The end of the parliamentary year is often ragged. Sometimes for oppositions. More often for governments. Everyone’s at the end of their rope. Governments are often keen to push slabs of legislation through, even if they’re being frustrated by the Senate. If there’s an election in the offing, it’s even worse, with backbenchers tempted to grab themselves some limelight and crossbenchers less inclined to cooperate.
Of course there’s traditionally a last-minute bout of well-wishing, seasons greetings and thank-yous to staff exchanged between MPs of all sides, but that seems to look more and more farcical each year. Scott Morrison yesterday used his to reel off his achievements during the year, then chip Labor about its “coalition” with the Greens.
After the Jenkins report released earlier in the week, it’s hard to take the thanks expressed to staff by any side particularly seriously. The abuse, harassment and exploitation of staff remains a huge problem for politics, along with the culture of entitlement and non-accountability that it partly derives from.