Best Australian sledges has some of the best parliamentary sledges from Australia. My favourites include:


• Asked by opposition leader John Hewson why he wouldn’t call an early election: “Mate, because I want to do you slowly. And in the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go.”

• On John Hewson: “He’s like a shiver waiting for a spine to run up.”

• Also on Hewson: “Debating with him is like being flogged by a warm lettuce.”

• Also on Peacock: “A painted, perfumed gigolo.”


• To two journalists attempting to ‘doorstop’ him: “God you guys, look how young you are, are you eighteen? Get a look at his face, look at this, look at this. I was about to ask [for] your ID. What’s going on? What’s going on? I don’t know what you guys are up to. Maybe I’m getting old … I mean I’m taking you seriously.”


• In a phone conversation with federal shadow minister Andrew Peacock, recounting a conversation with John Howard: “I said, ‘I couldn’t give a f***. I have no sympathies any more. You’re all a pack of s**** and tomorrow I’m going berserk.’ Well he went off his brain and in the end I said to him, I said, ‘Howard. You’re a c***. You haven’t got my support, you never will have and I’m not going to rubbish you or the party tomorrow but I feel a lot better having told you you’re a c***.”


• The former Labor MP to pregnant Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella: “Your child will turn into a demon, you have such evil thoughts.”


• In an email reply to an angry constituent: “Gosh, Pam, you are in a bad mood this morning. Now, you are correct that the budget did not target childless, 58-year-old lesbian poets and science teachers; but you are better off nonetheless.”


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