(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Simply the BRS We’ve said it before, but the ongoing list of legitimately insane facts coming out of the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial requires that we repeat this — everything we have found out about Roberts-Smith in the last fortnight has come not under duress but from his own mouth during proceedings he himself initiated with the intention of clearing his name.

This list includes: the fact that he hired a private investigator to follow his ex-girlfriend to a Brisbane abortion clinic when the pair agreed to terminate a pregnancy after they’d broken up; that he asked an employee of Australia Post and friend of his wife to analyse an anonymous letter accusing him of domestic violence so that he could ascertain where it came from; he also asked her about “burner phones”; and, now, that he immolated one of his hard drives around the time he was being investigated for war crimes (he says it was to protect financial information).

Drunk with power The allegation that Northern Territory Senator Samantha McMahon was “maggoted” in Parliament on Tuesday night — McMahon denies it, saying she merely wasn’t coping with “bad personal news” — just so happens in coincide with a messy preselection battle for the No. 1 spot on the NT Senate ticket. One of her rivals is News Corp favourite Jacinta Price, so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, The Australian and others do with this.

Of course, given Parliament is the kind of workplace that needs a breathalyser at the door according to many who work there, the allegation you’ve put one too many away over dinner hasn’t necessarily always been a disqualification.

Tony Abbott missed a vote on Australia’s response to the global financial crisis because, by his own admission, “quite a few bottles of wine” sent him into a slumber party whips couldn’t rouse him from. He would soon become leader of the opposition.

Barnaby Joyce denied that it was alcohol that lead him to refer to Bridget McKenzie as “a flash bit of kit” in 2012, unfortunately leading us to conclude that’s how he talked to female co-workers while stone cold sober. We all know how his professional life is going right now.

Andrew Bartlett did face consequences, being forced to resign as Australian Democrats leader after a late night dispute over supposedly pilfered bottles of wine with Liberal Jeannie Ferris, allegedly grabbing her by the shoulders, bruising her arm and calling her a “fucking bitch”. Still, he returned to Parliament, for the Greens, in 2017, while Larissa Waters sorted her citizenship issues out.

Brad Hazzard’s crazy little dance on the floor of NSW Parliament led then-Labor leader Jodi McKay to claim he was drunk. It had no impact on his status as state health minister.

So, take heart Sam — if the response remains consistent, you might not just survive but go on to your lead your party.

Islands in the streaming The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced that it will consult on plans to subject streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple and Amazon Prime to British broadcasting laws, bringing them in line with the BBC, ITV, Sky and others. The UK government says it will consider measures to “level the playing field so public service broadcasters can compete with international rivals”.

Does anyone foresee the Morrison government, and especially its Media Minister Paul Fletcher, proposing a change to local media laws to help the ABC in this way? On the contrary, the Morrison government would be more inclined to strangle the ABC and help the commercial media companies. Successive Coalition governments have already handed out more than a billion dollars in aid to the likes of Seven, Nine, Ten and Foxtel — in the form of reduced or abolished fees and charges, and easier rules on local content and the amount of advertising allowed each hour — as well as directing grants of more than $50 million to Foxtel, 65% owned by News Corp.

Corporate compassion As must have been abundantly clear during the peak of the Black Lives Matter protests last year, we here at Crikey love purely symbolic progressivism from big companies that are doing irreparable harm in other ways. So, Happy Pride guys, from “Australia’s biggest polluter”! Yass queen!