Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mike Rann

Mike Rann is the Premier of South Australia. He's also a very prolific Twitterer. I know this because I'm one of his followers. I haven't been following much lately, though. I no longer spend much time on Twitter. Now I'm back to Facebook. I don't spend much time there either, though. How would I have the time?

I don't know much about Rann. From what I've seen in his Tweets, I am guessing he's more to the left than right. I know he's into the environment somewhat. He made a big deal about South Australia going plastic bag free. I think that's awesome, by the way.

I know Rann has had some conflicts with someone I wrote about recently. I think that was Nick Xenophon?

All right. I guess the time has come for me to talk to Lord Wiki.

Mike Rann has been the Premier of South Australia for a fairly long time...since 2002. Back in those days there was no Twitter. At least I don't think there was. It might have been invented and just not popular yet.

Baby Mike was born on 5 January 1953.

Birthday Website time! I've missed that place. With my last two subjects I couldn't find a birthday, so no need for the birthday website.

Anyway, Rann is a Capricorn and a 6. The 6 is the family-oriented one.

I forgot what the Capricorn is like . I should go look it up. One of Jack's cousins (the one we recently vacationed with) is a Capricorn.

This website says this about the Capricorn: they are not always the most pleasant of work fellows for they are reserved and too conservative, valuing tradition more than innovation, however valuable the latter, and they are often humorless. There is also a tendency to pessimism, melancholy and even unhappiness which many Capricornians are unable to keep to themselves, especially if they fail personally.

I can't say that reminds me of Jack's cousin; but we spent only a few days with her. I don't know her well enough to make any judgments.

Rann wasn't born in Australia. He was born in the United Kingdom. Lord Wiki says his parents were working class.

When Rann was about nine, his family moved to New Zealand.

Rann attended the University of Auckland. There he got a degree in political science.

It seems Mike Rann didn't become green recently just to fit in with the environmentalism fad. He's been green a long time. Back in his New Zealand days, he was involved with Greenpeace. He also became involved with New Zealand's Labour party.

When he graduated from university, Rann became a journalist for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. Lord Wiki says he struggled with being an objective reporter. That makes sense since it's completely impossible to be completely objective.

In 1977, my younger sister Melissa was born. This is also the year that Rann attended his brother's wedding in Adelaide. I guess he liked it there. He ended up making it his new home. How old would he have been by that time?

Let's see....

Okay....he'd be about 24.

Rann went to work for the South Australian Premier at the time.  Don Dunstan. Rann became Dunstan's speech writer and advisor.

I'm wondering how that all happened. What came first—the job offer or wanting to move to South Australia? Did Rann attend the wedding and think Gee, I sure like it here! I wish I could move here. And then someone connected him with Dunstan. Or did he meet Dunstan (maybe at the wedding) and then decided he'd take a job with him and move to Australia?

After Dustan retired, Rann worked for other Premiers.

I think it's neat that he advised other Premiers and then went on to become a Premier himself. He definitely had on-the-job training. That's for sure.

In 1985, Rann was elected to Parliament for the seat of Briggs. Briggs represents the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

In 1989, Rann was given Ministry jobs. I'm not going to list them all. I'll just say there was a bunch.

Later Briggs was abolished and Rann was elected to the Ramsay seat. Like Briggs, it covers part of the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide.

Jack just lost ANOTHER tooth! He's losing those things left and right.

Okay. Back to Rann.

There's some stuff here that confuses me.

Wait. I think I got it. Maybe? There was talk of Rann becoming deputy leader of his party and then Leader of the Opposition. I thought maybe they were talking about deputy leader of the Labor Party nationally. But I'm thinking they might mean deputy leader of the Labor Party in South Australia.

If I'm getting this right, the Liberal party was in power from 1993 until 2002. During that time, Rann was Leader of the Opposition. Then he became the Premier.

Lord Wiki says that Rann is not just Premier. He has all these Ministry roles as well. I'm so lost. Is he the Minister in the Federal Parliament or just the South Australian ones? I'm going to guess he's the latter.

I'm PROBABLY right about that. I googled one of the ministries that Lord Wiki named.  Minister of Social Inclusion. I didn't get Mike Rann's name. I got Julia Gillard. So she's the Federal one. Mike Rann is the local South Australian one.

I wonder then if the Ministry positions Rann had before when he was elected to Parliament were local as well. I assumed they were Federal. And maybe he wasn't ever in the Federal Parliament. Maybe he had just been in the South Australian Parliament.

I feel I'm totally jumbling this all up.


In 2006 Rann became the chairman of the Australian Federation Council. The purpose of this organization is to improve state and Federal ties. Is that Federal ties with South Australia, or Federal ties with all the states?

I just looked it up. It's for all the states, and Rann is no longer the chairman. That job now belongs to the Premier of Queensland. It's a woman! I didn't realize the Premier of Queensland was female. I'm going to add her to my list.

Lord Wiki says Rann has been a popular Premier.

He has had two wives. With the first one he had two children. The second one is a member of the Green Party. I'm wondering why Rann himself isn't part of the Green Party. Is it too left for him, or does he feel he'll have more power with the Labor party?

I'm done with Lord Wiki for now.

I'm next going to look at his South Australian Parliament page.

It lists his jobs. It's a long list.

It also lists some organizations that he's a patron of. This might give some insight into the kind of person he is.

He's involved with the Raven's Netball Team. I guess this is these people. Or maybe not because they're located in New South Wales.

 I suppose he could support a team that's out of state.

Here's South Australia's netball website.

I don't see the Ravens on there.

Okay here is an article that might explain things.

Oh never mind. I don't understand any of it. Sport stuff just doesn't gel with my brain. And I don't even know if they're talking about netball. They might be talking about another game. Anyway, it something like some team in South Australia has changed their name to The Ravens.

Let's just move onto something else.

Rann is Patron of the Salisbury United Soccer Club. Thankfully this one is definitely in South Australia. I don't need to be all confused.

He's on the board of Urban Myth Youth Theater. That's a cool name.

All right. I was going to list more stuff that Rann is a patron of, but I'm getting bored.

Plus, I never really can tell much by a list like that. Are these things something he really cares about, or is it something he just lent his name and/or money too? Tim was involved with a preventing-blindness organization. He never had much interest or passion in blindness. It's just his co-worker/friend asked him to be involved. I'm not saying he wasn't a dedicated board member. He was. I just know his reasons behind joining didn't involve personal passion.

Rann has a MySpace page. Maybe this will give me some insight. It has a large wedding photo.

I guess he likes music. He has a bunch of band stuff on here.

His favorite TV programs are Question Time in Parliament, Yes Minister, and Four Corners. I'm guessing the last two are comedies? They sound vaguely familiar to me. Maybe British?

Well, I'm right about Yes Minister. That's British.

I'm having a little trouble with Four Corners.

I see there's an Australian show that started in the 1960's. Maybe this is what Rann likes.

Okay. I'm getting there now. It's an investigative reporting type show. Here's their website. It's funny, because I really thought it was some kind of British comedy.

It looks like a good show. I might have to watch it someday.

For books, Rann listed The Hawke Government: a Criticial Retrospective. I'm not sure if that's his favorite book, or the one he's currently reading.

I'm still currently reading My Place by Sally Morgan. It's one of the best Australian books I've read. Well, I guess it's more polite to say it's one of my favorites. Who am I to say what's the best?

Mike Rann's heroes are that old Premier he used to work for—Don Dunstan. He likes Gough Whitlam. And he sees the people of South Australia as heroes. That's sweet. Oh! And his wife is his hero. I wonder if he's just saying that to be a sweet husband, or does he really feel she's done something heroic.

He says his astrological sign is the Taurus not Capricorn. Either he's wrong or Lord Wiki got his birthdate wrong.

Cute. He has a photo from The Graduate on his MySpace. He has three photos of his wife, including two wedding ones. He seems like a man very much in love.

