Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Parliament Slips Out of Reality

Today has seen a remarkable display in the Australian Parliament.

No good was done, no deed was debated, no policy was made, nothing tangible came out of it, except the appointment of a new Speaker.

Peter Slipper, the now former Speaker, has been battling a very public sexual harassment case against a former staffer, James Ashby, who has accused Mr Slipper of sexual misgivings and approaches.

He hasn't been fulfilling duties anyway, but still collecting a Speaker's payments and benefits.

Despite Ashby allegedly instigating the messages them himself, and being coached by members of the Coalition on how to execute the theatre we now see, this whole affair has escalated to claim the scalp of Slipper.

The government has subsequently paid Mr Ashby $50,000 in hush money to settle the case, and to make it go away, and presumably to silence the hoopla surrounding the case, and to give the government some fresh air.

Well that has sordidly collapsed.

Instead today we were treated with fantastical outbursts from Ms Gillard and Tony Abbott on sexual identity politics.

And it's all made for a great popular show among feminists.

Still, no one has paid any attention to the fact that Parliament today was supposedly debating on heavily cutting single parent payments - which are overwhelmingly afforded to single mothers.

Did the mainstream media pick up on that? No. Of course not, how could they resist a flamboyant display of 'political' theatrics to a real issue?

I would not expect them to.

And with all the recent biffo with Alan Jones and his remarks against he Prime Minister and the response in social media, no one could expect any less of our blessed political reporters and commentators.

Single mothers, what of them anyway, huh?

The pathetic Newstart allowance (which yours truly is a recipient of after graduating with a university degree as part of the 'Education Revolution') would have been the payment that single mothers would be shunted on to.

Assuming that it passes, and is has the support of the Coalition, which means it would pass as easily as a bran through grandma; so with some coaxing, but it would pass.

An uproar ensued, and protests were being held on the lawns of Parliament by representatives of various social equity groups.

And the issue did indeed get some air time, at least on ABC News, but I'm not sure if it did, if any, on commercial stations.

Obviously the ramifications affect far more people in the real world than the appointment of a new Speaker.

All in all, this shows how utterly out of touch the Australian Parliament as a whole has become completely disconnected from mainstream Australia. It really was a display to behold in Parliament, and it was almost as if it were the proceedings in another country, or even another planet, because I'm sure most other countries would not concern themselves with such a pilfering matter as text messages.

It really is truly pathetic.

And now it is being lauded that Mr Slipper's resignation is a 'surprise' - really? After a sexual harassment case has been dragged into a federal court, and lewd text messages revealed, that somehow comes as a surprise to you all?

Never mind even middle Australia being left behind by this Parliament, all of Australia is, and the poor will suffer most as the projected surplus by the government does not come to pass as iron ore prices fall.

That's what our whole future has been hedged against - the prices of finite natural resources.

But I digress. Perhaps I'm pontificating.

You may as well watch two seagulls fighting over a chip, because that is as relevant as the Australian Parliament now is to its citizens.

I'd urge anyone to pay it no attention.

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