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Call me Madam

bronwyn bishopBut in this chair, I will act impartially. That is the responsibility that goes back to 1377.” – Bronwyn Bishop

Bronwyn Bishop (nee Setright) was born in 1942, the daughter of opera singer Kathleen Congreve.  She decided at a very young age that she wanted to become a politician, joining the Liberal Party at age 17 and the Killara Young Liberals in 1961.

She began a law degree but dropped out when she got engaged.  Bishop first worked as an articled clerk and played an acting role as a barrister in the 1960s Australian television program Divorce Court.

She later gained her professional qualification from the Solicitors’ Admission Board and was admitted to practise law in 1967 as a solicitor, becoming a company director before entering politics in 1973 where she served in various roles as a Liberal Party office-holder until 1987.

In 1987, Bishop was the first woman to be popularly elected as a Senator for New South Wales. In 1989, Andrew Peacock made her Shadow Minister for Public Administration, Federal Affairs and Local Government.  She proved an aggressive debater against the Australian Labor Party, particularly with Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.

In 1992, her 25 year marriage dissolved.

In a move widely seen as furthering her leadership ambitions, Bishop resigned from the Senate on 24 February 1994 to contest the by-election for the safe Liberal seat of Mackellar.  She won the seat but Independent Bob Ellis gave her a scare, and Alexander Downer won leadership of the Liberal Party, with Bishop becoming Shadow Health Minister.

On her first day in the job, she announced her support for tobacco advertising.  Her remarks were attacked by the then AMA president and soon-to-be Liberal MP for the neighbouring seat of Bradfield, Brendan Nelson, who said that: “Mrs Bishop has a lot to learn about health…there are now more than 50,000 pieces of medical research and literature supporting the view that smoking is injurious to humans.” Bishop was subsequently dropped from the portfolio.

In the Howard government, Bishop became the first Liberal woman from New South Wales to become a minister when she was appointed Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel and later Minister for Aged Care.

The revelation that some residents at Melbourne’s Riverside private nursing home had suffered blistering after being bathed in a weak kerosene solution as a cure for scabies led to a national outcry over the standards of care maintained by Bishop’s department. She was dropped from the ministry after the 2001 election.

An affirmed monarchist, Bishop, supported the ‘No’ campaign leading up to the failed 1999 Republican referendum.   In response to a physical brawl during a debate on Ray Martin’s Midday show, she issued a media release which said:

“It may well have been High Noon on the Midday Show when Ron Casey took a swipe at Normie Rowe but this conduct indicates just how divisive the debate on the Monarchy has become. Not content to see the country on its knees as a result of the recession the Labor Party must be pleased that it is dividing the community on an issue which has absolutely no political relevance.”

In 2004 she campaigned to succeed Neil Andrew as Speaker of the House, but was not successful.

In 2005, Bishop called for Muslim headscarves to be banned from public schools saying that “she is opposed to the wearing of the Muslim headscarf, where it does not form part of the school uniform. This is because that in most cases the headscarf is being worn as a sign of defiance and difference between non-Muslim and Muslim students” and then went on to say that she “does not believe that a ban on the Jewish skull cap is necessary, because people of the Jewish faith have not used the skull cap as a way of campaigning against the Australian culture, laws and way of life.”

After the Cronulla riots, Bishop introduced a bill which sought to make it “a criminal offence to wilfully destroy or otherwise mutilate the Flag in circumstances where a reasonable person would infer that the destruction or mutilation is intended publicly to express contempt or disrespect for the Flag or the Australian Nation.”  I am not sure whether she ever expressed any concern for the innocent victims who were bashed by a bunch of drunken Aussie yobbos.  The bill lapsed and did not go to the vote.

Shortly before the Howard Government lost office, Bishop headed the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services, and released the report “The winnable war on drugs: The impact of illicit drug use on families”. The report was highly critical of harm minimisation and suggested mandatory adoption of children under 5 years of age whose parents were known to use drugs. The report was widely criticised by a range of organisations such as Family Drug Support, the Australian Democrats and the Australian Drug Foundation for lacking evidence, being ideologically driven, and having the potential to do massive harm to Australia.

When Malcolm Turnbull was elected leader of the Liberal Party, he dropped Bishop from the Shadow Ministry, prompting her to say from the back benches “Malcolm seems to have been strong at the beginning but now he has gone soft.”  When Abbott staged his leadership coup, Bishop was rewarded with elevation back to the Shadow Ministry for Seniors.

Since becoming Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2013, Ms Bishop has relished the power, using her position to stifle debate and showing unprecedented and unbecoming partisanship towards the government.  Points of Order from the Opposition are ignored or dismissed.  Their speaking time is cut short while members of the government are allowed to go on, and on, and on.  Interjection or dissention from the Opposition sees them quickly ejected whereas it seems the Treasurer can completely ignore the chair’s direction with impunity.

May I remind the Speaker, for persistent defiance of the Chair, a Member may be ‘named’ by the Chair and a motion for the Member’s suspension (usually for 24 hours) may be moved.

Could I also remind the Speaker that an important part of your task is to protect the rights of individuals and minorities in the House and make sure that everyone is treated fairly within the framework set by the rules.

Allowing the leader of the Opposition to be called “Electricity Bill”, or the Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood to be referred to as “the princess from Adelaide”, is unacceptable.  Gagging debate on infrastructure legislation and then making snide remarks at Mr Burke, implying Anthony Albanese appeared to have replaced him as Manager of Opposition Business, is not what you are there for.

“The former leader of the house, who is now apparently the acting manager of government – opposition business – has given the chair advice,” Ms Bishop said.

“The question is that the motion be agreed to. If the Manager of Opposition Business is raising a point of order to resume his status then it is acknowledged.”

Mr Burke responded with a dissent motion in Ms Bishop’s rulings.

“The comments that you made with respect to me would be interjections that were reasonable when you were merely in this House as a Member for Mackellar, rules that were reasonable for any minister to get up and try to make a half-funny, childish interjection,” he said.

“But you need to recognise, Madam Speaker, that you are meant to be impartial.

“You need to recognise, Madam Speaker, that the office you hold is greater and more important than your own political rhetoric.”

Perhaps you need to revisit the parliamentary guidelines on the role of the Speaker.  You may find these few pertinent.

“In representing the House the Speaker represents and is responsible to the House and all of its Members, whether in government or opposition. He or she is not responsible to the Executive Government and seeks to preserve the House’s independence from it.

The Speaker supervises rather than participates in proceedings.

As a rule, Speakers have been sufficiently detached from government activity to ensure what can be justly claimed to be a high degree of impartiality in the Chair.

Members are entitled to expect that, even though the Speaker belongs to and is nominated to the position by a political party, his or her functions will be carried out impartially.”

Behind the Governor General, Prime Minister, state Governors and Premiers, Speaker of the House is the most prestigious position in our political hierarchy and it comes with significant reward.  The Speaker receives an additional salary and expense of office allowance (slightly more than those of the majority of Ministers) in addition to his or her salary and allowances as a Member of Parliament.

In the British House of Commons the Speaker abandons all party loyalties. When governments change, the current Speaker is re-elected to office, and at general elections a Speaker is usually unopposed by the major parties. This is not the situation in Australia but Bronwyn Bishop is presenting a firm case for making it an essential change.

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78 comments

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  1. Matters Not

    Let’s not forget that at one stage she was a serious candidate for leadership of the Libs. She took to making speeches heavily laced with Friedrich Hayek. In many instances it was plagiarism writ large.

  2. Kerri

    Totally agree Kaye Lee. Her bias is breathtaking!!! She needs to be censured and removed as she is clearly incapable of the job. Where is James Ashby when you need him?

  3. Terry2

    Very interesting and well researched Kaye Lee.

    Bronnie is certainly making a strong case for a completely independent appointment as Speaker, possibly from the judiciary of perhaps an elected position by way of a 2/3 majority nomination of both sides of the House.

    Contrast how well the Senate is chaired by the current President and how well the respective Speakers in the House of Reps. did under Labor, in particular Peter Slipper.

  4. oldfart

    I will certainly call her madam, because at the moment she is running a brothel.

  5. FSM is coming.

    This is one of the major issues I cant get my head around. She is clearly bias and repeatedly shown her dislike of anything on the left. Why is this aloud to continue???? Isn’t there laws against this??

    If we think we have a democracy we are mistaken.

  6. FSM is coming.

    Hit the nail right on the head ‘oldfart’!! Internet points to you.

  7. doctorrob54

    This poor sick thing is justification enough for euthanasia.Instead they wind her up in the AM and bed her down at sun set.It would be cruel what they do to this poor old tart,but for the fact she is enjoying herself.

  8. Bart Hayes

    She’s doing the job the Prime Minister put her there for. Impartiality was never part of the role description.

  9. Graeme Rust

    A bitter, sour old dried up old prune. who could that be ???

  10. denniallen

    Who sacks the Speaker?

  11. David Somerfield

    Once upon a time I took the attitude that political discourse should be polite and dignified. I have however come to learn that this is a waste of time when fighting Tories so….Bronwyn Bshop is a vile pustulant piece of garbage who should be kicked out of parliament if her electorate had any shred of decency.

  12. Kaye Lee

    denniallen,

    Can only happen through a vote of no confidence which, because of the numbers, would never succeed in the HoR.

