The Fitz Files
Illustration: Reg Lynch
Not surprisingly, the quote of the week emerged from the ''sexting'' issue concerning Queensland MP Peter Dowling and his mistress.
''It has me stumped,'' an unnamed senior government official told the Oz on Wednesday. ''Peter is a good bloke, a family man, a Catholic and smart. But taking a picture of your penis in a glass of red isn't the smartest thing you could do - and I won't be accepting any invitation from him in the future to go for a drink.''
As to how someone in Dowling's position could be so foolish as to send such a text, a caller to Ben Fordham's 2GB show on the same day came up with a theory that I think might be on the money. He thought it might have been a problem with auto-correct on his mistress' texting system, and what she meant to write was: ''Put a cork in the shiraz.''
No Clive for brekkie
I write from heavy traffic on the Sunshine Coast, just north of Mooloolaba, and the shiny black car in front has emblazoned across its back window a huge ''CLIVE PALMER FOR PM'' sign. Let me be the first to break the news: it ain't going to happen. Even here in Queensland the whole Clive Palmer thing is no more than a running gag, if that. The lack of interest in the Palmer push is so bad that a scheduled breakfast to hear Palmer speak on Thursday morning had to be cancelled due to lack of interest. Well, to be fair, the breakfast itself went ahead, with 30 people showing, but Palmer himself declined to appear.
Way off target
Is it just me or are the ads telling us that the government will no longer tolerate people smugglers, and if we are a people smuggler we will be going STRAIGHT to PNG, completely ludicrous? Just what percentage of us who see and hear those ads are people smugglers, or are thinking of entering Australia illegally? Is there anyone in Australia not aware of the brutal solution embraced by the Rudd government? Wouldn't every cent of that not be better spent advertising in countries where the people smugglers and asylum seekers are found?
Book it as a winner
Having attended the Byron Bay Writers Festival last weekend, I can faithfully report it was fabulous this year, with Paul Kelly drawing the biggest crowd, followed by Peter Carey and the now local Kerry O'Brien. The weather was fine, the people warm, the wine flowing, and the cash-register in the book tent ringing!
Joke of the week
A hearse is travelling down Bourke Street, Melbourne, on one of those dreary, wintry, wet-everything days the city is noted for. Suddenly a bicycle rider makes a manoeuvre that necessitates the hearse driver jumping on the brakes, and as a result the hearse spins around 90 degrees. While mounting the footpath the rear near side of the hearse crashes into a power pole that springs the rear doors wide open. The casket shoots out on the rollers at enough speed that it clears the footpath and crashes right through a chemist shop window. As the casket is still travelling in the chemist shop the corpse puts his head out of the casket and says to the chemist: ''Can you give me something to stop this coffin?''
They said ...
BHP is still, and always has been, a company firmly rooted in Australia.
BHP Billiton new chief executive and Scot, Andrew Mackenzie. (Umm, can someone tell him?)
I conclude by saying I confidently predict there will be a result – and that result will lie somewhere in a range between a landslide to Rudd and a landslide to Abbott.
Political prognosticator Malcolm Mackerras tiring of going out on a limb, hugs the trunk for his life.
I think any empathetic politician is not going to criticise Jayme Diaz. There for the grace of God go I ... I died with him as I was watching it on YouTube. I mean, I did watch it about four or five times, but oh my God!
Trade Minister Richard Marles, after the Liberal candidate for Greenway struggled through a seven-minute interview.
I don't oppose Islam as a country, umm, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia.
Queensland One Nation candidate Stephanie Banister in an excruciating Channel Seven interview.
An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential ... At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
Stephen Fry, in a letter urging British Prime Minister David Cameron to support moves to strip Russia of the 2014 Winter Olympics over anti-gay laws passed in that country.