August 14, 2006

Parliamentary standards lifted

Top - a common drongo bird; middle - a pork chop; bottom - an Australian politician.

The President of the Senate has ruled that our political representatives may call each other a pork chop, or a drongo, or both. The ruling came after some Senators asked for a retraction of the unfortunate name-calling. Pork chop and drongo are now officially within the parliamentary standing orders.


  1. I'm reading Fred Daly's collection of political anecdotes, 'The Politician Who Laughed', at the moment, and it seems we've come a long way since the grand old days of the early-to-mid 20th century, when insults were many, and apologies weren't.

    He tells the story about one parliamentary member who is on the receiving end of a long stream of crude invective. When he comes out of parliament and is questioned how things went, he says, "Pretty rough. I almost got insulted in there."

    There's another story about Billy Hughes, who his party gives the mission of insulting the Prime Minister, with the idea that the government would call on him to apologise, and hopefully trigger an election. He proceeds to hold forth in parliament, calling the PM "Stupid and cowardly", or some such - I forget the exact words.

    "The Prime Minister then asked him whether he meant those remarks personally, or politically.
    'Like an idiot,' said Billy, 'I replied that, of course, I meant the remarks politically.'
    The PM then said that no offence was taken, and proceeded to apologise to Billy ..."

  2. Anonymous3:34 PM

    I love this little quip from Gough Whitlam.
    A parliamentarian declared ( can't remember who) I'm a country member. Gough replied drily, I remember.

  3. Thanks for teaching me a new word. I think I will use the word drongo until it catches on here in the US. Pork chop, we already know ;-)

  4. Cube - yep, drongo is one of our better offerings to the world; if you can say it with a bit of an Aussie strine to it, all the better.

  5. Anonymous11:12 PM

    Well Caz I reckon I would have to agree with the President of the Senate....After all aren't they all just a bunch of drongo's that carry on like pork chops.

    pass the apple sauce will ya Caz?

  6. Ummm, I'm not being facetious, but what does saying it with an Aussie strine mean? Please fill me in. I want to know.

  7. Basically with a heavy Aussie accent:

    Strine - Australian English, especially a humorous representation in writing of Australian pronunciation, for example, “Emma Chisit” for “How much is it?”

  8. Drongo is an excellent word. I, too, vow to use it at every opportunity.