Macklin / Katy takes a hand in the broken ARM

THREE cheers for Chief Minister Katy Gallagher in dubbing Australia’s royalists celebrity groupies; and in her rallying cry for real action from the Australian Republican Movement.

Robert Macklin.

Robert Macklin.

The ARM’s pussy-footing approach has seen support drain away. Perhaps it’s time for some new brooms to replace the former politicians and diplomats now running the show.

CANBERRA, it seems, was no safer than anywhere else from predatory paedophile priests as the Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse continued its hearings here. And those “apologies” from the perpetrators rang rather hollow in the face of the shattered lives they left behind.

The Marist College revelations were disturbing, but just the tiniest tip of the worldwide scandal. One can’t help wondering what would be the fate of the “institution” were it not religious. Outlawed perhaps?

THE debate over light rail hardly set the city alight with conflicting costings from both sides. Not really surprising that the consultant hired by the Young Libs reckoned the figure was nearly a billion dollars while Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell pooh-poohed it without quite settling on his own figure.

Perhaps the real question is why do we need it? And why now?

SEEMS the new war in Iraq saved PM Tony Abbott from having to confront President Obama on climate change. The Sunni insurgency dominated the international news cycle during their Friday morning (our time) White House meeting. And if Australia is asked to contribute to a renewed US military intervention, it sounds like Tony is up for it.

If so, he might take a leaf from his political ‘father’ John Howard who selected an area of operations as far from the actual fighting as possible. The result – not one Australian soldier in Iraq was killed in action.

WARMEST congrats to fellow “CityNews” columnist Tim Gavel and his ABC colleague Virginia Haussegger on their Queen’s Birthday honours. Both well deserved; in fact Virginia should get extra pay for having to wave those silly pieces of paper about in front of her as she begins the news each night.

BRAVE words from Joe Hockey when he threatened a double dissolution this week to be met by delighted Labor, Green and Palmer Party cries of “Bring it on!” The only people he terrified were his backbenchers. Not exactly what he was hoping for.

DID the RSPCA really sanction the “cull” (ie slaughter) of Canberra’s kangaroos this week? With friends like these…

IT was a joy to watch our men and women hockey players giving their best – and with excellent results – at the world championships in the Netherlands each evening… but that other world series with a round ball in Brazil is a different kettle of fish.

Everyone knows it’s a cheat’s game from the top of FIFA to the phoney fouls on the field. No wonder we’re rated stone motherless last.

ON a warmer note, it’s possible the Feds have actually stumbled on to a good idea in deciding – in the Battlelines Budget – to move some departments to the Central Coast. Now that winter’s set in perhaps we should all move to Gosford (or Tuross) till September. Do I hear a seconder?

robert@robertmacklin.com

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