OPINION: Liberals must stand up to Greens in Batman
The Greens sunk to a new low this week, accusing new Liberal Senator Jim Molan of being a war criminal.
Their leader Richard Di Natale said the former Major General used water and food as a weapon in Iraq. This is firstly untrue and, secondly, a disgraceful slur he doubled down on in numerous interviews in the days that followed.
The Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt went even further, telling my colleague Ashleigh Gillon on Sky News: "If there was a proper inquiry, an independent inquiry into the war in Iraq in Australia, I think you would find that Jim Molan would be up for prosecution rather than praise for his role in the atrocities in Fallujah."
Understandably Jim Molan wasn't going to cop that; he threatened to sue and the next day Bandt put out a one line apology: "I hereby apologise for those statements."
No admission that the statements were cruel, wrong and harmful, just apologising because he claimed that's all Molan wanted to end the matter.
If a toddler made an apology like that you'd call them back into the room and make them do it again. An apology without an admission of wrongdoing isn't an apology. It's the smallest way of dealing with the hurt he hurled not just at Jim Molan, but the many good men and women who served with him.
The Greens showed this week that they are a distractive force and one that can't be given a free ride to getting another MP in the parliament.
The Liberals must stand in the upcoming Batman by-election. They must preference Labor and they must fight giving The Greens another platform to spread their slurs.
No thanks to the sex police
Can you believe we have got to the stage where people are seriously suggesting laws that will stop politicians sleeping with their staff?
First it was the US Congress that passed such rules. Now Victorian Independent Kathy McGowan has joined in, who said "good workplace practice includes clear expectations about behaviour".
Sure, but do we really need a rule to spell this out to people?
If people are using the public purse to fund their personal relationships, that's already against the rules. Let's leave it there.
Australia has too many real problems to waste any more time talking about trivial sideshows like this.
We can criticise the women
The AFLW is great, but not perfect and not beyond criticism.
Equality of opportunity means equality of criticism too.
This week the dam wall broke and people started to ask tough questions about the AFLW league.
Are the games good enough for the giant stage the AFL has put them on?
The answer is largely yes, but if you want to be on big time TV and radio then fans are allowed to say what they like and don't like about the games without being called sexist.
A sexist is someone who says women shouldn't play footy; someone who says the footy isn't good enough is just an unhappy fan who wants the best from these fantastic sportspeople.
*Paul Murray is a broadcaster at Sky News who can be seen 9-11pm AEDT weeknights on Paul Murray LIVE. Follow him on twitter @PMOnAir