Monday, September 12, 2005

The Senate Hearings on the sale of Telstra - It's Comedy time!

Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett is one of the few, if not the only, Federal politician with his own weblog. From that blog comes his comments on the Senate hearing into the full sale of Telstra, in particular the rather hurried means by which the Senate is moving the bill through with a minimum of discussion.

A link to the Hansard Report of the first day can be found here.

The first thing I noticed as I read it was how similar it was to something some friends and I wrote many years ago. If you're a roleplaying geek (like me) and you've spent some time with the Vampire the Masquerade game then you've probably seen this.

VENTRUE: Okay, guys, sit down. I suppose you're wondering why I've called you all here.

TOREADOR: I should think so. I have an engagement in two hours that I simply MUST attend, and I don't want to be late.

VENTRUE: Yeah, yeah. Order. [banging] Well, I don't know about you guys, but my Progeny have been asking some rather ... embarassing questions, and I--

MALKAV: Just tell them that when a Mummy and a Daddy love each other very much--

VENTRUE: Shut up, Malkav. Anyway, they want to know where we come from, why, how, the whole bit. I think it's time we had an answer for them.


BRUJAH: Well, what are you asking us for? WE don't fucking know.


BRUJAH: Sorry.

VENTRUE: What about you, Ralph? You seem to have your nose in everything.

NOSFERATU: No, I am ... no longer called "Ralph." From this day forward, you shall call me: "Nosferatu."


RAVNOS: I dunno, man. Ralph suits you.

And on it goes.

The thing that struck me was the similarities in style to the opening of the Hearings.

CHAIR (Senator EGGLESTON) - I welcome everyone here today and I thank them for attending at short notice. For the benefit of all of our witnesses, I point out that the committee prefers all evidence to be given in public, but should you at any stage wish to give your evidence, part of your evidence or answers to specific questions in private, you may ask to do so and the committee will consider your request. As a general arrangement today, because time is short and we have a lot of ground to cover, we are going to divide the questioning time roughly equally between the government and the opposition with time left over for the Democrats and perhaps other questions from the major parties.

Senator RONALDSON—Will Senator Brown be attending the hearing?

CHAIR—Senator Brown is not attending.

Senator CONROY—What about Senator Joyce?

CHAIR—Senator Joyce is scheduled to attend. I am sure he will be here in due course.

Senator CONROY—I think Ron Boswell has already found him.

CHAIR—Who knows.

Senator RONALDSON—I am surprised Senator Brown is not here.

CHAIR—It is surprising, but he had other engagements in the city.

Senator CONROY—Are you using the terrorism laws on Barnaby already?

CHAIR—That is a possible scenario,...

Then again, maybe I'm just easily amused.

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