Tanya Plibersek and Craig Kelly (Image: YouTube)

Taking out the trash “Millions of customers ­depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods,” outgoing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told his employees in the email announcing his intention to transition to executive chair of the company. But the glowing coverage really glossed over the state of his workforce.

As it happens, his departure coincides with reports of yet more aggressive union busting from the tech giant, this time against an Alabama warehouse. Amazon (which, the coverage of Bezos’ departure invariably notes with awe, has seen profits soar during the pandemic) has been attempting to suppress workers’ access to the vote on unionisation, as well as bombarding them with anti-union texts and presentations.

This is just the latest in a long line of similar moves by Amazon, which has opposed any scrutiny of its onerous surveillance and control of workers. Interestingly they were left out of the assessment of Bezos’s legacy.

Military precision With the coming of Keith Wolahan to parliament at the next election, the Liberal Party will have fewer Indigenous MPs than those from the SAS. Of six Liberals with military background — assuming they keep their seats — two hail from the SAS (Wolahan joins Andrew Hastie). Ken Wyatt is the sole Indigenous Liberal MP.

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No news is bad news On January 6 we watched a band of Donald Trump supporters enter and occupy the Capitol building in Washington, in some cases aided by police. Our suspicion that, had they been marching under the banner of Black Live Matter, they would be nothing but shadows scorched into the concrete before they reached the door, led inevitably to the question: “How did this happen so easily?”

Well here’s a clue: Nate Jones, the Freedom of Information Act director at The Washington Post applied to Homeland Security for any plans, memos or emails it had made regarding the “Save America” rally that preceded the attack. The response? There wasn’t any.

This indicates either horrifying negligence in preparing for civil unrest, or some kind of document-shredding cover up. Neither possibility is comforting.

Great ambushes of history The sight of Craig Kelly and Tanya Plibersek engaging in a theatrical little dust-up in the hallway of parliament called to our mind these other great ambushes and bail-ups:

Barnaby Joyce v Joel Fitzgibbon

One for the incoherent ages — the world’s dullest harbinger of the apocalypse, Joel Fitzgibbon, duking it out with Barnaby Joyce, a man who has regularly taken the English language to new, exciting and entirely baffling places. The subject, of all things, was climate change policy. It goes, well, kind of how you’d expect:

Fitzgibbon: What the Labor Party is going to do is…-

Joyce: How are you going to do it?

Fitzgibbon: … reach out to these organisations, including…

Barnaby: Oh, he’s gonna reach out to you! It’s like a charity, isn’t it?!

Fitzgibbon: Well you asked me a question, Barnaby…

Joyce: How are you going to do it?

Fitzgibbon: See, you don’t want me to answer…

Joyce: Well, answer it!

Fitzgibbon: … because I have the answer.

Joyce: Answer it.

Fitzgibbon: So we’re going to reach out to these organisations, including…

Joyce: [makes a grabbing motion] Reach out, reach out, reach out.

It goes on like that for what feels like a very long time.

Jay Weatherill v Josh Frydenberg

Who can forget then South Australian premier Jay Weatherill’s seething performance after turning up at then energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg’s press conference in 2017? As proceedings got under way, Frydenberg was asked: “Is this a bit awkward?”

“It’s about to be,” Weatherill whispers. And so it was.

Bill Shorten v Cory Bernardi

Unlosable election loser Bill Shorten was famed during his time as opposition leader for what Malcolm Turnbull ironically termed “literary Exocets, aimed at the heart of the victim”.

Still, there was a bit of genuine fire behind his brief interaction with hard-right turncoat Cory Bernardi back in 2016, who threw a bit of “shifty Shorten” themed flak Shorten’s way as he addressed the media regarding the Safe Schools program:

“At least I’m honest, Bill,” interjected Bernardi, prompting a sharp response from Shorten: “At least I’m not a homophobe.”