I'm reading his information now. He says that in New Zealand he was involved with the protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific. I think it's a bit awful when countries do testing in other lands. If they want to test, they should do so in their own country. I know my lovely country never does stuff like that. Okay yeah. I'm being sarcastic here.

Where should I go next? Maybe Twitter. Since he updates so often, I'm bound to find a wealth of information.

Now on Twitter, they have this thing where when you look at your list of followees, you can see their last Tweet. I'm noticing I'm not the only person who has lost interest in Twitter. A lot of people I'm following haven't written anything for awhile.

Mike Rann is still going at i,t though. His last tweet was ten hours ago.

He has 1478 updates. That's impressive.

I'm going to use that Twitter Analyst thing. We'll see what Rann's tweets say about his personality.

This is FUN.

It gives me all kinds of awesome information.

Rann started his account on 17 February. That's when we were in Australia. I think we were in the South Coast at the time.

He writes an average of 10.8 tweets a day.

68% of his Tweets are conversations.
2% are links.
40% are content. I'm not quite sure what that means.

His personality is renowned spamming cautious. His style is garrulous, coherent, celebrity. I don't get that. Does that mean he's a spammer. Or does it mean he's cautious against spammers? What does garrulous mean? I've never heard of that word.

Okay. I'm looking at the online dictionary and laughing. I found a new word to describe myself!
given to prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity : pointlessly or annoyingly talkative.

I think my picture needs to used in the definition of garrulous. Mike Rann can be there too.

Oh no. I was going to check my own personality, but I can't because my updates are protected. Maybe I'll just unprotect them. It's not like I ever write anything anyway.

All right. Now I can see. I have 619 updates. That's actually not too low. So you can see at one point I was all into Twitter. I have an average of 2.3 tweets a day. I have 20% links and 80% content. I guess I have no conversations. No one wants to talk to me. See, that's the thing. I was LONELY on Twitter. People are nicer to me on Facebook.

My personality is likable sociable cautious. What? Likable? If I'm so likable, why isn't anyone having Twitter conversations with me? Huh? Huh! That's what I'd like to know.

My style is Chatty academic Boffin. The chatty academic probably fits. I'm not sure how my tweets reveal this.

What is boffin?


Lord Wiki says it's slang for scientific people. It's kind of like an absent-minded professor type thing. What the hell did I tweet about to give me that image????

This is kind of freaking me out. I'm looking up people I know and the Twitter analyst thing describes them very well! This is like a magical tool here!

Well, I should stop this playing and get back to Mike Rann and his tweets.

I'm not quite sure where to start.

Maybe I'll just read and stop when I find something that excites me.

On July 3 he told impressFX I can't answer that question. What is the question?

Ah! It's a good one. He asks, Why do Aussie car manufacturers make cars that exceed the speed limit?

I think that's a brilliant question. I wonder if anyone out there has a valuable answer.

Maybe it's so you can speed if REALLY necessary. You know like what if zombies are chasing you...or evil aliens. You would be really angry, I bet, if your car couldn't go faster than the speed limit. It would be especially horrible if the aliens were super duper speedy aliens.

Mike Rann says to Tarale Good Point. We'll have a look at it. What is her good point? And is Rann being truthful here or fake?

Well, her tweet just makes me more confused. She says I mean the recordings / virtual classroom being in a "walled garden". Only so many people fit in a room...

I have no idea what that means. I'm guessing the conversation didn't begin there.

I can't find the beginning.

Oh wait. Here we go. It's regarding something called Thinker's Lectures. With this the Premier of South Australia invites two or three smart people to come to Adelaide and live there for a few months. Hey! That Twitter thing seems to think I'm pretty smart. Maybe Rann should invite me! Although I'm feeling my codependent relationship with Lord Wiki might be a strike against me. It's a bit embarrassing.

They do allow Americans. One of the current ones is a woman from Pennsylvania. Another one WORKS in America, but she was born in Sydney.

Well, I'm looking at the qualifications needed to be nominated. I don't quite stand a chance. You need to be highly regarded internationally. I'm not even highly regarded in my own damn neighborhood. You also need credibility and expertise in your field. I don't think I have a field.

