Joe Biden? Who he?
Hillary Bray writes:

We all have something tucked away in our closets – but the latch didn’t
quite break on Iron Bark’s earlier in the week with allegations that he
plagarised a Clinton State of Union speech.

Quite frankly, the Labor leader’s words were so leaden that yours truly
doubts a pol’s pol like the previous POTUS would have ever used them.

However, the accusation is exquisite given the fun Iron Bark had in an
adjournment debate speech back on May 27 1996, in the first days
Parliament sat after the election of the Howard Government, at the
expense of Richard Evans, the then Liberal MP for Cowan.

Evans was a comedy relief MP. Wrack your brains. Remember
that loser from the West who launched that half-arsed crusade against
cats? Yup. That’s the bloke we’re talking about.

His fellow Sandgroper Lib Eoin Cameron nicknamed him “Dorrie”, after
Dorrie Evans, the Number 96 character who always complained “I never
know what’s going on”.

Our Dorrie at least looked at the journal articles the Parliamentary Library circulated for the edification of MPs.

It’s just what he did with them that was a problem – if the word of the bolshy new member for Werriwa was anything to go by:

Mr LATHAM (Werriwa) (10.55 p.m.) – It is well and good for
the member for Cowan (Mr Richard Evans) to try to explain this away,
but the truth is that, if he were a university student plagiarising as
extensively as he did in this House, he would be struck out of the
university. If he were a medical researcher plagiarising someone else’s
materials, he would be struck off his practice. If he were a researcher
in any academic field plagiarising this extensively, he would be thrown
out of the university.

On 2 March, the people of Cowan did not elect Peter Drucker to the
House of Representatives. Now they are being represented in this House
not by the person whom they think they elected but by some American
futurist who wrote an article in the Atlantic Monthly 18 months ago,
only to be brazenly plagiarised by the member for Cowan.

The member had the hide to come into this place and say that somehow it
is all right. At the end of his speech-once he finished reading out
Peter Drucker’s article to the House-he had the hide to say, `Oh, the
Labor Party is not thinking about these things. Only the Liberal Party
is dealing with these issues.’ You must have established a new faction
in the Liberal Party-the Peter Drucker faction-because you have no
ideas. You have no original thoughts. You have stooped to the lowest of
the low in parliamentary debate. You have been sent here by your
electorate to represent their needs according to your own views and
your own opinions, and all you can do is read out word for word,
sentence for sentence and paragraph for paragraph someone else’s ideas.

The member for Lindsay (Miss Jackie Kelly), who is sitting next to you,
seems to think this is a joke. It is an appalling indictment of the
parliamentary Liberal Party that you can do nothing better in the House
of Representatives-the people’s house, where you are supposed to
represent the needs of your constituents-than read out word for word an
article written by an American futurist some 18 months ago. It really
is the lowest of the low.

If you were a university student, you would resign. If you were a
medical researcher, you would resign. If you were someone in public
life who had any decency or any standards, you would resign. You are
not representing the people of Cowan simply by plagiarising some
American futurist with their particular words in this House. It is the
lowest of the low. In 95 years this House of Representatives would
never have heard of anything lower than a member plagiarising word for
word, sentence for sentence and paragraph for paragraph some other
person.

Whatever happened to representative politics? Whatever happened to
representative democracy? Whatever happened to the decency of
acknowledging that you are totally lifting someone else’s views and
trying to put them across in this House as your own? You were doing
nothing more than trying to impress all these new backbenchers on the
government side, trying to present yourself as a new-age thinker, as a
post-industrial economist, trying to make a big man of yourself, a big
thinker for the Liberal Party. You were doing nothing more than the
lowest of the low, doing something that a first-year university student
would not do, doing something that a high school student would not do
and doing something that is absolutely despicable by the standards of
this House.

You are a disgrace to the House of Representatives. No member in 95
years has gone lower than this. You are an absolute disgrace. You
should get out of here. If you want someone to represent the people of
Cowan, the Labor Party is thinking of running Peter Drucker at the next
election. We thought we might recruit him to our side of politics. We
also have a slogan. He is going to run under the slogan `The real
thing’. If the people of Cowan want Peter Drucker to represent their
needs and put speeches forward in the House, why not? `Peter
Drucker-the real thing. Vote 1 for the ALP in the seat of Cowan.’

That is how low you have gone. You are not someone who is a new-age
thinker, a post-industrial economist, putting those views. You are
nothing more than a cheat, a fraud and a plagiariser. You stand
condemned.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The member for Werriwa will withdraw that word.

Mr LATHAM -What word, Mr Speaker?

Mr SPEAKER -Cheat.

Mr LATHAM -If he is not cheating, what is he doing?

Mr SPEAKER -I am asking you to withdraw.

Mr LATHAM -You are kidding. With respect to you, Mr Speaker, I withdraw.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

And, trivia buffs, what was Dorrie’s defence? He claimed that
Iron Bark had mispronounced “Drucker” – but that was about it.

Hillary Bray has been there, done that and can be contacted at [email protected]

Peter Fray

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