A minister called ALP leader Bill Shorten a 'trouser bandit' in parliament - and didn't know its slang meaning

Not a trouser bandit. Photo: Getty/Harry Todd

Social services minister Scott Morrison thought he’d come up with a nifty line during Question Time in the Australian parliament today, as the government attempted to turn the tables on Labor and opposition leader Bill Shorten over proposed changes to superannuation taxation.

“The trouser bandit sits over there,” the minister said, pointing to Shorten, and using the term twice, not realising that its slang meaning is very different to the image he was trying to create of the Labor leader reaching into your pocket for cash.

The phrase prompted Queensland Nationals MP Ewen Jones to suggest his slang vocabulary was a little wider than the minister’s.

The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang defines trouser bandit as “a dismissive or derisory term used by avowedly heterosexual males” towards someone who is homosexual.

It seems that after Question Time, minister Morrison was briefed on its meaning, and pleaded ignorance, tweeting his withdrawal.

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