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Maxine McKew on Q & A

 I was saddened when Maxine McHugh  (sic) decided to jump.   I thought it would open her up to all sorts of accusations about being a closet leftie, notwithstanding that she is clearly her own woman (in much the same way as I get annoyed when Clover Moore and her supporters suggest that SWMBO merely parrots my views - tosh - we have our own views and express them quite vigorously in opposition to one another in public from time to time - that is part of what intellectualism is about).

Tonight, on Q&A, however she excelled herself.   Obviously she is pushing the party line from time to time but, when questioned by a muslim about the disproportion of employment opportunity in Australia, she stuffed up in spades asserting (without knowing) that muslims don't have the same educational standards as other Australians.   On being pulled up by Wally Waheed, who pointed out that muslims generally  had higher educational standards but lower employment, she, to her great credit, admited she didn't know what she was talking about, apologised, and went back into her box with a burnt tail mewling general equality of treatment as policy.

Would that more politicians would be so honest.    She didn't know what she was talking about in specifics, acknowledged it immediately and apologised.   Good on her.

 As an advocate acknowledged as one of the better cross-examiners at the bar, I have always regarded her as one of the few journalists who could ever successfully ask the killer question.   She is a loss to the ABC, journalism generally and on tonight's performance a true breath of fresh air to Australian politics.   Good luck to her.   I just hope she stays away from the minders.

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Malcolm Turnbull

Was astonishingly garrulous, long winded, repetitive and boring last night.

lipsticked pigs

I liked the bit when someone - Margaret? - said of Malcolm Turnbull:  "Well, I wouldn't call him a pig with lipstick", and Tony Abbott made the aside:  "No, because he's litigious."

Litigating Malcolm

The Mad Monk wasn't wrong F Kendall. Malcolm loves litigating. Election before last there was a chap handing out a defamatory leaflet about him at Rose Bay. Malcolm had him in the Federal Court the next day. I went to watch and Kate McClymont suggested that the bloke talk to me. I ended up representing him.

As we were handing out on election day, Malcolm came up to me and said in his usual charming way "Interesting clients you have." I was representing the guy largely to save Court time. I replied "As you would remember, Malcolm, in the finest traditions of the Bar." Malcolm wouldn't know a tradition of the Bar if it bit him (don't ever remember him shouting a drink either) and, according to the rumour, only got chambers because Frosty Tom threatened to quit the Floor if they didn't take his daughter's affianced in.

I was further amused that the cat-strangling story was reported by Allen Ramsey as being included in Conrad Black's memoirs - one occasion on which Malcolm appears not to have sued. Under the current Defamation Act, truth is now a defence.

The cat's owner was Cathy Fulton, if I remember correctly.

The reality is that Malcolm was at the bar for all of about 12 minutes (in relative terms). He just didn't see why he shouldn't be in the High Court every day instead of learning the trade. That is the same impulse which may well bring him undone as Opposition Leader. It should also be noted that he did not win the Spychatcher Case - the Judge did. Perc Powell was off on a frolic of his own and blind freddie would have won.

So, if you are talking to my local memeber, don't mention cats, don't mention HIH and under no circumstances mention the Ukraine. The last hasn't had a run yet but, like oil reserves, it is there to be tapped at an appropriate time.

Ian M (Ed): If the suspense doesn't kill us all first.

So many stunts, so little time

The 2020 Summit? Remember that?

Aboot Abbott

Richard, now that the biggest bully in the playground isn't going to return to kick his arse (well, at least not until after his book-writing careeer is over), Abbott is probably feeling a lot more relaxed and comfortable.

It's McKew

I was appalled by Robert Manne whining about the "left" again as if he had gone back to Quadrant.

The blokes in Melbourne were not convicted on any evidence that they were planning anything, the only word was of a lying nutcase who the judge told the jury to ignore.

By the reasoning of those stupid laws we should lock up all men because some are rapists, take all cars off the road in case someone uses one as a bomb and so on and so forth.

Maxine is fine and nicely fixated on education.

One of the major problems with Muslim workplace participation is that a good number of new migrants and refugees cannot get their qualifications recognised even though they have been lured here as skilled migrants.

Abbott vs McHugh

I thought she caught Tony Abbott by surprise when he raised the question of the abolition of states, how keenly she passed on her 2020 Summit forum's leanings towards such an approach to government.

Actually, this is the first time I've seen Abbott come across so endearingly. No, I don't have my beer goggles on, just thought he gave an unusually laid-back performance.

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