YEAR out from the next election, ACT Opposition Leader Alistair Coe has candidly confessed it will take a miracle to loosen Labor’s almost two-decade grip on power in the capital.
Miracles aside, all the party needs is to appoint Mark Parton leader. The former radio man is ready made for the role, principally because he is the exact opposite of the string of dry, beige, awkward Canberra Liberal leaders who have spectacularly failed to pressure successive Labor governments.
He is genuinely enthusiastic about politics, people like and respond to him and, tellingly, he’s had a career outside politics endowing him with that rare but essential gift – the common touch.
In November 2017 “minister for greyhounds’ MLA Mark Parton stood in persistant rain, soaked to the skin through his business shirt , passionately vowing to hundreds of angry local greyhound owners and trainers assembled that he would “keep on fighting” for them after a cruel ban was placed on their sport by the Barr government.
Also on the podium that day in Garema Place was Liberal leader Alistair Coe who told the irate placard waving mob that in Parton “they had no greater champion in the assembly”. Coe also pledged to “stand side by side with you”.
The Canberra Times (Friday Sept 25) reported the while ACT libs “had previously vowed to overturn the greyhound ban and cannabis legislation if elected in 2020” leader Coe declared “neither would be a priority in government”.
On the greyhound issue Parton told me “I don’t believe there’s actually been a change of position here”. When pressed he added “our position has not changed”. What that position/policy “actually” is remains ambiguous. Might be clearer afterthe election.
…at the end of the off ramp outside the Richmond Railway station a small, animated man, decked out head to toe in the instantly recognisable red and black colours of his team rapidly approaches.
And as he propels himself past you, you dressed in the unmistakeable navy blue strip of your team, this deliriously happy Bombers fan lets fly with ….”eat sh*t you f***ing c***s”…..
No explanation was required – the essence of the wheelchair wordsmith’s message was abundantly clear. Nor was any personal offence taken by we three Canberrans wearing the “offending” apparel of the “blue baggers”, who had just suffered an humiliating defeat at the nearby MCG, bringing to an end four long seasons of horror for the Red and Black brigade. Only momentarily stunned, we quickly recovered and pissed ourselves laughing once the spray from the colourful gobfull had subsided. Unexpected, but after all to be expected in Melbourne in the shadow of the MCG late in Winter.
Of course people in wheelchairs are perfectly entitled to get excited when their football team wins, particularly when that team has been to hell and back. Of course wheelchair bound people have a perfect right to heckle rival fans outside the Richmond Railway Station and any place they so desire. But when “eat sh*t you f***ing c***s” is hurled in your direction at close range and the giver of the “directive” is a disabled person, apparently you just have to wear it. There appears to be no choice but to wear it.
Abuse of this nature from an able bodied person in the same location and under similar circumstances would almost certainly be returned with interest and potentially end up in a “blue”. And if there’d been a member of the constabulary nearby there may have been an “awkward” situation. Not to mention the women and children among the scores of fans streaming away from the “G”.
The abuse wasn’t aimed at our weight, skin colour, sexuality or age, but rather our football team and therefore, in some circles of society, more than likely considered far less offensive.
A Google search of ‘how to respond to strong abuse from a disabled person in a public space’, returns virtually nothing.
Alan Jones and John Laws were at the centre of one of Sydney’s great feuds in 2004, but it appears even the deepest wounds can heal, especially in grief.
Theirs was a headline-grabbing cat fight, sparked after Jones left his old 2UE stablemate and jumped ship in 2001 to join 2GB in a mega-buck deal orchestrated by then owner John Singleton.
Jones took most of 2UE’s listeners and advertisers with him. Laws was furious – with his radio star already waning, Jones had delivered a lethal blow and before long Laws was gone.
He famously called Jones “a vicious old tart” on air. Jones remained silent, saying he would not comment on “rubbish”.
Laws added further salt into Jones’ already raw wounds by going on Andrew Denton’sEnough Rope to say Jones would be a “gold medallist” if “hypocrisy were an Olympic sport”.
Laws, who along with Jones had been embroiled in the cash-for-comment saga, also revealed on his radio show that not long after the scandal, Jones had instructed former prime minister John Howard to reinstate David Flint as boss of media watchdog the Australian Broadcasting Authority.
Laws – who to this day remains unrepentant over his “loyalty” to sponsors – labelled Jones, Flint and Howard as “an unpleasant little troika”.
By that point it appeared Laws had burnt any remaining pylons still standing under his old, rickety bridge with Jones.
Or so it seemed.
On Tuesday Jones joined a cavalcade of VIPs to support his old foe during the funeral of Laws’ wife, Caroline, at Darling Point’s St Mark’s.
Jones magnanimously stood by Laws’ side as the radio star, wracked with grief, bade farewell to the love of his life, the woman he endearingly called his “Princess”.
