Karina Okotel
Karina Okotel (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

Poll watch We’ve been cataloguing the various ways political and media figures have pirouetted from “COVID-19 is overhyped” to “Black Lives Matter protests will cause an outbreak” to “Black Lives Matter protests DID cause an outbreak, but more emotionally than physically“.

Anyway, Essential polling released yesterday found 42% of people polled believed the protest caused “many of the new cases of COVID-19 in Victoria”.

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Modesty blows Just as we were saying what a good job they were doing, The West Australian goes and does this. On Monday it published a Modesty Blaise cartoon (from 1981) that contained awful anti-Indigenous slurs. 

To its credit it stuck a swift and unequivocal apology on the front page and announced it would no longer publish the comic.

Guess who’s back? Remember Karina Okotel? She fought hard on the losing side of the marriage equality debate, and a few years later was dicked over by her party in favour of Teena McQueen.

After an extremely long hiatus — the last post appears to be from the aftermath of her failed attempt to be elected to the Senate in 2016 — she’s back in the Facebook game:

Suddenly there’s quite a bit of action: she’s writing for website Good Sauce (which also hosts The Lyle Shelton Show, an interview with Peter Abetz on “adoption, adoption alternatives and prostitution” and pieces with titles like “Politicians must be protected from Jesus’ word” in case you thought it sounded fun).

And she’s appeared on the Facebook show of hard-right commentator (and fellow Good Sauce writer) David Pellowe and is organising a “media for lawyers” training event in July.

Is Okotel planning a return to the public eye?

Think tank watch Now the financial year has ended, organisations are passing the cap around. Or in the case of the Centre for Independent Studies, the blasting cap. Here’s a mailshot from director Tom Switzer:

In the battle of ideas, the Centre for Independent Studies is like a munitions factory, churning out the material to push the trench line a few kilometres forward. The spiritual reward for researchers, analysts and scholars is a chance to see their policy ideas put into policy practice. Another payoff for producing successful ideas is often access and influence.

Nothing like the futile death of millions to get right-wing wallets opening.

Welfare check As Crikey anticipated last month, the New South Wales government has approved a “welfare code of practice” for its greyhound exploitation industry. And while — after pushback from animal welfare groups — the state’s secret racing minister Kevin Anderson generously increased the space in which dogs can be kept from three square metres to 3.5 square metres, and required half an hour out of their cages a day, it was another change from the draft code that caught our eye.

The industry will not have to comply with the space requirements for housing dogs until 2035, five years later than Anderson proposed in his initial code. If you’re particularly lucky, you might have a greyhound that will make it to 15, but otherwise it means there are no dogs alive now that will ever enjoy the luxury of 3.5 — count ’em — square metres in which to spend most of their day. The fact that the greyhound exploitation industry still thinks this is an outrageous attack on them tells you all you need to know about this crowd.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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