A rich crop for the inaugural Ozwatch. Stephen Loosely claimed that since the Scullin government of 1931, every Oz government had been given two terms. OK, two things. First, the Scullin govt is Henderson family turf, and if other people start writing about it, Gerard’s unique selling point for his column is gone. Secondly, ignoring the fact that Howard lost the popular vote in 98 is simply falsifying history.
The Australian people didn’t give Howard two terms, the AEC’s particular redistribution did. If we had a “list” system — whereby a lower house is composed of both electorate based members, and a matching number of members from a party list (i.e. as if both the House and Senate systems were used in the one chamber) — then it could be weighted so that it was impossible to win the popular vote and lose the election in the House.
Had that been in place in ’98, Howard would be remembered as a ghastly mistake, Beazley as a wise choice by the party (trustworthy, common touch etc etc) and the craft of retrospective political punditry wouldn’t skip a beat.
Just across the way, Bob Durnan cursed the silly city crusaders who are apparently misleading them humble town camp Aborigines up bush with their city injunctioning ways — apparently failing to notice that it was them humble Aborigines at Tangentyere Council who hired lawyers to protect their interests in Jenny Macklin’s half-arsed camp takeover (I mean she tried to grab the leases, I don’t mean she did it with show tunes and spangle). Apparently their quick check of the QCs column in the Yellow Pages found that most of them live in cities, near supreme courts. Go figure.
Meanwhile, the soon-to-be-charged for website itself still has the maintenance ethos of a Gary Glitter fan site (“this site last amended 17th March 1994”). Christian Kerr’s “Lacklustre questions end poor week” article which is so old it’s about the last parliamentary sitting, is still hanging around on the front page.
The Cut and Paste crèche, which disappeared offline for four days last week with no-one in the office noticing, is back, without any layout (i.e. headline emboldening) which would make it readable.
Finally Greg Sheridan, whose major combat is friction burns from his armchair upholstery advises the Uighurs to “fight for their rights within China”. Thank you Cheridan, for guerrilla communiqué no.3.
Boldly, we fight on.