Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Low, mean or petty behaviour in the House of Representatives is out says a 'reformed' Tony Abbott


Today will see the first full day of the 44th Australian Parliament and the first House of Representatives’ Question Time with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.

On 9 November 2013 Dennis Shanahan, one of Murdoch’s minions, told the world; CALM. If there is one word Tony Abbott and most of his ministerial colleagues want to be associated with as they prepare for the opening of the 44th parliament next week, it is calm. The main message the Prime Minister wants conveyed about this parliament is that it will be as unlike the 43rd - hung - parliament as possible.

Three days later another News Ltd journalist Ben Packham reported that Tony Abbott stated:

"When any of us are tempted to be low, mean or petty, the Member for Mackellar is well equipped to recall us to our duties....This parliament will be a different one, and a better one I hope."

Not a hint of even a slightly raised eyebrow from either man, given Abbott’s track record in the 42nd and 43rd parliaments.

By way of brief random example set out below, this is how Tony Abbott, as the Member for Warringah and/or Leader of the Opposition, behaved in the House of Representatives during those two parliaments.

It is interesting to note the frequency with which a self-confessed political liar accuses others of lying and, the level of disrespect he shows the various occupants of the Speaker’s chair and the prime ministers of the day.

A non-exhaustive list of statements Abbott made (in red) which were considered out of order and/or the Speaker requested he withdraw and, disruptive behaviour which saw him warned or ejected from the House:

22 February 2008 On a point of order, Mr Speaker: under the standing orders the member for North Sydney was raising a point of order. You are obliged under the standing orders to hear him out. It was quite improper of you— The member for Warringah will resume his seat. Mr Abbott interjecting. The member for Warringah will resume his seat! Mr Speaker, you are acting dishonourably. The member for Warringah will remove himself from the chamber under standing order 94(a) for one hour.

13 March 2008 the member for Warringah has spent the last debate advising from the sidelines on how the chair is to progress. He may have got away with it in the last parliament, but he should desist in this.....The member for Warringah will not come to the dispatch box and start talking until he has the call. I am not going to be hectored in this manner.

19 March 2008 Order! The honourable member for Warringah will resume his seat.

4 June 2008 Mr Abbott interjecting. Will the member for Warringah sit down. He cannot act in that disorderly manner. I use this point, after a comment was made to me, to remind people that nobody needs a warning to get one hour under standing order 94(a). The warning would also then lead to an ability to be named for one day....
I withdraw. I am justly—The member for Warringah will resume his seat.

5 June 2008 The member for Warringah will resume his seat.... The member for Warringah will refer to the member by his seat....

28 August 2008 Mr Speaker, on a point of order: the other day in this place you admitted that the word ‘dud’ was not unparliamentary— No. The member for Warringah— and I put it to you that it should not be described as unparliamentary just because ‘dud’ rhymes with ‘Rudd’. Just because ‘dud’ rhymes with ‘Rudd’ is no reason for it to become unparliamentary.
The member for Warringah will first resume his seat, but he is going to—regrettably for my statistics—get punishment for that outburst. It was nothing to do with the word that was used. It was just the blatant interjection and disruptive behaviour by the member for Fadden that he was invited to leave. On the basis that the member for Warringah has actually abused his opportunity in the way that he could give a sensible point of order, I also invite him to leave the chamber for one hour.
The member for Warringah then left the chamber.

10 November 2008 The member for Warringah is now abusing the point of order.....The member for Warringah will resume his seat. Points of order are not for abuse of the parliament.... The member for Warringah will resume his seat. 

11 November 2008 The member for Warringah is warned. That is not the appropriate manner in which to raise a point of order..... 
Oh, you coward. Order! The member for Warringah will leave the chamber for one hour under standing order 94(a), which is very generous on my part.

12 February 2009 The members for Sturt, Kalgoorlie, Warringah—and the member for Riverina, who is just leaving, or is somewhere—are warned!

19 March 2009 Order! The member for Warringah is not in any privileged place such that he can mutter on in that way either.

12 May 2009   Mr Abbott interjecting.The member for Warringah will leave the chamber for one hour. I hate to think that he thinks it is a reward! The member for Warringah then left the chamber—....The member for Warringah is warned.

3 June 2009 As I have indicated to the member for Warringah, I am not rewarding him again!

18 June 2009 The member for Warringah will not be rewarded in any way by being tossed out for an hour; in fact, I can now warn him, to be a trigger for a longer period.

24 June 2009 Order! The member for Warringah will resume his seat. Before calling the Prime Minister, again, I am not in the position of making critical analysis of questions and answers, but I will make this observation: the Prime Minister has been responding to the question and the question probably could have been answered quicker if there had been fewer interjections.

