Admiration for old boss Peter Slipper despite post-mortems

Richard Bruinsma.
Richard Bruinsma.

IN SPITE of public anger and expert political post-mortems in recent days, I can't help but still hold some admiration for my former boss Peter Slipper.

Knowing the genuine love he held for the Parliament and for effective governance, and his determination to be the best Speaker he possibly could, I was captivated by footage showing him struggle with his emotions and fighting to maintain the dignity of the chair, even as he reluctantly let go of the position.

During my seven years as a staffer in his office, I saw someone who was energetic and disciplined. He hated to waste time, could be doggedly

focussed, was guarded in his work relationships and rarely showed deep emotions openly.

He has a great sense of humour, a general knowledge that was at times astounding, and an amazing ability to forgive those who are genuinely sorry.

He could be warm and charming, and is a skilled public speaker.

Despite the revelations of recent days, he rarely swore and virtually never used foul language in my presence.

However, he could be difficult to work with and at times could be

unreasonably demanding.

I said to him once that the media pressure he had endured over recent years probably would have killed a lesser man.

He worried about the effect the pressures of his public life had on his wife Inge.

I had always felt he had the energy, intelligence and analytical mind to be a great minister.

I pondered sometimes if his much-publicised indiscretions were a symptom of his frustration that he wasn't contributing as much as he felt he could to making a better Australia.

The Speaker position gave him that opportunity.

I remember a staff meeting the day after he first took the Speaker's role in December, where he candidly revealed that, for the first time since he was a Parliamentary Secretary under John Howard, he felt he could make a real difference.

The Speakership was something meaty to sink his teeth into. It was as if someone had flicked a switch that gave him renewed enthusiasm for public service.

His resignation, though, not only capped a big day in Australian politics, but also provided a glimpse of who Mr Slipper has

become and the effect of the pressure he has

endured over recent months.

Independent Tony Windsor, who met him early Tuesday, said he was not a well man.

His breaking voice during his resignation speech, the pauses, and his admission he was speaking from the heart, all provided an unspoken admission that despite his impressive resilience and his unfailing determination, he knew his political career was now closer to its end.

Unfortunately, the ongoing controversies have taken their toll.

* Richard Bruinsma worked as a media adviser for Peter Slipper. He now covers courts for the Sunshine Coast Daily.

Topics:  media peter slipper resignation

It's all horses for courses

STOCK MAN: Geoff Grant oversees the campdraft as competition gets under way.

Meet the campdraft chairman for the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society.

How to keep the Halloween zombies away

Queensland Police's offbeat advice to Trick or Treaters

Littleproud demands answers from bank

David Littleproud speaks at meeting.

FEDERAL Member for Maranoa David Littleproud has slammed Suncorp.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

PICS: Campdraft action gets underway at rodeo

Some of the action from the campdraft first round at the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft this morning.

Check out the pics galore from the morning's action at the campdraft

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Britney Spears suffers wardrobe malfunction

Britney Spears suffered a wardrobe malfunction during performance

'You Spin Me Round' hitmaker dies aged 57

Pete Burns

Pete Burns has died aged 57

REVIEW: Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead disgusted me

I'm disgusted by The Walking Dead premiere.

SPOILERS: The Walking Dead premiere disgusted me.

Flick teases intense and entertaining Survivor grand final

Felicity 'Flick' Eggington in a scene from the TV series Australian Survivor.

GOLD Coaster's elimination leaves Lee, El and Kristie in final three

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals