Page 4968 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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for one more year in this place. Merry Christmas to you all. I hope you have a very safe and happy Christmas. Hopefully some of you will get a chance to have a bit of a break.


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.40): Mr Speaker, last night I must have been transfixed by trying to juggle tomorrow’s activities so that I could take advantage of your legendary hospitality at Speaker’s drinks, in between the graduation and the staff do and the other functions on the day. In the course of the night I had what could only be described as a nightmare about Speaker’s drinks. This was a Speaker’s drinks like no other I had attended. Gone was the string quartet and gone, too, were the strolling minstrels—to be replaced by a karaoke machine.

In this dream, Mr Speaker—or perhaps, as I have said, this fevered nightmare—members took it in turns to strut their stuff for the karaoke machine. Pour encouragez les autres, you, Mr Speaker, took the lead with what seemed like the seasonable Tannenbaum but, because you cannot help yourself, it soon deteriorated into The Red Flag. Mr Smyth led off for the opposition with a stirring and slightly offbeat rap version of Danny Boy. You had to hear it to believe it.

Mr Speaker, for me, karaoke is a particular nightmare and so, to get that misery out of the way as soon as possible, I did my version of The Gambler, which in many ways sums up my political credo:

You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em,

know when to fold ‘em,

know when to walk away,

know when to run.

The next to step up to the mike was Mr Gentleman. Given his advocacy for the TWU, he wanted to sing a trucker song, but we all held a secret ballot and instead he sang The Great Pretender. Ms Porter spent some time contemplating the play list and passed over a raucous rendition of the The Boys Light Up to give her own particular version of that old Lou Reed classic Walk on the Wild Side. But I think, Mr Speaker, that she actually got some of the words wrong. I am sure the original version did not have a line in it that went, “And the volunteers go doo doo doo doo doo”.

Mr Mulcahy, still in his Dollar Sweets mood, passed over Sweets for My Sweet and chose that Willy Wonka children’s favourite Candy Man:

The candy man can

’cause he mixes it with love

and makes the world taste good.

Please! I myself would have stuck with Working Class Man. Ms McDonald gave a gutsy version of Devo’s Whip It! That left everyone hanging on her words, especially when it came to:

When the good times turn around

you must whip it!

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