A Timely Reminder On The Perils of Office Xmas Parties

It’s all a bit tragic – not least in the timing. On a slow news weekend – when the next biggest story seems to be that Bob Brown has invited Mark Latham to tour the old growth Tassie forest – Senator Andrew Bartlett’s fall from grace has exploded all over the season of ho, ho, ho and horrific hangovers.

The details are a bit unclear but Bartlett is alleged to have “gatecrashed” the Libs Senate Xmas barbie last Thursday night and made off with 5 bottles of fine, Australian wine. Dogged government staffers allegedly tracked him down to his office and recovered 4 of the bottles. The remaining bottle was already open: breathing perhaps. The thought occurs that had Senator Amanda Vanstone been dispatched to liberate the wine, Senator Bartlett may not have been breathing at this moment and would be about to receive a plaudit-filled state funeral instead of a career-wrecking drubbing. Opportunities lost, etc.

Instead, the hand of fate moved such that a tired and emotional Bartlett was shortly afterwards observed confronting Liberal Senator Jeannie Ferris during a division, abusing and manhandling her over the earlier barbie larceny.

Bartlett clearly seems to have a problem – he’s announced he’s getting help for “personal health issues” – but it won’t save him in terms of the Dems leadership.

“There but for the grace of” has probably occurred to more than a few parliamentarians, and the fact that the Senate was sitting concurrent with all this bizzo might also give pause for thought. I’ve been a not unenthusiastic party boy myself but I learned long ago that the workplace is fraught with danger as a party venue, more so if the festivities coincide with working hours.
Perhaps Bartlett’s fall is remarkable chiefly in it’s surprising singularity, in a culture where he’s anything but alone. .

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nardo
2022 years ago

I think Bartlett was inspired by Jonas’ blog .. not that pollies don’t already get the full trough treatment 24-7 .. and maybe Ferris (above his station) gave him the brush-off

everyone already knows u can’t trust the Democrats ..

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“I think Bartlett was inspired by Jonas’ blog”

Maybe. I suspect it was more because he was as tanked as an underground aquarium. I note that the Press Gallery are now doing their usual thing…”he’s always like this….he fell over the gate leaving “The Holy Grail” club a while back….he frequently attends Party Room meetings with his jocks on his head and sings crap Dylan numbers…etc, etc.’ You can get away with anything in Canberra until you can’t. And then you never could.

nardo
2022 years ago

sounds more like Chris Sheil (except for the pissed as a parrot bit)

David
2022 years ago

You can always get away with old Dylan numbers. As Bartlett is now singing sadly in the privacy of his bathroom:
“when you think you’ve lost everything, you always find out you can looooooooose a little more..’

Right now, Latham is doing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as performed by the Red Army Choir. Just imagine it…. I dare you.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Probably the best Finance minister Australia has had had quite a few tired and emotional nights in the Senate however he wasn’t an unpleasant drunk.

It is funny ( not haha) some people get aggro when drunk and others don’t. More importantly how could you vote for a leader in these circumstances.

Both Curtin and Hawke were well off the grog when they became leader.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Probably the best Finance minister Australia has had …

Who’s that, Homer? Peter Walsh?

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Let’s end the myth here and now that Peter Walsh was Australia’s best ever finance minister. This is like the myth that Billy McMahon was a great Treasurer. He was a terribleTreasurer, but told so many people, so often, about how good a Treasurer he was that the myth endures to this day.

Walsh’s autobigraphy is called “Confessions of Failed Finance Minister”. The title is supposed to be ironic, but it’s doubly ironic, because he really was a failure.

Hawke and Keating actually drove the expenditure decisions in Hawke’s government. Brian Howe played a critical role on the ERC. All Walsh did was play ‘bad cop’ and faithfully followed the brief given to him by his officials, and ventilate his various prejudices against greenies, femocrats and anyone else who offended his 1940s yeoman farmer sense of righteousness.

Anyone can do that. Even Alexander Downer manages to do it.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Good prejudices, though – at least he consistently remembered that working class people pay taxes, too.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“Hawke and Keating actually drove the expenditure decisions in Hawke’s government. Brian Howe played a critical role on the ERC. All Walsh did was play ‘bad cop’ and faithfully followed the brief given to him by his officials, and ventilate his various prejudices against greenies, femocrats and anyone else who offended his 1940s yeoman farmer sense of righteousness.

Anyone can do that. Even Alexander Downer manages to do it.”

Dave, I think it’s quite wrong to accuse Alexander Downer of possessing a “1940’s yeoman farmer sense of righteousness.”

It’s obvious to all that he possesses an 1840’s landed grandee’s sense of divine right. “Yeoman farmer” indeed!

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Geoff,

Obviously, I didn’t express myself clearly enough. What I meant was that even Alexander Downer can follow a brief that has been shoved under his nose by his officials, while firing potshots here and there —

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Dave you are comparing apples and oranges.
You haven’t mentioned another finance minster ( Eric Robinson?).
I disagree on your history of the Labor government but really is your secondary sources versus mine. Neither of us were at the sub-committee meetings so neither of us know for sure.

I can tell you Napolean now he is at Elba is much more effusive of Walshie now not that he wasn’r supportive previously.

Yeoman farmer, gimme a break!