Working in Australian politics does not, at a glance, seem like a particularly exhilarating profession. A lot of mind numbing boardroom babble and political to-and-froing, presumably; not a lot of hijinks and good old fashioned tomfoolery. From the outside looking in, at least, that’s how it appears.
Then you hear a story about a state government minister breaking his arm while wrestling a cabinet colleague in his office, and suddenly all your preconceptions about what really goes on behind the closed doors of government get flipped on their head.
Victor Dominello, the New South Wales customer service minister, suffered a fractured humerus bone while arm wrestling Mark Speakman, the state’s attorney general, in September last year. Victor admitted to the mishap this week, The Australian reports, revealing that it occurred during a lunch break. He was treated for the injury at a public hospital, and was seen wearing a sling for several weeks afterwards.
When Mark, Victor’s arm wrestling adversary and presumably the one responsible for the humerus fracture, was asked about the incident, he quipped: “I don’t have any comment except there’s been no fracturing of my relationship with Victor.” Another government source joked that it was “the strong arm of the law” and that 59-year-old Mark was deceivingly “quite fit”.
And while yes, this does seem like a strange thing to have happened among two professional colleagues who hold fairly senior government positions, it also feels weirdly apropos. If the Australian parliamentary body really is the testosterone-fuelled “political boys’ club” it’s cracked up to be, then the idea of two grown men spending their lunch breaks arm wrestling—and doing so with such unmitigated zeal that one of them fractures a limb—seems fitting.
This is just where we're at now, apparently.
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