Senator Jim Molan

CPAC’s back Over the weekend, we got the dual announcement that Senator Jim Molan and Sky after-dark stalwart Rowan Dean (who comes up on auto-complete if you type in the names of the other speakers) are appearing at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

One of the current fixations of the hard-right — and of Dean in particular — is cancel culture. Perhaps Dean could discuss the issue with Molan. After all, no one is better placed to discuss this scourge than the senator.

Molan resolutely failed to suffer a single consequence after sharing the propaganda of far-right group Britain First (which has links to both Jo Cox’s murderer and the Finsbury Park terrorist) in 2018. That is unless you count an editorial defending him in the Oz.

Mayor watch We’re little more than a month out from the Perth mayoral election, where presenter Basil Zempilas is the most high-profile candidate (on account of his radio show and column in the state’s one daily newspaper). However, this platform apparently isn’t enough. Zempilas has also bought wrap-around ads in community paper the Perth Voice.

“Who do you know? Who do you trust?” the ad asks, perhaps failing to consider those two questions might not have the same answer.

Homelessness has become an increasingly big issue in the campaign. And, in a column last year, Zempilas wrote that he would “clean up” the Hay and Murray Street malls — “forcibly, if necessary” — and called homelessness a “disgusting” blight. But he’s not the only one with some out-there views. Former magistrate Tim Schwass is also keen on getting the cops involved if rough sleepers “unreasonably” refuse help.

We’re on a flight to nowhere Qantas has offered tickets for a seven-hour flight which takes off from Sydney Airport and flies over the outback and Great Barrier Reef before returning to Sydney. Tickets cost between $787 and $3787. It sold out in 10 minutes. A Qantas spokeswoman told Reuters, “it’s probably the fastest selling flight in Qantas history”.

So, yep, there are people willing and able to spend nearly $4000 on a pointless flight to nowhere. Qantas are expecting there will be more. Maybe — now hear me out — we deserve the coming climate apocalypse?

Canberra’s cursed mascot The ACT government was pleased to announce the opening of its Queensland border last week, and used, um, quite the striking image to mark it. This sunglasses-sporting, surfboard-riding… thing acted as their new mascot.

What is it? We’re assured it’s an owl.

Corporate compassion Last Thursday, the Diversity Council of Australia held a panel on Indigenous employment issues. It featured academics, people from industry bodies and… a representative of arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which also sponsored the event.

Personally we think it’s great for BAE to elevate Indigenous voices and perspective in the disappointingly white world of missile design. It is also a bit of a step change: most recently BAE has been accused by human rights groups of contributing to war crimes in Yemen.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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