We’ve heard the joke. The one said by comedian Allan Billison at the union function attended by senior Labor figures like Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard (although she’d left by the time the joke was said). It offends not in its s-xism, and not in its language, which does not match the gutter talk of the Slipper texts. It’s not funny. In the slightest. We’re not going to repeat it, and nor has any other media outlet. It’s hurtful to those involved, and may be defamatory.
Swan was on ABC Radio this morning. He said the joke was “inappropriate” and he had told the union so. When did he call them? “The next morning.” When the next morning? “Early.” Before journalists found out about it? “Well before.” Why didn’t he leave the function? “I was the guest speaker.” What does this say about his judgment? “I in retrospect should have conveyed my opinion on the night.” Has the government set a new benchmark it can’t reach? “No, I don’t believe so.”