Friday, July 15, 2016


Handicapped counter 
The sight of  Queensland   Senator  Ian  Macdonald  (right) with an arm in a medical type sling has raised   eyebrows  and  provided  some wild speculation  in  the tense , long drawn  out  Townsville   counting of  votes  for the  seat of  Herbert  where the lead has  swung to  and  fro  between the  incumbent  LNP  Ewen  Jones  and  ALP  candidate  Cathy O'Toole . (The  latest  inside tip received by  Little Darwin  is that  O'Toole  could  win  by  a  hairdresser's whisker  in  a  thrilling  photo finish ).

The senator , aged   70,  the recognised Father of  the Australian Parliament , exudes the wisdom of the elderly, and is one of  the  scrutineers for the  Jones boyo  . He  suddenly  appeared with his hand bandaged , then  it  was in  a  sling . This caused  uncouth jibes by  Lefties  that  he  had  punched the  wall as  Ewen's  votes  took  a  dive .  Nobody  in  the media seems to have  asked him what is  the cause of his  injury and  you wonder if  anybody from the   media  spends any time at all in the  counting  room  , making observations, collecting  colour   about  a  seat, the loss of  which  will  make life  more difficult  for   PM  Turnbull .

The count  is  taking  place in  a  large former empty office-sign of  the times in  the city where one of the  major streets  had  more than 80 empty premises -  in   The  Domain   shopping  centre .

Despite not   asking  the obvious question about the  cause  of  his immobilised  limb  , the media are  fed   statements   by  the  senator   in  which  he  says Jones is a jolly good   fellow , full of  fun , loved by his  colleagues in the Canberra   party room and predicts  that Jones  will "fall over the line"... hopefully not doing  himself  an  injury  in  the  process. 

Another  Jones scrutineer  is  a former  Herbert  MHR  Peter Lindsay . He  and Macdonald  were  allegedly  spotted  photographing  count report  sheets , which  is not permitted, there  being  a sign that  no photographs  are to be taken .    Smart  phones  are  also banned  from  the  counting  area .

 Into this arena  came   metadata  expert  Federal  Attorney-General , Senator  George Brandis,  who also did some checking for  Ewen , in the  process straying into an area   in  which he should not  have  gone, according  to  an  informant. 

The demeanour of the LNP  team at the count  is becoming  tense , worried and  gruff as they determine  the  trend . Worrying the hell out of   them is that Pauline Hanson preferences  are  largely  flowing  towards  the  ALP in the closing stages of  the  battle.

Relief scrutineers  for the ALP have included a number of  savvy southern lawyers and unionists - none  of  this  colour, personality interplay,  intrigue and  massive  interest in  the  outcome  detected  or  reported  by   churnalists. At one stage  the PM was reported on TV to be jubilant that  Jones was  ahead, then  he was behind . It seemed to be  a  Hooray !- Boo ! situation.

Senator Macdonald is not the only person to show signs  of hurt in the campaign . Cathy O'Toole's campaign manager Jackson Hitchcock , from Melbourne , was shook up , bruised and lost his glasses in  a car prang in Townsville involving   a motorist  running  into several vehicles, wiping out Jackson's  own car, an incident not reported  by  local  media .
COUNT  UPDATE:  Jones leading  by  12 votes, whips out  in dash for finish post but  Ewen's nag carrying a lot of  lead  in saddlebag , O'Toole's mount gaining second breath as if solar powered  and  could  win , causing  a celebration  bigger than  that when Carbine won the Melbourne Cup with a  Queensland Prickly Pear stuck  under the saddle ;  nation  holding breath, close situation  mentioned  on  ABC  TV   Insiders.