Oh, those terrible, terrible politicians, always
with their snouts in the trough, always taking junkets and freebies at
the expense of others!

When it comes to a free feed, however, it seems that Press Gallery
members have few qualms about crashing functions to gorge on goodies.

Last night at the Flavours of Tasmania – a little shindig put on by
Eric Abetz to showcase Tassie food and wine at Parliament House – the
free lunch crowd was out in force.

Gallery titans such as Matt Price, Mark Riley, Greg Turnbull, Tim
Lester (at least he’s a Tasmanian) and Karen Middleton appeared at the
party, along with the invited journos and food writers. Middleton, the
Gallery president, even got lucky and won the door prize.

Even Labor MPs got in on the act. Uninvited Caucus drop-ins included
George Campbell, Martin Ferguson, Harry Quick (at least he’s a
Tasmanian too), Kelvin Thompson and Rod Sawford. No doubt they were
there to expropriate goods for the proletariat – oysters, smoked
salmon, blue cheese, luxury chocolates, Boags and Cascade.

But a passing nod to Labor’s Gavin Marshall. He also gatecrashed –
but at least he shelled out almost $2,000 from his own pocket to buy
one of the Aboriginal paintings on offer.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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