Daily Archives: June 25, 2010

Gideon Rachman

The Afghan war effort is in chaos; the Australian prime minister has resigned and the G20 are meeting in Toronto. But the global event that I have decided to concentrate on is the World Cup. I have just arrived in Durban and later this afternoon, I will be attending the Lusophone derby: Brazil v Portugal.

One of the things I love about the World Cup is the way that it takes a country over. Even the air hostesses on my flight down from Johannesburg were wearing football kit (a marked improvement on the fussy uniforms that BA put their cabin crew in). Out on the Durban waterfront almost everybody is wearing either a Brazil or a Portugal shirt.  The miles of golden sand are playing host to lots of Copacabana-style games of beach football (the Durban beaches knock spots off the Copacabana). Everybody is in a good mood. At one stage, a street hawker began to shout at me rather loudly, in what I ïnitially took to be an aggressive manner. But then I made out his words: “My brother, your flies are undone.” I bought a Brazil cap off him, as a reward for his tip. 

Gillard, McChrystal and the G20

In this week’s podcast we look at the appointment of Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard. We ask, what went wrong with Kevin Rudd’s leadership and what can we expect from his successor?