Mark Latham defamation Osman Faruqi
(Image: AAP/Ben Rushton)

Latho and Islamic councils federation Last week we saw an on-the-face-of-it curious pairing: the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) welcoming one Mark Latham, pushing his recent “religious freedoms bill”. Now, what on earth is the peak body for Islamic councils doing palling around with the effective second-in-command of a party whose leader thinks halal accreditation funds terrorism, has literally pushed for a ban on the Muslim faith in Australia and briefly put aside her scepticism about vaccines when it allowed her to call Islam a disease.

Ah but AFIC isn’t any old “leadership” group — the last decade has been less scandal-prone than it has been one long scandal with brief interruptions for sleep and meals. Since 2013, among seemingly ceaseless infighting, the organisation has had its funds frozen and faced accusations of inappropriate use of money, while an AFIC subsidiary orphan fund has had its charity status revoked by the Australian Charities and Not For Profits Commission.

So maybe they’ll take a meeting with anyone happy to be in a photo with them?

You might want to cheque that Still on One Nation, in the lead up to the Queensland state election, Pauline Hanson has headed to Rockhampton to hand out a giant novelty cheque for (get this) $23 million for the construction of Rocky Stadium. She can take credit for federal government funding, apparently, on account of her lobbying for it.

Of course, we’ve seen all this before. 2019 Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer — the Beatles of failing to get elected — handed over a giant cheque to a sports club as a photo opp, eventually leading to the revelations of the sports rorts scandal. Downer claimed she wasn’t actually handing out commonwealth money because the cheque, with her face and name on it, was clearly not legal tender. Hanson may have trouble using the same argument, given the heading of her Facebook post sharing the image is “REAL MONEY FOR ROCKHAMPTON”.

Criminal lifestyle content The Age gave us an interesting bit of lifestyle content yesterday. “Still working from home? Time to start the ‘fake commute’” the paper suggested, detailing how getting in the car, driving around for a bit and returning home before work can help you transition into a work mindset.

Fair enough — except, of course, that’s not one of the four reasons one is allowed to leave the house during Melbourne’s state of emergency. Running a story in which the main source (who is named and photographed) enthusiastically admits to a crime (however minor) in a state of emergency is one thing, but it’s particularly ironic given today’s commentary piece from John Silvester, who argues that no one is above the law, and that sometimes the coppers have no choice but to give law-breakers a bit of roughing up.