The NSW
Parliament has seen nothing like it since Fred Nile turned up in his
pyjamas – or since tired and emotional Labor backbencher Peter Black
made a grab at Virginia Judge last year.

National
Party MP Andrew Fraser has been forced apologise to State Parliament
and resign from the shadow ministry after an altercation in the chamber
last night with the Minister for Roads, Joe Tripodi, during which “he
manhandled the minister,” as the Sydney Morning Heralddelicately puts it.

Fraser shoved Tripodi and grabbed him round the neck.

It’s an incredible own goal for the Opposition, with Tripodi – a bloke with an record of curious behaviour in the House himself – staring down the barrel over the Cross City Tunnel.

Parliamentary biffo is uncommon in Australia. There’s the celebrated occasion back in 1965 when Gough Whitlam threw a glass of wateracross the table in the face of Foreign Minister Paul Hasluck.

Tony
Abbott got suspended from the House of Representatives for an hour
after he headed off in the direction of Labor’s Graham Edwards after a
comment – not a good look for a minister to go chasing a guy in a
wheelchair.

The truly tragic with time on their hands can get a bit more if they look at Chapter 20 of the NSW Legislative Assembly Standing Orders, the section headed “Disorder.”

And there’s one thing worth noting out of all of this. Fraser must have bloody big hands to get them around Tripodi’s neck.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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