Return of pomp and wigs
THE new Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slapper has vowed to put the pizzazz back into Parliament by dressing like an Elizabethan librarian and leading a parade of minstrels and acrobats through the chambers.
Mr Slapper said the parade, which would happen twice a day, with a light show at night, would give his subjects a chance to honour and applaud him.
He said he was determined to restore the dignity of Parliament and this would best be achieved through woollen wigs, bow ties the size of bats, designer robes and drinking Bundaberg Lemon, Lime and Bitters that was "a little bit posh".
"I am also considering restoring the Parliamentary dungeon and chaining up any MPs who interject or fail to appreciate the standing orders and how important I am," he said.
Mr Slapper has also announced a new YouTube reality show that would showcase his "lovable antics" and follow him as he had his morning coffee and read the paper. The show would include a morning weigh-in and awkward footage of tourists being kicked out of Parliament House for inappropriate footwear.
Prime Minister Julia Gizzard said she "doesn't care if Mr Slapper started finger painting the walls as long as he doesn't go back to voting with the Liberal Party".
Ordinary punter Bill said Mr Slapper's new gear looked like "a terrible accident between a tent and an angora goat". "Like most people I enjoy a good parade but this one looks like it will be lacking a bit in Disney characters, inflated balloons and anything actually interesting," he said.
Mr Slapper's announcements threatened to be upstaged by real issues and speculation that former prime minister Kevin Rutt might challenge Ms Gizzard in the next few weeks.
Mr Rutt has said nothing to suggest he plans to challenge, a move seen by many commentators as proof a challenge is imminent. Leaving a church service last week he commented it was a "nice day". This was also considered a coded message that the challenge was on.
The following day he said "good morning" as he entered Parliament House. This also caused a flurry of speculation that the challenge was on.
But some MPs rejecting the suggestion, citing Mr Rutt's lack of popularity in his own party, failed prime ministership and really annoying monotone commentary on every issue. "Normally we try to find somebody popular and who hasn't destroyed suburban homes with cheap ceiling bats," one commented.
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