Bleats

Mark Latham Has Joined One Nation And Has Already Failed To Turn Up For An Interview About It

We hate to say we told you so, buuuuuut…

Hear that chiming in the distance, valued reader? Could they be wedding bells celebrating the union of two lost souls made gloriously complete by the power of love and/or outspoken discomfort with multiculturalism?

Why yes, they could! For the invitations are printed, the table settings have been chosen, and Mark Latham – the man who at one point could have been our prime minister, can you imagine? – has said I Do to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

“This is a fight for our civilisational values. For free speech, for merit selection, resilience, love of country – all of them under siege from the left, and a lot of it is happening in state politics as much as federal,” Lathos told fellow paragon of quiet good sense Alan Jones on 2GB on Wednesday.

“I’m in a position and a stage in life where I just can’t stand on the sideline talking about it, I want to get stuck in and play a role as a legislator.”

And look, it’s not entirely a surprise. Indeed, this very site made that prediction back in September based on Latham robocalling for One Nation in the Longman by election, and also that Mark’s split with the Liberal Democrats meant that there were only limited options remaining for Latham’s increasingly reactionary brand of race-flavoured politics.

It’s confirmed that he won’t be running for the senate, and that his target instead is the NSW state parliament – which is also where his old pal turned adversary LibDem senator David Leyonhjelm is planning to run, having realised that there’s no way in hell he’ll keep his seat at the next election.

What are his chances of actually getting into the NSW upper house, though? According to Antony Green, ABC election analyst and genius numbers pixie from a better universe, it’s a lock.

Then again, Latham’s political and media career has been characterised by a certain chain of events: a flashy announcement followed by a bitter falling out and an explosive and controversial departure.

It’s what happened with Labor and the Liberal Democrats, and it’s what happened with the Spectator, the Australian Financial Review and finally Sky News.

And that proud legacy was echoed this morning when Lathos decided not to show for his second media call announcing his exciting new gig…

And as portents go, this no-show bodes well for a long and fruitful union between two of Australia’s political powerhouses.

Mazel tov!

Peter Dutton's Fakey-Pretendies Folders Are Part Of Australian Parliament's Rich History Of Stupid Props

Also, Pete, seriously: what's the go with the au pairs?

So back in September when Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton was trying desperately to distract attention away from his whimsical habit of personally intervening to give visas to au pairs from people he and/or his party knew, he entered parliament holding two binders filled thickly with documents and prominently labelled with “Tony Burke” and “Chris Bowen”.

The implication was that he had a literal heap of red-hot files on the two former immigration ministers showing that they too had a bunch of dubious visa approvals. So what explosive data had the ex-Queensland cop gathered?

Well, Buzzfeed has reported that a Freedom of Information request has revealed that whatever the folders were filled with, what it definitely was not was files on Tony Burke or Chris Bowen.

Right To Know published the details of the request, including that “the Department did not provide any documents to the Minister for Home Affairs for the specific purposes of inclusion in two folders”.

That the folders didn’t contain files was already pretty much known, after home affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo told the Senate that “We would never brief a serving minister on decisions taken, papers rendered or notes provided to a previous minister under any circumstances”.

So what did the folders contain? Dutton’s collected poetry? Fun drawings of Pete as a cool secret agent fighting baddies? Potato recipes? We may never know.

“IT’S NOTHING BUT AU PAIRS!”

But it’s only the latest – and, arguably, most childish – stunt in the rich history of politicians bringing fun props into parliament instead of doing their actual job like adults over the last little while. For example:

Bill Heffernan Brings In A Fake Pipe Bomb, May 2014

The Liberal senator followed up his celebration of 2009’s Bring A Knife To Work To Show How Lax The Security Is Day by bringing a fake bomb into parliament in 2014, proving that the authorities were pathetically unprepared for members of parliament to bring their own handmade explosives into the chamber.

He also helpfully gave his family’s secret recipe for explosives: “get some nitropril, a quart of distillate, a plug of jelly and a detonator, light the bloody thing and [it would] go to buggery.” So there’s a fun project for any disgruntled backbenchers with time on their hands.

Scott Morrison And His Friend Mr Coalsy, February 2017

In what now seems like foreshadowing on his priorities as PM, ScoxMox brought a lump of coal into the chamber in order to sing its praises and accuse the opposition of being scared of it.

It also inspired Greens MP Adam Bandt to bring in a solar panel, which was rather more cumbersome. At least it wasn’t an entire wind turbine.

Pauline Hanson Is Burquawoman, August 2017

OK, technically it was a niqab; but the One Nation leader wanted to prove that anyone could just sneak into the Senate dressed in Islamic garb, even… um, actual senators who are completely authorised to be there?

Like so many of Hanson’s stunts, statements and policies, this raised more questions than it answered.

Sadly, her stunt took all the attention away from Labor’s Rob Mitchell who had chosen the same day to attempt to give then-Foreign Minister Julie Bishop a tinfoil hat, which… actually, Rob, that’s pretty pathetic. Bullet dodged, mate.

Nova Presenter Smallzy Calls For The “White Noise” Surrounding Pauline Hanson To Be Turned Down

Who knew that Smallzy was a politics nerd?

Fans of the radio-listening arts will be familiar with the charmingly-hyper tones of the top-rating Smallzy’s Surgery’s host Kent “Smallzy” Small and know how he is very across the goings on of music and pop culture.

But you are probably not aware that he’s also a political tragic, and therefore the perfect person to guest on GOAT’s third episode of Who Doesn’t Love Politics?, hosted by NOVA’s Michelle Stephenson and GOAT’s Andrew P Street.

“Contrary to popular belief, my interests are wide ranging,” he makes clear, “It’s the yin to the yang. I live so much pop culture and so much Kardashian and Kanye, I need to fill the other half of my brain with something else – and politics is it.”

Specifically, how everyone could maybe do with calming the hell down a bit.

“I wish that both sides of politics right now could sit back and observe themselves and actually realise how hyper-peak ridiculous they all are, and perhaps the conversation about what we think and what we believe would go in a different direction. But instead we’re stuck in this merry-go-round of peak right and peak left and let’s have a vote in the senate to say it’s OK to be white. That is where we are in 2018.

“The problem with Pauline Hanson is that it does not matter how close to any point she gets and how right she is, the white noise which is around her in everything she does derails completely any message which she’s trying to put forward.”

To be fair to Pauline: she’d be the first to make clear that when it comes to noise, it’s OK to be white.

You can hear Smallzy hold forth about that, offshore detention, his early enthusiasm for Donald Trump, the profligate ABC, and his on-air response to the removal of Tony Abbott – and an interview with Wentworth’s Liberal candidate Dave Sharma – right now on Acast and iTunes!

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