By MARK KENNY
IN February, 2012, I gave Australia’s most polarising political figure some tips on talkback radio. Pauline Hanson incoherently meandered through two hours of drive-time radio, but was clear on two issues. One: she could never forgive Tony Abbott for orchestrating her imprisonment on charges of electoral fraud (later quashed) and two: convinced her political career was “toast” she was researching rural real-estate options in Tasmania.Now in March, 2018, Senator Pauline Hanson swept confidently down the marble staircase and across the grand foyer of Parliament House into its tiny bookshop. Applause spontaneously erupted (incited by “human megaphone” Max Markson) from a queue of punters waiting for autographs on their copies of “Pauline, In Her Own Words”. With minder James Ashby micro managing the event, Hanson – back on civilised terms with Tony Abbott (at least for the book launch) – was back in town.
JEREMY Lasek is celebrating a life-changing milestone. The former TV journalist who ran the capital’s centenary celebrations before moving on to head the National Australia Day Council, arrived in Australia from England with his family 50 years ago. Posting a black and white family photo on his Facebook account, with the banner “British born, Dapto raised and Canberra-proud”, Lasek thanks his parents for their “bold but brilliant decision” to emigrate and Australia for “throwing your arms around us and making us feel so welcome”.
IT may be some sort of record but the annual Canberra Raiders bagging actually began before Easter. In a letter to the editor of the “Queanbeyan Age”, Keith Crowley, of Chapman – who claims to be a supporter “since the team’s inception” – writes: “I have to discontinue my support for the current group of brilliant individual players because they have no respect for their supporters.”
Written after the team’s third frustratingly close loss, Mr Crowley asks: “Do these players expect supporters to continue to pay good money to watch quality players perform so badly?”
Canberra activist group RAC (Refugee Action Committee) sarcastically tweeted: “Big accolades to the 1st person who can find ANY ABC coverage of the huge Palm Sunday Rallies across Australia. But Cricket! Was it an instruction from the top?”
SA Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young joined former CM Jon Stanhope and Catholic Bishop Pat Power in the front row of the march which drew thousands of locals. THE unstoppable fundraising force, actor Samuel Johnson, returned to the capital to raise more funds for cancer research. The Gold Logie-winning thespian has put his career on hold in order to concentrate on raising a million dollars for the Love Your Sister foundation, established with his sister Connie who died in September after a long battle with the disease.
Johnson participated in a charity golf day and made appearances at Bunnings sausage sizzles during the campaign organised by Gowrie man and cancer survivor Craig Glover.
FOR class-conscious Canberrans the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data (2016 census) may not help. The information is primarily designed to “help governments, communities and businesses determine areas needing additional funding and improved services etc etc.” But those aspiring to climb the ladder from mobile middle class to the emergent affluent class and possibly the “ultimate” social strata, the established affluent class will be focused on the Most Affluent Suburbs list which includes Crace, Barton, Forrest, Fadden and Weetangera in its top 10.
ELECTIONS come and go but seemingly election polling never takes a break. A recent ReachTEL poll sampled Canberra voters on a range of issues with three stand-out questions. The automated telephone survey sought a yes/no/not sure response to: 1. “Do you trust Worksafe ACT?” 2. “Do you consider stage 2 of the Light Rail system to Woden necessary?” And 3. the “loaded” question: “Are you concerned with the credibility of the local ACT government?