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Australia Hun hangs itself … ABC attack? Must be an election ahead … red flag over brown river?

13:46  16 november  2021
13:46  16 november  2021 Source:   crikey.com.au

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Panned The Victorian government’s pandemic bill — described in these pages as “vital but flawed” — has been the focus of quite terrifying “debate”, with protesters targeting an MP’s home and several homemade gallows brought along to protests against the new powers (among many other things).

  Hun hangs itself … ABC attack? Must be an election ahead … red flag over brown river? © Provided by Crikey

The Herald Sun‘s Susie O’Brien simply can’t fathom why this might have happened: “The sight of three nooses hanging off a makeshift wooden pole carried on the streets of Melbourne during weekend protests should repulse every single Victorian … Signs showing Premier Daniel Andrews mocked up to look like Hitler should also revolt us.” And yet, the piece’s next line may be illustrative: “I don’t resile from calling Andrews a dictator many times over the past 18 months, but it’s offensive to depict him as a Nazi leader responsible for the death of millions.”

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Perhaps O’Brien’s fellow columnist Andrew Bolt has some idea how things got so out of hand, after former Victorian Liberal Party president called the bill “modern fascism” on his show (giving him a great headline), or the IPA’s Gideon Rozner accusing Andrews of trying to build a “COVID gulag“.

State of Origin Still on the pandemic bill, Labor MP Jaala Pulford has an idea for how to take the sting out of the debate: make it about state rivalry. The employment minister put together a list, the primary use of which is show all the stuff Victorians could get that those chumps in New South Wales can’t.

We’re twice as smart as the people in NSW, Pulford. Just tell us what’s in your pandemic bill and we’ll vote for it.


Video: Morrison has been 'very badly damaged in a personal sense by the events of this year' (Sky News Australia)

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Inquiry to stop inquiries? You can set your watch by it. With the election likely to be about six months away, of course the government takes a wild swing at the ABC, proposing a Senate inquiry into its complaints handling process. Just the right time to intimidate journalists into not calling out Morrison. Combine that with the minute-by-minute balance measuring that happens during election campaigns, might just be enough to nullify the ABC’s reporting.

Meanwhile, in a jarring shift in rhetoric from the PM, he was asked (pretty much apropos of nothing) about whether he was the underdog in the coming election and said he was. In light of the power of incumbency during COVID and with large chunks of the media standing by him — not to mention all his apparent recent successes — it’s hard to know where he got that from. But hey, it worked for him last time, we suppose.

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Yarra Council Will the red flag rise above the brown Yarra River tonight? The city of Yarra — Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, Clifton Hill, an area with the GDP of whole nations — may be about to elect a socialist mayor. Or not. Last election the council became the first Greens-majority council in Oz, 5-4. Now Greens councillor Anab Mohamud has taken leave of absence while she deals with charges of assault. It ain’t your mung beans Greens any more. That ties it at 4-4, with no casting vote for the council-selected mayor.

A meeting last night couldn’t resolve the deadlock. Tonight it’ll try again. The council’s two socialists — Steve Jolly and Bridgid O’Brien — may be able to persuade one of the fracturing Greens quartet to back them for a term. Or they might back a community independent while the council faces a COVID revenue squeeze and services crisis.

Whatever happens, local member Richard Wynne will face an increasingly bolshie — small and big B — outfit.

The post Hun hangs itself … ABC attack? Must be an election ahead … red flag over brown river? appeared first on Crikey.

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