UNDER normal circumstances it would be good to know our PM is prepared to draw a line somewhere. A brothel creeper on the backbench? No, the satyr who poured the union dues of toilet scrubbers, floor moppers and wipers of geriatric bottoms into sundry pleasure palaces remains an upstanding member of this government, a fellow who, for all his red-faced silence, retains her full confidence. So is it the carbon fabulist who must be banished, the nest-featherer who urges others to head for high ground while expanding his Hawkesbury holdings to the water’s edge? No, Mr Panasonic remains the sober voice of settled science, as do all other spruikers of the Incredible Green Perpetual Motion Machine. Then perhaps it is the minister who, at a stroke of the pen, plunged the beef industry into a chaos from which it has yet to fully recover? Not him, either, possibly because anyone in this government who wrecks but a single industry must seem the very model of managerial nous.
But one fellow, a chap who, unlike Craig Thomson, has actually gone before the courts and been acquitted, elicits both our PM’s disdain and a stern instruction that the First Boyfriend must not allow him to set foot in The Lodge -- not even in the shed behind The Lodge. It may seem unjust, wicked almost, to display such intolerance for diversity, especially as the banished individual is both a supporter of charity and best-selling author, whose memoirs have been published by Australia’s leading (formerly) academic press.
If you were Mick Gatto, colourful Carlton identity and leader of the Acquitted-Australian community you would have every reason to be miffed – and baffled, too. Given that Gatto operates a successful business, he might well have coughed up the $10,000 paid for the right to dine at the Lodge in the belief that it could lead to bigger things. Special Envoy to Palermo, that would have been nice, as would an interim gig sorting out some of the PM’s more pressing troubles. That shovel-ready turncoat Kathy Jackson, who is helping NSW police investigate Thomson’s nocturnal commerce, she could certainly have taken a visit by Mick as an opportunity to review her actions and renew her loyalties.
Indeed, Gatto also could have helped make the Thomson scandal go away. A midnight knock (on door or head), the one-way ride, that extra touch of hard-to-identify flavour in tomorrow’s batch of sausages -- it is a service that might have been at our PM’s immediate disposal if only she had opened the door to opportunity.
Perhaps Gatto should demonstrate his ire by challenging for the seat of Lalor at the upcoming election. If probity is not an issue – and with this government it most clearly is not – then competence alone would guide the voters’ pencils. Big Mick would win that contest at a canter.
UPDATE: The odds on Gatto's new career as MHR for Lalor just shortened. Go to Andrew Bolt's updated post for details. If the allegations are true, Gillard is going to be jettisoned faster than one of Thommo's old condoms.