australia where checking phones in a non-moving vehicle is acceptable as long as the phone is in a mounted holder.

So provided you’re either a croweater or in for a decent commute, you can do all the in-drive-thru phonework you want.

Can You Escape Clive Palmer’s Desperately Thirsty Political Text Messages?

But if he wins a seat, will he actually turn up in parliament this time around?

Chances are you’re one of the 5.4 million Australians who have gotten an unsolicited text message from Clive Palmer’s newly-rebranded United Australia Party.

It’s a party which is basically one long trolling exercise, starting with pretending that because it has registered the same name as a long-defunct precursor to the Liberal Party it has had three Australian prime ministers, including Liberal godhead Robert Menzies, and ending with the world’s dankest mobile game.

Menzies would be SO proud!

Their less than assiduous level of targeting has meant the party is sending people in WA texts promising high speed east coast rail and metropolitan residents promises of income tax cuts for regional Australia, among other things they’re never going to be in any position to deliver under any circumstances.

That being the case, you might be wondering how you – the modern, digitally-savvy mobile communications enthusiast – can opt out of Palmers largely-not-relevant-to-you texts. It has to be in breach of spam laws, right?

And the short answer is no: you can’t opt out.

Nor can you reply, as you discovered when you attempted to send a message back like “do you plan to show up in parliament, unlike last time?” or “pay your former workers” or “new phone, who dis?”.

The reason is that UAP isn’t technically attempting to sell you anything and therefore isn’t bound by the usual consumer laws governing electronic communication, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. That includes abiding by the Do Not Call register.

The Australian Electoral Commission has also confirmed that political communications are protected and they have no power to restrict them. And you can register a complaint at the ACMA, but there’s nothing they can really do.

So what can you do? Your best bet is to encourage our (actual) pollies to change the laws around political communications in Australia.

Maybe some sort of mass texting campaign would work?

British PM Theresa May Accidentally Locks Herself In Her Car As A Perfect Metaphor For How Brexit And Her Leadership Is Going

Some days you just can't catch a break.

Only the most mean-spirited of observers would look at footage of British PM getting accidentally locked in her car in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and thinking “oh god, this is a perfect metaphor for her leadership, her ability to deal with adversity, and the entire Brexit experience to date”.

After all, it’s hardly her fault: unfamiliar cars have different locking mechanisms, there’s undoubtably extra security in this vehicle to protect its’ VIP passenger, and technical glitches are hardly uncommon in our complicated modern lives.

All that being said: hey, look at this footage of British PM getting accidentally locked in her car in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel!

Oh god, what a perfect metaphor for her leadership, her ability to deal with adversity, and the entire Brexit experience to date!

Mind you, it’s not the first time that events have worked against her to send a message which is basically a portent of doom.

Fortunately she got out in time for this press conference.

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