The importance of being a ‘Parliamentary Whip.’

Lovely tangle of green

Lovely tangle of green

One never stops learning. Years have gone by and yet I never stood still even once to contemplate the job of ‘whips’. Of course, I know what a whip is. It swishes and is used to round up cattle in cowboy movies It was very popular during the years we watched Bonanza. In agricultural shows here in Australia one can see whip cracking events and competition by lithesome cowboy girls in boots and tight shorts. In some countries a whip is used to inflict punishments.

We hardly got over the week loaded with the Government preventing spills and soft motions that were still fresh in our minds. The linoleum clad corridors of power still slippery with the aftermath when we got hit with a sacking of the Chief Whip. The Imodium that all parliamentarians were put on hardly had time to do its job. Abbott was hoping against all odd it would reduce the amount of stool.There were some signs the motions were getting more solid and some ministers were seen confidently striding along and even smiling. But out of the blue came Tony Abbott’s announcement the Chief Whip was sacked. Com-motion came back running.

Many were flabbergasted, why go through another bout of turmoil? My question is more about; what is a Whip? How can a person be a whip? There is not just one whip, no the government has many whips. I asked but only got vague answers. It is always like that, never a clear explanation. One answer was, that they organise the business of governing. Yes, understood by why are they whips? Ah well, that’s how it is. Infuriating! Surely one just does not conjure up a word. Could they just as likely be called cheeses, bicycles or book-ends? Why Whips and Chief Whip? The Chief Whip was sacked as not having been seen to inform the PM Abbott of some kind of Back Bench turmoil. He was sacked as revenge for all the motions the week before. A House of Charlatans.I can look up Chief Whips and no doubt it relates to some form of English Charles Dickens role of pomp and ceremony including yeomen and unemployed crofters.

My mum was always amused that some cheeses were called ‘tasty cheese’. Do people buy cheese that is not tasty, she would query? Is there a cheese called un-tasty? Today, after sixty years, there is still cheese named ‘tasty’. Could you imagine the French trying to sell cheese as ‘tasty’? I might as well go on, seeing I am in full flight; of mentioning the cricket much hallowed price of winning ‘the ashes’. I have asked, but never got a clear answer. Are the ashes an urn containing the remnants of a famous cricketer passed away many years ago? Are they ashes of stumps or old cricket bats? WTF are those ashes? Has anyone checked if the urn or vase, cup, actually holds ashes?

The same question years ago when Australia still had the Imperial coinage. A penny was denoted with a D. Two pennies were two d, not two p. I asked and asked but no one knew. That’s just how it is, was the usual answer. Yes, but Why? I got my answer from a dictionary. It is related to denary. Yes, but why not call it a denary then, instead of penny. Denary= calculated in tens. But,,, but…there were twelve pennies in a shilling not ten.Incredulous silence.

I gave up. No answer.

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31 Responses to “The importance of being a ‘Parliamentary Whip.’”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    I’m too weary of it all. Let them tear themselves asunder, Whips and all.

    Like

  2. rod Says:

    In the old days we used a duodecimal system. It was based on 12 not 10 because 12 has more divisors than 10. It made mental arithmetic harder too – another advantage.

    Like

  3. bkpyett Says:

    The Ashes have the burnt ashes of the bales from the first test match, and they were burnt in Australia. As far as the rest is concerned….let the chaos continue! I rather like the idiosyncrasies of the British.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Bales? You mean bales of hay that people were sitting on perhaps?

      I read in my dictionary they are the ashes of a mock obituary of the defeat of an English team. Now preserved at Lords. Lords?

      Yes, the chaos is at least better than nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. auntyuta Says:

    I like your lovely tangle of green!🙂

    Like

  5. Silver in the Barn Says:

    I am ignorant of politics Australian but still read your posts to follow the bouncing ball from Bonanza to Charles Dickens to Tasty Cheese. Cue The Platters hit song “Only You.”

    Like

  6. Andrew Says:

    I remember the day we went decimal. Feb 15th 1971 if I recall correctly. I still have a set of first day covers stamped “Posting delayed due to the Post Office strike” – those were the days. It seemed to render superfluous all the mental arithmetic we had learned at school. I never understood why we need to learn rods, poles and perches. But learn them we did. But there was no whipping. Formal education was mandatory but learning was optional. I chose to learn about The Ashes. Owzat!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    I think Australia went decimal in the monetary sense during 1966. I remember because the change-over happened while we were on on board a ship. One day it was pounds, shillings and dence (pence), next day it was dollars and cents. It was heaven on earth. The honeymoon on board I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    The answer to all your questions is easy – its the Brits
    /Pommies what did it. It’s all their fault and their traditions, like the language, have more irregularities and things that make sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bkpyett Says:

    Hilary has hit your questions on the head. Where would we be without the British irregularities creating interest, in this crazy wonderful world that we have before us?

