Close Encounters of the Hanson Kind

I had the great privilege to be present in the Legislative Council chamber during the opening of the NSW Parliament today. The highlight for me was the Presentation of the Message Stick by representatives of the Aboriginal Languages community, who spoke eloquently and movingly in their language and in English.

The lowlight was the Governor's Opening Speech, which was nothing more than a prolonged and tedious political party broadcast. Why this is tolerated, I've no idea, but it is disrespectful of the Governor's standing. It took well over half-an-hour. The Queen manages with a 10-minute speech. Unfortunately, these speeches are written by the government of the day.

Notably lacking in the dirge we had to listen to was any meaningful mention of the greatest threat facing not just the state but the world at large. It seems the Government's idea of protecting the environment is limited to parks.

That was in the afternoon. In the morning it was the swearing in of the new members, one of whom was Abigail Boyd, our daughter. After we'd sat down, to our surprise Pauline Hanson turned up and took a seat right behind us. She was accompanied by James Ashby, her Svengali, but first he sat on the crossbench next to Mark Latham. An usher quickly told him he couldn't sit there and he joined her in the row behind us. I have to say she looks much more pleasant in real life than she does on television.