Not to be out done by our country’s not-so-Prime Minister, I find myself this week sitting constantly in a Hung Household. Also known as school holidays.
As the Speaker of the House it is my principal duty to preside over the House and maintain order in the House, uphold the rules of procedure, rule on points of order, and protect the rights of backbench members. Except sometimes this Speaker feels like a backbencher as well.
Kicking off the debate is the Karate Party – oldest boy child with some sort of testosterone surge going on. His policies revolve around the importance of all sport, sleep over’s and TV. He is also well known for his strict policy that all younger siblings being kind to one another – called his protection policy. He gets a lot of votes from the Upper House (Mum and Dad) for this latter policy.
The Karate Party is sometimes in close alliance with the Always-Right Party (also his younger brother and second in line in the Lenehan Senate). At other times the two parties are in complete opposition. The Always-Right Party can swing the Speaker of the House with clever arguments and the odd tantrum. But no matter how hard he tries, the Always-Right Party will never, not even a tiny amount, influence the policy of the party who sits next down the line to him in the Lenehan Senate….
…Which is the Sustainability Party. The only female on the floor, the Sustainability Party has to fight for her life for equality and a voice. Aptly named, this Party can sustain a high pitch wail for much of the day and sustain a nagging argument for an entire week. She can persuade one half of the Upper House (Dad) easily on her policies using these methods and a tiny twist of her little finger.
Then we have the Shooting Party. It’s a simple policy for this last seat in the Lenehan Senate and three year-old boy: All older siblings, the Upper House and any visitors to Parliament must be shot with a Nerf gun. Great antagonist to the Sustainability Party’s main policy of wailing. Interrupts the Always-Right Party’s sense of what’s right in the world, and is always testing the patience of the Karate Party’s protection policy.
The Lenehan Senate has been on a constant campaign trail this school holidays. It’s a battle ground, with each vying for the Speakers attention, via methods of loud voicing of opinion and also by physical example. Such as this: The Shooting Party wakes late, enters the TV room by stealth while all other parties are still, half-asleep, formulating their plan of attack for the day. Then, BOOM! he shoots them all dead. And it’s on. At 5.30am. The Karate Party gets up to do what he does best, swinging and kicking and keeyah-ing all over the place. The Always-Right Party is trying to explain at 500 decibels that shooting people while they’re still half-asleep is taking unfair advantage, and the Sustainability Party has begun her day long sustained squeal.
The Speaker rises to her feet.
No one notices.
She raises the gavel.
No one notices.
She orders the Members to excuse themselves for one hour to their rooms.
No one notices.
She thinks about being history’s second only ever Speaker to permanently expel a Member from the House.
Instead she stages her own #Brexit.