PAULINE Hanson was front and centre in a rare interview last weekend – on Insiders, a political TV chat show – and what she had to say about penalty rates seemed to me a huge rebuff to the battlers who are precisely the people ramping up her prospects.
She might lose votes now that the battlers see her sympathy more for small business owners – as she once was – than their workers.
On the other hand, there are those in the media who have been focusing on Queensland and coming to the conclusion that Hanson’s appeal is quite widespread in the middle class too.
The very notion is a shock to the dominant parties who are beginning to see the writing on the wall, and it’s worse than their nightmares.
It won’t be just shopkeepers, but more broadly white collar professionals picking up on her directness after years of lacklustre governments, none more so than the current do-nothing government in Brisbane.
On the subject of penalty pay rates, member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has the courage of his convictions to stand by the decision in favour of small business. It may turn out to be courageous — it probably is — but politics is a very uncertain affair and who knows how it will all turn out. The next federal election is quite a way off. Anyway, it’s to his credit to stick to his convictions — that at least is attractive in age when people are seeking strong and principled leadership.
It is heartening to see the new boss of the ABC spending money to expand its excellent regional coverage. It wasn’t long ago that just the opposite was happening. Amid the renewed concern for the regions at the political level, it seems Ms Guthrie has realised there’s a great big country out there. The rural service, free of ideology, is vital source of news. More money is great news.