Macklin: Revenge on the lost cause called Canberra

“Imagine Winston Churchill rousing his nation, ‘to fight vem on the beaches wiff sticks and stones to bweak their bones’…”

NOW we know how PM Tony Abbott’s opponents felt when he punched them senseless in the boxing ring to win his Oxford Blue.

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin

That Canberrans were singled out for so many painful rips to the body in the Budget was bad enough, but why did neither he nor Treasurer Joe Hockey show any understanding – much less regret – at the effect on Canberra households?

Maybe they think we’re a lost cause at the ballot box. And if not before the Budget…

ONE big winner from Hockey’s address was “Master Chef”. I’m told that 10 minutes into his ABC speech, the Channel 10 cooking show’s ratings began to take off… and stayed that way through the program. Wasn’t bad, either – a competition for customers between two bills of fare – and the people picked the red team over the blues!


LABOR supporters will have watched Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget-in-Reply speech with trepidation – his performance to date has been pretty miserable. It the event, his speechwriter did a well-rounded and professional piece of work.

But only half marks for the delivery. It seems Shorten can’t pronounce his “th’s” – they come out “wiff” instead of “with” and sound like baby talk. Imagine Winston Churchill rousing his nation, “to fight vem on the beaches wiff sticks and stones to bweak their bones…”

Oratory it ain’t… and so easily fixed by a good elocutionist.

YOU could tell Speaker Bronnie was not happy with the applause from the public gallery that peppered Shorten’s speech. She was not the only one – Parliament might be political theatre but public participation is a slippery slope.

NICE of Kevin Rudd to put in a fleeting appearance to explain himself to the pink batts Royal Commission. After dumping on the public servants, he magnanimously took “ultimate responsibility” for the whole imbroglio then caught the next flight out to resume his campaign for Secretary-General of the UN.

It’s becoming a habit among politicians to “take responsibility” for some stuff up (for which they really are responsible) and then carry on as though the words themselves are punishment enough. What about a law attaching a few weeks of community service – say cleaning the toilets at the Maconochie Correctional Centre – each time the phrase is uttered.

WE wait breathless for the report from MLAs Vicki Dunne and Giulia Jones from their prostitution study trip seeking “the way out” for Canberra’s sex workers. Must be a good one – so far they’ve had a fortnight to prepare it.

MIXED feelings about the announcement that Australia Post is resuming Saturday parcel and express mail deliveries. These days most of the envelopes coming our way contain bills and bank statements… hard to decide which are the more depressing.

ENOUGH gloom, the week did bring some good news; Canberra houses are about to become much more affordable for the remaining young people with a job in the PS; thousands of soon-to-be-former public servants will now be able to enjoy the glories of living on the coast – the really lucky ones at Tuross – and never have to shiver through another Canberra winter; and think of the boom coming to Canberra bakeries and restaurants with those farewell morning teas and liquid lunches!

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