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divide and dissolve: 1000 Hansard posts

21 February, 2014

Today, 21 February 2014, Houses & Motions reaches four figures in published posts; since 16 November 2006, we’ve published 1000 posts featuring quotes and highlights from Hansard transcripts, primarily from Western Australia but also at times delving into other states and federal politics (not all posts have featured quotes, but the year-in-legislation review posts have also included multiple quotes, so we’re over the 1000 quote mark already).

1000 posts means that there is a lot of material to read here; but if you’re interested in some of the highlights we’ve posted, here’s a very quick and unscientific selection of ten favourites or interesting pieces from the last seven and a bit years. And with this, we’re now going on a break for the next while, but maybe we’ll see you back here in the future!

1. you don’t send me (WA Legislative Council, 9 November 2005; posted 3 February 2010).
If you only read one post, make it this one. By far my favourite thing to appear in Hansard, the time when Hon. Paul Llewellyn attempted to table a fax machine. (For another Paul Llewellyn special, see ‘moving clocks run slow‘)

2. monkey to man (WA Legislative Council, 21 January 1902; posted 11 December 2013).
Not quite the oldest exchange we’ve featured here, but the gateway into the really old Hansard archives we’ve dipped into over the last few months.

3. if you’re feeling sinister (WA Legislative Assembly, 11 November 2009; posted 4 February 2010).
I’ve tried not to go overboard with either Rob Johnson or Grant Woodhams in this list, but sometimes you just can’t escape them. This exchange also leads to ‘i fought in a war‘ and ‘the stars of track and field‘ (yes, this was a period when every post used a Belle and Sebastian song title).

4. suffer for fashion (WA Legislative Assembly, 14 June 2011; posted 15 September 2011).
Tangentially part of CHOGM-fest 2011, too.

5. I see red… (WA Legislative Assembly, 29 November 2006; posted 17 January 2007).
Okay, I like the silly interjections between members, and we’ve featured a lot of them over the years, particularly about some members being distracted by others’ appearances. see also: flex capacitor, I… have no words, totally nude; like Eoin McLove; across a crowded room; universally acknowledged; hair apparent, and many many more…

6. a bit too excited about the budget (WA Legislative Assembly, 24 November 2005; posted 18 November 2006).
Part of a series involving Eric Ripper and Troy Buswell. See also: a bit too excited about the budget (no. 2), the look of love, blue condition, and so on…

7. who do you think you are? (Queensland Legislative Assembly, 15 September 2009; posted 14 October 2009).
There are a lot of these kind of exchanges, but this is one of the better/more extreme realisations.

8. working parties (WA Legislative Assembly, 2 June 2005; posted 8 April 2007).
It’s a little weird to remember that we started this back in the heady days of 2006, under a Labor government in WA (and really pre-boom) (also still in the Howard years, which is just as weird). Not that this comment has anything to do with the above exchange, to be honest…

9. nsfp (WA Legislative Assembly, 23 June 2010; posted 2 July 2010).
Could easily just post an extended list of weird innuendo &c. (see also, for instance, that is, indeed, what she said, l’amour à la française)

10. and the cop-out answer: all of the Grant Woodhams poetry/song parodies. They had to be here, since really this is what caused us to launch the site in the first place, but rather than pick one, our collected list is here: plenty is never Greenough: Grant Woodhams’s Greatest Hits (contains popular favourites including ‘I Love A Sunburn Daily’, ‘Budget Pie’, and ‘Woodie, the Speaker of the Overflow’). (WA Legislative Assembly, 2005-2012; posted 2006-2012, list published 13 November 2012).

And to finish, some favourite out-of-context exclamations:
“Table the minister!” / “I cannot table my leg!”
“There will be no tooting.”
“This is not a place of fun; this is the Parliament.”
“Order, members! This is a house of Parliament, not a pirate ship!”
“Order! Members, this is not a discussion about love; this is Parliament!”
“Order! This is a section called “Members’ Statements”, not “Personal Insults”.”
“I request that all members stop calling each other Lord Haw-Haw until I find out what that means.”
“How can someone come to this place and not know Yes Minister? I suppose that demonstrates the problem we have here.”

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