He’s just a poor boy from a poor family. Or not.

Labor leader Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten isn’t nicknamed “Shifty” without reason. Not only does this so-called “worker’s mate” have a sordid history of ripping off low-paid workers in order to further his political career, but he also plays fast and loose with his own story.

Even worse: he changed football teams. quote.

Labor leader Bill Shorten refers to his late father – also called Bill – as a waterfront worker, fitter and turner or seafarer, depending on who is listening to him.

In fact, Bill Shorten senior was a marine engineer who became a dry-dock manager.

Mr Shorten is not lying when he chooses to highlight the various stages of his father’s working life but he does like to play up his blue collar background.

But the way he describes his family history has become an issue days before Australia’s 16 million voters go to the polls.

The man tipped to be Australia’s next prime minister is under heavy fire for leaving out key details of his late mother’s legal career to suit his political narrative during an appearance on Q&A.

Mr Shorten had spoken about his mother working as a teacher rather than following her dream to study law, without mentioning she had gone on to become a lawyer. end quote.

Shorten wasn’t quite lying when told students at Monash University, on national television, that his mother was a “teacher”. But he fudged around the fact that she was not only a lawyer but a senior law lecturer at Monash. But, then, schooling is a bit of a sensitive issue for “battler” Bill. quote.

Mr Shorten was educated at Xavier College, an elite Catholic private school where fees now top $28,000 a year […]

Opponents accuse Mr Shorten of trying to exaggerate his working class credentials, while noting he is comfortable mixing with the extremely rich.

Mr Shorten, who says he can move easily in any company, was educated at an elite private school in Melbourne and has courted billionaires including the late Richard Pratt during his career as a union leader and politician. end quote.

He’s also made a habit of marrying rich. quote.

Mr Shorten’s first wife Deborah Beale – the daughter of a multi-millionaire former federal Liberal MP Julian Beale […] After separating from his wife later that year, Mr Shorten started a new relationship with public relations consultant Chloe Bryce.

Chloe’s mother Quentin Bryce had just three weeks earlier been sworn in as Australia’s first female governor-general when the relationship was revealed. end quote.

But, while Bill has no qualms strategically exploited selected excerpts of his background for political advantage, he’s less happy when he gets called out on it. quote.

An emotional Mr Shorten had tears in his eyes during a press conference on Wednesday as he accused his critics of a grubby ‘hit job’ by criticising how he had described her professional career.


Might be a good idea not to exploit your Mum for cheap political points, then, Bill.