What an unedifying spectacle we have before us. Pauline – according to her sister Judy – wearing thongs! “I’ve never seen her wearing thongs before” Judy confided merrily – perhaps a tad too merrily, given the circumstances – to the massed media outside Walco Gaol. I for one found this hard to believe, but not quite as hard to believe as the protestations of the former proprietress of the Eventide Home and Kero Fun Spa Ltd. “She’s a political prisoner” barked Bronny. Many senior Australians with memories of being shouted at too loudly by plump aged care facility carers trying to plunge them into suspiciously chemical-smelling baths – “you alright Dear?” – possibly fantasise about Bronny being a political prisoner – on Lingering Death Row. But I digress.
Baroness Bishop did generously concede that Pauline wasn’t a political prisoner, “like Nelson Mandela” – let’s face it, her hair is much too straight for a start. No, Pauline is more a prisoner of political advantage as far as Bronwyn is concerned. Like a corseted and helmet-coiffured Komodo Dragon, Bronwyn sniffed blood – Peter Beattie’s to be precise. – she was on the trail.
Premier Beattie has tracked an interesting course since Pauline was incarcerated. Initially contemptuous of those, like Bob Carr and John Howard, who gasped at the sentence – “wimps! Gutlessness! – his machismo had faded by the weekend. It may have been biorhythmic testosterone adjustment but it was probably more the polls. These were showing the Queensland One Nation vote soaring to within a Gympie Spit of their 1998 electoral triumph when the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest stampeded into Paliament under Pauline’s banner.
Enter Tony Abbott. Premier Beattie had no doubt about the integrity of Banana Justice but if anyone else did then they could well be right and should look no further than Tony Abbott’s wicked, vindictive crusade against One Nation. The ALP was innocent in this regard. They’ve been far too busy rehabilitating their own crims to be raking up the dirt on Pauline.
“The Australian people deserve to know what John Howard knew about Tony Abbott going to Queensland, ” cried Craig Emerson. Maybe. I’d prefer it if Craig stopped pulling the pisser myself.
Then Mal Colston died. Thus far no-one has claimed responsibility – or assigned it for that matter – but it’s early days yet.