  13. Dave

    Nice timely article Kaye, the numerous, currently circulating petitions about anything and everthing should include one for the censure of ‘madam’ speaker and for her removal from that office! I have the feeling that Australia is approaching widespread political turmoil, Qld appears to be a basket case, same in the west, Victoria (where the Premiers car ran over a protesters leg yesterday) is just surviving, NSW still has ongoing Crime Commission issues, I really wonder how long it will be before there is a serious uprising aimed fairly and squarely at abbort?

  14. billie11

    I hope she wobbles off her impossibly high heels one day soon

  15. mars08

    I am old enough to know that, quite often, you CAN judge a book by it’s cover. Brandis, Abbot, Pyne and Bishop are living proof.

  16. Gina

    She is not impartial and has demonstrated time and time again that she favours her liberal antics. She should be replaced with someone that can remain impartial and can abide by the rules of the Speaker and how they are to conduct themselves whilst in the position they hold. It’s time for her to GO.

  17. Jane Plane

    The LNP are acting as if there is NO opposition. NO media to scrutinise policy. NO voters to vote them out. NO independent organisations to contradict or question the basis of their assumptions and NO questions to answer. Their arrogance is breathtaking.

  18. Roswell

    The people should elect the Speaker. But that would present problems too. Case in point – the people elected the Abbott Government.

    Maybe those that put their names up for election should not belong to any political party.

    Or maybe Bishop should just do her job properly.

  19. Fed up

    Madame of what?

    Today is worse than ever. Did not believe that was possible.

  20. Fed up

    madam
    ˈmadəm/
    noun
    noun: madam; plural noun: madams

    1.
    used to address or refer to a woman in a polite or respectful way.
    “Can I help you, madam?”
    used to address a woman at the start of a formal or business letter.
    noun: Madam
    “Dear Madam, …”
    used before a title to address or refer to a female holder of that position.
    noun: Madam
    “Madam President”
    2.
    Brit.informal
    a conceited or bossy girl or young woman.
    “she’s a proper little madam”
    3.
    a woman who runs a brothel.

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=call+me+madam&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb&gfe_rd=cr&ei=sWQqU-ShBaqN8Qf604HADQ#channel=sb&q=what+is+a+madam&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

    Burke thrown out.

  21. Fed up

    Could one say she is the madam of a disorderly house.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Funny you should say that Jason.

    She enjoys singing and dancing, having appeared in several charity productions including The Sound of Music (as Baroness Elsa), and Grease (as the Headmistress). In 2007, she sang a duet of Irving Berlin’s A Couple of Swells with then Health Minister, Tony Abbott, at a fund-raiser in Sydney

  23. F Hunt

    The real Australia deserves better… This woman is an indication of the type of politics we now have to endure ..and we will. We must however be aware that the damage done by this particular group has to be minimized at least until we finally get a statesman or stateswoman back in charge. The real people are starting to sit up and take notice note the recent March in March. Beware the Ides of March.

  24. jasonblog

    @David Somerfield makes a very good point. I know I’ve been drawn into making intemperate comments about Tony Abbott because of his wilfully belligerent demeanour. I try to remind myself to rise above it, but it is difficult!

    In a perverse sort of way Bronwyn Bishop is the most appropriate of people to have as speaker for this truly disturbing House. She obviously has identity issues and her impersonation of the Terrence Stamp character from ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ is fascinating to watch in a macabre “I see it but don’t believe it kind of way.” I’m half expecting her to break out into a rousing rendition of “Hello Dolly!”

    Unlike Danny La Rue who had immense fun with being a professional drag queen, Madam Bishop seems to want to take herself seriously. Yet, her efforts only ever result in her becoming increasingly a caricature of complete and utter irrelevance. Once upon a time she could have been a contender, she could have been somebody, she could have been Australia’s very own Dame Maggie T, and she still might if Gina Rinehart gets hew way… Scary, spooky & creepy.

  25. Winifred Jeavons

    Seems we have the “best democracy money can buy “. Or may be about 3rd best. . I am continually amazed by what passes for government now . Who will govern for the people this oligarchy leaves behind ?

  26. Shae Tasnim

    Reblogged this on Sheila Allsorts and commented:
    Food for thought.

  27. mars08

    The LNP are acting as if there is NO opposition. NO media to scrutinise policy. NO voters to vote them out. NO independent organisations to contradict or question the basis of their assumptions and NO questions to answer….

    They also act as if ALL future governments will be LNP governments, and nobody will ever get a chance to turn their own dodgy tactics against them. And if Abbott continues to get his way, they may well be right!!! Terrifying stuff….

