Derryn Hinch Senate Diary

Frankly, I don’t give a Flying Finkel about the current emissions debate until the government presents me — as a crucial crossbencher — with some genuine legislation they seriously think they can get through the Senate. And bring prices down.

I thought Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s weekend comments sounded conciliatory and, naively, I thought he and Malcolm Turnbull could find some common (50%-42%) common ground. Jeez, they’ve done this climate-warming dance before. And ended up going home alone.

It made me feel so warm and fuzzy, and compromising, on the flight Shorten and I shared from Melbourne (so diligently chronicled by Crikey this week) that I could even ignore his ghastly blue, woolen, old-man’s sweater, with a neck zipper, which accentuated his man boobs. The ones that starred in the 2016 election.

(We did discuss his macho jogging article in Men’s Health, or some such mag, where he did a Rocky run-up-the-steps thing.)

Chloe, you have style. You ooze class. My ex-wife used to stay with your mum at Yarralumla. How could you let him out of the house dressed like that? On the Queen’s Birthday? I’m a republican, but … what the?

I suggest, if you really want your man to inhabit The Lodge after the next election (which seems increasingly likely), you should Google Jimmy Carter’s cardigan from a televised fireside chat when he was president of the US of A.

That cardie made Jimmy, the peanut man, an un-re-electable prez.

***

John Blackman, Melbourne radio funny-man, voice of Dickie Knee — and master of the single entendre — used the line: “When there’s nothing left to be said, Derryn will still be saying it.”

It’s a line I thought of earlier this year during the endless public hearings and Senate filibustering over 18C. And it applied last month, and this week, to the Greens before yesterday, finally, legally needed amendments were made to the Native Title Act. To bastardise Churchill: never was so little said over such a long time by so few.

***

Speaking of time wasting. In question time this week I asked Attorney-General George Brandis whether the government had put on the agenda of the next COAG meeting my demand for a national public register of convicted sex offenders. And if not, why not?

And my supplementary question was: “Why do we have pointless supplementary questions, especially laboriously written Dorothy Dixers? And will you support a Senate Reform Committee proposal to abolish them — as in the other place?”

President Stephen Parry ruled it out of order as not being relevant and offered me a second bite at it.

My response: “And to prove my earlier point I waive this follow-up supplementary question.”

***

Last week I wrote:

“May I end on a positive note: Dig out Ariana Grande’s rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow at the tribute to terror victims on the other side of the world. Will moisten your eyes.”

I have the same reaction to the original version of this and the segue into It’s a Wonderful World by Hawaiian legend Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. No wonder they called him Izzy.

It gives me a “rainbow/pot of gold” segue it into two serious political issues. I believe Malcolm Turnbull has to “do a Gough” and crash or crash through.

He must kick the Abbotts and Abetzes and Christensenes right in the gonads over climate change. He and ScoMo (and Dutton) have to have the balls to say: this is the new troika. Suck it up or fuck off.

(I mean, what awesome power has conservatism given Cory?)

And Turnbull must allow a vote on same-sex marriage this year. Just … get … it … done. You honoured your pledge to take a plebiscite to the election — to appease the Abbotteers. Even though you’d didn’t want a plebiscite.

You got it through”the other place” and got defeated in the Senate. We saved your Mother Hubbard Treasurer between $250 million and $400 million and I am honoured my “no” vote helped kill it.

Follow John Howard’s advice when he tightened the Marriage Act in 2004 (with Labor’s craven support) to cement man-woman-only and ban foreign same-sex marriage recognition. He said it was up to the elected politicians to do their job. Not the courts. Not the populace.

Which brings me back to my Over the Rainbow comment.

I have this (unchallenged … yet) theory about the gay community embrace of the rainbow as their flag. And I’ll ignore Abetz’s conspiratorial theories on its origin.

The song was written for the movie Wizard of Oz by Yip Harburg in 1939. And sung by child star Judy Garland.

Flash forward 30 years and I am in a Broadway theatre in NY. Judy Garland is on stage. Gay guys are throwing flowers at her like Dame Edna and her gladdies in reverse in other theatres.

Judy Garland was one of the original, self-proclaimed “fag hags” and it wasn’t just Dorothy’s ruby red shoes.

In Australia later, maybe it was because her son-in-law, for a while, was Peter Allen, the boy who went to Rio.

And even decades later, who could have thunk it that the bloke writing this diary would appear on Dancing With the Stars in full Boy From Oz ruffles doing the full maracas number on national TV — with his fly undone.

… stranger than fiction.

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Peter Fray
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