TO THE FUTURE: Bill Shorten continues to survive as Opposition Leader, but for how long?
TO THE FUTURE: Bill Shorten continues to survive as Opposition Leader, but for how long? Matt Taylor GLA090218BILL

Shorten survives, but is he the fittest?

THIS week we'll be examining that most peculiar of political animals: Laborii Ditherincus, commonly known as the short en-billed snipe.

It's quite a fascinating little creature. This is because many find great difficulty identifying the true nature of this species. Not an entirely monogamous creature, its mating habits are somewhat reflective of its survival skills; sometimes taking more than a single mate at a time.

The Laborii aren't as much solitary animals as they are ones that attach themselves to other sub-genus Laborii to form packs for mutual protection.

In nature, this isn't always the best model to ensure the survival of the species as a whole. In times past, this has often led to the occasional feral almost causing the pack's extinction. Best seen in recent times by the emergence of the aggressively unpredictable Laborii Lathamus (common name: foamy-mouthed bile spitter).

In the often perilous environment of the Parliamentary Wilderness, Ditherincus has managed to survive by being able to camouflage its intentions and confuse its territorial rivals by consistently changing its position. It's quite hard to pin it down long enough for even the most expert of observers to fully appreciate its true colours. A real chameleon.

Equally at home in the vast expanses of the country's north as it is in the southern urban areas, it cannot be easily identified by its call, as it is quite adept at changing its tune; depending on who it thinks is listening.

Amongst the sounds recorded, the Ditherincus has been heard to squawk out "more jobs, more jobs", "stop the mine, stop the mine", "tax cuts, tax cuts" and "tax the rich, tax the rich", all with equal gusto.

Ditherincus can be as equally evasive as sociable. And often at the same time.

It can be often seen strutting before the assembled throng of the Canberra press gallery, chest fully pumped like a courting pigeon and attempting to attract said journalistic pack with a call that all attempts thus far to interpret as anything coherent have proved impossible.

Laborii Ditherincus has proven to be difficult to domesticate. This is despite the fact it often adopts the facial expression of a meerkat caught in the headlights in order to attract the unsuspecting voter. But be warned! Recent history has shown it is likely to turn on its master or mistress in order to secure its own survival.

So, if you are contemplating a Laborii, Ditherincus might prove to be most unsuitable a choice.

Perhaps a fluffy little Laborii Albanese would be more suitable and manageable.

Gympie Times

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