  28. cornlegend

    “But in this chair, I will act impartially. That is the responsibility that goes back to 1377.” – Bronwyn Bishop

    The most biased reprehensible and incompetent Speaker, possibly since 1377

  29. Janice Warne

    Disgusting display of bias, from Ms Bishop! All fair minded Australians can see this…..and what about the outfits?! NOT businesslike…..enough with the numerous bijoux!!!

  30. cornlegend

    The only things with a possibility of surviving Armageddon
    Cockroaches and Bronnies hair

  31. mick quinlivan

    ohh she has a hidden agenda…… so partisan that the position will HAVE to be reformed….aka UK?

  32. Sonia Curtis

    @David Somerfield … RE: your comment … LIKE!

  33. Sonia Curtis

    @cornlegend … RE: your comment … LIKE!!

  34. Darren

    A dried up old post menopausal old country party member.. Sorry she a lady liberal.

  35. AJ Canberra

    mars, they fully intend that Kevin Rudd will be known as Australia’s last non-Liberal PM. The raft of inquiries and Royal Commissions are designed to make pariahs of the union movement and Labor.
    On the Speaker’s position-I would favour the position being appointed for life or until 70 years old, by 2/3 vote of the Parliament to prevent purely political appointments. That would, however, requires constitutional change. I like the independence of the British system, however I don’t like depriving an electorate of the right to choose their representative, even if they use that right to vote in Bronwyn Bishop.

  36. mars08

    What we are seeing from madam Bishop and the government front bench is a shameless display of the LNP “born to rule” attitude. They are beyond common decency and fairness. They are the annointed ones chosen to serve the elite. Everyone else can just get stuffed.

  37. James Cook

    But, once again, the MSM appear not to have noticed Bronny’s incompetence. Not a mention anywhere, anytime! Wonder why? Methinks we will be stuck with Abbott and his band of merry marauders for a long, long time. Why? MSM will ensure only pro-LNP news is aired/published. We are up shit creek without a paddle!

  38. Zvyozdochka (@Zvyozdochka)

    We need term and age limits. She is not representative of greater Australia as a HoR member or speaker.

    She is however helping to ensure the 44th Parliament will be remembered as perhaps the worst in Australian history.

    It’s at times like this I admire the courage of Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott who I think realised that Australians would have to experience a One-Term-Tony govt to understand what a vile mess they could create given their heads.

  39. Conrad

    She reminds me of the anti-tank bollards that used to line the beaches and fields; she should be refered to not as Madam Speaker but as ‘Maginot Bishop’. She flicks off fair and reasonable advice about how to behave as though Parliament is a war zone.

  40. Jo Riley-Fitzer

    Each day brings new lows. The only comfort I get is thinking how badly history will judge this awful woman, her awful leader and this awful government.

  41. olddavey

    It’s time the opposition walked out en masse and refused to return until she is gone.
    This parliament under Abbott will become a laughing stock the world over, like our country is becoming under these tea partyists.

    As for Call me Madam, she looks like a Madame Tussauds dummy, only uglier.

  42. Stephen Tardrew

    Labor needs to grow spine and stand up to Bishop by walking out. Nothing is going to change the LNP and the coalition of selfishness unless there is strong opposition. Labor needs to make a noise, any which way, to counter the overwhelming odds.

    Maybe someone could collate some of the best posts on this sight, especially Kaye’s, and flood left leaning media and the Labor party with suggestions. God knows they need some.

    If we could have a consensus document of lists of issues promoted by progressives and flood Labor with one clearly defined policy document we could join forces around a core set of objectives. Just a suggestion.

  43. randalstella

    James Cook brought up a relevant and telling point: (perhaps others have elsewhere).
    Not a clue,not a hint, from the MSM on the extraordinary behaviour of this terrible woman.
    The MSM act as if the Abbott regime are just another Government, when it is very clear each day how weird and extreme they are. Hardly a day goes by without this regime taking the trouble to show itself as waging a civil war against so many of the Australian community: scientists, unionists, educators, public servants, environmentalists, disability pensioners… and workers generally. And yet the loopy hostility of all this is treated as if rational policy from a “conservative” perspective.
    The conduct of this rotten woman should at least make footage for News services. Why are the Media not interested?
    They need to be challenged on this. Unlike policy,which can be misrepresented, there is no hiding the improper motive behind her actions. She does not seem capable of hiding it.
    QT is shown on ABC TV. Surely the ABC see this? Does it mean nothing to them? Do they think all Speakers behave like this? Why is it alright now?Just imagine the uproar in the Media if a Labor Speaker had behaved like this.
    It is going to be hard to throw this mob of gangsters out without some help from the ‘old’ Media. Indeed without the Media, this mob of vicious misfits would have struggled even to present themselves as a serious Opposition, let alone been able to lie and abuse their way into Government.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Labor is also guilty of poor behaviour in QT. What is worse is their waste of questions. Basically every question today was about Arthur Sinodinis who has already stood down and will front ICAC shortly. Ok, one question maybe, but wasting all of them on trying to trick Abbott into misleading Parliament is just a silly waste of time.

