Speaker Slipper now a Government responsibility

Updated November 25, 2011 08:21:12

''In the United States, they call it the Pottery Barn rule - you break it, you own it.

The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said precisely that to former president George W Bush in 2002 as a warning of the consequences of going to war in Iraq.

Powell, according to Washington Post journalist, Bob Woodward, said to the president, "You are going to be the owner of 25 million people. You will own their hopes, their aspirations and their problems."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard should have been paying attention. She and the Government now own the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, and all of his problems. Whatever he has done in the past, whatever he might do in the future is now their shared responsibility.

Here is a brief rundown of his "achievements" so far.

At Gove in 2003, Qantas staff refused to allow him to reboard a plane bound for Darwin because of his behaviour. Slipper said he was affected by a combination of dental drugs, a couple of drinks and a flight attendant having a bad day.

In 2007, at 3.30 am, police were called to the Canberra wine bar, The Holy Grail, after Slipper was thrown into the street by a man who said he took offence at the MP smoking against the rules.

In 2010, he was caught on camera in the parliament apparently having a nap while Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addressed the chamber. His Liberal enemies accused him of having too many drinks at an earlier function.

Later the same year, he got stuck in a disabled toilet inside Parliament House.

Slipper has also run into trouble with entitlements and privileges.''

''The Coalition will now attempt to build on Abbott's constant assertion that this is a government, and a parliament, in crisis.

In his first doorstop interview after the Speaker, Harry Jenkins, resigned, Tony Abbott said the Government had "lost its way, lost its majority and lost its speaker", He could have added, they have lost their moral compass as well.

What price government?''

Barrie Cassidy is the presenter of ABC programs Insiders and Offsiders.

Topics: federal-parliament, parliament, federal-government, government-and-politics

First posted November 25, 2011 08:00:05

Comments (238)

  • Mr Accent Slanglish: (alias Ture Sjolander)

    25 Nov 2011 10:32:40am

    Where you are heading is often more important than where you came from. A $5 haircut is less interesting than the way you are walking. What a relaxed walking style Obama have chosen when he walks down the ladder from Air Force One or up the steps for a speech. It is a choice of body language as well as the facial language. Just compare Abbott's ''here I come'' a Chaplin-like cowboy style, certainly a chosen walking style not an impairment. What is he trying to tell people, walking like this. Is it a kinda macho expression.

  • We should all not ignore all the horrifying facial and body expression our parliamentarians are using.
    Simply look at the history of leaders. It was early warnings very visible and not to underestimate. The ear bashing mentality goes hand in hand with all the hate produced in our government and it may also reflect who the majority of Australians really are. We maybe get the politicians we deserve?

  • The whole population seems to be ''hunged''.

  • 'I do not want to be associated with anyone or anything, anymore'
                                                                       Me - My own Network