Flat White

Could the Katter crew organise horizontal refreshment in a brothel?

16 October 2018

12:00 PM

16 October 2018

12:00 PM

Back in 1996, recently retired Ipswich city councillor Paul Tully outed his then fellow councillor Pauline Hanson as a racist in the closing weeks of the election campaign.

Hanson had been recently endorsed as the Liberal candidate for the Queensland federal seat of Oxley.

No doubt Labor-aligned Tully thought his clever intervention would keep Oxley with that party, it having been Liberal from 1949-1961 until seized by Bill Hayden when Bob Menzies government was returned with a one-seat majority.

The last laugh was on Hanson, who romped in as an independent then later One Nation creator, although only for a single term.

Tully, whose recent retirement from local government was not exactly voluntary, created a monster who continues to bedevil Australian politics to this day.

Perhaps he still rues his too clever by half intervention.

Politics Queensland style plays by very different rules.

Also sitting on the right fringe of state and national politics is the Katter Australia Party, with party leader and namesake Bob Katter an occasional attendee in the House of Representatives.

KAP has three members in Queensland’s unicameral parliament, including Katter Senior’s son Robbie.

Their man in the Senate is Fraser Anning who was accidentally elected by elimination on Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party ticket, her latest political iteration.

Anning and Hanson had a major fallout so the former jumped ship to KAP.

Keep up now, it’s really not that difficult!

Like Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, a historic title plagiarised from a much earlier Menzies coalition (see above), KAP have ambitions to run candidates in every Australian seat.

When Malcolm Turnbull walked the plank from his Wentworth ship, KAP endorsed Sydney accountant Robert Callanan as their candidate.

Like publican Anning, accountant Callanan claims Army Reserve service.

So does party leader Katter, but that’s a very different story.

What Callanan didn’t reveal was that the ABN of a catering company he was a director of and The Penthouse, billed as “the ultimate gentlemen’s club” in Sydney’s Pitt Street, were identical.

That was too much for prudish Katter Snr, who opposes legalising such establishments where it is alleged gentleman pay for sexual favours.

Where was the party’s due diligence in the selection process?

Really, some people couldn’t organise horizontal refreshment in a brothel.

While Callanan probably hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell in Wentworth, that was the general wisdom about Hanson in Oxley in 1996.

It’s certainly added, er, a touch of class to the final weeks of the campaign.

Ross Eastgate blogs at Targets Down.

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