    Why not ask the PM if he can explain the difference between a carbon tax, a fixed price ETS, and a market price ETS?

  45. bill

    i do believe that the lower house is a shambles ,bias very strong,watch almost daily and if we were to behave in the manner that most behave we would be punished in some way,what gets up my goat is the way questions are not truly answered.as for the speaker she appears to favour the party she is a member of,and that is not her job as speaker,no wonder most people don’t like the members that they have voted for as they behave like some children in the playground and that is unfair to the children as they behave better

  46. cornlegend

    I think it should be compulsory for all members of the Opposition ,when the House is sitting to avoid QT, and from 2pm till 3 .15 pm all gather on the lawns of Parliament House and have a sausage sizzle.
    Buy your sausage sanger from Albo, or Burkie, or Tanya etc, $2 a sanger.
    The money could go to a different Charity every day.
    At least they would be doing something useful, cause they can’t, indoors with this idiot Speaker.and nothing worthwhile comes out of that wasted time.
    Alternately, if they did attend QT, the sausage sizzle could still be staffed by the half dozen or so that inevitably get to “leave the Chamber under 94a” from this biased beehive.Speaker.
    Add pies to the menu and Palmer wouldn’t attend QT either.
    Any loose change collected could buy a blood pressure kit, to check if Shorten still has a pulse.

  47. mark delmege

    and that other Bishop who represents us as a foreign minister is an embarrassment. Dopey, stupid and tool of empire. She would have been born with more sense. Not that Labor* has made any sense on the international stage for many years and in general the greens are too frightened to take on anything of substance. Funnily enough only Wikileaks as a party has put in any time at educating people to the state of the world.

    Clear the desks and offices put the lot out.

    *did you hear how Carr and Bomber attended Bohemian Grove festival http://kellietranter.com/2014/03/carr-beazley-grove/

  48. randalstella

    They could rock up wearing Bronnie wigs – for all the difference it would make. Might make the papers.
    Have I got Kaye’s article right? Is it true that Bob Ellis once “gave her a scare”. Hide him in the corridor and get him to do it again.
    Is it true that in 1992 she dissolved her husband? See if she’s still got some of that stuff lying around the house.

  49. Fed up

    Maybe it is time we began bombarding the Speaker’s office with emails. Maybe the PM’s as well.

  50. Kaye Lee

    randalstella,

    I found the term “dissolved” strange too. I wasn’t quite sure what it meant so I just quoted it verbatim from the source. The reason I included it is because I am concerned about the way Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews and the like are speaking about divorce. Just pointing out that it can happen to anyone.

    The Bob Ellis thing was interesting because he contributed to derailing Bronnie’s tilt for the leadership when he polled better than anticipated against her in the election – she didn’t get the landslide to which she felt entitled so she was persuaded/decided not to run and Downer got the leadership.

  51. Dissenter.

    Perhaps it is TIME for the people of Australia to determine by writing a petition declaring a vote of no confidence in the SPEAKER.
    Her BIAS is an attack on democracy.
    @Cornie, Your comment about SHORTENS pulse is WELL put. Labor is ABORTED under SHORTEN.
    The entire LABOR party is ABORTED because it is disabled. IT HAS lost its CAPACITY TO FUNCTION AS A VIABLE PARTY in OPPOSITION.
    THis is NOT DOWN TO THE SPEAKERS ABOMINATIONS. IT IS THE LACK OF DETERMINED,PLANNED AND STRATEGIC attack in the HOR and this ATTACK HAS TO BE LED by the LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION>
    SO right Cornlegend: they should have a sausage sizzle.

