Jun 19, 2014

Press gallery party time — and Shorten got the laughs

It's Mid-Winter Ball time in federal Parliament -- so who was hot, who was not, and who drank the most red wine?

Parliament’s journos, pollies and lobbyists donned their finest for last night’s annual Mid-Winter Ball in Canberra — and who knew Bill Shorten had a comic streak? The PM and opposition leader always give a speech, and despite being, well, quite drunk, all the journos listen closely to see what they’re made of. The verdict on last night? Shorten was funnier.

Before hundreds in Parliament’s cavernous Great Hall, Shorten noted that the ball was usually a relaxing occasion for ALP leaders — what with Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard being knifed soon after the 2010 and 2013 balls. Shorten joked that much had changed since the year before: a government behind in the polls, a PM being hammered over unpopular taxes and broken promises, unruly backbenchers, a leadership contender saying he’s not interested in the leadership, etc, etc.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

9 thoughts on “Press gallery party time — and Shorten got the laughs

  1. MJPC

    Now I know how the Pollies get away with so few critical questions from the Press…they’ll miss an invite to the ball and an opportunity to bid for Dinner with wank..winker Tony.
    I bet the French loved his schoolboy language attempts over there.
    It’s all bread and circus’, and the poor of this country are the unlucky spectators subsidising this circus.

  2. AR

    I nearly fell over, a couple of years ago, when I heard FranK (Fran on all people!)getting girly with… possibly the fragrant Ms Crabbe.. can’t remember, it was the sublime Ms K who floored me with her eagerness, nay.. gusto.. “to get all frocked-up“, a redolent phrase the like of which I had never, in my long sequestered life, heard.

  3. The Quiet One

    Claudia Perkins is the wife of Adam Bandt, why is she referred to as his “partner” which implies a more casual relationship. Is suppose it’s better than just “friend” which is what i think she got called last year…..

  4. zut alors

    MJPC, if the French didn’t relish Toady’s clumsy attempts, I certainly did. It’s rare he makes me laugh that hard.

  5. fractious

    “Shorten noted that the ball was usually a relaxing occasion for ALP leaders …”

    I bet he did. Don’t suppose anyone pulled him up on that “quip”…

  6. Andybob

    What was second prize ? Two dinners with Tony ?

  7. Damien McBain

    MJPC, I suppose you would have everyone rocking back and forth, flagellating quietly, left then right, then left again, muttering a self-demeaning mantre until all the poor are fed and tucked snugly in?
    The event is ticketed and payed for by sponsors, not you nor me, and certainly not the poor. It raises a good whack for its chosen charities.

  8. Cathy Alexander

    Actually MJPC the ball is run by the press gallery, so it’s not a question of Tony Abbott inviting journos. All pollies, of all persuasions, are allowed to go too (they pay). Very few bids at the charity auction come from journos. They come from richer people and GetUp.

  9. Jan Dobson

    Come on guys, subtle or not, this just adds to the rumour mongering about PM’s marriage.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details