Keith Duncan, Pimlico
Well wasn’t it an uplifting experience to see the National Party hold their recent conference? What a great assembly of intellectual ability, solving the big problems besetting our country – oh, hang on, that was the recent science conference on climate change, sorry.
But the Nats also held a conference around the same time and it seemed to have an international flavour: the chairperson was deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, a suspected New Zealand citizen; his deputy was Senator Fiona Nash, a suspected Scottish citizen; and lurking in the audience was a suspected Italian citizen in the form of Senator Matt Canavan. Very multinational indeed.
Two huge issues were hotly debated: the vital renewable energy target (RET) and whether or not to ban the burka.
The RET quickly got canned (predictable), and that serial xenophobic, second only to Pauline Hanson, George Christensen argued that the burka was a threat to our security (also predictable).
Now, we can ban the burka – Morocco has already done it. It’s a ridiculous garment and only a small minority of Muslims wear it. But George, don’t peddle this furphy about Australia’s security depending on it.
If weapons and bombs can be hidden under burkas they could just as easily be hidden under overcoats. Gangsters have been hiding sub-machine guns under them since the 1920s. Do we then ban overcoats? And what about large hats like the one Barnaby Joyce wears? Given the empty space under that hat you could hide anything.