December 09, 2003


Australia’s Parliament will crush you good, according to former Liberal Greg Barns:

I witnessed the brutality of Parliament House when Labor senator Nick Sherry attempted suicide in 1997 after allegations against him over travel rorts brought his mind and emotions unstuck.

And in the same year I suffered a mental health breakdown, was diagnosed with depression and spent too much time in the company of alcohol and anti-depressant drugs while my marriage collapsed around me.

The therapist I saw in Canberra said to me one afternoon in early 1998: "You won't get better until you leave the Hill", referring to Parliament House. He was right. I did leave 12 months later, but the damage to my mental health was done by that time.

And then he joined the Democrats.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 9, 2003 04:54 AM

life can be tough... sometimes tougherer. who knew a pol could be such a sensitive soul

Posted by: matt at December 9, 2003 at 07:32 AM


Posted by: Bruce at December 9, 2003 at 07:37 AM

It is believed that Nick Sherry was pressured to stage his attempted suicide in order for the Libs to back down over rorts pressure against Labor... Kim Beazley was supposed to be next on their hit list.

Posted by: donnyc at December 9, 2003 at 07:56 AM

Fuck me dead, I'd hate to see these people in a genuinely stressful job.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at December 9, 2003 at 08:10 AM

To paraphrase John Clark:
"They wouldn't know stress if it popped up in their porridge."

Posted by: Michael Gill at December 9, 2003 at 09:04 AM

Pretty easy to be a serious piss-artist when your bar is subsidised by taxpayers; if I had to sit through question time, especially one of Bob Brown's meandering (and lengthy) self-absorbed diatribes, I would want to be absolutley bladdered.

Posted by: Habib at December 9, 2003 at 10:26 AM

"I did leave 12 months later, but the damage to my mental health was done by that time."
That's a pretty effective way of cutting back on commissions from the features editor.

Posted by: slatts at December 9, 2003 at 10:26 AM

But then, it hasn't stopped Margo getting published.

Posted by: slatts at December 9, 2003 at 10:27 AM

Feel no pity for them. They can dish it out but they can't take it.

Posted by: uburoi at December 9, 2003 at 10:44 AM

Senator Len Harris should fit right in there then. He was always one for making his own liqueurs and wine- I used to like his mango liqueur myself. I wonder how much talcum powder it takes to cover up that red schnozz of his.

Posted by: Rob at December 9, 2003 at 12:13 PM

His analyst diagnosed acute whining pussy syndrome and told him he was in the wrong party.

Posted by: Amos at December 9, 2003 at 01:06 PM

For the yearly income and subsequent pension I'd gladly take on their "stress" and then swan around on goverment fact-finding junkets to Amsterdam, Berlin, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong etc to see how their over-stressed pollies deal with stress.

I could write a really long paper on the pros and cons of various therapies - all of which I would enjoy at your expense, twice, especially Amsterdam's solution to pollie stress.

Politicians have always disgusted me with complaints over job conditions. Poor working conditions are when a 10 year old doesn't even have a pair of thongs in a sweat-shop, not when some other whinny leech calls you a name.

Posted by: Jake D at December 9, 2003 at 03:50 PM

It is a disgrace that Bartlett is staying on. If you want to urge him to step down as Democrats leader and resign as Queensland Senator, send him an email.

Posted by: George at December 9, 2003 at 04:13 PM

And then he joined the Democrats.

Well, at least he's out of politics.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 9, 2003 at 04:49 PM

If Bartlett resigns as Senator from Queensland, who will the Democrats put up as his replacement?

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 9, 2003 at 06:21 PM

drew hutton may get his withered old arse on red leather yet- he's being trying to weasel his way in for thirty years, but I think he's too deranged even for the Democretins.

Posted by: Habib at December 9, 2003 at 09:16 PM

Did Barnes tell the Liberal Party about his mental condition when he tried to get Liberal pre-selection? (As I recall, his campaign consisted of attacking Howard with an election looming. He acted hurt and surprised and moaned and whined when for some reason the Libs. disendorsed him.)

Poor little baby Greg! I spent six months working in Federal Parliament as a staffer in 1999 and it was the easiest job I've ever had. It was a sad day when I had to leave and do some real work as a trade union lawyer - try that for stress, Barnes!

Posted by: Sue at December 10, 2003 at 07:50 PM