ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has come out swinging against those in the community and those in his own party who feel that parachuting Senator Kristina Keneally into a safe – albeit extremely multicultural and economically disadvantaged – electorate in Southwest Sydney is a terrible and disgraceful idea.

“I think they should be looking at Kristina’s inspiring journey to this country, which is not unlike any other migrant story,” he said.

“While some people arrive here by boat, only to be thrown into an illegal concentration camp for a lazy decade in PNG or Nauru, some people arrive to Australia by plane. You can still flee persecution on an airplane. In fact, that’s the only way to come to Australia if you’re looking to claim asylum these days,”

“Kristina Keneally is a migrant success story. Her journey to this country was not all smooth sailing, mind the pun, it was arduous.”

Mr Albanese then cleared this throat and continued.

“They put her in the smoking section of business class. She explicated told the travel agent she was a non-smoker but something must’ve gone wrong. Can you imagine spending 17 hours in a room you can’t leave full of people smoking? Well, before 1990, that was the reality of flying in the smoking section,” he said.

“It’s a journey that could’ve killed an asthmatic. It’s unthinkable now but back then, it was commonplace. So you in the media who say Kristina isn’t fit to represent the people of Fowler, I say look at yourself in the mirror,”

“In other words, this is obviously killing me on the inside but I need to let the Labor Right have this victory to keep the ship on course. I’ll give this win to Timbertop Marles and hopefully he’ll let Penny Wong down into the House of Reps in a few years and she can avenge me when Jimmy Chalmers grows a set and takes a shot at the title.”

More to come.


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