“Adults and Children” (1981) by the Gordons
“Adults and Children” (1981) by the Gordons
“Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker!”
The Treasurer told the member from Blackhill how much of a sanctimonious twit she was.
“Point of Order, the Member from Blackhill, the Right Honorable Sarah McEwen.”
“Madam Speaker, I would like THAT member to withdraw THAT statement.”
The Member from Blackhill was staring down the Treasurer. Her eyes could’ve popped outta her head. The Member from Blackhill wished the finger she was pointing at the Treasurer was rather being inserted into the Treasurer’s eyeballs. She’s never been called a sanctimonious twit before. She’ll make sure it’ll be the last time too.
The house was still in a furore over the member from Blackhill’s initial comments. The yelling from the backbenchers echoed out far too loud. A barrage of ‘Rubbish!’ and ‘c’mon!’ rolled like waves in this hundred year old room. The clerk grinned.
The member from Blackhill was still on her feet, her finger struck out like lightning. The Treasurer was mumbling over to her colleague, oblivious to the tree branch aimed right at her.
A Green Party member was shouting at a backbencher seven meters away about how the member from Blackhill’s comments were justified. The said backbencher was giggling away in his seat.
Two Opposition members stood up trying to grab the Speaker’s attention. The Speaker was looking instead to her right hand side instead, looking down at the Minister of Transport, who right then just threw a scrunched up piece of paper across the House. The Speaker stood up.
“ORDER! ORDER! Order! I am on my feet! The House will settle!”
The target of the Minister of Transport’s fun ball stood up and motioned to the Speaker. The Speaker acknowledged.
“Oh, for goodness sake. I SAID, ORDER!”
Frontbenchers waved members behind them to sit down. A quick-fired silence overcame the right side of the chamber. The noise from the left slowly muffled and retreated. Mommy spoke:
“For goodness sake! Never! EVER! In my twenty-six year career in politics have I seen such JUVENILE behaviour from a Cabinet Minister. From MY OWN PARTY! That was an act of ABSOLUTE disgrace. To this Government. To this House. And to this Country … ”
The gallery above were not only stunned at the chucking, but at the Speaker’s scolding. No one had seen her that fired up before.
“… the Minister of Transport will leave the house effect immediately …”
Donald Chrisholm stood up from this seat, grabbed his portfolios, skulked down the stairs and walked out the room.
“ … Incredible, absolu-.”
The Green Member stood up and started yapping at how horrible that act was.
“OORRDDEERR! The member from Franklin will resume his seat. I have not FINISHED, nor sat DOWN!”
Pierre L’Enfant scampered in his seat. Any hesitance to hit the playground again was quickly cut short with her bellow.
“NOW. I ask you all to settle DOWN! Especially the member from Franklin who thinks it’s productive to shout across this room as if members were a mile away …”
A few backbenchers jeered in agreement with the Speaker.
“OORRDDEERR … That was NOT an indication to continue. Do you understand?! I have not FINISHED. NOW. I ask you all to settle down. Question time has only just begun. We have a lot to get through today. We must take the heat out of this debate straightaway or else we’ll be going nowhere and I’LL HAVE TO SUSPEND THIS SITTING. These boisterous emotions are immobilising the basic proceedings of this House. Do we all understand eachother? ….”
The Prime Minister and a few front benchers affirmed.
“I SAID, DO WE ALL UNDERTSAND EACHOTHER!”
Even the gallery this time joined in: “Yeeeeeeesss”
“Excellent, let’s move on. Question number four, the Right Honorable Clarence Waterhouse.”
“Thank you, Madam Speaker, my question is-”
“No, no, no, no. Excuse me, Madam Speaker, point of order, Madam Speaker!”
The member of Blackhill stood up again. Members saw her stand and were reminded why they had their tantrum moments ago. And again, hell broke loose.
“ORDER”, the Speaker arose, “I apologise to the member for forgetting her point of order. I now turn to the Treasurer to please withdraw that comment.”
The Treasurer stood up: “Madam Speaker, what comment?”
A gaggle of laughter ran through the right hand side and abusive condemnation erupted from the left. A colleague of the member from Blackhill yelled out exactly what the Treasurer said beforehand.
“OORRDDEERR, the Treasurer will stand now and withdraw that comment she made earlier to the member from Blackhill otherwise she follow suit with the Minister of Transport.”
Having an almost entire seven minutes to think of an excuse, and neither the temperament to make good with a parliamentarian she personally despises, and neither the will to listen to orders from the Speaker whom she also despises, the Treasurer retorted: “Madam Speaker, I was talking to my colleague on my right here, addressing her ‘erroneous twitter’ account that she recommended me! Nothing else!”
The entire house shook.
The Speaker looked down on the House with dismay. She was somehow reminded of her 8 year old son’s birthday a few decades before.