Shooting through …

News today, Oakeshott and Windsor will not contest the next election.

I have mixed feelings, it would have been interesting to see how their electorates responded to the duo that betrayed their relatively conservative constituents and foisted a carbon tax and a mining tax on them; and kept a hapless Labor Government in power as they squandered our taxes on failed schemes. A government that even at this late stage has delivered nothing but promises.

Barnaby Joyce graciously praised Mr Windsor as a tough competitor. That’s nice. Concrete’s tough, too, and has the same IQ.

I can’t think of anything quite as nice to say about Mr Oakeshott …

NDY …

Yes, I am still alive, the thought police did not come for me. The reality was much more prosaic. With the furniture piled in the middle of every room in the house, so that the painters could make the walls respectable, the lead wouldn’t reach the power point. So no blogging. No blogging at a time when the fan was distributing the crap at an enormous rate. Oh, how could I not be blogging. But because I wasn’t blogging the prime minister could not have been talking about me …

Julia Gillard: Well, I am not going to get into a circumstance where we’ve got people blogging malicious nonsense and we’ve got some of this penetrating to the media. I am not going to get myself into a circumstance where I’m going to spend my time dealing with these events 17 years ago when the people who are asking me questions about them are unable to even articulate what it is that they say I did wrong. This is just nonsense and a distraction from the important work I’ve got to do as Prime Minister and the important issues for this nation’s future.

What a shame she couldn’t answer a few of Paul Kelly’s questions …

And not blogging when Tony Windsor had this to say regarding Tony Abbott’s endeavours to become prime minister. According to Windsor Abbott said  …

“I will do anything, Tony, to get this job; the only thing I wouldn’t do is sell my arse.”

which, I thought, draws a nice distinction between the two Tonys.

Vicar of Bray awards …

In good King Charles’ golden time, when loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high churchman was I, and so I gained preferment.
To teach my flock, I never missed: Kings are by God appointed
And damned are those who dare resist or touch the Lord’s anointed.

When royal James possessed the crown, and popery came in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down, and read the Declaration.
The Church of Rome, I found, did fit full well my constitution
And I had been a Jesuit, but for the Revolution.

When William was our King declared, to ease the nation’s grievance,
With this new wind about I steered, and swore to him allegiance.
Old principles I did revoke; Set conscience at a distance,
Passive obedience was a joke, a jest was non-resistance.

When Royal Anne became our queen, the Church of England’s glory,
Another face of things was seen, and I became a Tory.
Occasional conformists base; I blamed their moderation;
And thought the Church in danger was from such prevarication.

When George in pudding time came o’er, and moderate men looked big, sir
My principles I changed once more, and I became a Whig, sir.
And thus preferment I procured From our new Faith’s Defender,
And almost every day abjured the Pope and the Pretender.
The illustrious house of Hanover and Protestant succession
To these I do allegiance swear — while they can hold possession.
For in my faith and loyalty I never more will falter,
And George my lawful king shall be — until the times do alter.

I received a comment. By the time the profane and defamatory words were removed it wasn’t worth posting but in essence it pointed out that there were four independents elected to the house of reps, that the writer had a low opinion of them and that I had given two of them an easy ride. And so I have.

Lets have a look at them.

At the last election Mr. Wilkie took the safe labor seat of Denison. His electorate would probably have been very disappointed if he had thrown his lot in with the Coalition. In the past he has been a member of both the Liberal Party and the Greens which suggests a rather inconsistent thought process but throughout this recent period he has taken a principled stand against the pokies, principled but totally ineffectual. Best thought of as a very well-meaning jellyfish.

Bob Katter, now a member of his own party, represents Kennedy which is an enormous chunk of north Queensland. I drove through that part of the world during the last election campaign and as I approached each town I could see off in the distance a poster with an ice-cream cone on it. This would mysteriously turn into a photo of Katter as I got closer. He is described as a social conservative. His electorate would probably have been disappointed had he thrown his lot in with Labor. Prone to the odd bit of poofter bashing, best thought of as a loose cannon.

Both these guys have put their mediocre talent to the service of the people they represent. They can go back to their electorate before the next election and say they tried. And lets face it, they both have some entertainment value.

Mr. Windsor is a far better candidate for the Vicar of Bray award because he rode into office appearing to be just the type of bloke they needed. Like the original Vicar of Bray he displays that flexibility that will keep him in place for as long as possible, but he relies far too much on deflection of argument. Perhaps he is simply not smart enough to learn his lines. Instead he hasn’t seen the evidence, or due process gets in the way.

Which leaves the winner, only a shadow of the real vicar, but the man with best contemporary grasp on the repertoire, the careerist  … Mr. Oakeshott.
(Chorus)
And this be law, that I’ll maintain until my dying day, sir
That whatsoever king may reign, I’ll be the vicar of Bray, sir.

Code of conduct …

As Mr. Latham told Paul Murray Labor governments have never been shy of hounding folk out of office,

I remember ten years ago, I was part of the Labor Party effort to drive Peter Hollingsworth from office, someone who was never charged, never went before a tribunal, never had any adverse findings against him …

But of course neither side of politics hounds its own out of office. Trial by parliament is determined by the numbers, not the evidence, and herein lies the problem with a code of conduct. If gross misconduct is countenanced by the majority party what does it matter if there is an explicit code or not.

Not that the present government has a majority in its own right, it relies on the independents and as the bard said,

some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

Clearly Shakespeare wasn’t talking about Windsor and Oakeshott. One is a dullard disguised as a decent local bloke who took a seat safely held by the National Party/Country Party since 1919 and delivered it into the hands of Labor. The other is a careerist without the discipline to belong to a party. Their prospects at the next election are not good. They have in fact achieved the highest of all levels of independence, not only have they turned their backs on party they have also turned their backs on their electorates and decency. They are representing no one but themselves.

Update …

9News reports

Federal MP Craig Thomson now faces several inquiries and could be censured by parliament, but key independent MPs won’t back a push to suspend him because it would deny the former unionist natural justice.

Whilst Mark Latham sees it differently …

So the whole thing reeks of hypocrisy. Thomson should be judged on a moral standard not a criminal standard and on that moral standard he’s as guilty as sin.

Thomson 72 – decency 70 …

Tight match in parliament yesterday as the opposition attempted to have Mr. Thomson suspended.

Taking away Mr. T’s own vote it means that there are 71 other people in parliament that think it’s just fine to spend other people’s money on prostitutes, lunches, unauthorised fares and election campaigns without their permission. And it’s fine to go on spending their money even after ceasing to be associated with them.

Hard to pick the man of the match, Oakeshott and Windsor would have to be in the running.

Ain’t democracy wonderful.

Casablanca …

What a movie. Now 70 years old. You can find some classic lines from it here.

I just love that bit …

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

Shocked, shocked, indeed shocked, just like today’s lines from the Labor party regarding the goings on at the HSU,”incredibly disturbing“, says Mr Shorten. It must have come as a great surprise to him, given how well the secret has been kept for so long. It’s possible that even Nicola Roxon will catch up with the news within a few days.

Mr. Windsor is standing by Labor and from his radio interview on the ABC seems to be determined not to catch up with the FWA report. I guess the only thing he has to lose is his seat … which is a certainty at the next election, he’ll sit next to Mr. Thomson for as long as possible no matter what he smells like.

Bring on the election, please bring it on.