Nothing like returning from an ‘authoritarian’ communist country like China to encounter a great moment in bourgeois democracy: back in Australia, Tony Abbott (leader of the opposition) runs from parliament so he doesn’t have to vote on his own motion. No argument here about which system is best.

In Denmark it may be the ‘People’s Thing’ (Folketing), but in Norway they decided that one should call the public realm of politics, men, power and phallic symbols – that is, parliament – the Storting, the ‘Big Thing’, as in the BIG THING … said with with a gravelly bass.