I went to school with Joe Richards, and nothing about “menu gate” surprises me. Even at 17 he was a colourful rogue, and made a great Major General in our 1974 production of the Pirates of Penzance. He was a complete ham, who a couple of years earlier had had similar success as the Duke of Plaza Toro.
After school he went on to run a successful men’s wear business in Woolloongabba, the most unlikely of places, and was known as a bon vivant and racing identity.
He was also known as a fundraiser for various Labor Party figures. And I wonder what menus for those functions are lurking on his hard drive.
For the fact of the matter is that when it comes to sexism, racism, chauvinism, larrikinism and ribaldry, the Labor Party has it all over the Liberal Party.
While it may have some PC Green shoots, and an affirmative action policy for women, it is based on unions dominated by working class blokes.
I have been to Labor Party functions where things have been said that could never have been said at a Liberal Party function.
Liberals tend to hale from the middle classes and the aspiring lower classes, and while sexism, racism, chauvinism, larrkinism and ribaldry are not unknown, they are things you are more likely to keep to yourself.
Which is one reason why Labor is running down the wrong road on this one.
Not only is it taking senior ministers off-message, but the idea that the party of the middle class is secretly vulgar is inherently hard to sell, and the chances that something embarrassing on their side turns up is extraordinarily high.