Did you hear the one about Parliament joke time?
Those of you who are eagle-eyed and able to connect the dots may have noticed our elected representatives have been participating in a scheme in the service of our nation this week.
It was suggested by outgoing MP Lindsay Tanner, who reflected that the political scene was far too serious lately and in dire need of some levity. To combat this he suggested something bold, something daring.
Parliamentary joke time.
Under his initiative members of the various political parties will select a champion each week to tickle the public’s collective fancies. The competition is simple - leave what you thought was this week’s funniest parliamentary joke in the comment section below.
The field this week:
Joe Hockey and Kevin Rudd go everywhere other than White Castle
In a surprise bi-partisan play Joe Hockey took to the road with a cardboard cut-out of Kevin Rudd yesterday. It all started when Hockey claimed the former leader “dropped into Mr Hockey’s office ‘to say hi’”.
From there the valiant pair toured the streets making appearances at various locations around Canberra and tweeting pictures of their travels. According to Hockey the cardboard Rudd even indulged in an out of character soliloquy on top of Red Hill.
“It should all be mine,” Hockey reported cardboard Rudd as saying.
Witnesses to the incident contradict Hockey’s account, claiming Rudd was heard to state something about a “winter of our discontent”.
The temporary miscommunication didn’t stop the pair who continued on their whirlwind tour stopping only to pose for a tour bus of visiting schoolchildren lucky enough to witness firsthand the machinations of this wacky old thing we call democracy.
Julie Bishop dusts off the old bait and switch
Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop was always going to find entry into the competition difficult as, unlike Hockey who is known for his stern exterior, she is renowned for her love of a joke
She made up for this by crafting an elaborate one-two punch during a question to Kevin Rudd about boring foreign affairs matters.
‘‘When will the Foreign Minister travel to Jakarta, Dili, Port Moresby and Kuala Lumpur to stem the damage that is being done to the relationships we have with our nearest neighbours?’’ Ms Bishop asked.
Surprisingly, Rudd didn’t see the joke coming despite Question Time being a frequent forum for practical jokes.
‘‘Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question,’’ Bishop said.
‘‘Will the Foreign Minister advise the House when he intends to return to Bougainville?’‘
You see, there is a rumour that Rudd has taken to calling The Lodge “Boganville” lately - although his reasons for doing this are veiled in secrecy.
You see what she did there?
Nobody can (Australian) party like Bob Katter and Brownwyn Bishop
In another bi-partisan move maverick independent MP Bob Katter played Costello to Bishop’s Howard, sorry Abbott, sorry, let’s just move on.
Katter used Question Time to plead the case of Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston who was facing a possible suspension due to making contact with the referee.
His exclusion would “deprive tens of millions of Australians of the great excitement enjoyed by the State of Origin decider,” Katter said.
Katter argued that seeing as the referee had not been infected by contact with Thurston and subsequently become a Queenslander as first feared it would be a shame to suspend him.
Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop labelled the motion a misuse of the parliament’s time setting Katter up beautifully for the punchline:
“This is highly disorderly and it is highly insulting of the Blues!’” Ms Bishop said.
This statement is in itself a double-layered joke as it is widely known in parliamentary circles Queenslanders prowess is not due to Thurston - or indeed any other player - but rather the result of a pact with the devil requiring the state’s immediate sacrifice of anyone who can spell.
Katter later held a press conference in an effort to double bluff his competitions into thinking he wasn’t actually joking at all.
“If 10 million people think it’s important enough to watch the game, right? Then I think it’s important enough for us to see that the game is played properly and fairly,’’ he told reporters.
“Actually, I don’t think it’s funny at all, because I don’t want to sit there and watch us get a hiding because somebody else cheated.’‘
The Independents wear hats
Although purely a sight gag this entry by the independents has been allowed after deliberation by the judges resulted in an “absolute line ball, points decision, judgment call, six-of-one, half-a-dozen-of-the-other split down the middle”.
Katter once again set the joke up perfectly with a diversionary question in parliament during which time his fellow independents donned silly hats with stars on them.
There could have possibly been a second part to the joke but they were forced to remove them by Harry Jenkins who, as everyone knows, is forced to wear a collar suppressing humour as a condition of his position as Speaker.
‘‘I appreciate they might think it is party time when the member for Kennedy has the call,’’ Jenkins said.
Actually, that might have been a joke as well.
Had he theoretically found a way to circumvent the collar he may have been alluding to Katter’s Australian Party.
Et tu Jenkins?
I’m a busy man, I may have missed something. Feel free to let me know in the comments section if I have. And to question my intelligence, family lineage and writing motivations. And here’s some pictures of Kardboard Krudd to keep you going:
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