Opinion: Keep calm as the world goes mad

AMID the stresses involved with selling and purchasing a home and packing up a household that I thought was tiny (but apparently isn't), the only light relief at the moment is waking each morning for a quick perusal of the online newspapers to see what tomfoolery has occurred overnight.

Last week was chockablock with jaw-droppers. Barnaby Joyce, who gained worldwide notoriety last year by threatening to kill Johnny Depp's pets, has become the man who would lead this nation should anything happen to Malcolm Turnbulll.

Not since Dan Quayle was vice-president of the US while being unable to spell the word "potato" has there been a scarier prospect.

And then there's Philip Ruddock, who has been appointed Special Envoy to the UN Human Rights Committee.

Yes, folks, the same Philip Ruddock who, as John Howard's Minister for Immigration, oversaw the so-called Pacific Solution that led to the infinitely dodgy "children overboard" incident.

You might just as well give a cushy job in the Vatican to a Catholic cardinal accused of allegedly covering up the actions of paedophiles.

Oh, wait. And is this a good time to remind regular readers of this column that I predicted early last year that George Pell would never return to Australia?

I don't doubt he has a dicky ticker, but given he'd no doubt be flying first class, there's possibly a way back.

And last, but by no means least, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has been named Best Minister in the World, a rather grandiose title bestowed by the United Arab Emirates, a country well-qualified to judge. Or not.

This would be the minister who gave the go-ahead against all advice to allow Indian multinational conglomerate Adani to expand a coal port smack in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef.

It's a tough call. We need to preserve what isn't ours for the benefit of future generations, but there is also the very great need to provide jobs.

Tasmania is a prime example of how it's gone terribly wrong for all the right reasons.

Since the Greens managed to shut down much of the logging industry, a large proportion of the population is out of work.

The state is close to bankruptcy; many mines have also closed for various reasons (poor safety records featured heavily) and there are families with three generations now relying on welfare.

The argument for expanding the coal port at Abbot Point was that thousands of jobs would be created.

The danger is the potential for irreversible damage to one of the wonders of the world.

You'd need the wisdom of Solomon to work out the correct balance.

And I hate to say, there's not a politician in this country who comes close.

Back to the packing boxes.