October 16, 2014

Inside State Parliament...

Is it only me that's flabbergasted with our esteemed(?) State Government Parliamentarians (Victorian by name and nature), and the laissez-faire acceptance of the unique lending circle they've had going at the (very)Parisian end of Melbourne's Spring Street?!  Or, am I just a daggy prude who doesn't belong in this digitally stuffed century? Out of step? I don't think so. But ignorance is bliss.

Ironically, it's an (ex)Freedom of Information aficionado, who since March 2013 - is sacked and unemployed - an outcome of dubious resources sharing activity within the confines of Vic State Parliament. He's subsequently suing State government for unfair dismissal. 

And why?

It arose from his alternative job description ....Being sole caretaker, curator/innovator, and facilitator - of a pseudo-library or "stash" in an open desk drawer in his office - of hardcore sexually explicit movies. 

Any surprises there?

Now why can't those sleazy well-paid bogans be content like we women, with sharing around copies of Downton Abbey, New Tricks, and Midsomer Murders ....or, Masters Of Sex if they want to go down that path? At least they might actually learn something from the latter.

Over time, former State parliament employee (and FOI expert), Don Coulson, established the select collection, contained on USB sticks, which he made available to "in-house member colleagues". He referred to those in the know, and in "the club" as "porn appreciators" (aka parliamentarians/MPs, and associated staffers). Delightful. Yes, all direct quotes from Mr Coulson.

“But it’s not illegal, features animals and grannies ... but no children,” Says Coulson – the entrepreneurial “librarian" of Porngate. So that makes it all fine and dandy ....and business as usual then? Terrific.

Though I guess things could be worse ....Someone could be snaffling bulk items from the stationery cupboard. Or, using the parliamentary photocopier to print their wedding invitations, or images of their buttocks? Or, like most people, Coulson could have been keeping a stash of Twix Bars and Polly Waffles in his office drawer; making himself and his co-workers fat!

Coulson said he did not think the swapping of sexually explicit material in a government office was inappropriate, "provided it's not done officially and doesn't utilise government resources". His exact words. 

What the fruitcake?

Coulson adds, "if you become an elected official you don't become celibate." Oh really. And what other banal BS does he have to tell us? 

Clearly State Parliament's Code of Conduct was written by Sir Les Patterson ....and perhaps needs revising?

In recent times - as a misplaced, unemployed librarian - I've forwarded one or three applications to Victoria’s parliament, hoping to land a job in the library there.  Never got an answer.  Obviously not perceived as hot enough.  Maybe I should have attached something 3D with my CV? Any tips Eric Abetz, and Joe? .... [et al]?? Do I need to make a mental note of this for future job applications?

I've also relatively recently, been on a couple of tours of the library service there ... part of my “continuing lifelong education” (aka compulsory component of uni studies).

Everything, was gloriously Victorian - from the toilets (yes really!) ....to the wood panelled walls, 24-carat gold-leaf detailing,
 19th century velvet sofas, and glistening crystal chandelier - which hangs majestically over the library reading room. All visually gorgeous ....But, we were told - that monstrous light fitting was a nasty bitch to clean. 

But perhaps, as an unemployee librarian, keen to get a foot in the door, they could take me on as that very nasty bitch to clean it!

The guide showed us around the place, outlining the nuances of running a top notch parliamentary information service. I was bedazzled. And we even got a peek at a 15th century renaissance tome, held there. It was really impressive. And I so so wanted to get a job there ....even if it was just cleaning the chandelier, and putting a little Marveer on the bannisters.

However, as of yesterday, who would have imagined that in conjunction with the official library – the parliament’s one-time, so-called FOI Strategist, had been value-adding information services – with a clandestine, limited access, hardcore pornography lending ring? 

And, at the last count, it apparently involved up to a dozen ministerial "subscribers" - including advisers, and MPs. Really? Wonder who it was/is? 

And what a swell party they must have all been having. And did they discuss this aspect of Coulson's role at his last performance appraisal?

And so, as the impact of the Ebola virus hardens its grip on the world, and the burqa ban loses momentum over at Federal parliament ....I seriously think it wouldn’t be such a bad idea - for Victoria's female, parliamentary employees - to make the burqa their uniform du jour, as a united protest against the condoning of porn-gate and associated hypocrisies in their workplace. 

Meanwhile, revelations of the little inter-parliamentary-porn-lending-service, seem a mere hiccup to our privileged powers that be. Yes it's apparently all NORMAL and just part of a typical MP's day in the office fish bowl ....for the blokey blokes that is. 

So long as it's not classified as illegal - shouldn't be a problem they say. Delightful.

Tell that to their underwhelmed female colleagues, and any year ten schoolboy, who knows he can get instantly expelled for participating in the same activity.

Meantime, I wonder what Coulson's replacement staffer circulates from the bottom drawer in his office, now that the parliamentary porn collection is no longer. 

Love to know that ...athough remaining ignorant is bliss.


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