13 August 2009 Order! The member for Warringah should contain his enthusiasm.... As I said, the member for Warringah should contain his enthusiasm and not deny the member for Macarthur the call... Order! The member for Warringah will resume his seat—and he is warned.

7 September 2009 The member for Warringah will resume his seat. The minister is responding to the question.

10 September 2009 The member for Warringah will be staying here as long as everybody else, but he will do so relatively quietly.

14 September 2009 Order! I warn the member for Warringah. If he is going to wander around like that, he will take—... But I will not have people deciding that they can just wander around the House as a gesture. I have warned the member for Warringah.... I name the member for Warringah.... Order! The member for Warringah is suspended under standing order 94 for 24 hours.

15 September 2009 Order! The member for Warringah might think that he is on some crusade, but the crusade will not be benefited by sitting there mumbling to me about the state of play. Mr Abbott interjecting. No, the member for Warringah is being very, very foolish if he thinks that he is doing anything (a) to change the way that this House handles question time or (b) to assist in the way that the House, as a totality, is seen outside of this place. 

22 October 2009 Mr Abbott interjecting .....I have this difficulty with the member for Warringah giving me advice all the time about it. 

29 October 2009 Order! The member for Warringah will resume his seat. 

24 November 2009 The member for Warringah will resume his seat. The Prime Minister is responding to a question that is much broader than the member for Warringah is alleging....The member for Warringah is warned!

29 October 2009 Order! The member for Warringah will resume his seat. 

16 March 2010 Mr Abbott interjecting. Order! The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. Mr Speaker, I am happy to withdraw, but they are lies.... I am happy to withdraw, but you need to know what they are like. The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. I am happy to withdraw, but you need to know what they are like. The Leader of the Opposition knows of his obligation to withdraw unreservedly. Leaders of the opposition have been given a great degree of tolerance, but that is not unlimited.

18 March 2010 The first thing I will say about it is that members opposite—members of this government—should stop telling lies about the record of the Howard government. Every single year— Order! The Leader of the House will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. I withdraw, and I say they should stop telling grotesque untruths about the record of the Howard government. In every single year between 1996 and 2007—

27 May 2010 Mr Abbott interjecting. Order! The Leader of the Opposition should contain himself. The minister has the call.

1 March 2011 Mr Abbott interjecting. The Leader of the Opposition!....
Order! I remind the Leader of the Opposition that this is a motion for the suspension of standing and sessional orders. It is not a substantive motion and therefore he should be very careful with his language. On that occasion he should withdraw the remark. In deference I withdraw. I accept your admonition but I am entitled to say, Mr Speaker, that this Prime Minister broke faith with the Australian public. This Prime Minister behaved in a contemptible way by telling a deliberate untruth to the Australian people before the last election. The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw.  I besought the Prime Minister not to live a lie but if— Order! The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. that is offensive I withdraw.

5 July 2011 The Leader of the Opposition must observe the standing orders which he is trying to suspend.

18 August 2011 Mr Abbott interjecting. Order! The Leader of the Opposition!

13 September 2011 Order! The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw the word 'lie'.

20 September 2011 Mr Abbott interjecting. The Leader of the Opposition! 

22 November 2011 Mr Abbott interjecting. Order! The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. Mr Speaker, I did say 'her lies to working families' and I withdraw.

24 November 2011 There is no point of order. The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat.

8 February 2012 The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. 

28 February 2012 Will she now apologise for this deception.... Order! The Leader of the Opposition will retract the word 'deceive' because that is unparliamentary.

14 February 2012 Day after day, the now Prime Minister would stand up and come to the despatch box and say, 'Well, that was a lie.' Well, wrong. It was the truth, and the truth is that this Prime Minister never tells the truth. This Prime Minister is always guilty of falsehoods, of bluster and of deception. Order! The Leader of the Opposition has used— Strong language, Mr Speaker, and I do not apologise for using strong language, but I will tone it down out of respect for you. The leader has cast a reflection on the Prime Minister and he will withdraw it. I withdraw out of respect for you, Mr Speaker, not out of respect for this Prime Minister. No, the leader will withdraw unconditionally. I withdraw unconditionally out of respect for you, but not out of respect for this Prime Minister. I grow tired of listening to the bluster and the blather and the deception from the Prime Minister. Order! The leader will resume his seat....This is a Prime Minister who is incapable of honestly explaining her actions, a Prime Minister who is chronically incapable of giving truthful answers. Order! The leader will withdraw that imputation and reflection. I withdraw.... Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, we know what side you are on... Order! I believe I understood the leader to say that 'we know what side you are on', referring to me. As the occupant of the chair, I do not have a side so I would hope that the leader is not reflecting on the chair. I would counsel him against such a course of action.
 
