Sensible civilities are going by the board as the Coalition parties abandon the traditional common-sense civilities of the House of Representatives. Confirmation of the obstructionist approach that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has ordered was confirmed today when Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean had to abandon a planned National Press Club speech. The Opposition refused to grant Mr Crean a pair - a member agreeing not to vote so the majority was not affected during his absence - for the couple of hours he would be away from Parliament House. It deemed the speech did not meet its new grounds for granting pairs of being in the national interest.
Lunacy has now been corrected. Perhaps someone in the Liberal Party has realised that upsetting the Government is one thing but annoying Canberra journalists is quite another thing. The Crean pair has now been approved.