Forget about Hillary Clinton’s health. What about Derryn Hinch’s? “Reportedly, I am in the record books as being the oldest person ever elected to the Australian Senate,” the Human Headline said in his maiden speech on Monday evening. He didn’t come across as sharp as Strom Thurmond. Indeed, he appeared – as Dame Edna might say – bewildered.
First, he went on for more than twice the length of his allotted time yet did nothing but offer up an odd-job lot of recollections. Partial recollections, maybe. For there was at least one almighty clanger there.
“I will always remember the words that Teddy Kennedy, the sole surviving Kennedy brother, struggled to deliver in his eulogy to Bobby at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral,” Hinch said. “He said his brother tried to live by the words of Greek philosopher and playwright Aeschylus: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?’”
Really, Derryn? I seem to recall RFK saying the night Martin Luther King was assassinated “My favourite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: ‘In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God’.”
And, yes, Teddy Kennedy finished off his eulogy to his brother with “As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not’.”
But who did Bobby attribute these words to? George Bernard Shaw.
Given all the allegations flung around in Hinch’s speech, given his use of parliamentary privilege, here’s hoping the rest of it was slightly more accurate.