Welsh / No sex for Fiona as Reason comes to the party

Mike Welsh

SEX, apparently, no longer sells – at least not in politics. The Australian Sex Party, founded in Canberra in 2009 by local sex industry lobbyist Fiona Pattenand her partner Robbie Swan, is to be scuttled and relaunched as the Reason Party.

Ms Patten, who won a seat in the Victorian Legislative Council three years ago, says the Reason Party “would have a broader set of policies to appeal to ‘reasonable’ voters at a time when politics is lurching too far to the right and the left”.

SOCIAL media is being fully utilised to get the “yes” vote message out in the lead up to the SSM postal survey. But one Canberra girl has gone the extra kilometre and may have paid a price.

“Lizzie” hit the dating app Tinder urging all her matches from the past year (about 200) to get involved and vote “yes”. But her campaign was deemed offensive to some and she woke to find she’d been blocked by the site and was under investigation. “Lizzie” says she “may have gone a bit hard” but did make some nice potential contacts in the process.

OLD school campaigning though is not dead. Gordon Ramsay, the Labor MLA not the chef, was busy selling the “yes” sizzle in the SSM campaign from a card table outside a famous Hawker purveyor of sausages. And a creative group at a sporting trivia night “themed” their table around the “yes” campaign, also handing out information.

THE arrival of the magpie-swooping season thankfully comes with plenty of advice on how to remain safe. The ACT government website offers the usual advice from simply avoiding the area all the way through to wearing all manner of weird headwear.

The top 10 tips on wikihow.com on how to keep safe from swooping Australian magpies include, depending on your dexterity, attaching a nut to a piece of string and swinging it around your head like a helicopter. But the site loses cred by debunking the trusted tip of feeding the protected birds as a method of remaining unmolested.

FEARFUL of the capital becoming the favoured choice for a run by outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Canberra Liberals are ramping up the rhetoric over a threat to public safety posed by warring local gangs.

Interstate Comancheros paid a visit recently and shadow attorney-general Jeremy Hanson says the gathering could be a sign of more trouble.

Hanson says: “We now have 100 bikies showing up on a single day. This comes amid a ‘turf war’ between gangs, shootings in the suburbs and firebombing of family homes”.

AS there is no acceptable collective noun for a group of writers, I’ve been forced to plagiarise from republicanism.com after a scribble/bloc/paragraph of writers hit town for the second annual Canberra Writers Festival. Emerging authors merged with the best-sellers including Kathy Lette, Nikki Gemmell, John Safran and Tracey Spicer at dinners, workshops and discussion panels at dozens of venues across the region. For the record, Lette prefers an “angst” of writers.

Tracey Spicer and John Safran

CANBERRA’S a big, tough and getting tougher town, especially if you are looking for political scoops. The retiring Canberra press gallery icon Laurie Oakes told guests at two farewell functions “being a political reporter has become more difficult. It was easier when it was a smaller city and you ran into people all the time. Now bureaucrats are afraid to talk to media – that is an increasing trend”.


A LARGE contingent of Canberra’s commercial radio fraternity is heading to Melbourne on October 14 for the annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards and potentially could return with a healthy number of statues. Local personalities are up for 18 awards headed by FM 104.7’s breakfast duo Ryan and Tanya (four) and 2CC producer/presenter Eddie Williams, who is in the running for two gongs. Former Canberra sports reporter Erin Molan has also been nominated (best newcomer on air) for her weekend spot on 2GB’s continuous call team.

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