I do a love weekend for the chance to take stock.
I would hope that our embattled Speaker of the House has been doing exactly that. Sniffing the breeze.
I have been and despite chatting to numerous people, of all political stripes, the sentiment was unanimous. It’s terminal for Trevor Mallard. The Speaker has to go.
Arrogance during the height of a scandal is one thing. But arrogance in the wake of being found at fault, is the worst possible impulse.
If I went public and wrongly labelled a work colleague or underling as a rapist, it would be rightly adjudged as serious misconduct. I’d be sacked. And you can add to that the legal fallout of the defamation costs. No employer would give an employee going so rogue, a second chance.
And of course this is just the start of Mallard’s multiple misdeeds, with respect to his mangling of this matter, including hiding under the skirts of a Royal Commission release.
Which is why Trevor Mallard’s credible grip on the Office of Speaker is toast. It’s shot. His hubris, unrepentance and unaccountability is gobsmacking. I’ve never rated this individual in the Speaker’s chair. He’s far too partisan, a life-long hack. He’s barely any better than Labour’s last pick, the cranky, cantankerous, humourless Margaret Wilson. Compare Mallard to the man who set the gold standard, the marvellous Lockwood Smith and his quiz show smile.
The Speaker’s role demands mana, dignity and gravitas. And impartiality. Mallard has never risen to the occasion – and after this debacle, never will. After costing us a packet, I wish he would have the good grace to relinquish the role. Thirty six years on the taxpayer’s tab is a good run. But there’s nothing to suggest he will. If it takes a vote of no confidence in February, so be it. Surely the Prime Minister is aware how corrosive this circus is to her brand and her party’s reputation. She should be having a quiet word with him. Parliament deserves better. We all do. If he won’t go willingly, he must be pushed.