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Obituary: Bronwyn Bishop's political career 1987-2015.

Bronwyn Bishop's political career, which died tragically in a helicopter crash earlier this week, will be remembered as an inexhaustible source of humorous memes and a monumental waste of taxpayers' money.

Born in 1987, Bishop's political career was the daughter of the ultra-right wing Liberal party faction known as the Uglies. During her maiden speech in the House of Representatives, Bishop quoted heavily from a book written by her mentor and senior Uglies member Lyenko Urbanchich, whose own political career was cut tragically short in 1998 when it was revealed that he was a former WWII Nazi propagandist dubbed "little Goebbles" by the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission.

Bishop's political career got off to a flying start in 1987 when she allegedly hired a helicopter, at taxpayers' expense, to take her from a fete to a dog show, because she didn't want to be late. Bishop's formidable fundraising skills also came to light early in her career when she hosted a $5000 a head cocktail party before the 1990 election, intending to put the money in her private bank account for use as she saw fit. Bishop was somewhat surprised when told this was a gross violation of party rules, an understandable oversight as the rule has been created in 1985 when Bishop was too busy being president of the NSW Liberals to take any notice of party rules.

In 1992 Bishop's political career received a boost when she was appointed to the Senate estimates committee, a role she approached with the subtlety and objectivity of a maltreated Rottweiler. Turning the routine hearings into virtual show trials, Bishop grilled a number of respected senior public servants over the most minor of expense claims, gaining the notice of her party colleagues. One Liberal senator described her performance as "one of the most obscene displays I have ever seen". Bishop's interrogations were all the more impressive as they took place in the same week an FOI request revealed she had claimed $93,456 on airfares and car hire over the previous 12 months.

Bishop's political career was not just limited to fundraising, rorting and barefaced hypocrisy. She also held a number of ministerial and shadow-ministerial roles. Highlights include:

- Declaring her support for tobacco advertising after being made shadow minister for Health in 1994;

- Hiring a researcher whose salary was paid by an Insurance company and listing him on her register of interests as an "additional staff facility";

- Becoming minister in charge of defence procurement, where she failed to actually procure anything for the Defence department but at least got to spend more time in a helicopter;

- Becoming minister for Aged Care, where she oversaw cost cutting and deregulation that led to one aged care facility giving residents kerosene baths resulting in some of them suffering second degree burns.

It is probably as Speaker however that Bronwyn Bishop’s political career will best be remembered. In particular her achievement in setting a new standard for political bias by continuing to attend party meetings and fundraisers while ejecting from parliament a record 393 opposition MPs to just 7 government MPs.

Bronwyn Bishop's political career will be laid to rest with a traditional stake hammering ceremony at Parliament House followed by a lavish, all expenses paid, wake.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on October 5, 2015.

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