What’s the statute of limitations on being screwed by the Vatican?

In news that will no doubt hearten conspiracy theorists, Dan Brown readers and opponents of the Roman Catholic Church, a group claiming to represent the Knights Templar are attempting to sue the Roman Catholic Church over their unfair treatment in the early 14th Century. Continue reading “What’s the statute of limitations on being screwed by the Vatican?”

The Tele does it again

That bastion of truth and proud defender of hard hitting investigative journalism, The Daily Telegraph, has once again shown why newspaper circulation is in decline throughout Australia. Today’s bold piece uncovers the Rudd Government’s Un-Australianess, with evidence that it used a stock photo on the cover of a housing affordability report which, shock horror, was not of an Australian family. Continue reading “The Tele does it again”

The TV Seat Shuffle

I know that I’m not alone in enjoying the ribbing that some Coalition members have been receiving over the past week or so for their non-attendance while parliament has been sitting. I suspect that what annoys those who have been ‘caught out’ the most is that they know that in reality their absence from the chamber is par for the course and everyone, except the general public, know that it’s the case. The government know that the chamber is usually empty, the journos know that the chamber is usually empty, but an MP caught lunching during question time is too much fun not to hound.

Most of the images we see on the news are taken during question time when the chamber is full and that’s what our elected leaders would like us to believe is always the case, so Downer, Tuckey and Vaile have been left to take their medicine knowing that it’s not in anyone’s interest to let the truth out. In reality, the business of the house is usually very orderly and running to a predictable schedule. The only times that the house is full are question time and during a division. To keep the house in order back benchers are put on a roster organised by the party whip and take turns being in the chamber, leaving more senior members to attend to other things.

The only impediment to this smooth running operation is the intrusion of TV cameras in the chamber. Politicians are very sensitive to criticism about the amount of work they do and both sides of the house know that images of an empty chamber are bad PR, therefore they both engage in what I like to refer to as the ‘TV Seat Shuffle’.

Have a look below the fold for some rare footage of this wonderfully choreographed part of our democracy.

Continue reading “The TV Seat Shuffle”