David Marr laments the state of yesterday’s Question Time in the SMH today:

“Half the spectators were ushered in and ushered out like tourists at the Bolshoi. Children sat stunned.”

Tony Wright suggested the barren public-viewing gallery was an apt metaphor for the public mood towards both parties.

However, Crikey managed to eavesdrop on one school teacher and her attempt to explain the spectacle to her students on their much-anticipated excursion to parliament house:

— “Well, Tarquin*, Mr Abbott and Mr Rudd are arguing about who spent more of mum and dad’s money in order to let mum and dad know how good their ideas are.”

— “Everyone — Troy has asked why the Prime Minister is yelling. Mr Rudd is hoping for a good soundbite for the evening telly. A soundbite is an often meaningless sentence that’s catchy enough to be repeated over and over again so you all pay attention.”

— “Yes, Brayden, that’s the government chanting “Phoney” at the other side. Because it rhymes with Tony.”

— “Those nice people sitting up in the gallery are writing this all down. Yes it is a little like a school project, Peter, but they are all trying very, very hard not to copy each other.”

— “Nobody likes a dobber, Stephanie, but it’s true, Mr Turnbull doesn’t seem to be paying attention because he’s showing the other kids his new iPad.”

— “Pay attention children — that Scott Morrison gentleman has been sent to the naughty corner. That other angry man yelling at Scott is the Speaker of the House. Yes, Sienna, he does look  a little like me on playground duty.”

— “All right, all right, Tim, we’re leaving. And yes, Tarquin, I guess that’s why the Greens are trending so well in the latest Newspoll. But remember kids, it could be rogue.”

*With apologies to Trevor Diogenes. Tarquin has come along in leaps and bounds.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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