Date: June 28 2012
The Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball is supposed to be a chance for politicians, staffers, lobbyists, business folk and journalists to escape the bitter winds of political battle and arguments about who gets what from the treasury vaults and to take refuge in warm and slightly abandoned camaraderie.
Fat chance beneath the pall enveloping national affairs, particularly when the Press Gallery's choir, the House Howlers, takes the stage.
As more than 600 guests gathered in the Great Hall of Parliament last night to feast, drown their sorrows with bottles of fine wines and eye each other with suspicion, the Howlers howled about the grievously hung parliament, the apocalyptic debate about the carbon tax and the shameful fact Parliament House no longer has a bar (sung, naturally, to the tune of The Pub With No Beer).
A mining baron and baroness weren't forgotten, either. A swipe from Bonnie and Clyde hailed ''Gina and Clive/were pretty wealthy people/they made their cash from mining/They were keen to keep it''.
After singing about the billionaires' stoush with the government over the mining tax, the song turned to Mrs Rinehart's attempt ''to buy a little comfort/by moving in on Fairfax with her wallet open''.
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