Does My Photo-Op Look Big In This?

It’s a signal indication of the strange place that the Parliamentary Labor Party currently resides in when they can devote their weekly caucus meeting to a discussion on whether or not to stand up or sit down in the presence of the United States Head of State and where clapping might fit into that problematic scenario.

My advice to them is simple: stand up when he enters and leaves and applaud politely, as appropriate. If you wish to scream, “George I love you” and hurl yourself sobbing at his feet you should exercise restraint – his Secret Service detail will “wrestle you to the ground” as they say, if you fail to do so.

Similarly, any thoughts of bringing a small boat into the debating chamber festooned with “WMD Inspection Team” banners should be put to one side. You’re running for the Presidency of the ALP not for Non-Objectified Pinupperson of the week in Green/Left Weekly.

As Mark Latham can tell you (and no doubt has) calling President Bush the “worst President ever” is OK when he’s not within earshot. When he’s in the immediate vicinity it’s as well to swiftly recall that Warren G Harding was arguably worse – and that Jimmy Carter is a lovely man but that he once came off second-best in a dispute with an aquatic rabbit.

You can wear – like Tasha Spot Destroyer – a white ribbon and an expression of profound, holier-than-thou sanctimony if you wish but remember that white ribbons can run the risk of looking like a bit like the proverbial “cake left out in the rain” if they’re done to excess. Harry Quick is wearing a white armband but you’re not Harry Quick.

Bob Brown may well be planning to appear nude except for glasses and shoes and socks but even an explosion of white ribbons would be an advance on that.

Or you could all just get over it – and worry about what to wear to Hu Jin-Tao……..

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James Russell
2022 years ago

What puzzles me is whether or not all members of Parliament are obliged to be in W’s presence when he’s doing this speech thing. If they’re not, surely the most effective protest they could make would be to simply not turn up at all? Lets them avoid feeling like hypocrites for being there at all, lets the rest of us not be embarrassed by the spectacle of them protesting to George’s face. Then again, I know nothing of the protocols…

Stewart Kelly
Stewart Kelly
2022 years ago

Actually, I’d love to see the whole thing turn into a spectacle. The more unedifying the better.

Graham
2022 years ago

Wanna bet the public gallery won’t be quite so public?

Guido
2022 years ago

The standing up at President Shrub’s visit was an item of discussion at our ALP branch meeting last night.

In my honest opinion the only people that seems to care are old lefties like me (and fellow members of my branch) and the press gallery/commentators.
And I include Terry Lane where in his Sunday Age column gives Crean a serve…first criticism him about not saying anything about the GG foray in political commentary and then….”We scour the paper in vain looking for a comment from Simon Crean about the politicisation and presidentialising of the office of governor-general. Presumably he is too busy making sure his backbenchers don’t go feral on him during the Bush visit, being rude and causing embarrassment.

Well, rudeness and embarrassment are pathetic weapons to use against the arrogance of the Man of Steel, but they are all we’ve got. For those of us who still care about national sovereignty, national dignity, the separation of powers, a multi-party democratic state, peace and reason, it seems that Mr Harry Quick MHR and his small band of white armbanders are all we have to represent us in the political cesspit. Go for it Harry. You’re our man.”

I actually hope for a massive disobedience from the ALP ranks so that I can have an entertaining read from Akerman and Bolt next morning.

The Age today has an article which basically states that the reason Crean does not want any brooh hahah with Bush is because “confidential Labor Party polling has shown overwhelming voter support for the Australian-American alliance. Of those polled, 89 per cent said they were committed to the alliance while a massive 77 per cent were “strongly committed”. I don’t believe it for a moment. The reason is that Crean does not want anything which does not have ‘Health’ or “Education” in the media.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Guido – What do you think the correct ALP parliamentary team response to the President of China should be over that nation’s continuing abuses of basic human rights, brutal occupation of Tibet and suppression of democracy? And what should one wear?

James – The pollie protocol for visiting Heads of State is that you turn up unless you’ve got a leg dropping off or something similar. Large vacant spaces in the seating arrangements are generally interpreted as a diplomatic slight which reflects poorly on the host nation. I don’t think that standing ovations are necessarily called for but it’s generally considered de rigeur to rise when the Head of State enters and departs and to clap politely at the end. It’s no big deal and doesn’t represent endorsement of anything other than the fact that the bod in question is a Head of State.

Let’s face it, if I’d refrained from clapping every time I heard a public oration I disagreed with I would now have a reputation as a rude, uncivil bastard. As you know, that’s not the case. :)

Guido
2022 years ago

Actually this was my first ever post in a blog and I tried to be smart with html tags, and the italics stopped too early. The para from ‘well, rudeness to ‘our man’ is actually Terry Lane. While I think that it would be good if some did organise a protest against the President of China, the fact is that current government’s mindless following of this American president is something that should be somewhat highlighted.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Well hey Guido! Congratulations on your first ever post on a blog. It was pretty erudite as well. I think my first contribution ran something along the lines of “I agree.” :)

Guido
2022 years ago

Thanks Geoff,

I cut my teeth on soccer message boards which can be pretty savage at times…..

woodsy
woodsy
2022 years ago

Bugger! Now we’ve got more bloody soccer afficianado’s to educate about rugby.

mark
2022 years ago

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL!