Liberals look like a lovely bunch of coconuts

Share Canberra's trusted news:

Is new Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee the Chief Minister’s next “coconut”? Do the bin men really have to walk off the job in 2020? And, what does the word  “zango” really mean? Big questions with all the answers, it’s “Seven Days” with IAN MEIKLE.

FROM where Andrew Barr sits in the Legislative Assembly, the opposition benches must look like a coconut shy to him.

Ian Meikle.

In the analogue world, that’s a fairground sideshow where balls are thrown at coconuts in an attempt to knock them off stands.

So far, the Chief Minister has knocked two opposition leaders (Messrs Hanson and Coe) off their stands and now has a new one in his sight.

And with two fewer than the last Assembly, only five of the eight elected Liberals at this point haven’t been or aren’t the Opposition Leader. Or looking at it another way, 37.5 per cent of the parliamentary party has held the title.

Stepping up to the shy is second-term and sole Kurrajong survivor (fellow member Candice Burch’s political future was laid waste to the inner-city Green surge) Elizabeth Lee, who seems to be a popular choice for this wound-licking point in the election cycle. 

Wise owl and normally unexcitable political columnist Michael Moore is bordering on effusive this week, writing: “Elizabeth Lee is an excellent media performer and a thoughtful politician. She does need to be given a chance, particularly by her parliamentary colleagues and the broader party.”

He’s clearly signalling that the party needs to hunker down behind her if it’s to stand a chance in 2024.

In our cover story, Lee told political reporter Belle Strahorn over coffee that she’s learnt a sharp lesson from the election failure. 

“When you are in the bubble of campaigning and you put your heart and soul behind the leadership team and campaign team in trying your best to win, you look at it blinkered, you do look at it from a certain perspective.” 

In the story, the diminutive Liberal leader oddly admits to having the former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard among her political heroes. 

“The amount of public scrutiny she went through and how she handled it with so much class is something I respect a lot,” she told our scribbler.

However, Ms Lee is first a politician and her elevation to the party’s peerage isn’t entirely the “greatness-thrust-upon-her” moment they’d have you believe. 

Two years ago, over coffee with a senior Liberal insider, her credentials were set out and the mid-term prospect of a leadership ticket to unseat Alistair Coe was floated. That might have been the theory, here finally comes the practice. 

A disruption warning… but who, how, when, why?

TWENTY-three suburbs in Canberra’s south and inner-south missed out on garbage collection on Monday (November 2) when drivers quaintly walked off the job as part of ongoing pay negotiations. 

Households from Chapman to Yarralumla went without the red bin (waste) pick-up, including some who lost the yellow bin (recycling) too. 

It all seemed all very polite and organised for everyone involved except the ratepayers, of course. 

The Transport Workers’ Union notified the government that drivers were walking as part of ongoing enterprise bargaining negotiations with the garbage contractor (which achieves what?).

The bureaucracy, well used to this anachronistic industrial behaviour, sprung into action with bottom-covering, pretty, coloured corflutes (unreadable from a moving vehicle) that uselessly warned of a disruption but provided no details. 

And ratepayers were left to bag and cart their own household waste to temporary drop-off sites in Waramanga, Kambah, Gowrie and Weston. But the cheek of it, the drop-off sites will only accept three large plastic bags of waste. Don’t expect a refund on your rates any time soon, either. 

A RECENT column by academic Clive Williams listing the things that make him grumpy has brought out a ripple of people who agree and disagree with him, including Shirley Llorens, of Chapman, who is sorely aggrieved in this edition’s “Letters” page.

I have a snout in Phillip who was moved to write: “Another item to add to Clive Williams’ list of peeves; well-respected magazines supplying the previous week’s clues for their current week’s crossword puzzle. Or is it simply a result of six Greens in the Legislative Assembly and an effort to save ink or paper?” Ouch!

He was cruelly alluding to last edition’s howler, where we unwittingly published the clues to the wrong crossword grid. 

In publishing, you don’t mess with the crossword and we bravely faced the inevitable slew of seriously cranky readers writing with withering comedic and sarcastic wit. All of which we deserved. 

“I hope the inevitable public backlash disappears shortly,” chortled Mr Phillip. Thanks!

FOR months now I have followed buses and driven past bus shelters festooned with the brand “Zango” and, in the blur of commuting, wondered what the word actually meant. 

I know it’s the name ascribed by its real-estate agent shareholders to a new website offering house-sales listings that has spent the last nine months fruitlessly kicking the shins of the all-conquering AllHomes site.

But does the word “zango” mean anything and did any of the agents, like one of them, look it up before coughing up for all the expensive, outdoor festooning? 

Maybe they did, but when I asked Google: “Zango meaning” the result was, well, blush making.

There on the “Urban Dictionary” site was this: “Zango – it’s what you say when you have a boner, and when you see a hot girl(s) next to you.” Ahem, mystery solved then. 

Ian Meikle is the “CityNews” editor. He can be heard on 2CC’s “CityNews Sunday Roast”, 9am-noon. 


Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleAbout the unemptied bins… what sign?
Next articleWill Libs finally have a chance at government?
Ian Meikle
Ian Meikle is the owner and editor of "CityNews".

Leave a Reply