    Like

  10. Adrian Oosterman Says:

    Gooday Jezza, Re your question regarding the ashes. Many, many years ago a game of cricket was played and the results of the game was not very satisfactory to one side. They were that disgusted that the three stumps { the three sticks that stick out of the ground and made of timber} were burnt. The ashes of these stumps were placed in an urn and led to the games between England & Australia called the ashes series. Hope that helps………………………Adrian Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 09:10:34 +0000 To: adrianoosterman@hotmail.com

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it sure helps. There are different versions but basically, there are real ashes which are kept at ‘Lords’, which is an inherited form of English government, I think.
      You become a Lord by the luck of birth.

      Like

  11. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    Always entertaining Gerard. Love the satire. Ashes indeed. It is crazy to think of those sportsmen cavorting around over some burnt vestiges of the bales (top section of the timber cricket stumps) And those roods and perches… I was in the era where we had to learn both forms at school. Ugh…Some countries still retain vestiges of old systems. In Denmark, the monetary term is equivalent to a system based on 20, not 10, or 12 and for Danes to say 91 you have to say en og halvfems ( that is literally one and ninety!) Norway and Sweden changed it many years ago. AS for the whip…. I am sure the Abbot is leaving himself open to some vicious criticism and maybe, also jokes.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The same in Dutch. It is een en negentig. One and ninety= ninety one. Danes enjoy the 4th highest wages in the world and also have the highest minimum wage, and all that having achieved this by paying the highest personal income tax.
      There is Abbott claiming that high taxation is bad for economy.

      Like

      • Forestwoodfolkart Says:

        And for such a small country without the rich natural resources we have. I guess it all depends on how the politicians manage the money, and I agree about the taxation. A lot of Australians don’t get the connection between taxation and benefits

        Liked by 1 person

  12. berlioz1935 Says:

    The Whip in parliament is the person that uses the whip to herd the ignorant members into a desired direction. There is always the danger that some members use their conscience when voting on a bill. This can not be allowed. There is no “free speech” in parliament, only caucus solidarity. One needs a whip to get those who waver or show signs of independent thinking the true light. The whip is the ideal instrument to keep the herd together. Phillip Ruddock doesn’t have enough mongrel in him to crack a decent whip. I always thought he had the mongrel in him when he was Minister for Immigration, but one can err.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that’s what I thought too, but some claim they are a mob that directs the government into keeping quiet. Isn’t the person sitting on that throne ( a bit like the local chemist) inside parliament a Whip? She shouts ‘order and order’., after which ministers run outside through a special door, which means they don’t have to keep order.
      In the cattle industry, especially in the cattle and shearing shed, they are called rouse-a-bouts.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Always found the whip concept simple. Somebody has to whip the troops into line. But what if he fails? Does he them become a Parliamentary Wimp? –Curt (My two pennies worth)

    Like

  14. sedwith Says:

    A little music video I could not resist.

    Must say I am happy about any demise of Ruddock….The man continuously used his power in the Immigration portfolio to deny asylum seekers the entry given them through an all to difficult system. No recourse and no reasons had to be given. He was notoriously pro-Christian anti Palestinian and supported Falangist Lebanese responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians in 1982 under the watchful eye of Sharon. This was obvious to those ‘detainees’ who became ‘Christian’ to assist their asylum applications.
    He was the relevant Minister when Man Monis was granted political asylum in 2001 having defrauded Iranian travel goers through his Agency in Iran…Iran wanted him extradited back.. “We have repeatedly communicated to the Australian government the hostage-taker’s psychological and criminal background since he fled Iran two decades ago and sought refuge in Australia, and that country was fully aware of his identity,” sorry Iran, Mr R was in charge.

    I have a wonderful photo of him on a t-shirt with his face behind a ban symbol that says- “Deport Ruddock”.

    By the way I love your blog!

    Like

  15. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Now about the money… I think the US has remained fairly constant re: what = what. 5 cents =nickel. 10 cents = dime and so on.

    Maybe all of that should be whimp instead of whip.🙂

    ~yvonne

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank goodness yvonne, for their monetary sanety. Can you image 12 pennies in a shilling but 20 shilllings in a pound, yet a guinea is 21 shillings.
      How are you going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        I’m doing so-so. Probably will work up the nerve for the afib procedure in March. I’ve had to talk myself into getting the procedure done. It is about 1 &1/2 hours surgery/procedure. I feel like crap just about every day. No energy at all. I was stupid to put it off.

        I hope Helvi is doing ok.And that she has a good MD.

        ~yvonne

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Sorry to hear that. Hope things will get better for you soon. Helvi is much relieved that her heart is not in urgent need of repair. She is to take Beta Blockers. Her leukemia is being further investigated by a bone marrow test.

        Like

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