Stuart Littlemore Craig McLachlan
Barrister Stuart Littlemore (left) with actor Craig McLachlan (Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts)

Mining the year for sympathy A tipster shared the Sydney Mining Club’s Christmas card with us.

After 2020, I suppose we’re in no position to judge the fact that it’s equal parts self-aggrandising and awash with self pity. It equates “woke brigade” attacks on the modern mining industry to the murder of individual miners at the Eureka Stockade:

Miners were shot over their refusal to pay exorbitant lease taxes. Thirty miners died under the Miners Flag. The event became seminal in the creation of the Australian nation, and again thank you to miners for their strength and their deep sense of values and purpose.

Hmmm. Not sure you’ve quite nailed the dynamics at play at the Eureka Stockade, but anyway, he’s not done:

Eureka however also reminds us that ‘miner bashing’ is a national sport that goes back over one-and-a-half centuries in our nation. And still we prevail, we just keep on going.

Internet of shit Apart from Amazon’s wearable tech that tells you you’re fat and overbearing, probably the worst “internet of shit” news we’ve had this week is the massive Russian hack of the SolarWinds network firm. It has deleted the list of high profile clients — which includes Boeing, Los Alamos National Laboratory and several US government agencies, including homeland security.

Beyond the possibility that this was the result of a problem that may have been identified by homeland security but been too useful for commercial espionage to fix — it’s been known to happen — one can’t help but wonder the impact of any clients with a presence in Australia.

Littlemore than a dinosaur Actor Craig McLachlan’s acquittal on sexual assault charges has raised many questions about the future of the Me Too movement in Australia, one of which is: why would anyone come forward knowing the questioning they would face? Magistrate Belinda Wallington singled out McLachlan’s barrister Stuart Littlemore QC for criticism:

… The court was not assisted in its task by questions put by defence counsel Mr Littlemore QC such as the length of the average female labia majora, or whether a complainant was proud of her figure or other troubling and outdated stereotypes of sexual assault victims … I was not assisted by the lines of questioning by defence that called into question the reputations of the complainants, sexual or otherwise, the poses they struck in photographs on social media, or their appearance or what they were wearing.

We remember when it was Littlemore’s job to skewer outdated and offensive nonsense like this.

Reliving 2020 (for some reason) For those of you unable to join me and my colleague Amber Schultz for Crikey’s end-of-year round-up last week, don’t think you’re getting away that easy. This week Tips and Murmurs looks back over this most relentless of years:

The pandemic, bushfires, JobKeeper and JobSeeker meant the Coalition was never going to achieve its single tangible election promise: a surplus.

Its “Back in Black” mugs — which, just in case you’ve forgotten which demographic the Liberal Party caters for, sold for $35 — were pulled from its merch store and presumably sent comically shattering like an annoyed policeman throwing his hat on the ground.

If the pandemic taught us anything it was that listening to experts works more often than not.

So it’s entirely in keeping with 2020 that the major protest movements in April and May were against 5G and vaccinations. Loud anti-science movements are precisely what a global pandemic calls for.

YouTube took down content linking 5G networks to coronavirus spread — the makers of which, irony experts one and all, presumably uploaded their videos using 5G.

Christmas cards Crikey— via visual satirist Tom Red — has intercepted a cache of secret Christmas cards from our political class, and we’ll be sharing them with you one at a time over the week.

Today it’s consummate host Michaelia Cash: