Bill Shorten was anything but politically correct in a speech at a Grand Final breakfast in Melbourne that left his audience and those on social media with a bad taste in their mouth.
Speaking at the Mazda North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast on Saturday morning, the Opposition leader joked about the crisis in North Korea in front of a large crowd at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“If Adelaide win, I reckon Swan Street will be more dangerous than the Korean Peninsula,” Shorten joked.
The quip about impassioned Richmond Football Club fans was made to thousands of guests including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Molly Meldrum, Australian comedian Peter Helliar and dozens of sporting legends.
“Geez Bill Shorten comparing Adelaide winning to the Korean Peninsula. Seriously,” one twitter user said.
The Opposition leader then proceeded to joke further about Richmond Football Club stereotypes.
“Here’s hoping for another nail-biter … I’m gonna tip Richmond Football Club by nine points and a boom in the tattoo business,” Mr Shorten said.
Attendees at the breakfast event have taken to social media to respond to the bad jokes, suggesting Mr Shorten should fire his speech writer after “boring” the entire audience.
— michael (@micwoodward) September 29, 2017
Not sure who Bill Shorten's speech writer is, but he's dying out there. #northmelbournebreakfast
— SimonC (@simonsbargains) September 29, 2017
Bill Shorten has bored the entire audience at the Nortn Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast. Those poor people… Bill needs a new speechwriter…
— J Kaul (@j_kaul) September 29, 2017
— Rebecca Hayne (@BeccaHayne) September 29, 2017
But Mr Shorten’s jokes haven’t always fallen flat and the 50-year-old has been known to add some comedy to the routine press conference.
After Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his new cabinet in 2015, the Labor leader held a press conference that was briefly interrupted by a noisy helicopter.
“I didn’t known Bronwyn [Bishop] was due to visit Victoria,” Mr Shorten said to the pack of journalists, prompting widespread laughter.
The joke referenced Ms Bishop’s travel expenses scandal, including a chartered helicopter flight worth $5227 to take her to a Liberal Party fundraiser on the taxpayer dollar.
The Opposition leader’s one-line deadpan ‘zingers’ also provided comedic fodder for comedian Shaun Micallef on ABC program, Mad as Hell.
Mr Shorten wasn’t the only politician in attendance to face scrutiny for his grand final activities.
The Newcastle Herald reported Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was attending her fourth grand final on the taxpayer dollar.
At the grand final breakfast, North Melbourne AFL chairman Ben Buckley joked Ms Bishop “had arranged a meeting of cabinet in the Yarra Room at the MCG regarding the North Korea crisis”.
“I have no concerns at all by the attempt at humour because all of my travel expenses are consistent with the guidelines for parliamentarians,” Ms Bishop told the newspaper.