Rep-Resented Part I.

Editorial by Sean Ockenden.
First in a series examining the shirking of our duties to each other and leaving them in the hands of "trained experts".

A little while ago a small report appeared in "The Australian", headed "Senator apologises to clerk". The report was written by Christine Wallace.

It concerned a Liberal Party whip's clerk named Betty-Ann Daly, who has, among other tasks to perform, the duty of organising speaking lists for Senate debates. In this particular case, the list of hopeful speakers was obviously long and, no-doubt, extremely important (in their own minds anyway). Along comes Senator Santo Santoro from Queensland, who for some reason decided that he should be allowed to speak on the chosen subject for the day (lunch menu and accompanying wine list notwithstanding). Now we all know that we can't always have our own way, especially if time doesn't allow it. There are after all only 24 hours in each day. When Ms Daly informed Senator Santoro (more than likely with extreme grace and politeness and due deference to his position, seeing as she was described in the published article as "much loved" and "gracious") the good Senator proceeded to abuse Ms Daly by calling her a "F---wit" and saying "I'll do whatever I f---ing like".

My question is this. Who the hell is this clown to think he can treat someone in this manner?

Ms Daly reported the Senators personal attack to the Government manager of business in the Senate, Ian Campbell, telling him she had been stood over and had had abuse screamed at her. Mr Campbell promptly MADE Senator Santoro give a written apology to Ms Daly. Now this apology didn't come from the good grace a God gives to someone for knowing when they are right or wrong, and it almost certainly didn't come from a sense of shame or humility. Someone had to make this guy give a written apology for being a first class prat. I have visited the senate website, and viewed firsthand a (supposedly verbatim) copy of his first speech in the Senate chambers. You too can view it if you have an amount of time to wait whilst your nails dry or you suffer from extreme insomnia. Parliament of Australia: Senate: Senators: First Speeches: Santo Santoro

Personally I don't need to sleep that badly.

What struck me as I was reading this first speech was the way in which the Senator referred to his working class origins and how humbled he was to be in the position he then found himself. He also said this : "Conservatism is not about inertia, nor is it about fear of change. It is about respect for individual rights and our shared values. It is about a society of free people-of decent men and women imbued with a great tradition of tolerance and initiative." Obviously, all these values go right out the first partly opened window as soon as it comes time to stamp our feet and decry the inherent injustices of the system. Now I'm not saying the Senator in question hasn't done anything good for this glorious country of ours, nor for the state of Queensland of which he is So Proud to represent. That's an interesting word, isn't it? REPRESENT. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines it as "6 a (1) : to take the place of in some respect (2) : to act in the place of or for usually by legal right b : to serve especially in a legislative body by delegated authority usually resulting from election".

Our politicians are Democratically Elected Representatives. They are chosen by us, the people who are legally entitled to vote, to be our voices in what appears to be a governmental system falling apart at the seams. The hypocrisy and deceit that is currently on display in Australia, and indeed, around the world is nothing short of astounding. The President of The United States of America is so caught up with lying to his constituents about his reasons for waging a war with another independent nation (an action that can barely be justified), that he struggles to find the time to do little else (photo opportunities and fund raising obscene amounts of money to be ensured a second grab notwithstanding). Unless of course it comes to forcing his own opinions on what constitutes a legally definable marriage. GWB has decided that same sex couples just CANNOT be allowed to marry. They can never be 'Man And Woman' therefore they cannot be allowed the same benefits and securities of this sacred bonding. He is even going to the trouble of trying to have the American Constitution amended to include a definition of a legal marriage between a couple ie: a Man AND a Woman.

Now, along comes Stainless Steel Johnny. Teflon John. Our very own Prime-Miniature has also decided to jump on the bandwagon and define a marriage as being a legal union between - you got it - a man and a woman. Johnny isn't discriminating though. It isn't that he doesn't want us, here in Gods Own, to live with our own kind in a blissful relationship. We're allowed to do that, but don't try and have it legally recognized as a marriage. He won't ever allow that to happen because GWB has had this great idea of forcing his own personal beliefs on the people who put him into office in the first place. So along comes TJ, the man to whom we look for guidance and wisdom. Our representative on the world stage.

HE decides we need protecting, that the family unit in Australia needs to be redefined along the same lines that GWB has drafted for the US of A. BUT, apparently, this is all for our own good. This is being done to protect us from a little known backward country called Canada (and others like it), where it is legal for same sex couples to marry. You can live in Canada with your same sex partner, be legally married and enjoy all the benefits and tolerance available to a progressive and forward thinking people. But move to America or Australia and you immediately become a non-entity. Your lifestyle and freedoms are instantly cut to shreds because as a society we are incapable of adjusting to the changing social climate worldwide. Isn't this how wars are started in the first place? A complete lack of tolerance. A refusal to allow a population to progress through forward thinking. An inability to accept that we are not all alike. I did not vote at the last federal election so that my pseudo-voice could insult whomever it feels like and I DID NOT vote for someone to make such decisions on my behalf without first consulting me.

To be continued.....


Document History:
2004-08-17: First created.