Wow, what a BIG HUGE news day it has been today.
Starting with the wonderful, headmasterly Harry Jenkins, Speaker of the House (of Parliament - our big deal Federal one. In Canberra) handing in his notice.
GASPS of shock from the Liberal Party who, it seems, had No Idea it was happening.
I will find a photo of him tomorrow and pop it in, but he is a beardy bespectacled cross between Santa, a science teacher, and a boxing referee. (Or you could just Google "Harry Speaker" - that will be enough to find a link to him!!! Well it was this morning...).
His father, Dr Harry Jenkins was a Speaker in previous times, so Harry grew up with this job cooked into his breakfast porridge, and has handled the shenanigans of the Lower House inmates with humour, tolerance, sometimes intolerance, and grace. A delight to tune in to Question Time each afternoon to see Harry keeping the lions in order and turning them into pussy kittens!!!
Harry Jenkins wants to get back into the hurly-burly of politicking, he has had enough fun up in the Big Chair and now he wants to play with the kids again.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and all the other Members on the Speaker's Left Hand were opposed to the pollie the who was put up to be the new Speaker, a pollie who came from THEIR side of the fence!! Peter Slipper, Liberal Member for somewhere in Queensland next door to where my Mum lives.
It means that in this narrowly held Government that the Liberal Country Party Coalition would be a vote down as the Speaker is meant to be impartial.
Without going into all the politics of it, Peter Slipper has been the smelly one in the school yard and none of his mates liked him or wanted to play with him.
Leaving the door to the shelter shed open for the Labour Party to slip in and court him.
So, the poor old Opposition Party put up their own choice for Speaker - a Labour Member, praised him highly - VERY highly indeed - seconded the motion and all. And the Labour bloke stood, said "Thank you for saying such nice things about me" and declined the offer.
So they put up another Labour Party politician, said nice things about him/her, and the same thing happened.
By about the fifth Labour Member to be nominated by the Opposition, praised, seconded and declined it was all starting to lose it's special love meaning.
They nominated NINE Members before deciding it was perhaps beginning to look a bit sad and try-hard.
I reckon they reached that stage by the third turn-down. If they had been trying to get a dance at a B&B Ball they would have ended up out the back of the hall looking for someone who had a spare slab in the boot, sat down and got pissed as an alternative.
And the Libs cracked the shits and made a rule that said that if any of them became Speaker then he wasn't allowed to be a member of the Liberal Party any more. But 'Slippery Pete' Slipper got to the Chair and made a lovely speech about how he was going to be so impartial he was even going to resign from being a Liberal Party Member. He jumped before they even got to tell him he had to get ready to be pushed...
Anyway, it was lovely politics and made me wish I was sitting in the Press Gallery, or even the Visitors' in Canberra today. Or that the ABC had a Parliament Channel on the TV rather than on the wireless cos it is much more fun when you can see people jumping up and down, and looking embarrassed, or crappy, or shitty when the Speaker flings them out of the House.
Maybe if you are not in Australia and you give a toss you can iView it, or find something on Youtube. Google "Australian Politics" at least.
Hey - I found some footage - good old 7.30 on the ABC
I reckon My Friend Julia did very well today as Prime Minister.
She isn't really my truly ruly friend but I have shared a platform with her in front of thousands and met her a few times, and not everyone can say that.
That wasn't all that happened today.
Prince Fred from Denmark came to Castlemaine today, and got to look at how WE make Danish hams at KR Bacon (otherwise known around here as "The Pig") and be impressed at our cabana. I saw him eat a bit of that. On telly. I didnt go in to town and stand out the front of the factory like "women of a certain age" did. The ABC reporter said that is what they were.
And his wife - OUR MARY got to go see kids at a Primary School in Pakenham.
I wonder who draw the short straw for today's round of regal glad-handing...
I DO like Our Mary, she is very elegant, and laughs a lot when she is around kids. (Probably glad she has her own lovely four at home who are always sweet and clean).
Here is Fred at The Pig and Mary with the school kiddies
And then the last bit of lovely news was that the high school I went to got some money to do stuff with.
Sea Lake High School is now all grown up and is a K-12 College. Meaning it caters for all years from Kindergarten to Y12 (end of HS for us), and all the little schools around have closed.
When I went to school we travelled about 60 kms each way, mostly on dirt roads (yeah yeah, I know - carrying the bus blah, blah. Actually not too far from it, no air-con, and sometimes the bus would bog in the sandy road and we would all have to get out and push...).
And there were 90 of us in Y7, but only 250 kids in the whole school. Yay for Baby Boomers!!!
Anyway, Tyrrell College today were awarded $500,000 (!) so the kids can start a school farm. I reckon you could probably buy about 10,000 acres of the Mallee with that and still have enough over to buy stock and a ute...
The Mallee - uninterrupted views of the horizon...
Here is a story about the grant and the website for the College.