  52. randalstella

    The point about whingeing about the present Speaker is to get a tag on what Abbott’s mob are up to, what their methods mean about them, so they can be countered.
    Why is this dysfunctional woman in the Speaker’s chair? What purpose is she serving?
    It is clear enough that she is another implement in this regime’s obsession with punishment. They live each day to punish every imaginable opponent. Everyone who might oppose or differ from them they want punished. For example they sack scientists, for being scientists. They replace them with bods who will promote this punishment of science further.
    Everything they advocate is absolute dogma; and any imagined hint of a breach of dogma gets denunciation, excommunication..
    Of course the first heretics will be the Labor Party; and the obvious start point in Parliamentary politics is the Speaker.
    It’s not hard to see Abbott’s mob as fixated on punishment The hurdle seems to be to acknowledge this – and seek means to exploit it. With its congruence with the loopy predators of the Catholic Church, the punitive approach is quite inflexible, maladaptive. It is tied to its fixations. It preoccupies and distracts these obsessives.They are hardly there to govern at all.
    It’s all about gimmicks. If you do not get the gimmicks right, you will NEVER get into Government to implement substantive policies. The Labor Party need to put up someone who it will not look good to be seen punishing;e.g. the woman who lost the last (unwinnable) NSW election might be a chance:wholesome and Christian Christine K..
    The main problem with Bill Shorten is he is an obvious target for punishment; and he has no gimmicks to come back with. This leads to disquiet among the ranks. It would not matter what Shorten did; he’s got bulls-eye written on him.
    In considering how to counter the Government of abuse, you need to consider how comfortable their Media will be promoting their attacks. Labor need a leader the Media will feel less comfortable attacking. When Labor elected Shorten, the Caucus went for the usual, predictable new leader. In these unprecedented times,when Government is in the hands of dogmatic thugs, an obvious target for Abbott and his Media was not the way to go.
    The extra Labor voters needed in the next election will come from the same shallow and selfish, grasping and sentimental, Media-addled culture as Abbott’s barrackers. I’d go young(ish) and blonde: take the hint from what the Media prizes as their journalistic front. Go Newsreader-worthy.

  53. randalstella

    The deepest apologies. It is of course Kristina K. All the better, the double ‘K’.Ties in with the cereal ad already burnt into the collective consciousness.

  54. Fed up

    Dissenter, I do not mean to be rude, have you watched QT.. This speaker allows no questions through to the keeper. Even Albanese cannot break through.

    Shorten has been impressive, when he has been allowed to speak.

    This government and speaker ignores all conventions and parliament norms.

    Yes, petitions, but maybe just bombarding the Speaker and others with daily emails to their boxes, outlining what has annoyed one each day.

    Will have to acknowledge, if they want to use the system.

    CC Them to all government ministers.

    Also to tho parliamentary officers.

    Might have some effect.

  55. mars08

    randalstella:

    It is clear enough that she is another implement in this regime’s obsession with punishment. They live each day to punish every imaginable opponent…

    Correct… Their attitude is take no prisoners… winner takes all. And why do they think they can keep doing this???? Because they are convinced that they are our rightful rulers. They are certain that the LNP is the natural party to govern Australia. Because they cannot imagine a time when the LNP will no longer be in power, they have nothing to fear from lowering the standard of acceptable political behavior.

  56. Fed up

    “When Labor elected Shorten, the Caucus went for the usual, predictable new leader. In these unprecedented times,when Government is in the hands of dogmatic thugs, an obvious target for Abbott and his Media was not the way to go.”

    It would no who we put up, the government and MSM would treatment a similar manner.

    It is fact, that the Deputy Labor leader is getting worse treatment., Treatment that more than borders on cruelty.

    There is s another way of looking at the problems Labor faces. Could it be time for all Labor people to get behind, what is now n elected leader.

    Time to put a end to the MSM and the likes of Abbott, deciding who leads the Labor Party..
    The truth is, for Labor to thrive, Shorten has to win this one.

    He cannot do it alone.

    There is no way, whether one likes the man or not, that Labor would benefitted by Shorten going.

    Just a thought. May be some can point out to me, how Labor can be better off, by continuous attacks on Shorten, leading to his demise.?

    Shorten is not my first pick, but he now has the job.

  57. randalstella

    Forget about Question Time. It’s not that important anymore. Even if there were a much better Speaker, e.g.Peter Slipper, QT is a relic from a time when it was assumed that substance mattered to performance, and performance was slight without it. Long gone. Performance dominates content now. Accusation overrides truth.
    The value of this regime installing a Speaker who makes such a deliberate mockery of Parliamentary procedure is what it reveals about these gangsters, and how to treat them: see above.
    They are old sectarian warriors. If Labor were able to handle this right, this would make a fatal impression on the Free-thinking public motorist. You’d have to wrestle the factional warlords to get things going.

  58. Dissenter.

    @Fed Up. No I do not take that as rudeness and Yes I watch it almost every day for some of it anyway. I am aware of the TRAVESTY taking place.
    It is up to LEADERSHIP to determine strategic actions in the FACE OF ALL obstacles.
    THis is not being done as Cornie says. THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES and as QT is televised WELL THAT IS AN OPPORTUNITY they have not taken.
    IT is time that the SP is humiliated for her misconduct and EXPOSED.
    BUT OF COURSE lets not beat around the bush IT IS LNP MISCONDUCT.
    THERE are also legal avenues and yes there are lawyers in LABOR.
    IF they have HAD SUCCESSFUL LEADERSHIP then THIS WOULD NOT STILL BE HAPPENING.
    THAT it isSTILL HAPPENING IS DISABLING AND DAMAGING THE LABOR PARTY which is JUST HOW LNP LIKE IT.
    So while I would agree with you that LABOR might not BENEFIT unfortunately THERE IS NOW NO CHOICE BECAUSE IN THE MOST PUBLIC OF WAYS AND EVERY SITTING DAY the LABOR PARTY IS BEING DAMAGED PUBLICLY and TRIVIALISED PUBLICLY and televised in the process DUE TO THE SPEAKERS MISCONDUCT AND THE >>>>>FAILURE OF THE LABOR LEADERSHIP.
    HE HAS TO GO.
    He has to go because HE IS NOT CAPABLE OF SUCCESSFULLY LEADING THE PARTY.

