POLITICS

The Government Keeps Making Weird Harry Potter Jokes In Parliament

Bill Shorten is a Slytherin and coal is Voldemort, apparently.

11/09/2017 4:59 PM AEST | Updated 11/09/2017 5:01 PM AEST
Fairfax Media
Scott Morrison nails his Harry Potter joke.

CANBERRA -- While you were hard at work on Monday afternoon your representatives in Canberra were taking their very jobs seriously indeed.

The Government, you see, has been hard at work crafting Harry Potter-themed barbs to hurl at Labor leader Bill Shorten in the latest instalment in a weird series of jokes about the boy wizard.

In Monday's session of Question Time Scott Morrison was asked a question by Labor's shadow treasurer Chris Bowen about why the Government hadn't implemented a clean energy target for renewable power. Morrison hit back at Bowen, started talking about how the Government was focusing on gas reserves, then dropped this really quite strained pop culture reference.

"Those opposite are proposing a 45 percent emissions reduction target, which is a great big electricity tax sponsored by the Leader of the Opposition, the shiftiest Leader of the Opposition we've seen in a long time. If he gets to slither in to The Lodge, the Australian public will feel the effects. If he went to Hogwarts, he would have been in the house of Slytherin," Morrison roared, to jeers and boos from the Labor side.

"The only difference between him and other members of Slytherin is that some of them came good in the end, not like this Leader of the Opposition."

But it wasn't the first time a Turnbull government member had invoked Harry Potter in recent times, and it probably won't be the last.

Last month, deputy PM Barnaby Joyce tried his own Harry Potter-themed dig, again at Shorten, and again in a debate over energy. In the Parliament, as Labor tried to push the Government to move away from coal and invest more in renewables, Joyce unleashed.

"The member for Maribyrnong, the Leader of the Opposition, went to Central Queensland lately. We've been going through social media and we've been going through all his media releases, and there's one word he can't mention. It's a word that cannot mention its name. It's the Lord Voldemort of words. Guess what that word is: he can't say the four-letter word 'coal'," Joyce said.

Joyce, you might be interested to know, claimed both Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in his latest expenditure report.

In June, Liberal MP Trevor Evans stood to talk about the Government's schools funding package. After Turnbull recruited expert David Gonski to sign on to support the plan Evans joked about Labor -- who first introduced the Gonski education reform models -- now wiping Gonski from their memory.

"For years they mindlessly mouthed and repeated the name Gonski, but now they do not dare speak his name. Neither of the two former speakers did. It is almost quite funny and comical. David Gonski has become the Voldemort of the Australian Labor Party: he who shall not be named," he said.

Pottermania even spread all the way to the nation's top job, with Malcolm Turnbull himself dropping a few wizard jokes recently. The PM recently appeared on The House, the latest ABC TV show exploring behind the scenes of Parliament House. During his chat with host Annabel Crabb, where the conversation turned to the portraits created of former Prime Ministers once they leave office, Turnbull reached into the Harry Potter lexicon for a gag.

"Maybe you could be the first Prime Minister to commission a video portrait, a multimedia portait," Crabb joked.

"A hologram. We talked about Parliament House being like a boarding school, that would turn it into Hogwarts," Turnbull said in an episode which aired last week.

"Perhaps you could have holograms of all the former Prime Ministers following people around the parliament. You could have a Marauder's Map so you could work out where particular holograms were, so if you didn't like a particular former Prime Minister, you could avoid them and go left rather than right down that corridor."

Of course, it's not only the government who love the Harry Potter jokes. Back in July, when Turnbull refused to say predecessor Tony Abbott's name during a radio interview, it didn't go unnoticed.

"I saw the Prime Minister couldn't bring himself to say Tony Abbott's name," deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said at the time.

"The Lord Voldemort of the Liberal Party is not the only problem that the Prime Minister has.'"

We're not sure who the Harry Potter of federal politics is, but if you think you've got an idea, let us know.

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