An artist's impression of Barnaby Joyce dropping some
An artist's impression of Barnaby Joyce dropping some "sick burns" on the opposition leader. AAP Image - Andrew Taylor

STRANGE POLITICS: Bill cops verbal hiding at Liberal launch

THINGS got personal at the Liberal launch as Coalition leaders levelled stinging attacks on Bill Shorten's ability to run a party, let alone a whole country.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce dusted off his well-practised brand of ridicule for the sympathetic Novotel Hotel crowd.

"I'm waiting for them to say we're going to hock off the moon to Mars," he said.

"Then they can fight about that as well, and they'll probably have more success. They have become so hopeless, so pathetic, that now they are just making up stories to argue against them themselves."

Most jabs related to Bill Shorten's claim the Coalition would privatise Medicare - an accusation he would not explicitly repeat when the ABC's Leigh Sales asked him to "put your hand on your heart" last week.

It provided no shortage of ammo for Julie Bishop, who asked the "how low will Labor go?" with their "monstrous Labor lies".

"There's no lie too outrageous, no issue too sensitive, no person too vulnerable... (Bill Shorten) lacks the moral fibre to be prime minister," she said.

Oh well, Mr Shorten was a bit rude too. Rather than let the Liberals have their unencumbered day in the sun, he held a second Labor pseudo-launch in Brisbane which just happened to coincide with Mr Turnbull's.

He showed no sign of panting as he said voters were in a "six-day sprint" to the election. Mr Turnbull had a well-publicised case of the flu, but hid his sniffles admirably. -ARM NEWSDESK


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