Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Introducing - Lachlan Ridge, Country Gentleman

Diogenesian Discourse is experimenting with hosting guest bloggers.   Lachlan Ridge (a pseudonym) kicks things off:

The Adjournment Debate
   There is plenty of parking, which is rare for Canberra, but it’s late, after eight o’clock on a Tuesday night. Fucking freezing middle of May. The problem with dealing with climate change is that, for Canberrans– a few of whom are in significant decision making functions for public polity - global warming strikes them as not the worst old idea in the world. At the least it’d stop those mad skiers being Highway Patrol fodder on the Monaro from June till September. 
   I take security buy surprise after my cloaken and beanied stride up over the gravel on the Parliament House forecourt. I am scanned, including the steel capped boots. The canary yellow high-vis shirt I am wearing throws them. I am obviously worthy, but arrive uninvited and unsuspected, so due suspicion is accorded. The story that I am killing time until I start night shift at the Mail Centre, which is true, barely washes in the security entrance, this place without humour.
   I am escorted to the Public Gallery, but am not allowed in until I surrender my mobile, for which receive a chit for redemption,later. I have the gallery to myself. About six members in the chamber, but the government must always provide a minister. The Ministers take it in turns , Nicola Roxon is using her shift to correct a draft of some things, later she is replaced by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek (more on her another time).
   Half of the Hansard team is pretty cute, while the Clerk is embroiled with some stern matter with the Acting Deputy Speaker.None of this stops the Member for Bradfield (Liberal), the former Optus executive Paul Fletcher, delivering a polished and fiery denunciation (to the sparsely populated theatre) of letting unions anywhere near the boards of superannuation funds.
   I opposed super when it came in because I thought then, and still believe now, that it will be the instrument by which a great deal of currency is extracted from the household sector and then Gen X hits retirement age and all of a sudden the big super funds go all Mother Hubbard.Capitalists better pray to Hell that super holds together, or they will all die with their throats slit in the middle of the night. If it wasn’t for industry super most working Australians today will spend their final years living in a cardboard box behind the tip. But Fletcher sticks like araldite to the Abbott HSU narrative, i.e. that keeping equal representation of employees on superannuation boards will lead to Craig Thompson pimping your daughter.
   At nine thirty the house moves that it do now adjourn and we move into the Adjournment debate. This is where an MP can go about anything, and all sorts of libellous gossip can be dumped onto the public record; but tonight we get a mawkish speech plumbing the depths of pathos by the very Christian Louise Marcus,Member for Macquarie. Tragedy strikes as Sarah Frazer and Geoff Clark are killed on the Hume Highway south of Mittagong and Markus attaches herself limpet-like to Sarah’s parents' grief. My deepest and sincerest sympathies to the Clark and Frazer families and all who knew them, but this stuff makes me puke.
   They alternate government/opposition/government/cross bench/government/opposition in order of preference for adjournment speeches, like a taxi rank, so thankfully Deb O’Niell, the Member for Robertson (well, Woy Woy really), tells us how they’ve cured Cancer, then there are a few more medical ailments held up by other MP’s before the Member for Hindmarsh makes a more lively contribution on the SANFL Club Glenelg getting lighting at their home ground.
   By this stage the attendant (well, technically he’s a security guard, but Al Qaida are safe from this septuagenarian) comes over and asks if I’m asleep. Damned impertinence.
   I catch a smile from a most unlikely source;the Member for Chifley, Ed Husic, swaggering in to deliver a structural address on some activities in his electorate. Husic, Australia’s first Moslem MP, bogged down in the politics of incorporated identity, was secretary of my union in 2006, following a career as an executive with Integral Energy. Such are the joys of ALP membership. Back in the day Husic worked for the previous Member for Chifley, another household name, Roger Price. Now Husic’s the boss.  Has this man ever held a real job?
   Anyway, then there was some guff about the Member for Moreton saving Nemo before Warren Entsch got up and castigated capitalism, which was strange coming from an Abbott acolyte.
   Daryl Melham talked about how hard it is to afford to go to the dentist then the Liberal Memberfor Moncrieff (on the Queensland Gold Coast) got up to talk about crime and, as much as I love Laura Norder, I’d had enough. The freezing bite of the Canberra night was not so fearsome after all.
   So I left, and went to work.


Blogger Davoh said...

Geez, mate - ya wanna come up here in th wilds of NSW hills. Cold? Plenny o' timber t' burn.

May 30, 2012 4:04 PM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

You mean you left home early so you could get to work in time to watch the Adjournment Debate in preference to sitting at home watching the mindless crap on commercial television? Or sleeping?

June 01, 2012 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Lachlan Ridge said...

Hi Andrew. I sort mail at night in Canberra for something approximating the minimum wage. I live about 170 k's away on 100 Acres at the point where the Monaro Range meets the Errinundra Plateau just west of Brown Mountain. It's a hell of a place, but it's gotta be paid for. My Ways and Means committee has determined that if I sleep in my Subaru Wagon three nights a week I can save $190 in fuel and about six hours of dodging roos through the Monaro at stupid O'clock in the morning.

Besides, my car is a shell of it's former self. I usually sleep mornings around the lake and hang out in the reading room at the Library after sunset because it's like Greenland outside. Parliament, when sitting, is also warm and generally open to 11pm or so, and it's free. Well, actually we've already paid for it, so I may as well get some change out of it. It's sort of the point of the whole bit of writing.

June 02, 2012 2:00 AM  

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