A smoking gun? So a politician might, repeat might, have told a porky years ago to her boss and/or she might have a rather bad memory. I'm sure most Australians who even are aware of the matters discussed last night on the ABC's 7.30 program will react with a "so-what?"  It hardly contained the kind of revelation that will send the shock waves through the Labor Party caucus necessary to have Julia Gillard replaced. My guess is she is safe while the opinion polls show she is within striking distance of retaining government at the next election. And when it comes to how the Prime Minister should react to the continuing "revelations" about her, I would recommend she have a look at how Bob Carr has been handling the attempted attacks in the Senate this week on his integrity because he once led a Labor state government with some bad political eggs in it. The Foreign Minister has been skilled at giving minimalist answers that do not give eager journalists anything with which to peg stories about real or imagined scandal. Foreign Minister in dereliction of duty. Not that I think the Foreign Minister is not prone to further critical scrutiny. Surely he faces a parliamentary censure after failing to protect Australia's reputation in the face of a vicious attack on our national reputation by a Pommy court. Minister Carr has uttered not a word of criticism of the amazing judgment that found a woman guilty of calling a neighbour a "stupid fat Australian" during a drunken tirade outside her home when the supposedly abused woman is a New Zealander.

Chelsea O'Reilly, 21, who has dual British and New Zealand nationality, told Macclesfield magistrates: "She called me a stupid fat Australian b-tch. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality," the Daily Mail reported this week. "She knew I was from New Zealand. She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted." She was insulted! What about us who must now live with the claim that calling someone an Australian qualifies as racially aggravated public disorder? At the very least Carr should have his department fund an appeal by the neighbour against the £110 pound fine imposed. Disclosure of interest. Many, many years ago Richard Farmer was on the staff of Bob Carr as NSW Environment Minister. He wonders if that also makes him responsible for Eddie Obeid's actions. Returning to Van Diemen's Land. It's really back to the past down there in Tasmania where the locals are greeting with great pleasure the decision to restore its role as a penal colony by the re-opening of the Pontville detention centre. From Hobart's The Mercury: