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The Old Parliament House Bathrooms – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · Democracy, Economics, Policy, Politics, Power, Quotes, Socialism

The space limitations of (Old Parliament House) imposed an egalitarian rule in the lavatories. Ministers, MPs, staffers, journalists and cleaners all used the same lavatories. Years after the move to the permanent parliament building, Mick Young returned to the House of Representatives chamber of Old Parliament House to speak at an event. I cannot remember what the occasion was, although I was present, when Young spoke of his liking for the old building. He remarked upon the fact that the egalitarian use of the lavatories also ruled in the House of Commons at Westminster. He told the story of how, after the war, the British Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee was standing at a urinal when Churchill entered and stood at the urinal at the opposite end from the Prime Minister. Attlee remarked: ‘You’re a bit stand-offish this morning, Winnie.’ ‘I won’t stand near you,’ said Churchill. ‘Every time you see something big, you want to nationalise it.’ Mick got a good laugh out of the audience.

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