  59. Had a gutfull

    People must realize that we are at war with this corrupt government.She is in this position for a reason. Dah!This silly old boiler is getting off on the fact of this power .She”s amoral and is of low intelligence. She has a big ego and has very low self esteem/ Perfect manipulation material for Tony Abbott.

  60. randalstella

    OK Fed Up,
    I am with you on the lack of justification of many of the actual attacks on Shorten – except for those criticisms confining themselves to how he is too conservative for comfort as an anti-Coalition leader. That includes “conservative” strategically. He’s a real conservative – in contrast to Abbott.
    But, I fear this real contrast does not have traction with electorate perceptions;for which he a “Unionist”. Simplistic abuse filters through to the distracted sports-mad public, giving them prompts on which team to follow and which to heckle.
    Like most new leaders of a just-defeated Government, Shorten may be warming the chair for the leader who will contest the next election. His demeanour suggests he knows this; which does not help. It is to his credit that he looks dismayed by the job of having to deal daily and publicly with licensed gangsters with the power over him. Nothing in the factional dealings in the Labor Party could quite prepare anyone of any sensibility for this arduous job, sitting across from carping hoons. Extremist hoons elected by the public; the same public needed to get them out again.

  61. Fed up

    It does matter what is happening. In the sense

    The government was making much of the fact, that Shorten cannot not even ask a question, that is not ruled out of order.

    Yes, it is all about perception. Thanks to the disgraceful actions of this speaker, the Opposition is made to look incompetent.

    Anyone following QT, and not relying on snap shots shown on the media, would know this. Those who do not, would think k Shorten is useless.

    Of course that is the aim of Abbott. What worries me more, is the fact, the MSM backs him up.

    The truth is, Abbott is a shockingly bad parliamentary performer, but this is not shown to the public.

  62. randalstella

    Fed Up
    Not new about QT; but certainly more of the same;just as Abbott is like Howard’s crazier younger brother.

    Howard’s mob in Opposition were a disgraceful, moral rabble – who pushed how they deplored the poor standards in Parliament. By moral equivalence – that very powerful tool of propaganda – the Media joined Howard in deflecting the true responsibility from the real perpetrators to Labor. And this persisted through the PMship of that louse.
    QT matters to you, to your credit. It is not central to electoral prospects,except as a guide to how public perceptions can be warped. It is more consequence than cause.

  63. Kaye Lee

    I think the whole strategy from Labor is wrong. They spent days asking over and over WHEN Scott Morrison found out about Manus. This week they spent every question asking WHEN Abbott found out various things about Sinodinis. They asked Hockey WHEN he spoke to Qantas, SPC, Holden etc etc. This is all just rubbish and the repetition is mind-numbing. Ask them questions that they have to answer that expose their lies and mismanagement.

    For example, ask about the cost of Operation Sovereign Borders. They ask those questions in Senate committees but the MSM don’t string it all together. We see reports about billions for unmanned drones and one-use lifeboats, billions for Transfield to operate concentration camps, billions to keep the fleet patrolling. Start shining light on the cost. But they won’t do this because they don’t want to talk about offshore detention.

    As I said before, ask Abbott to explain the difference between a carbon tax, a fixed price ETS, and a market price ETS. Make HIM put paid to the carbon tax lie.

    Ask him to guarantee that there will be no sanctions levied against Qantas due to our lack of carbon pricing when it flies in Europe, or on other exports as other countries increasingly introduce emission reduction programs.

    Ask him to guarantee that South Korea cannot sue us for environmental controls imposed on the mines they own here. Shine a light on the consequences to our PBS of the evergreening of patents on drugs.

    I agree QT is a waste of time but as it is televised it is one way to make Abbott turn up. It should be used wisely, not wasted on gotcha moments, theatrics, and repetitious persistent questions about things that don’t matter. I had to agree with Bishop and Pyne (shudder) when they said that there is a process for dealing with allegations of misleading Parliament. Either put up or shut up and move onto something that IS important.

