How often does a parliamentary chamber go on strike for two days, doing absolutely no work and eating up taxpayers’ funding of MPs, their staff and the parliamentary precinct?
It happened in the NSW upper house last week. It should have been front page news. But the media have said nothing, most likely because it tells a dreadful story about the gender hypocrisy of Labor and the Greens.
The Liberal President of the Legislative Council, John Ajaka, decided to retire, requiring a ballot to fill his position.
The Liberal Party nominated Natasha Maclaren-Jones, a capable woman with a good reputation for cooperating with other MPs.
Labor and the Greens didn’t want to run their own candidate, as they would lose a vote on the floor of the House (where no party has an absolute majority).
So instead, they pursued a bizarre tactic of trying to force the Liberal-Nationals Government into nominating the person they preferred, a woke old Nat called Trevor Khan MLC. He didn’t actually want the position as he hopes to become a Magistrate (where he would do quite a good job).
To win the Presidency, the candidates were told they needed an absolute majority in the chamber. That is 22 votes.
When the ballot was held on Wednesday morning, Maclaren-Jones got 20 votes (17 Liberal-National, 2 One Nation, plus Fred Nile).
Labor nominated Peter Primrose MLC, but didn’t want him to win. He got 14 votes (all ALP) while the Labor and Greens Leaders (Adam Searle and David Shoebridge) convinced the other 8 crossbenchers to vote INFORMAL.
This meant that nobody had won. The House adjourned for 4 hours and tried again with a second ballot.
This resulted in the same outcome: Maclaren-Jones 20, Primrose 14, Informal 8.
The Labor/Greens ‘brains trust’ thought this would force the Government to concede defeat, ditch Maclaren-Jones and nominate Khan as a ‘compromise candidate’. Fat chance of that.
Instead the House was adjourned for the rest of the day and all of Thursday, losing 20 hours of parliamentary time. Important motions were unable to be moved and debated, including a vital One Nation proposition to save 14,000 mining and manufacturing jobs and steelmaking in the Illawarra.
The NSW Legislative Council will now be without a President until at least 4 May, when the House is next scheduled to sit.
How didn’t this make the news? The reason is simple: Labor and the Greens were exposed as complete hypocrites on the question of gender.
Two Green female MPs, Abigail Boyd and Cate Faehrmann, had previously lectured us on the importance of increasing female representation to “improve the culture” of parliament. Female Labor MLCs had said the same.
Hundreds of times in politics I have heard the slogan, “Promote more women into important jobs and the workplace culture will improve”.
But when it came to voting for a woman (Maclaren-Jones) and making her the chamber’s Presiding Officer (in charge of the Parliament), the Labor women voted for a man (Primrose) while the Green women voted informal, twice.
To make things worse, the Labor and Green women actually wanted a different man (Khan) to have the job. They refused to vote for a woman to shoehorn a bloke into the position.
They were told to vote this way by their male leaders, Searle and Shoebridge.
The hypocrisy is breathtaking. The cant is overwhelming.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Proving, yet again, that the gender debate is not really about helping women. It’s solely about politics, weaponising gender to do in conservatives (male and female), while advancing the power base of Green-Labor-Left woke nonsense.
This was the first test of the ‘promote women’ argument since the sex scandal stories broke in Canberra. And Labor and the Greens decided to wreck the NSW Legislative Council in their support of a man.
The next time I hear a Greens or Labor speech on gender, it will be a case of Pass The Bucket.
The NSW Crown-Solicitor has now provided a legal opinion saying that Maclaren-Jones has already won the position, 20 votes to 14 (twice). She didn’t need 22 after all, making the Labor and Greens leaders look like even bigger galahs.
Mark Latham MLC
30 March 2021.