Scott 'Senate thief' Ryan refuses to return stolen furniture
Scott 'Senate thief' Ryan has refused to return a piece of furniture he removed from the Senate chamber, insisting it is the Senate's constitutional right to give it to him. He removed the item, an official Senate seat, on the second sitting day of the Senate following the recent election. Unlike lower house seats, which are a revolting green colour, Senate seats are a deep burgundy. According to past senators, they go really well in classic victorian era drawing rooms. The removal of the official seat could have implications for future legislative votes in the upper house. The seats themselves are renowned for their comfort. Derryn Hinch for example already has a reputation for falling asleep in his. "I often have a few beers at lunch time. Doctors orders of course. I am supposed to drink 2 litres of water a day, and beer is 95% water. My medication often makes me feel drowsy in the afternoon." It is particularly ironic then that the seat stolen by Ryan was Hinch's. "Now I have to sit closer to Hanson," complained Hinch. "She has this weird thing for me where she pretends she doesn't like me, but I always catch her checking me out out of the corner of her eye and smiling at me." Several photos show Hanson sneering at Hinch whenever he nods off, then wakes up and furtively scans the room to see if anyone noticed.
Malcolm Turnbull has weighed into the debate, distancing his government from Ryan's actions. "Scott Ryan stole that seat. The Senate stole it. Not the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party absolutely supports democracy, even if the voters sometimes get it wrong and we have to adjust the outcome a bit. It is for the greater good. The voters did not really want to see Hinch sleeping in that seat for 6 long years. These actions put him up the back, out of sight. They reflect the will of the people. Furthermore, it is traditional to do this sort of thing in the Senate, and those traditions must be respected." Three days before Scott Ryan stole the seat, Turnbull promised it would never happen again. Gandalf, a Muslim bloke that no-one has ever heard of, pointed out in the comments section that the promise was made three days ago, and obviously does not apply today, but if you break a promise you make to a Muslim, he will chop your head off, and also kill 800 of your closest male relatives. Aussie, a lawyer cum taxi driver who speaks on behalf of every Aussie, said to shut up about it because no-one cares.
The Liberal Senate leader, Mathias 'the liar' Cormann came to Ryan's defence. "Taking something that does not belong to you is not really stealing, especially if they want you to take it. The new arrangements reflect Hinch's own preference to sit next to Pauline. All preferences were considered here, even the ones that weren't. Labor and the Coalition both agree that this is a fair outcome." The Australian published a front page article championing Cormann as a fair man who gives the public what they prefer, but did not explain what they were talking about, or mention the stolen seat.
Hinch has put forward a proposal that a seat is taken every time there is a party. He said this was the only fair way, so long as it wasn't his seat. "The Greens' Lee Rhiannon also had her seat stolen. Do you see her complaining about it?" Muffled screams could be heard coming from Senator Rhiannon, who Hinch was using as a seat at the time. She was drowned out by the joyful clapping of Fergus Hunter from the Sydney Morning Herald, who was being shown how to make an origami swan by Labor's Penny Wong, dressed in a low cut top.
"Geez that's good Penny, what is it?"
"It's a Swan, Fergus" said Penny in her white top. "I agree with the coalition on this issue. Labor and the Coalition have reached an agreement to continue the tradition."
"Can you show me..."
"Write it down, dear." The SMH journalist can't find his pen. He reaches to Penny's top pocket to pinch hers. Blushing, he realises she does not have a pen. Or a pocket. Penny smiles disarmingly. She delicately unfolds the swan and hands it gracefully to the SMH jouro. "There, have this one, it is already written down for you."
"Geez, thanks Penny. That covers it all really." While he is still looking down appreciatively, Penny skips off to berate ABC journalist Nick Harmsen, who is eating all the fingerfood. She threatens to let the coalition withdraw funding to the ABC, but Nick does not seem to notice. He is deep in conversation with Antony Green about how, using the special recount method, preferences are initially distributed to the 12 candidates prior to the allocation of any six year Senate terms, which can make a difference of several percent to the initial quota due to the early exhaustion of some votes. Penny's eyes glaze over. She turns to find the Fergus directly behind her. He is grinning childishly and offering her a mangled origami swan. She smiles and clasps his hands.
"You keep it dear. Your notes from today are written on the back, remember."
"Hmphf, hmpf..." They are interrupted by Lee Rhiannon gasping for breath from under the weight of Derryn Hinch. The SMH journo gives her a gentle kick to shut her up. Penny looks awkwardly around for something else to do, then excuses herself. Nick looks down at Lee, angry at first, then curious. He leans in close.
"Lee, do you think this is unfair?" Lee nods frantically, gesturing for help. The journo bends down and takes a pen from Lee's front pocket. He has a moment of fraught indecision, then clumsily unfolds the Swan and writes 'unfair' on the back of the piece of paper. He pauses, then adds 'Lee' beside the comment. He tries to recreate the swan, but by now the paper feels like a damp cloth.
"I'm Derryn Hinch" says Hinch. Nick ignores him. He considers Lee for a while longer.
"Have you found your seat yet?" he asks Lee loudly, as if she is going deaf. Lee looks confused. Some spilled rosê lands on her. Or is that watered down red? She begins gesturing frantically once more. Nick looks around for Penny, who is being accosted by Jared Owens, Senator Cormann the liar’s friend from The Australian. Jared is always bignoting himself. To show how clever he is, he asks Penny whether he should describe the agreement as 'fair' or 'consistent with convention'.
"Why not both?" asks Penny. Jared and Penny both smile. Nick dashes over to save her, leaving Lee to Hinch.