Two grubs don't make a butterfly

Double standards don’t get much better than this. From last Thursday’s Hansard:

Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Leader of the House) (12.34 pm)—I move: That that snivelling grub over there be not further heard.

Opposition members interjecting—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lindsay)—Order! Members shall not speak in the gangway.

Mr Albanese—Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I ask the obvious, which is that the Leader of the House withdraw that remark. He has a particular responsibility to uphold standards in this House. He once again has gone that yard too far.

Mr Abbott—If I have offended grubs, I withdraw unconditionally.

From today’s SMH:

But Ms Gillard, the manager of opposition business in the lower house, interrupted his speech on the merits of the bill.

“I move that that snivelling grub over there be not further heard,” she said.
Speaker of the house, David Hawker, asked Ms Gillard to withdraw the comment, to which she responded: “If I have offended grubs I withdraw unconditionally.”

But Mr Hawker was not satisfied and asked her to withdraw “without reservation”.

Ms Gillard insisted she had acted in accordance with the speaker’s ruling yesterday that Mr Abbott withdraw similar comments he made about Labor frontbencher Kelvin Thomson last week.

But Mr Hawker was not happy, and Mr Abbott asked that his opposition counterpart be ordered from the chamber.

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9 Responses to Two grubs don't make a butterfly

  1. Bring Back EP at LP says:

    of course if she didn’t utter those words which the ALP previously had argued was unparliamentary then she would still be in Parliament and would not have sunk to Abbott like lows!

  2. Patrick says:

    Of course, the Speaker might not have allowed Mr Abbott’s comment, and the Deputy Speaker might have allowed Ms Gillard’s.

    And Homer is right, she probably deserved to be evicted just for lame and derivative humour.

  3. Andrew Leigh says:

    Homer, fair point.

    Also, a commenter emailed me to make the point that it was Speaker Hawker presiding over Abbott, and Deputy Speaker Lindsay presiding over Gillard.

  4. Corin says:

    There is a fine line between the great Parliamentary attack and simply playing the man.

    In much the same way as Keating was rightly proud on whether “a soufflé’ could rise twice” as a reference to Andrew Peacock, Tony Abbott would have been fairly happy with the jibe at Beazley that he was a “sanctimonious windbag”.

    Strange – sometimes these things stick. Of course it’s only when there’s a little bit of truth mixed with a lie that it works. And they work best when done with humour – see the Keating jibe – which is obvious now but must have been hilarious if you were sitting in the press gallery. Roars of approval from the back bench!

    Otherwise though, those doing it just look uncouth, and unfit for the highest office. It really amazes me looking back – especially on my time in the ALP – how much political presentation has moved on in Britain and the US (especially looking at the style) and yet the ALP has not realised that jibes and oafish barbs are really unappealing to most people. People want the policy/political message – not the message being: “my mother failed on the manners front”

    As a point of interest – can anyone remember Costello who is also meant to be a Parliamentary hard man – using such personal jibes! I can’t recall one ……….

  5. Damo says:

    The point of Gillard’s comments was really about testing the Speaker’s independence and highlighting his governmental bias. (Yes, I know,it was the deputy speaker once and then the speaker the other time). It makes a mockery of Howard’s claim in Opposition of his desire to have an independant speaker and to raise the standards of parliament.

    Under the current system I think it is always difficult for a Speaker to be truly independant, but the Deputy Speaker SHOULD have come down stronger on Abbot’s original comments last week. That would’ve been relatively easy for him and could have shown some independance from the Government on what really is a trivial issue.

    If the Speaker can’t be independanyt on an issue of basic manners and behaviour, how can we trust him or her to be independant when it comes to far more important matters of state?

  6. Russell Hamilton says:

    “As a point of interest – can anyone remember Costello who is also meant to be a Parliamentary hard man – using such personal jibes! I can’t recall one ………. ”

    Not the Costello / Sherry “Oh Possum you’re home” speech?

  7. Corin says:

    Russell Hamilton – fair call. I had forgotten. Did he say it pre or post ?? I can’t recall.

    Damo – Abbott and Gillard both look stupid – so whether it makes the speaker look stupid – is minor – they all look stupid. Gillard looks as foolish as the others: why twice as well! She looks even more stupid for pressing a minor point that has no substance. I mean does the public care about it?? No. Also people expect the pollies to converse directly now – whether by TV grab or radio – so go directly with a message. Parliament is now simply a debating chamber – the media is mechanism to get a message across.

  8. Pingback: CoreEcon » Blog Archive » Insults: where are the new ideas?

  9. paglialunga michele says:

    E’ possibile avere la musica dell’inno 430 di Abbot’s Leigh (Cyrisl V Taylor) (Timothy Rees)?
    Grazie.

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