Cardinal George Pell (Image: AAP/David Crosling)

Pell resurrected Have supporters of Cardinal George Pell found the definitive proof that their man was actually a victim? Last night’s estimates revelations — that AUSTRAC had investigated and referred to police claims that a Vatican rival of Pell’s, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, had transferred over a million dollars to Australia to help secure evidence against Pell in his historic sex crimes trial — unsurprisingly made the front page of The Australian.

The basic story has been around a while, initially reported by a collection of Italian publications. None have produced any evidence backing their claims, and the allegations have been furiously denied by Becciu and the families and lawyers of Pell’s alleged victims.

While there’s some oddly vague language in the Oz piece — “Three weeks ago, Vatican authorities … were told that $1.1 million had been sent to Australia to help secure evidence against Cardinal Pell in his sexual abuse trial” — it raises the question: told by whom? Clearly AUSTRAC didn’t get in touch with the AFP for no reason. This will be worth keeping a close eye on.

That was then Yesterday Employment Minister Michaelia Cash called Victorian Premier Dan Andrews “Distraction Dan” and accused him of failing to answer questions. Of course, distraction is something that Cash knows a great deal about, even if you disregard the whiteboard barrier she used while entering a Senate committee amid controversy surrounding raids on the Australian Workers Union.

Even worse was the non sequitur and grubby deflections that occured while she was in said committee. Cash, while being grilled on her office’s involvement in the scandal, irrelevantly hauled a group of unnamed young women (“about whom rumours abound”) in front of the bus. She later reluctantly withdrew the implication.

Ratio of the day Yesterday Vox writer German Lopez decided we were all being too puritanical about The New Yorker’s Jeffery Toobin. Toobin, in case you missed it, is the writer and political analyst who, accidentally or otherwise, broadcast himself masturbating during a zoom meeting with his colleagues. After all let he who is without sin (again, the sin in this case is jerking it during a work event) cast the first stone:

At any rate, we guess Lopez is going to have a few questions to field at the next meeting. Amazingly he’s not the only one:

Lockdowns get Sweded After serving as the raw material for a million “lockdowns don’t work” takes — including our own — and having lost nearly 6000 of their citizens in the process, Sweden is going to stop avoiding lockdown.

It’s hardly revolutionary — authorities will “strongly suggest” people stay home. Still, it’s an admission that leaving open a society during a pandemic does not work. Someone check on Adam Creighton, who based a huge portion of his COVID-19 denialism on the experience of the Swedes.

Oh wait, we did check and he’s acting completely normal:

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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