Macklin / Jeremy says ‘I do’, Zed’s still ‘I don’t’

“Suddenly local Lib Leader Jeremy Hanson converted to the ‘yes’ side. And there was Zed Seselja looking like the bridegroom left at the altar,” writes Seven Days columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

SOCIAL policy took centre stage this week with marriage equality in the spotlight throughout.

Robert Macklin.

Robert Macklin.

First it was Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s attempt to pull on a vote in the House of Reps. Then our Senators Zed Seselja and Katy Gallagher went hammer and tongs with Katy pro and Zed con.

Poor Zed – suddenly local Lib Leader Jeremy Hanson converted to the “yes” side. Jeremy said he’d been “somewhat conflicted” by the issue, but “gay friends and family” had provided him with his Damascene moment. And there was Zed looking like the bridegroom left at the altar.

THEN came the announcement of the visit this week of Philip Nitschke the euthanasia advocate whom the Fairfax headline writers insist on calling “Dr Death”. This is not only cheap but unnecessarily insulting. Truth is, a considerable majority of Canberrans favour the right to decide when they’ve suffered enough. All of us who have sat at the bedside of friends and relatives in those final hopeless weeks know that Nitschke and his cause deserve better.

THE right to judicial process before our citizenship could be removed also had its turn centre stage. Clearly the federal Cabinet is split on the issue with someone leaking chapter and verse of their blow-up. Great guessing game among the chattering classes on the identity of the leaker – my bet’s on an ambitious NSW minister seeking to remake his image as a sharing, caring guy who was currying favour with the Fairfax journo, Peter Hartcher, who broke the story.

Typically Bill Shorten ducked the issue calling it “a question mark”. Pathetic. The real question mark is why his colleagues persist with a puppet, instead of a real live politician such as Anthony “Albo” Albanese.

SPEAKING of bets, delighted to see we were spot on last week with the wager that the then newly re-elected Sepp Blatter would be forced out when the FBI got to work on his indicted FIFA colleagues. The question now is whether our own soccer bosses can survive charges that they paid bribes in the quest to host the World Cup… and only received a single vote in return. I suspect a gracious “retirement” is in the wind.

CHIEF Minister Andrew Barr’s Budget was a real anti-climax since most of it had been released before the day. The remainder felt like he was trying to recast himself as the Incredible Shrinking Man. He even called himself the Mayor of Canberra. There’s no such post Andrew; we voted for a Territory leader.

YOU could never accuse former PM Kevin Rudd of underselling himself as the ABC introduced its tell-all series on the Rudd-Gillard imbroglio. As his biographer I quickly learned that Kevin’s ambitions knew few bounds.

I was shocked when he told me his Labor hero (apart from Gough Whitlam) was HV “Doc” Evatt, an erratic character who led the party to one defeat after another. But Kevin “revered” him.

“Why?” For his presidency of the UN, and the Ruddster still harbours the desire to emulate him as secretary-general. Moreover, if his close friend Hilary Clinton wins the White House next year, he has a fair to middling chance to pull it off. And you read it here first!

robert@robertmacklin.com

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