  64. Dissenter.

    Yes Kaye in total agreement.
    THE HOR is spectator SPORT LIKE GLADIATORS AND LABOR IS BEING FED TO THE LIONS BY poor STRATEGY.
    Well as far as I understand STRATEGY is LEADERSHIP decision and the CAPACITY TO MAKE STRATEGY WORK IS a TEST OF LEADERSHIP.
    SHORTEN HAS taken 30 of the research assistants for his office SO HE SHOULD have the CAPACITY to DRAFT a speech and MAKE IT WORK IN THE HOR.( irrespective of the SPEAKER). THey have the floor for an allotted time AFTER ALL.
    THIS IS THE FAILURE. These opportunities are NOT BEING TAKEN and NOT BEING PURSUED.

    THIS is a SPINELESS LEADERSHIP that has no capacity to lead. WHY CAN”T HE DELIVER A SPEECH for god sake that is pre-written???? if they are pre-written they can betested for relevance etc.
    Why ARE BOTH HE AND BURKE ….ineffectual…. If they planned their ATTACK and had pre-written speeches to deliver then so long as they STAND UP they should be able to deliver them.
    She gave adam Bandt three chances to reframe a question after all.

  65. pvcann

    If only she understood what was required

  66. Solusnauta

    Can someone tell me if the role as described above is to be an independent and impartial speaker of HOR, how is it that she is allowed to attend cabinet meetings.

  67. Alpotts

    Yes I dont think she should be speaker – I SHOULD BE so when idiots like Shorten and Burke start carrying on like pork chops I can just tell them to F*#k off because that’s the only language these cretins understand. You lot have short memories – Harry Jenkins wasn’t the paragon of impartiality. The President of the Senate Bob Hogg is OK but look at the rabble he has to associate with – the Green and ALP senators.

  68. Kaye Lee

    On what do you base that assertion about Harry Jenkins? He was actually renowned for his impartiality.

    “As Speaker under the Rudd government, Mr Jenkins was Friendly Harry, a genial Speaker who was regarded as fair (too fair, government ministers griped privately on occasion) and who was much given to gentle drollery from the chair.

    He had chums, a nice office, the respect of his peers and the satisfaction of being a successful Speaker in the noble footsteps of his father, Harry Jenkins Snr.

    Not any more.

    These days, Harry Jenkins has a nightmarish chamber to manage, whose hair-trigger numbers transform every decision he makes into a national drama.

    His pride in his own impartiality is costing him friends in his own party.

    And he is forced to adjudicate the chamber using new rules drafted at a meeting to which he was not invited.”

  69. David Grant Lloyd (@davidgrantlloyd)

    I don’t call her ‘madam’. I can think of several more appropriate names to call her … and ‘madam’ didn’t even make the top ten

  70. Truth Seeker

    Thanks Kaye for another fine piece 😎 Love your work 🙂

    Bronny (I’m not senile… Am I?… what was the question?) Bishop, is the antithesis of what she promised to be at her swearing in, and absolutely the worst and most incompetent speaker ever.

    She also got a good mention (but not in a “good” way) in my latest post “So if you work for me… You’re Fired!” 🙂

    So, if you work for me… You’re fired!

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers 🙂

  71. Frank Hunt

    Delores Umbridge has taken over the speakers position. Death-eaters are now in Government. Voldemort is not dead he is alive and well and living in Tony Abbott. Harry potter we need you now..!!

  72. Barry Everingham

    Bishop is an absolute disgrace and just doesn’t understand her role.
    I am amazed at the smile almost of love that she gives the appalling sexually confused Christopher Pyne,who is the parliaments pariah.

  73. Kaye Lee

    You have to be kidding me Gab. You obviously do not watch question time. Today was just about the last straw. Anna Bourke was a good speaker. Bishop, in 4 months, has kicked out 99 Labor MPs and ZERO Coalition MPs even though on several occasions they have defied her ruling to resume their seats and have used unparliamentary language which she grins as she condones. She enters the debate from the chair which is not allowed. Read what is being said about her in the press everywhere. Bishop is NOT the person for the job. She is a Liberal warrior and cannot be impartial.

  74. Gab

    “Since becoming Speaker of the House of Representatives, Anna Bourke has relished the power, using her position to stifle debate and showing unprecedented and unbecoming partisanship towards the government. Points of Order from the Opposition are ignored or dismissed. Their speaking time is cut short while members of the government are allowed to go on, and on, and on. Interjection or dissention from the Opposition sees them quickly ejected whereas it seems the Treasurer can completely ignore the chair’s direction with impunity.”

    Edited to reflect reality onto this site.

  75. Michael Taylor

    You have to be kidding me Gab.

    I think he/she is kidding everybody, Kaye.

  76. doctorrob54

    Gab,Gab,Gab,are you trying to be funny or what,how can you compare Anna Bourke and the poor old,call me madam speaker we have now.Are you watching the same farce.

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