Macklin / Quickly driving the dagger home

“The Australia Day fracas revealed just how much we need a genuinely Australian occasion to celebrate our unity since January 26 just doesn’t cut it,” says Seven Days columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

“IF it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly.”

Court Jester TonySo said the Macbeths as they contemplated dispatching the king and taking his place on the throne. And while Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop have been models of loyalty to their liege, the pressures from their backbench will now decide whether they clasp the dagger and drive it home.

In politics, timing is everything. PM Tony Abbott’s act of obeisance to another monarch on Australia Day is the perfect case in point. It was a barbecue stopper on national barbecue day. And the nervous backbenchers will want the leadership issue – which now dominates the scene – resolved before their fate becomes irredeemable.

CALLS from Rupert Murdoch (among others) for the dismissal of the PM’s chief of staff Peta Credlin totally misunderstand the forces at play. Her sacking, resignation or even an extended sick leave would be a disaster. In the Australian system – unlike America’s – staffers are not scapegoats-in-waiting. Women everywhere would be outraged.

THE Government’s attempt to persuade the new Indonesian President Jokowi to spare the Australian drug runners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran was always going to be a tough call. And to think, it was all so unnecessary – if only AFP chief Mick Keelty had picked them up when they stepped off the plane in Australia instead of informing the Indonesian authorities, they could have served their time in an Australian slammer… perhaps even Australia’s third worst jail, our own Alexander Maconochie Centre.

ENOUGH of the nasties. The good news is that the Australian Republic is back on the agenda. Indeed, the Australia Day fracas revealed just how much we need a genuinely Australian occasion to celebrate our unity since January 26 just doesn’t cut it. However, the day we finally snip those colonial ties and become a republic would fill the bill very nicely.

CLOSER to home, the good news continues with the release of the master plans for a rejuvenated Woden, Weston and Mawson shopping centres. Indeed, the Woden development looks absolutely spiffing with some entertainment venues for an exciting nightlife.

There’s even a light rail envisioned. Oh well, what’s another billion dollars among friends. In fact, you have to wonder if the rise of Uber will affect the tram’s financial modelling. Will that figure in Andrew Barr’s taxi review I wonder?

THANK goodness the tennis is over. We spent hour upon hour hypnotised by grunting millionaires belting little lime balls across the net when we could have been doing something useful.

The men – aside from our own Nick Kyrgios – were an unattractive bunch, and once Nick departed no one at our place really cared who won. But still we watched.

Some of the ladies looked terrific – and if those tennis dresses were any shorter they’d be bodices. How far we’ve travelled since Gertrude Augusta (“Gorgeous Gussy’) Moran outraged the tennis public in the 1950s when they glimpsed the hem of her frilly panties.

WARMEST congrats to our own Peking Duk, Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles, who are exciting the pop world like Nick in the tennis. I’m told they’ve just signed a big recording contract in New York. Today Canberra, tomorrow the world!

robert@robertmacklin.com

 

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