They may be “Senator” or “spokesperson” to you, but to their inner coterie (or childhood pals, or colleagues behind their back) they’re known as …


The Coalition

Andrew Robb — Mr Bojangles (for his preference for singing mainly this song, verse after verse after verse after verse whenever he managed to find the guitar that everyone else thought was well hidden), Little Red Riding Hood, Andy

Malcolm Turnbull — when at Goldman Sachs, known as Turbo when being “powerful and dynamic”, and Turdball “when high-handed” (according to former colleague)

Tony Abbott — Abbo

Joe Hockey — The Bodyguard (when he was moving from High School to Uni as he got all the girls home safely), Pizza Boy (from those who claim managing a pizza bar is about the height of his expertise), Sloppy Joe (nickname given by opponent Wayne Swan)

Barnaby Joyce — Shouting Mouth, Barnynard Voice

Amanda Vandstone — Verandah Sandstone

Bruce Billson — Bunter (because of his affable nature and similarity as a youngster to the fictional Billy Bunter character from the Greyfriars School stories in the early 1900s), or Billy

Kelly O’Dwyer — Wytha (as in “why the long face?”, nickname given by Labor)

Mathias Cormann — The Cormmantator (has a Belgian accent and sounds at times like Arnold Schwarzenegger, nickname given by media), also The Muscles from Brussels (he has used this to sign off on emails)

Nationals Senator John Williams — Whacka, Wacker

Stuart Robert — The Merkin (name given by some colleagues “who think his hair resembles a thinning wig”)

Dr Andrew Southcott — Dr Who, Dr Dolittle (gets a play on posters around Flinders Uni in Southcott’s electorate of Boothby)

Barnaby Joyce the Bush Turkey — a turkey who resides in Whale Beach who has been named after Senator Joyce


Cross-party alliances

Liberal Jamie Briggs and Labor’s Richard Marles — The Twins (check them out on Sky AM Agenda sometime)



Bob Carr — Wottha (as in “what’s he saying this time?”)

Ex-NSW state politician Eddie Obeid — He who must be obeyed

Laurie “the Log” Ferguson

Kevin Rudd — Dr Death, KRudd, Kevin24/7

Greg Combet staffer Mark Davis — Rowdy

Craig Emerson — Emmo

Tanya Plibersek — Plibbers

Anthony Albanese — Albo

Warren Snowdon — Wazza, Wakka


* All pollies are federal unless otherwise noted. Got one to add to the list? Drop us a line.

Peter Fray

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