And if all that doesn't disqualify me.....

There's Able to speak publicly in ways which are accessible and comprehensible.

If stuttering, trembling, and feeling like I might pass out count as being accesible and comprehensible, I might do okay.

What else do we have?

To Augustography, Rann says, Dead right. It's like those that attacked twitter - they're destined to be left behind.

I'm confused. I think Augustography might have been retweeting or talking to someone else? It's something about needing more technology. Maybe he's talking to two people...Mike Rann and another guy (Hortovanyi) He has two of the @ symbols. Anyway, the tweet says We can always do with more technology.

I guess that could be so. I feel we already have so much technology. I was talking to Tim about this the other day. I said I often feel that we're going to keep advancing in the rate we have been in the last fifteen years. But maybe that's not true. Maybe we're going to slow down. And in terms of communications, I kind of think we have enough. Do we really need new Internet and telephone technology. I think we're set. I think instead of working on that, scientists needs to concentrate on teleportation. Life will get so much better once we can teleport.

Here's a quote from Mike Rann. I think he's trying to be beautiful and philosophical. For me Australia is opportunity warmed by the sun. But we can also be a continent and a people enriched and connected by techology.

I'm not sure that works for me. It sounds like the kind of thing my dad says right before I give him the look that means oh my lord. You have got to be kidding me.

I shouldn't pick on Mike Rann or my dad. I say corny things myself all the time.

Oh! There's a bonding moment between Mike Rann and Lance Armstrong. Rann says Thx, and good luck in the Tour. Let me know if you need any technical or tactical advice.

What did Lance Armstrong say to him? Wow. I keep having to press the More button. Lance Armstrong is a total Twitter addict! There are so many tweets to wade through. Well, his message to Rann is Who cares wins.

I'm not sure what that means.

I have to do the Twitter analysis on Armstrong.

His personality is renowned sociable vain. Like me and Mike Rann he's garrulous. He's also coherent and he's a celebrity.

Oh. I like what Rann says here to andyroosh. It's about being interactive, in touch and doing it yourself rather than giving some bureaucrat the job of tweeting out red tape.

I probably agree with that. Why get someone else to do your twittering? If you're too busy, then just don't be on Twitter. Otherwise, it's kind of phony.

I'm getting on towards older dates here, so it's hard for me to find what the other person said. I'll probably skip that. We'll just have to make inferences.

On June 28 Rann said, As for 'ruthless' yes, in defending my reputation against false allegations of criminality. After full apology received dropped court case.

I probably agree with that. I think if you're falsely accused of something, you have every right to defend yourself. As for being ruthless, though....I guess it would depend on the definition of ruthless. If it's about seeking justice and fairness, I'm all for it. If it's sinking to their level to get revenge, I'm really not for it.

Here Rann praises Twitter again. He says That's what I do every day but the great thing about Twitter is it is uncensored and real as opposed to fitting anyone's formula.

I think, though, that it's as real and formulistic as you make it. Mike Rann seems pretty real to me on Twitter. Other people sound vacent. It's the same with blogs or anything like that.

On June 26, he tells someone that following is not compulsury. I've seen him say this to someone else. They were complaining about his prolific tweets. He told them they didn't have to read it. I like that. I totally agree with him. I personally think it's great that he takes the time to communicate with people via Twitter. I think he should write as many tweets as he wants. I do joke around about people who use Twitter a lot. I'll admit that. But if it really bothered me, I wouldn't read. Or I'll stop following. And I have actually stopped following people because they updated too much. It's not that I found them repulsive or anything. It's just I don't have much time for Twitter and it takes me too long to wade through all their stuff. Since I'm not actually friends with them and I don't find them overly interesting, I figured it was best to lighten my load a bit. Still, it's not my place to complain to them about their prolific twittering.

I don't understand people who complain like that. It happened to me with my blog. I had someone come on here for a few weeks. He didn't seem to like me. He seemed annoyed with my posts and my interest in Australia. Yet he kept returning. Why? My feeling is there are SO many blogs out there. A lot of them are about subjects that would offend me or bore me to tears. I don't go on them to complain about their existence. I just go elsewhere.