Following the funeral, a clearly moved Jones told PS: “The grief endured by the legendary John Laws was both visible and beyond what anyone could be expected to endure.”
“I felt it was important to be there so that he knew, at this time, he would not be on his own. It was moving and inspiring that a 44-year relationship could mean so much as to produce such an overwhelming sense of loss at Caroline’s passing.”
And it appears the rapprochement will endure.
“I have indicated to John that I am here for a cup of tea if it would help,” Jones revealed.
Last November, at Laws’ former agent John Fordham’s funeral in Paddington, PS observed that old rivalries between Laws and Jones were buried, for just a few hours at least, as the radio titans cheekily traded jibes outside the church.
For many years it was Fordham who was the meat in the sandwich between the pair, who for decades waged battles over egos and ratings.
Jones had initially walked right by Laws to say hello to someone else, apparently not seeing the shock of snow white hair as Laws hovered around the crowd, his not inconsequential frame stooped over a walking stick.
But Laws’ pride was hardly feeble, and he was having none of it, shouting out to Jones somewhat incredulously: “Alan, you did not say hello to me!”
Jones, looking mortified, turned and shook hands. Smiling at each other the old radio titans spoke of their respective health issues and Jones said: “It’s good to see you.”
And no doubt it was again for Laws when he clapped eyes on Jones at St Mark’s on Tuesday.
What’s the difference between erotic and perverted? Erotic is using a feather, perverted is using the whole chook. Apparently.
What is the difference between “racy” and pornographic? There is no difference between porn and racy. Not anymore.Apparently.
A local Pink Ladies Valentine’s Day fundraising screening of the porn flick “Fifty Shades of Grey”, has been promoted as “racy”. When did this happen? It’s a slippery slope . How long before “racy” becomes respectable?
The word pornography has been successfully sanitised, homogenised and almost normalised. “Food Porn” “Mummy Porn” ….Shane Warne.
It’s just not natural. A trench coat should be stained with other unmentionable matter not Choc Tops and Popcorn.
This is what happens when you start messing with nature. Wholemeal Pizza, Low cal Coke and Porn with a Plot. It’s just wrong.
Pardon my pathetic porn puns but it’s hard, sorry difficult to be serious when you are talking about not talking about Pornography. I’m probably flogging a dead whores (last one I promise) but if it looks, smells and sounds like PORN, and “FSG” does, then FFS call it PORN.
“FSG” has aroused “serious” discussion and pricked some serious feminist consciences even on the commercial couches of our TV breakfast shows. “Today” co-host Lisa Wilkinson was completely underwhelmed with FSG. Worst movie she’d seen she said. But over at Mamamia, Mia Freedman sturdily disagreed. Ms Freedman could not see anything wrong with the flick.
The book by E L James sold by the pallet load at “all good book stores” like Big W and even scored a book deal for her husband, Niall Leonard, a serious writer before the chick lit hit the fan.
Another serious writer, Nikki Gemmell is probably regretting hiding behind anonymity when she published her porn piece “The Bride Stripped Bare” in 2003. A woman before her time it would appear.
I haven’t read or seen FSG and I won’t, but I know pornography when I hear it. Anyway I am far too busy knocking out my own piece of “racy” lit ….“Dirty Davina’s Kiss My Whip Message Parlour”in the hope of selling a pallet load……Page One Chapter One..
…“It was still dark outside when Irish Backpacker Davina Donnelly slovenly dragged herself off the filthy mattress she’d drunkenly slumped onto only hours before. She clumsily put on the red underwear she’d randomly scooped up from a pile of clothes scattered across the floor of the dank and dingy apartment. But as she clumsily pulled his carefully faded 301s up over her long slender legs she heard a spine-chilling scream from the mattress below her. It was Oscar… “you can take my jocks but you can never take my Levis”
At Friday’s hastily organised climate rally in Canberra’s traditional meeting place, Garema Place ,many of the protester’s signs had a clear message for Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Several placards clearly featured the word FUCK but a couple went hard (depending on your point of view) featuring the contentious C word to express their obvious low opinion of the PM.
In 2015 three protesters at an Anti Homophobia rally in Sydney were charged by police for yelling “fuck off” and “fuck Fred Nile” aimed at Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile. But later a judge dismissed the charges deeming the “F” word was as no longer offensive. But is the “C” still contentious?
From under my rock I was (until recently) firm in the belief that use of the C word (widely used as an insult to express utter contempt for someone) was still taboo and restricted for a very small section of society.
A female millennial suggests the casual use of the word is “more about breaking down the double standard that it’s ok for men to use the word but not “lady like” for a woman to use it’.
If I walked through the heart of any Australian city holding aloft a sign suggesting the PM of the day-or anyone else for that matter- was a See You Next Tues would/should I be arrested?
The most common argument for the casual use of the “c” word is that it’s about ownership.
One protester had a double sided banger message for ScoMo but as far as I’m aware she was not arrested.