Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blood sport thriving in Australia

The Federal Opposition has failed in a bid to force the Prime Minister to give a statement to Parliament about the issues surrounding crossbencher Craig Thomson.

I actually congratulate the ABC site for managing to report what happened in parliament today and get it all in perspective. I listened to the parliamentary session and question time today because I could.  Anna Burke held a ridiculous question time together really well but she must be fed up and exhausted. The ploy of constantly blocking standing orders must be well in excess to requirements by now and it's a pity we have no mechanism to shut it down. It wastes valuable time and energy and interrupts a positive flow...as does any disruptive influence. In other arenas people are not allowed to be disruptive and constantly negative. We have ways of managing their behaviour. Parliament seems to have to put up with it. Prior to question time there were some really interesting and well thought out speeches delivered which showed just how far we have come and how well we can do. I have to thank the commentator on Radio National for ensuring we were all able to follow the stuff and nonsense of question time and were in possession of adequate knowledge of the regulations, rules, policies and we knew who was speaking. I do  thank also the hung parliament for being the only parliament which has taught me so much about parliamentary and legal procedure. This seems to be our tragic sticking point at the moment. The delineation between the law, legal proceedings, legal entitlements and then parliament. There have been politicians and members of the press who have descended on Craig Thompson like a pack of hounds on the hunt and it has been relentless as a hunt is , and beyond endurance, as a hunt is. It is worthy then, that the ABC article raises the issue of our duty of care to other human beings. There are processes in place which are being followed and we need to follow them. We do not have the right to hunt people down. Or do we? The "hate mail " - what a glib term that was to fob off what Craig Thomson was reading as emails he had received - was deeply disturbing and no one should have to put up with that. It was scary just listening to his reading of it. These were people who were welcoming his suicide, his death, his end. Mal Washer is right to air his concerns about the way politicians treat each other and the way they are treated when things are not right. We know it would be good for the Liberals to get Craig Thomson so they can upset the balance of power but when it comes to being a blood sport then the disruptive, disturbing ugliness of  it is something we need to promptly reject. Being above the law is wrong. Being outside of our sanctioned experts is wrong and if it is just about holding up all the other politicians who can speak so well, contribute so well and move our country forward - then that is wrong too.

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