Macklin / Strong, soft, sad, Gina and Steve

“Shane Rattenbury’s private member’s Bill to legalise marijuana for terminally ill patients is sensible and compassionate… You have to wonder why its opponents want the dying to suffer,” writes Seven Days columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

PM Tony Abbott has received widespread support for his forthright response to the tragic downing of the Malaysian airliner.

Robert Macklin.

Robert Macklin.

His demands for “justice” for those Russian separatist thugs struck a chord. And the Governor-General’s journey of support for the stricken families was entirely appropriate.

We must, however, be careful to treat it as a crime rather than cause for a military response. Sending soldiers to the crash scene might not turn out to be the best option. And the PM has a well known predilection for “direct action”. Fortunately, our military leaders have learned the very recent lessons from the Bush-Cheney regime that took us down the road to hell in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ANOTHER nice PR win for Tony with the release this week of the Joe Hockey biog by Madonna King revealing that it was the Treasurer who wanted an even tougher Budget.

“In reality,” said Madonna, “[Abbott] was taking a much more cautious approach… with his eye firmly on the reaction of voters.”

Worked spiffingly too, didn’t it?

SHANE Rattenbury’s private member’s Bill to legalise marijuana for terminally ill patients is sensible and compassionate.

The draft released this week for public discussion should have come from the ACT government at a time when one American State after another is dropping most restrictions on its sale. And in the Netherlands, for example, it’s simply a non-issue. You have to wonder why its opponents want the dying to suffer.

THIS really struck home with the revelation that at least two – and possibly seven – Mr Fluffy homeowners had contracted the killer cancer, mesothelioma.

This is a tragedy of the first order. Let’s hope the Feds respond to Katy Gallagher’s pleas before it’s too late for the victims. Money doesn’t ease the pain to the loved ones of the lost.

IT looks as though the Fairfax Press – including “The Canberra Times” is about to be clasped to the ample bosom of Australia’s richest woman, mining tycoon Gina Rinehart.

She already owns nearly 15 per cent of Fairfax and is said to be preparing a takeover bid for the rest. She’s “disappointed with the performance of the company and the decline in value of its radio assets”. I suspect she’s also not best pleased with the work of the brilliant David Pope whose scarifying cartoons put his verbose and pedestrian colleagues on the op-ed pages to shame.

FULL marks to chef de mission Steve Moneghetti in choosing

Anna Meares to carry Australia’s flag at the Commonwealth Games. She’s an ornament to her sport of cycling, and if ever a sport that produced a Lance Armstrong as druggie-in-chief, needed one…

SPEAKING of chefs, one can’t help hoping that the bubbly teenager, Laura Cassai – the real star of this year’s “MasterChef” – goes on to a great career in the food world. Thank goodness it’s over for another year and we can get back to chops and two veg (with jus).

AND what a wonderful season for the Canberra Philo whose “Cabaret” folded its tent to roars of applause. Of special delight were the warbling hoofers whose choreographer, Shasha Chen, could wow them on Broadway!

robert@robertmacklin.com

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