…from the quill of Antisthenes
Lèse majesté or lèse pantoufle?
The brand new Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Slipper, in addition to all the other character prerequisites of a politician also possesses no sense of humour, though he is likely to have the last laugh on the way to the bank. It seems that a certain photograph met with his disapproval. I admit it took me some time to find something offensive on it, but then I am not an expert on omnivorous rodents. See for yourselves:
Serjeanette-at-arms* Ms Robyn McClelland went up in arms and has threatened to ban The Daily Telegraph from the press gallery. Apparently the pictures taken in parliament are not allowed to be used for “satire or ridicule”. Kevin Rat, I mean Rudd took no offence at the footage showing him mining his ear and then tasting the ore and surely nobody thought any less of him. Admittedly nobody thought any more of him, but that may be unrelated. watch?v=_ipvdBnU8F8
The Honourable Slipper banned Fairfax photographer Andrew Meares and News Limited photographer Gary Ramage by way of introduction of his enlightened regime and pre-emptively disciplining the media. It is portent of the things yet to come. Soon only Crikey and ABC would be left in Canberra press gallery, but I doubt that the difference would be discernible.
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*/ from the government website http://www.aph.gov.au/house/dept/saa.htm: – “The name Serjeant-at-Arms derives from the latin serviens or servant. In the United Kingdom in medieval times, monarchs used people who provided services like the provision of arrows, fodder and waiting upon the King at table who were called serjeanties. Later people who were permanently retained by the Sovereign became known more particularly as serjeants. These officers were required to be in immediate attendance on the Monarch’s person to arrest traitors and other offenders. In medieval times: The activities of the King’s Serjeant-at-Arms included collecting loans and, impressing men and ships, serving on local administration and in all sorts of ways interfering with local administration and justice.”
You can read the rest for yourself, but it seems that nothing much had changed.