senate inquiry julie bishop
(Image:AAP/Lukas Coch)

The physical absence of the star witnesses at this week’s Senate inquiry into whether former Coalition ministers Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop had done anything wrong in their choice of post-politics employment simply underscored what a hollow exercise this charade has proven to be.

Senators talked to empty chairs which had, ludicrously, been marked with the names of the absent former Liberals. A second, completely unnecessary, notice said “Via Teleconference”. All was well, though, as the pair were still referred to as “The Hon.”.