Of course you can’t bring a baby into the Senate. And, what in the name of the Westminster System were you doing reproducing in time for your term, Sarah? This isn’t rational feminism. It’s macrobiotic baby sick on a functioning democracy.

That’s it. The Greens have done their dash.

I can only suppose I was yoked to my hormones in November, 2007. Either that or absolutely blunted. It could’ve only been pot or a prelude to The Change that persuaded a vote to the Greens in the Senate.

Still. One million other Australians acted likewise that day. And not all of them could have been stoned, perimenopausal or effing registered Holistic Osteopaths. This swing to the Greens may have had something to do with the diminution of civil liberties, real debate and water reserves.

We had an excuse, alright?

Last election, Bob Brown was to Kevin Rudd as, say, Malcolm Gladwell is to Kyle Sandilands. This is to say, each of them is a singularly smug populist with desperate need of better advice on hair. But, in a moral smackdown, Gladwell seems more altruistic than his chubby opponent. And a lot less likely to be found in the company of exotic dancers.

But, Brown, just like Gladwell, tends to say some stupid naïve sh-t. The fucking stupidest and most naïve of which was uttered just last night.

Debating a bill on food advertising during C Time television broadcast, a division was required for a vote. At the time, South Australian Greens Senator Hanson-Young was holding her toddler, whom we’ll call Sundance Rosa Parks Engels, when President John Hogg asked for it and its biodegradable diaper to be removed from the house.

Fair cop, really. Apparently the thing was crying.

Then, Brown bangs on about the “archaic” attitude of parliamentarians to family life. After some snipes about the Upper House’s “horse-and-buggy” attitude to childcare, he said, “I don’t think we should see parents separated from their infants in the way it happened in the Senate this afternoon.”

Well, I don’t think that the primary care-givers of children should be parliamentarians.

Briefly overlook (a) the alarming stench of an infant raised entirely on ancient-grains and rice milk and (b) the alarming sound of an infant whose first experience of the world was a patchouli infused Jacuzzi, and really think about what significant devotion to children does to a policy maker.

Unless you’ve ready access to pharmaceutical grade amphetamine salts, you simply can’t effectively legislate and mother. The experience of parenting does not make you a better representative. If you’re up nights and, significantly, moderating the guilt you feel in abandoning Little Sundance to the degree you need to drag her to work, clearly your faculties as a Senator are diminished. I don’t care, Sarah, how much you understand the anguish of Working Families. And I don’t care for the junk science that insists that women are Better Multitaskers. Don’t vote with a baby on your lap.

In some industry and at some levels of professional responsibility, there is a little sense in fusing the public and private realms for parents. The practise probably works very well in call centres. It has no place in federal politics.

Little Sundance does not have the right to literally crap all over a critical institution. And nor do you. Stay at home and raise your children.

Or, do your fucking job.

Do children have a place in our Parliamentary chambers? Have you say here.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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