Fact Number One: The government’s plans to remake the Senate Committee system in their own favour are an attempt to quash questioning and an arrogant attack on accountability.

Fact Number Two: If the ALP, the Greens the Democrats had been better politicians it wouldn’t have happened. They would have denied the government a majority.

Fact Number Three: If a most unlikely miracle happens and Labor wins government and control of the Senate, London to a brick they would never change things back.

Of course this move should be deplored. But it’s happened because the poor performance of the opposition and the minor parties. They didn’t win seats in the Senate. The government got a majority. Too bad, guys. You f-cked up. Life’s like that. And now the government can do this to you.

Politics is a pretty brutal game of numbers. The Coalition has the numbers at the moment. But when Labor had the numbers, they used them as crudely as they could when it suited.

There have been some pious whingeings about moving the guillotine to cut off debate. Yet Labor did that – and when they have the numbers again, no doubt they’ll do exactly the same thing.

Of course there’s plenty of hypocrisy on both sides. The Coalition made much about the role of the Senate in opposition. Now they’re nobbling it.

But here’s a fourth and a fifth fact: All politicians like to sound high minded – and all governments hate scrutiny.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey