Jim Pembroke

High Court mechanics won’t pass government’s rego

While we’ve managed to wheel the Government into the High Court, getting it road-worthy is another question entirely. We have to wait for how long to fix these overseas parts?



What’s all this nonsense about the High Court taking months to get these dual citizenship cases sorted? Attorney General George Brandis said he tried to get an earlier appointment, but October might be the best he can do.

It’s like towing your beat-up, old hybrid to the local workshop only to have the mechanic kick the tyres and shake his head.

Mate, I got a stack of cars lined up before you and we’re gonna need parts from Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, even Cyprus. This job could take months. And what’s this banana-banarnaby racket coming from deep inside the engine?”

It seems painfully obvious, we’re not safe driving this political vehicle another mile and the High Court needs to do something about it. Maybe, the judges have underestimated the urgency. After all, the parliament has been a crash waiting to happen for some time now, and putting saw-dust in the gearbox to stop the whining until it’s sold to the next unsuspecting mug is not a long term solution.

But people are starting to struggle with the poor suspension, the erratic steering and the hilarious but increasingly undiplomatic jokes at New Zealand’s expense. It’s high time the High Court got off its high horse and ended this high farce.

What we are facing is nothing short of a constitutional crisis. We haven’t encountered anything as crucial as this since the Mabo decision, the Whitlam dismissal or the importance of Darryl Kerrigan’s fucking driveway.

The worry is that Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull sees no problem allowing possibly invalid MPs voting in the parliament or illegitimate Ministers making decisions on our behalf for as long as it takes.

Mate, I got a stack of cars lined up before you and we’re gonna need parts from Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, even Cyprus. This job could take months. And what’s this banana-banarnaby racket coming from deep inside the engine?.


Nevertheless, the Prime Minister seems quite prepared to continue driving an unroadworthy vehicle with defective components held together by non-genuine parts until it limps coughing and spluttering into some constitutional junk-yard. To be honest, Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t seem to have much choice. The invoice is pretty simple, and you don’t have to be a wiz at differential equations to know that the government’s one seat majority will be kaput if the High Court rules those multinational MPs were not eligible to stand for election in the first place. Then the conversation will surely swing to Labour charges.

Not surprisingly, the Prime Minister is turning into a customer who likes to sit on the shop floor watching the mechanics every move, tell him which spanner to use and how hard to turn the screw. When Malcolm Turnbull says that Barnaby Joyce is “qualified to sit in the house and the High Court will so hold,” he shows both desperation and a need for lessons on the separation of powers. This is the judges being told there’s no need to look under the bonnet – just pull out the squeegee and clean the windscreen.

Three months of uncertainty, illegitimacy and Barnaby Joyce looking hang-dog and sheepish. The High Court needs to fix this issue now, before the machinery of Parliament stalls completely. Put it on the car hoist, have a quick look and let us know what we’re up for.

Is this government worth repairing or should we be off to the dealership to trade-in our old clunker for a brand new, fuel-efficient model?

Not another lemon, please!

Jim Pembroke

Jim Pembroke grew up in Brisbane, Queensland, where he learnt to sail, and got his B.Ed at QUT where he learnt to write, M.Ed at JCU, Townsville, where he learnt to think. He now lives permanently on his boat where he writes too much.

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