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John Hargreaves bows out. Valedictory speech in full

By johnboy - 24 August 2012 8

ACT politics watchers (may god have mercy on all our souls) will be wanting to read John Hargreaves’ valedictory speech as he bows out of the Legislative Assembly after fourteen years.

A parliamentarian is a servant of the people, a representative not a delegate. Parliamentarians advance the cause of individuals and groups within the community without being connected to them necessarily.

a parliamentarian is a servant of the parliament and a courageous parliamentarian will put the parliament above the party or group which helped elect him or her. I don’t know of all that many people who fit this bill. And it is this trait of being a politician before being a parliamentarian which brings the reputation of those in public life down to such a low level.

Life in the Chamber [in Opposition] was a hoot. Long nights, passionate debates and good humour exchanged across the floor. Only Simon Corbell and Brendan Smyth were around then to see it.

the best day in Opposition is indeed nowhere near as good as the worst day in Government

Machiavelli didn’t really get it right when he said the end justifies the means.

There was a group of agitators called “Save the Ridge” and on one occasion they burst into the Chamber chanting “Save the Ridge, Save the Ridge”. I was in the Hansard box with Ray Blundell that day and saw the attendants quickly escort the demonstrators out of the Chamber. Ray said in his laconic fashion, looking down at the small refrigerator to his left – “what’s this Save the Fridge bit all about? It’s OK”. Broke me up!

My highs were in reform. Being part of the reforms in public housing, being part of the emerging corrections system, empowering our multicultural communities, getting more police out into the community itself, meeting amazing people, like the current PM, the Queen, Audrey Fagan, the then Chinese Ambassador Madame Fu Ying, Lara Giddings and Katy Gallagher

When I went to Canada to represent the Chief Minister, Mike Rann told the story of Gough Whitlam asking Mao Zedong what would have happened if it had been Nikita Khrushchev assassinated and not John Kennedy. The Chairman thought for a little while and replied, “I don’t think Aristotle Onassis would have married Mrs Khrushchev”.

stop to think from time to time whether you are delivering a black dog to your opponents for short term political gain. Nothing to be proud of!

I have been lucky enough to leave the ministry at a time of my own choosing, as well as leaving parliamentary life at a time of my choosing. People can say what they like but I know that the choices I have made have been mine and mine alone.

Greg Cornwell, Bill Stefaniak and Harold Hird were and are good friends. They were not self-obsessed zealots but were professional and warm human beings.

I have always seen part of my job here to relieve the tension by cracking jokes and lowering the temperature at times. It was sad to see the Liberals’ attack on me see an end to this service to the House. The House is the poorer for the lack of a circuit breaker.

I hate the name public servant. I was an officer of the public service and servant to no-one.

My chiefs of staff were Andrew Barr, Geoff Gosling and Mark Kulasingham.

My father gave me a sense of the ridiculous. He was a liberal of course and thus an expert on the ridiculous and my mother gave me my compassion.

To my wife Jenny, I owe my sanity, my sense of self belief, my grounding. She has shared my laughter and my tears.

Were it not for Jenny, I would have quit this place long ago, so you can all blame her.

I would like to leave you with something which has guided me in my life. It is a Quatrain from my favourite poet, Omar Khayyaim which reads:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

au revoir, mes amis, Puissiez-vous tous eu le succès que vous méritez dans l’élection, peut vous appréciez l’amour de vos familles, et puissiez-vous être dans le ciel une demi-heure avant que le diable sait que vous êtes mort.

No mention of whether we can have fireworks back now that his cat has lost its casting vote in the Assembly.

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
John Hargreaves bows out. Valedictory speech in full
JessP 9:23 am 27 Aug 12

Masquara said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

peut vous appréciez l’amour de vos familles, et puissiez-vous être dans le ciel une demi-heure avant que le diable sait que vous êtes mort.

Is that French for “I’ve only had two glasses, I’ll be fine?”

I think “pussy” is in there somewhere …

Its more…

“Enjoy the love of your families, and may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

Nothing about the cat or Collingwood…

Masquara 8:56 pm 24 Aug 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

peut vous appréciez l’amour de vos familles, et puissiez-vous être dans le ciel une demi-heure avant que le diable sait que vous êtes mort.

Is that French for “I’ve only had two glasses, I’ll be fine?”

I think “pussy” is in there somewhere …

Mr Gillespie 7:55 pm 24 Aug 12

Amanda Bresnan must be either feeling proud of herself, or apologetic for damaging his career with her badmouthing of him a year or 2 back which resulted in his demotion.

Thumper 7:45 pm 24 Aug 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

peut vous appréciez l’amour de vos familles, et puissiez-vous être dans le ciel une demi-heure avant que le diable sait que vous êtes mort.

Is that French for “I’ve only had two glasses, I’ll be fine?”

You are a hard, hard man… 🙂

switch 6:47 pm 24 Aug 12

So can we have our fireworks back now?

http://the-riotact.com/hargreaves-kills-fireworks-now/13419

Woody Mann-Caruso 6:36 pm 24 Aug 12

peut vous appréciez l’amour de vos familles, et puissiez-vous être dans le ciel une demi-heure avant que le diable sait que vous êtes mort.

Is that French for “I’ve only had two glasses, I’ll be fine?”

sammo1 6:12 pm 24 Aug 12

Wasn’t he the member for “Bourbon Services’?

KimBelco 3:15 pm 24 Aug 12

I always liked John Hargreaves. He has good sense of humour and always added a bit of colour to the Assembly. I will miss him and I think there will be many out in the electorate who will miss him too. All the best in your retirement John and look after that cat.

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