coronavirus lockdown tower victoria
(Image: AAP/James Ross)

Crisis in the towers Three days have passed since “the most progressive premier in the country” called the cops in to lock down multiple Melbourne public housing blocks, many residents are struggling to get food.

Tower residents, many of whom are Muslim, said government food packages contained pork products. Others reported getting expired food. When community groups tried to deliver supplies they were confiscated by the State Emergency Service. Mutual aid groups weren’t able to distribute supplies until after midnight.

Last night, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services apologised for the delay and issues distributing food. Still, it seems rather callous that the Andrews government would send in the cops before working out how people could get necessities.

QAnon watch Yesterday we introduced you to Riccardo Bosi, the QAnon believer who had a failed tilt at Eden-Monaro. Turns out Bosi has been lingering around conservative circles for a while now. In October 2018, on the eve of the Wentworth byelection, he appeared at a panel titled “Back from the Brink… Saving Australia from the Left’s Agenda”.

Held by the Liberal Party’s Bellevue Hill Branch, in the heart of recently deposed Malcolm Turnbull’s old seat, it drew together a rogue’s gallery of the party’s conservative wing. Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly, Jim Molan and Andrew Hastie joined Bosi, with News Corp columnist Tim Blair, the poor man’s Andrew Bolt, chairing. But Abbott and Bosi’s hope to rev up the conservative troops fell flat, when the Liberals lost Wentworth for the first time since federation.

Lyle’s struggle for relevance Christian soldier and face of the 2017 marriage plebiscite’s No campaign Lyle Shelton has published a book called I Kid You Not: Notes From 20 Years in the Trenches of the Culture Wars.

The book is everything you’d expect from the former Australian Christian Lobby boss: religious people are “canaries in the coal mine in this new illiberal era where free speech in Australia is no longer a given”; brave Christian martyrs are being sacked for supporting “man-woman marriage”; and he incorrectly states “Australia was the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia, where doctors cross over from carer to killer …”.

There’s also an unintentionally Pythonesque anecdote about SDA president Joe de Bruyn, a Catholic, addressing the 2011 Labor Conference on the topic of marriage equality.

De Bruyn “held up an ACL petition, containing 100,000 signatures” against marriage equality”. He asked the conference, “do we want to let these people down?”

“Yes!”, came the cry from the conference floor.

Shelton, who’s spent his period of post-marriage equality irrelevance chumming it with allegedly fascist “Proud Boys” and failing to get into the Senate, says he hopes his book “will inspire a new generation of activists who are willing to be nuisances for the truth”.

Another day at Holt Street The Daily Telegraph responded to the closure of the NSW-Victoria border with another extremely normal and not-at-all-racist headline.

The Walkleys are cancelled The Walkley Foundation is picking bits of egg off its face after a bizarre tweet urging journalists in the “competitive industry” of media to “get one over your nemesis once and for all” by entering the awards.

Many pointed out the tweet was in poor taste, given hundreds in our “competitive industry” have lost jobs in the last few months. After racking up a growing ratio, the foundation apologised saying the tweet was “inappropriate and not in the spirit of our values.”

But it wasn’t deleted for almost another hour. Perhaps snark and petty feuds really are the spirit of the industry.

Peter Fray

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