To the rest of the world, the state of the Australian government must be perceived as batshit insane which isn’t far from the truth. Fisticuffs in Parliament seems to be the norm in other parts of the globe, such as South Korea and the Ukraine. In fact, there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to a bit of the old legislative ultraviolence throughout history. Alex DeLarge would be tumescent with pride. Along that vein, let us explore the most questionable stunts to have transpired in our nation’s capital.
Pauline Hanson will go down in Australian political history for wearing a burqa into the Senate during question time yesterday in a display that was incredibly lacking in tact or sensitivity. After appearing on the TODAY Show, she attempted to justify her decision by saying "I was fine with it … no one tells me what to do.” If everyone adopted Senator Hanson’s mentality, the entire country would recede into a state of anarchy. Imagine making that justification to an officer of the law after committing grand theft auto. Hanson remains fervent and unyielding in her views that full facial coverings should be banned in Australia. She explained that she purchased the traditional Islamic garment online for 87 dollarydoos, and then proceeded to offer it to TODAY host Karl Stefanovic as a loan.
In November 2015, NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm carolled his way into the stony hearts of Senate Members, apparently possessed by the Spirit of Christmas. “In the first bill of Christmas, my treasurer sent to me, a tax on the elderly…” his musical tones were filled with monotonous mirth and onlookers were befuddled. Who knew the capital gains tax could be framed in such a jovial way? The video recording is an absolute hoot:
In March 2015, Liberal MP Andrew Laming was suspended from Parliament after dousing himself in highly flammable fuel during a speech on cruise ships. During the demonstration, he smeared the thick black liquid all over his hands like a new age moisturiser. “This stuff is revolting,” he stated to Members present in the Chamber, spilling the fuel on the desk and floor. "This stuff should not be burnt close to where people live… it should not be burnt anywhere near where children live.” Won’t somebody please think of the children? Soon after, he was ordered to apologise for the “dangerous” stunt by Bronny Bishop.
In May 2014, Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan smuggled a fake ‘pipe bomb’ into Parliament House to prove that new security arrangements being trialled were ineffective. "To demonstrate that, this morning, I brought in what could be... I brought this through security - a pipe bomb," he told a Senate Estimates hearing, holding up a metal pipe. Bilbo went on to explain that when he was a young lad many yonks ago, they used to blow up tree stumps on the farm and detailed the ingredients for his tantalising home-made explosive recipe. “We could blow a tree the size of this building out of the ground,” he continued, surely making everyone in the room exceedingly uncomfortable. Senator Heffernan then pointed out there was nothing to prevent anyone from sneaking in those ingredients over time.