Now of course I'm fine with people disliking SOME of my posts and saying so. Honest feedback and disagreement are no problem. But if there's a consistent dislike, just find a new blog to read.

I'm going to quit Twitter. I mean I'm not quitting it. But I'm going to stop looking at it for this post. It's getting frustrating. Mike Rann says something to someone. I want to know what that person said first to him. But if I go look for it, then when I return to Rann, I lose my place.

It's a bit hard to explain, actually.

I'm going to look at Google News.

Here's an editorial.

No, wait it's more like a gossip news kind of thing. It has a brief thing about Mike Rann being a Twitter addict and his Twitter friendship with Lance Armstrong. Nothing really new there.

This article talks about a defamation suit against the Leader of the Opposition. This must be what Rann was talking about in his tweet.

The defamation is in regards to allegations that the ALP solicited funds from the Church of Scientology. Scientology. In my opinion, you add that word to any article or story and it automatically becomes interesting.

What happened is fake documents were used. I wonder if the Leader of the Opposition KNEW they were fake; or did he mistake them for being real?

This article goes into more details about the issue. Rann had threatened to sue, but once public apologies were made he backed down. The Leader of the Opposition has to pay for Rann's legal fees,though. That sounds fair to me.

Here's an older article about it from April. At this time, I'm guessing the public didn't know yet that the documents were fake.

Oh no. Wait. Now I'm seeing that by January it was already known that the documents were fake.

What the documents said is that Rann and his team received a twenty thousand donation from a group affiliated with Scientology.

I'm going to watch this video about Rann's view of Scientology. Yikes. He's a bit nasty about Scientology. I'm not a fan of the group. I think they ARE a cult. But he calls Ron Hubbard a loony. I don't disagree. But I think almost ALL religious founders are probably a bit loony. Some might say the pope is a bit loony. Would a Premier of Australia say that, or would they be more politically correct about the whole thing?

I don't know. I personally think Scientology is no more loony than any other religion. I think a more apt term for them would be scary, conniving bullies. But there's a lot of groups out there like that. I'm not sure why Scientology is picked on so much.

I think I'm going to end there. Now my brain is all focused on Scientology.

I am guessing, though, that since I've mentioned Scientology in my post, the anti-Scientology groups might be paying my blog a visit. Those people scare me as much as the Scientologists sometimes.


  1. Our state and federal politics are fairly separate. And he's not a very popular Premier with anyone I talk to. Spent lots of money on things that make him look and sound good while neglecting our schools and healthcare. A lot of his policies are bad for rural areas too. But, politics aside, he seems like a nice enough bloke. Not that I know him personally. :)

  2. Jeepers Dina - that's not a blogpost - it's a BIOGRAPHY.

    Here's an Aussie to keep you amused:
    put "Percy Grainger" into Image search and be amazed. His mum made him outfits from striped bathtowels, he invented a theramin,
    Melb Uni has a museum on him, and he is buried in America.

    peace and love, ann odyne

  3. Interesting to learn about him. He would have been a state minister, not a federal one. Four Corners is a respected weekly current affairs program by our public broadcaster, ABC.

  4. Lightening: Well, he's popular with ME! Okay? So just drop it. No, I'm joking. I love getting different perspectives. I'm not quite sure how to feel about Rann. He's not the leader of my state so what he does doesn't effect me. I will say I like him better than my governor!

    Rann seems fairly okay as a person. I think his frequent Twitters are cute, but that doesn't make someone a good Premier. I did like Nick Xenophon and he seems to be enemies with Rann so that's a strike against Rann there.

    I do love the whole no-plastic bag thing. I like what he does for the environment. But I can see how he might neglect other things such as school and health.

    F.G Marshall-Stacks-I'll Google and then add him to the list! Thank you : )

    Andrew: I was wondering if the show was respected or not. We have Current Affair type shows and some of them are tabloid crap...not really respected. We have some respected ones as well though.