Farewell Harry Jenkins
From the time of The Punch’s launch the then-Speaker of the House of Representatives was a bit of a Punch mascot. A favourite with some of our more politically-obsessed, Question Time-viewing readers.
Harry put up with a lot. During the tedious 17-day post-election negotiations over who would form government in the hung parliament, Julia Gillard offered Harry’s job to Rob Oakeshott. To cheers Harry clung on to the Speaker’s Chair - for a while.
When the PM saw an opportunity to put Peter Slipper in the chair, thereby removing an opposition vote and shoring up her tenuous position ever so slightly, she pounced.
Harry announced his “resignation” from the Speakership, citing a desire to get amongst the policy debate on the back bench.
While he might have been diplomatic, many others were not, and we still don’t know how the Slipper experiment will turn out.
The temptation to dump on his leader must have been incredibly strong in the past two years. All Harry ever wanted was to follow in his father’s footsteps and be Speaker.
But he has held his tongue.
Yesterday, as he announced his retirement from the House of Representatives, he said: “Of course to go as speaker would have been a great thing.”
But according to The Australian, the “politician in him” understood the need for Gillard to manouvre an extra vote.
If he’s angry at her, he’s keeping it to himself. That’s how Harry rolls.
We’ll miss you Harry. We already do.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…