Macklin / Bout of biffo from out of the blue

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OUR former Oxford boxing blue PM Tony Abbott discovered a couple more targets for his combination punches – the UN, which had dared criticise our treatment of asylum seekers, and the remote Aboriginal people for their “lifestyle choices”.

Robert Macklin.
Robert Macklin.
If they decided to live so far away, he reckoned, they couldn’t expect the Australian taxpayer to foot the bill.

The UN ducked the punch, but Aboriginal leaders hit back with words like “appalled” and “deranged debate”.

Coincidentally, the next day the ABC screened an episode of its wonderful “Outback ER” on the trials of doctoring at Broken Hill in which a (white) woman with a chest infection was flown in a plane that came from Melbourne to take her to an Adelaide hospital where she quickly recovered. The cost? Ah, forget about it.

GREAT to see local Lib leader Jeremy Hanson proposing a bipartisan approach to the domestic violence epidemic.

“It’s an issue too big for political game playing,” he said. Good stuff, Jeremy.

Of course, violence against women doesn’t have to be physical to be unnecessarily painful; he might bear that in mind in his choice of words criticising Joy Burch for daring to help her son get back on the straight and narrow.

GOOD to see the Feds have scheduled a “welcome home; well done” march of our veterans who fought in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.

Whatever one might think of the intervention, they deserve our warm recognition. It’s good they didn’t have to wait a generation like the Vietnam vets for the community’s gratitude and goodwill. Let’s hope Canberra turns out in force on Saturday.

SPEAKING of matters military, the War Memorial this week was voted No.1 among international and interstate tourists to Canberra with up to two million visitors a year. According to tourism boss, Ian Hill: “That’s more than the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Opera House”.

Together with our other big cultural attractions it brings about $1.8 million annually into Canberra’s coffers. And the new dioramas are quite stunning. Director Brendan Nelson, take a bow.

CONGRATULATIONS also to our Canberran of the Year, Sue Salthouse. Like most Canberrans, I suspect, I was unaware of her wonderful work in the cause of the disabled. But that only means it was an excellent choice. We’ll have heard plenty from her by the end of her tenure. There’s still much to do.

JUST when you thought politics on the hill was getting far too serious, along came three big boofy blokes to lighten the mood. First Joe Hockey had a thought bubble about using super to pay for that first home, only to have it deliciously punctured by Malcolm Turnbull, Paul Keating and every economist in the land. Then in his libel action about a Fairfax story, “Treasurer For Sale”, the twitter wits cried: “You wouldn’t get two bob for him!”

The “Brick with Eyes” Glenn Lazarus then dumped the Palmer United Party (of which he was the leader!) because, he said: “I have a different view of teamwork”. While his plump erstwhile patron Clive Palmer blurted: “He’s spat the dummy!”

Fair dinkum, sometimes you have to think politics its too important to be left to men.


robert@robertmacklin.com

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Robert Macklin
Journalist and author. Contact robert@robertmacklin.com

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