Bronwyn Bishop, Phony Solicitor

So Bronwyn Bishop, the worst speaker the Australian House of Representatives has ever seen, was finally forced to resign yesterday, after weeks of condemnation for her brazen digging in the public till, from taking a helicopter ride to a party fundraiser when it would have been quicker to drive, to commandeering limousines to attend a night at the opera. Don't let the door hit your butt on the way out (actually, she retains her generous MPs salary and lavish superannuation, so she can still grift safely for the rest of her life).

So we know she was greedy and thoughtless. But it seems she's also a fraud. Wanting to know a bit more about what lead to this national nonsense, I headed to her Wikipedia article, where I saw this interesting information:

"Bishop undertook a five-year LLB program at the University of Sydney.[3] However, she was deemed ineligible to continue after failing a number of subjects multiple times.[4] Bishop failed a total of 11 subjects over six years.[4] In her first year in 1960, she failed all four core subjects. In 1964, she failed four subjects again, and repeated them in 1965, in which she failed three again. The policy of the University of Sydney at the time was that a student was required to show cause why they should be allowed to repeat a subject for a third time, and Bishop was deemed ineligible to continue."

There's no mention of her ever completing the degree at the University of Sydney or any other institution. Now, I know uni can be a tough time in a young person's life and I cast no aspersions on Mrs Bishop for struggling with her studies. But haven't we always been told that prior to entering politics, she was a solicitor? That's what it says on her official parliament house biography. Yet interestingly, unlike other University of  Sydney law graduates, such as Tony Abbott, Tony BurkeMalcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey (Christ there's a lot of them), there is no mention of a law degree or any other degree, nor is she listed as a University of Sydney alumni.

In order to become a solicitor in NSW, you must first complete (not, you know, repeatedly fail out of) an accredited degree, complete practical legal training requirements and be issued a compliance certificate by the Legal Profession Admission Board. Without a law degree, this couldn't have happened. (Edit: there's some indication here that she was allowed to take, and passed, the Solicitor's Board exams anyway, which seems akin to being allowed to do a hospital internship though you failed medicine).

So in what capacity, what way was she a solicitor? You cannot just call yourself a solicitor when you're not qualified, or even if you are working as a law clerk. You can't fail a medicine degree or be a medical secretary and call yourself a doctor. Was she practicing illegally, or (as far more likely), just embarrassed about her lack of qualifications and stretching the truth to make herself look better?

But if Mrs Bishop has never qualified as a solicitor she has no right to call herself one, certainly had no right to campaign as a candidate with the aura of stability, authority and commitment that calling herself a solicitor implies. Enough of the phony solicitor career, Mrs Bishop, unless the legal profession is not what you meant by calling yourself such.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Inarguable proof Republicans are more corrupt than Democrats

The art of forgetting Iraq

2,996: A Tribute To Yvonne Kennedy