Labor factions Anthony Albanese
(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

Crossing the ALPs Continuing the Labor Party’s slightly baffling approach to social media comes this oddity from the ALP Facebook page:

Taking a still from absurdist sketch comedy trio Aunty Donna’s newish Netflix show Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun, it uses dancing barbers to represent various Scott Morrison stunts (say, him building a chicken coop) and advises us not to be distracted from the cover-ups and rorts at the heart of his government.

Honestly, there’s no way to describe it that doesn’t sound utterly bizarre. It doesn’t make a lick of sense as a joke, nor a reference, and — as amusing as they are — we’re not exactly sure Aunty Donna represents the universal touchstone that the average voter immediately gets on board with.

Donna probably sum up our feelings with their own comment on the post:

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Stoker the fire After our piece about it yesterday, the much-ignored Office for Women got back to us, and one detail in particular stood out. On the Respect@Work report which the government has implemented near enough nothing of, a spokesperson said: “The government is considering the remaining recommendations in detail. This work is being led by Senator the Hon Amanda Stoker, assistant minister to the attorney-general.”

That would be Amanda Stoker, the “proud conservative” Christian who, among many other things, said then Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington was “playing the gender card” when she complained about bullying in the Queensland Liberal National Party in the lead-up to the last election.

With this and the review into the toxic workplace culture of Parliament House being conducted by Celia “No premarital sex please, we’re Catholic” Hammond, it’s almost as though the Morrison government is farming off all its gender issues to the most conservative and Christian women it can find.

Also, we must correct an error: we brazenly claimed the Office for Women had only 39 staff. We understand that it’s actually worse than that, clocking in at 34.5 FTEs.

Flying heap of crap watch Elsewhere today, Crikey looks at Australia’s utterly catastrophic submarines program. But let’s not forget our old favourite, the fantastically bad F-35 fighter jets that Australia has spent billions on. The latest update? The US Air Force straight up admitted the F-35 has failed. Via Forbes:

The 25-ton stealth warplane has become the very problem it was supposed to solve. And now America needs a new fighter to solve that F-35 problem, officials said.

Fetch the Bolt cutters Last week we were baffled by the Australian Press Council’s judgment that The Australian‘s “Firebugs fuelling crisis as national arson arrest toll hits 183” piece — cobbling together various timeframes and definitions of arson to present the impression that the disastrous 2019-20 bushfire season had more to do with arsonists than climate change — was “accurate”.

Yesterday reminded us what the press council looks like when it does its job. The press regulator cast its eye over a series of vile posts from Andrew Bolt who — once it became clear that some COVID hotspots were occurring in Melbourne suburbs with an above-average number of overseas-born residents — veered from his previous claims that the pandemic was “wildly exaggerated” to say that multiculturalism has made Australia weaker.

The press council found the series “partially” breached its standards: “In attributing the second outbreak to immigrants without any qualification the publication failed to take reasonable steps to avoid substantial offence and prejudice.”

Of course that’s the thing. Even when you fall afoul of the council, not much happens, except a mild rebuke six months later.

Zak attack? Thing sure are a little different over in Western Australia. Opposition leader and man who won a competition he really didn’t want to enter Zak Kirkup, two weeks out from the coronation of emperor Mark McGowan state election, has decided to save everyone the suspense and put out his concession speech now via the front page of The West Australian: