Carlo's Corner

I was stunned to read reports that Peter Dutton’s home affairs department is rife with bullying and harassment. You learn something new every day.

I just assumed any department headed by Dutton would be a happy, friendly place, with puppies running around and flower gardens and lambs and group hugs every hour.

When the Coalition unexpectedly won the May federal elections, it was tempting to assume no good would come of it. But that type of thinking ignores just how much money the gambling industry lost with the defeat of the odds-on favourite, Labor.

It is bad enough that our rulers insist on pushing ahead on a course so disastrous that when a new report says human civilisation could end by 2050, you think “that’s optimistic” as you just saw another report saying the Arctic is melting so rapidly the scientists trying to measure it keep losing their tools, but, honestly, do they need to be so fucking smug about it?

A lot of people are alarmed at the rate at which prime ministers get changed these days. Personally, I’d be happy to have a new PM every week so long as none of them torture any innocent people in isolated offshore prison camps, writes Carlo Sands.

I had considered the racist abuse hurled at Labor Senator Sam Dastyari to be a deliberate publicity stunt by a group of neo-Nazis, enabled by a climate of rising bigotry and white nationalism, on the grounds that they deliberately sought out the senator, filmed their racist abuse and posted it on Facebook.

That was before Pauline Hanson explained otherwise. The senator, campaigning in Queensland, pointed out that Dastyari was just using abuse he faced in a pub on November 8 to sell his book.

With the High Court ruling that the government’s postal survey on marriage equality is legal, it’s full steam ahead with the much-vaunted respectful debate.

We can expect more No campaign ads like the one where a mother pretends the principal at her son’s school told him he could wear a dress to school if he chose.

So the government is planning a plebiscite on equal marriage by means of post, presumably because it didn’t want to confuse elderly opponents of marriage equality with new-fangled technological developments like the telegram.

The whole project will cost $122 million for a vote that is not even binding, when all polls for years have shown a large majority in favour of marriage equality and the thing could be resolved in a matter of hours by a simple vote in parliament.

The status quo in this country is ... interesting. Take the man who deliberately chased down 14-year-old Elijah Doughty in a four wheel drive, killing the Aboriginal teenager in Kalgoorlie, yet was acquitted of manslaughter by a jury without any Aboriginal people on it.

But don’t worry, he was found guilty of “dangerous driving”, which makes me wonder if the judge gave him a stern lecture about taking more care on the roads or next time he might kill someone whose life matters.

Much has been made of the fact that on June 23, the same day the Fair Work Commission slashed penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers, federal politicians were granted yet another pay rise.

“Don’t let the Green Left Weekly have its own way,” was the headline of Murdoch columnist Miranda Devine in a June 14 Daily Telegraph piece, and my first thought was: “She’s right.”

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