The ban on the word “mate” in Federal Parliament yesterday was clearly absurd. But how many politicians rushed to call it “unAustralian?” Too many. The desperation to be an appropriately observant Aussie never ceases to amaze.

Tanya Plibersek, Labor member for Sydney:

“I can’t tell you how offended I am by this. I think, frankly, it’s un-Australian.”

But the comment of the day was surely reserved for Liberal backbencher, Bob Baldwin:

I have never seen anything so criminal in all my life. It’s part of the Australian vernacular. It’s a term of endearment and of mateship.”

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