13 March 2012 Mr Abbott interjecting. Order! The Leader of the Opposition does not have the call at this point in time

15 March 2012 They are telling lies now. That is why standing orders should be suspended..... What else can we expect from a government which never tells the truth when it would be more convenient to lie. I understand that the Leader of the Opposition, either directly or indirectly, referred to the honourable member for Griffith as a 'psychopath'. I ask him to approach the dispatch box to clarify the situation. If he did use that term, I ask him to withdraw. I was quoting the member for Bendigo, who described the member for Griffith in those terms. I consider that it is, shall we say, unhelpful for that to occur, and I still consider it to be disorderly. I will, however, look at the transcript. If I am still of the opinion that the Leader of the Opposition has reflected on the honourable member for Griffith, I will, next sitting day, ask the leader to withdraw...Order! The Leader of the Opposition has accused the Prime Minister of being dishonest and he has accused the government of telling lies. The Leader of the Opposition does not look remotely contrite, but if he wants to stay here he will move to the dispatch box and withdraw those two accusations.
I am delighted to withdraw, but every member in this House believes the same thing, and every member should come to the dispatch box and withdraw as I do.
The leader will return to the dispatch box and he will say, 'I withdraw those two terms', and not do as he endeavoured to do, which was to associate members of the coalition with the disorderly terms that he used. I did accuse the government of being dishonest, I did accuse the Prime Minister of lying and I withdraw. I withdraw unconditionally.

22 March 2012 Standing orders need to be suspended because this Prime Minister is suffering. I think she really is suffering. I am trying to be charitable. I think she has a new form of clinical disorder—TDD: truth deficit disorder—but there is a cure. This is why standing orders should be suspended. The Leader of the Opposition will be silent. The Leader of the Opposition will sit down. If you are not going to let me be heard, you will sit down. I am in the chair and I am trying to get your attention. I am going to ask you to withdraw and return to the suspension. I am happy to withdraw. There is a cure and this is why standing orders must be suspended. The Leader of the Opposition will go to the suspension and will get off this attack, or I will sit him down.

30 March 2012 She should tell the truth to this parliament.... She should answer that question and stop being shifty and evasive with this House. The first part of the question was in order; the last part was not... She should tell the truth to this parliament.... The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw the last part of that statement. 

13 May 2012 Mr Abbott interjecting.  Order! The Leader of the Opposition does not have the call at this point in time.

23 May 2012 Indeed, and one of the reasons standing orders should be suspended is that it is obvious from the conduct of the Leader of the House that this government is still determined to run a protection racket for the member for Dobell. And every time this jack-in-the-box gets up— The Leader of the Opposition knows I objected to those statements just yesterday. He can withdraw and proceed with his motion before the chair.

26 May 2012 ....What a disgrace! The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. I withdraw. It is an abuse of question time to add that to the end of any question.

26 June 2012 Who's talking about integrity! The Leader of the Opposition is warned! 

28 June 2012 What a red-letter day! The Prime Minister is sitting in this chamber for once to face a suspension motion. Presumably, she is prepared to respond at last and to explain why it is that she is so thoroughly misled and lied to the Australian people before the last election. Order! The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw. I withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Thursday 16 August 2012 Standing orders must be suspended because this is the second anniversary of the big lie. The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw...
Mr Abbott interjecting. The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw, unreservedly. The Leader of the Opposition has been in this parliament long enough to know that that is unparliamentary language and he will withdraw.

20 August 2012 The Leader of the Opposition will withdraw without qualification. I withdraw. I thank the Leader of the Opposition. It is still an untrue statement. The Leader of the Opposition will remove himself from the chamber under standing order 94(a). The Leader of the Opposition has now been advised by the chair on more than one occasion. I asked you, as you approached the dispatch box, to do it without qualification. You could not help yourself. The Leader of the Opposition will leave the chamber under 94(a).

10 October 2012 You are a piece of work. I ask the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw. I am happy to withdraw.

[Hansard, OpenAustralia]

1 comment:

John Fraser said...

The Labor party and the Speaker must now rue their own actions in (a) not calling for Abbott to be suspended for a week and (b) the Speaker for not suspending Abbott for a week for his continued disruption of Australia's parliament.

The rabble that he leads would have shown Australians just how unsuitable they are to run anything.

Sadly Abbott's gang are now dragging Australia down to their level and showing the International community that Australia is "closed for business".