Most of the old Commonwealth prime ministers are in London for the Queen’s diamond jubilee – New Zealand’s John Key was present for the Thames pageant and Canada’s Stephen Harper flew in for yesterday evening. The one notable absence was Australia’s Julia Gillard. In her place, the Governor-General Quentin Bryce represented her country at the diamond jubilee joining fellow vice-regal representative David Johnston from Canada (New Zealand’s Sir Jerry Mateparae is in Tokelau for a state visit).
Anyway, perhaps to make up for her absence, one of the global network of beacons was lit outside Parliament House. The prime minister lit the beacon next to the leader of the opposition Tony Abbot, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper, and the Deputy President of the Senate Stephen Parry.