Basil Zempilas
Lord Mayor of Perth Basil Zempilas (Image: Basil Zempilas/Facebook)

Bloody Pell! Cardinal George Pell is continuing his pupation into a kind of Vatican Mark Latham, telling an Italian broadcaster he believes he was framed by senior Vatican figures for his now-overturned child sex offence conviction — just as everyone who tries to reform the Holy See’s finances makes themselves a target:

Let’s not forget what happened to [Vatican banker Roberto] Calvi who committed suicide under a bridge in London with his hands behind his back … which is a very strange way to hang yourself. And we shouldn’t forget … [Michele] Sindona, who was found poisoned in prison.

He really is a pioneer, our George. Highest-ranking Australian at the Vatican and now, surely, the first senior Vatican figure to sort of admit the joint has been known to suborn murder on occasion.

A gift to journos We’ve had a while to get a sense of the kind of lord mayor that Perth’s Basil Zempilas intends to be — setting the authorities on the homeless here, a little jocular transphobia there. And now his gift declarations.

So far he’s has declared 18 gifts, all event invitations, and hasn’t said no to much. He’s accepted 15, including a Melbourne Cup event and cocktails with property developers. Noteworthy, then, is the stuff he didn’t make time for — including a diversity celebration event and the launch of a BreastScreen WA clinic.

While it doesn’t reflect well on Zempilas, it might be for the best. The diversity event would have been very awkward given what happened a couple of days after the invite was sent, and we shudder to imagine Zempilas’ ice-breaking joke at a place that does free breast screenings.

Thus spake PVO “There’s no way Scott Morrison can win it and I’m happy to have that replayed time and time again to my shame if he does win it,” quoth Peter van Onselen in the lead-up to the 2019 election. In keeping with his wishes: bad news folks! ScoMo will be with us for another 10 years.

Littlemore than a dinosaur, part two As we noted yesterday, few have come out happy from the Craig McLachlan case, particularly McLachlan’s high-priced silk, former Media Watch presenter and author of books about old lawyers that young women are very attracted to Stuart Littlemore, who was singled out for his “inappropriate” cross-examination.

A detail we missed — which doesn’t really help the whole “outdated” thing — is that Littlemore could not respond to this criticism because apparently “he could not unmute his computer”.

Reliving 2020 (for some reason) In June — the centre of the bin spill of 2020 — Adem Somyurek was sacked from the Victorian Labor government after 60 Minutes and The Age put out reports revealing evidence of huge branch stacking. Later, the Liberals were afflicted with similar allegations but, cleverly, didn’t sack anyone.

The Black Lives Matter movement in the US was resurgent after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. In Australia tens of thousands turned out to march to protest local deaths in custody and a raft of other issues. The right-wing media went into a predictable state of apoplexy, and Scott Morrison said there was “no need to import things happening in other countries” and that slavery had never happened in Australia — which isn’t true, but then this is the guy that wanted to recreate Cook’s circumnavigation of the country.

Across July and August, most states were making strides to eliminate the virus — except Victoria, which went into more than 100 days of strict lockdown following a severe second wave. Though not as severe as some predicted — including Dennis Shanahan at The Australian‘s use of “secret government modelling”.

Predicted cases as used in The Australian.

Christmas card Crikey — via visual satirist Tom Red — has intercepted a cache of secret Christmas cards from our political class and we’ve been sharing them with you over the week.

Today it’s Labor leader and the political equivalent of asking for Radiohead and getting Coldplay Anthony Albanese.