harry jenkins resigns as speaker

Today signifies the final sitting of Federal Parliament for the year. It also signifies the day that Harry Jenkins resigned as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

Harry Jenkins has resigned as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr Jenkins told parliament this morning that he had become progressively frustrated at the stricture of minority government.

“My desire is to be able to participate in policy and parliamentary debate, and this would be incompatible with continuing in the role of Speaker,” he said.

Mr Jenkins is the longest-serving Labor member of the House of Representatives and has been a Labor member, representing the Division of Scullin, Victoria, since the 1986 by-election. He has been Speaker since 12 February 2008. While Speakers normally carry the title “the Honourable”, Mr Jenkins requested that it not be used.

His father also served as Speaker from 1983-1985.

Harry will be missed as a friend of mine said, “No one can shout “order” with such authority and exasperation”.

I don’t blame Harry for resigning, because to me, politicians act like a bunch of school children. I had the “privilege” of being able to sit in on Question Time at State Parliament level when I was on work experience with the Australian Associated Press (AAP) and I was blown away by how childish every politician in the room seemed to act. They were all on their SmartPhones, iPads, passing notes to each other and the occasional oldie was asleep.

The fact that Harry lasted as long as he did is a testament to the man’s patience.

As for what I think Harry will do next, I think it’s time for a book deal.

“Why I Hate Other Politicians: the tell-all book by former Speaker Harry Jenkins”.

And come on, it could totally happen!

Read Harry’s resignation speech here, courtesy of The Australian

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