Senator Ian Macdonald admits being unable to read, glasses “just for show”

“It’s just like in the movies,” the Father of the Senate wrote this morning in a post on his personal website. “When the filmmakers want the audience to know a character is smart, they give him glasses—it’s the tell-tale sign of intelligence. In my life and career I have made use of the same illusion. That is the true reason why I haven’t read the Human Rights Commission’s report on children in detention.”

The Senator went on to confess that he also did not legitimately author any of the reviews on his Goodreads account. Instead it seems the agreed process was that he would hear a five-minute summary of a randomly chosen book from his personal secretary, who would then write up the review based on the Senator’s feelings about how the mining industry was doing that day. In hindsight, this does explain a few things.

Macdonald concluded his post with apology to Gillian Triggs and his fellow Senators at Tuesday’s Senate estimates. He avowed “I’ve always felt a bit insecure about being illiterate, I’ve always felt I had to be aggressive to hide and make up for it. I apologise unreservedly for this behaviour, and for wasting my optometrist’s time.”