Monday, April 2, 2012


The 200th anniversary of the birth of novelist Charles Dickens was unexpectedly marked during last week’s sittings of the NT Legislative Assembly. Literary inclined Member for Port Darwin, John Elferink, who has quoted Little Darwin in his newsletters, said the Leader of Government Business, Dr Chris Burns, destined to become another Ghost of Christmases Past after the next election, reminded him of not one but two Dickensian characters, Uriah Heap and Ebenezer Scrooge

The Elf painted several vivid images of Burns shuffling about his office, Scrooge-like , a weakly burning candle holder to warm himself against airconditioning , glasses perched on his nose, pulling the wings off flies.

This lyrical comment was prompted by the latest hatchet job done by Dr Burns on the Member for Macdonnell, Alison Anderson. Knowing Ms. Anderson , she could handle Jack the Ripper without any trouble, so Dr Burns had better be careful should he ever wander at large on foggy nights in olde Darwin town. His attacks , said Elferink, were like that of a stalker. Warming to the Dickensian scene , he said "this Ebenezer Scrooge" shuffled about in slippers and nightgown in "this cobweb infected world."

Chas. Dickens would undoubtedly have been impressed by the Honourable Member’s use of powerful and pungent English expressions when flaying Dr Burns with tongue and birch : "old and bitter, twisted"... " a shambolic wreckage"... "strychnine laced criticism"... "jumping at spectres "... There was also the colourful " a vendetta which is entrenched in a black and withered heart"- the kind of language you expect in Harry Potter adventures. Phew ! Jilted Miss Haversham would probably have a touch of the vapours on reading the daily Hansard covering this exchange and collapse on the cobweb festooned wedding breakfast setting , enabling Pip to elope with a comely serving wench .