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Fri Feb 10, 2012, 01:18 AM

The (bow)ties that bind: Slipper's $2.4b payback

The elevation of this faintly risible Renaissance man to the chamber's most distinguished role seemed last year to encapsulate everything that was wrong with the Gillard Government; it was desperate, faintly grubby and very probably executed with a peg on the nose.

The man with the eloquent stack of Cabcharge chits and taxpayer-funded subscriptions to the entire glossy-mag universe from Esquire to Australian Aquarium Keeper was quickly disparaged by his Liberal colleagues (who in the past had tended largely to tolerate these peccadilloes) and mooched across the chamber to become Team Gillard's newest behavioural problem.

And this week has done nothing to displace the common perception that Mr Slipper is a man of rather rococo personal tastes. On Day One, he reintroduced the robes. On Day Two, he announced that he was rerouting the Speaker's Procession. This procession, ordinarily a drab little ten-metre scuttle from the Speaker's office to his chair, is now going to snake its way past Parliament House's public area in order that hoi polloi may crane - every sitting Tuesday - for a glimpse of Speaker Slipper's enhanced gorgeousness. (Early hopes that he would reroute the procession via King's Cross were tragically dashed.)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-10/crabb-peter-slipper-first-week-as-speaker/3823348


There's been no shortage of column inches this week about Peter Slipper's innovations to the role of Speaker. He does come across as a bit of a tosser, with his procession and the mace and the white bow tie. But and I feel a bit disloyal to Harry Jenkins in saying this - he's proving to be an effective Speaker. He's certainly unbiased, in the best tradition of the British, whose Speaker divorces him/herself from all party ties. Everybody dislikes him equally.

But he's been much quicker to put a lid on rowdy behaviour than dear old Harry could ever manage, and he also (mostly) gets the members' constituencies correct, something Harry often had problems with. What began as a bit of a dirty Labor tactic to get their numbers up just might result in the best Speaker in living memory.

How very droll, as Sir Humphrey would say.

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Reply The (bow)ties that bind: Slipper's $2.4b payback (Original post)
Matilda Feb 2012 OP
Esra Star Feb 2012 #1

Response to Matilda (Original post)

Fri Feb 10, 2012, 09:42 PM

1. I don't mind the theatre

It is personal taste if it is overdone or not.
Mr Slipper will also be encouraged to not be the failure he has been accused of.
Also I'm glad this experiment is being run. Only ever possible with a minority government.

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