“Sorry mate, only those with authorisation are allowed past here,” a burly security guard at New South Wales Parliament House told a flustered middle-aged man in a suit as he tried to walk into the state’s Legislative Council. A second burly guard moved quickly to block the way.
It had happened again, for the third time this week. Security at NSW Parliament had failed to recognise Opposition leader Luke Foley.
Mr Foley, a member of the state’s upper chamber from Labor’s left faction who has been the party’s leader since 2015, is not unused to members of the public failing to place his face. But the repeated failure of security guards to remember him was starting to gall — especially as a crucial vote on local council mergers was coming up and he’d left his official pass in his other trousers.
“Come on guys it’s me!” the man aiming to be the next state premier pleaded. “You asked me for my ID yesterday and the day before! Surely you remember!”
“Look mate, if you don’t have identification, we can’t let you in,” the second guard said, his hand moving to the radio receiver hanging off his waist in case back-up proved needed.
“I’m Luke Foley!” the Labor leader insisted, to blank looks. “The Opposition leader!”
The first guard looked confused and glanced at the second, who merely shrugged and said: “I thought the Opposition leader was that totally bald bloke?”
“Nah,” the first one responded. “That was Robbo, he resigned. He got replaced by….” His voice trailed off as he realised the name had slipped his mind.
“By me!” Mr Foley shouted. “I’m the leader of the NSW Labor Party and there is a very important vote about to take place!”
“I’m sorry sir, if you don’t have identification, we’re going to have to ask you to move aside,” the second guard said, placing his hand firmly on Mr Foley’s chest and giving a small push.
A highly frustrated Mr Foley, realising he couldn’t win, stomped off home to get his parliamentary pass. However, sources close to the Labor leader told The (un)Australian that, on arriving home, Mr Foley discovered he’d left his pass in the pocket of a pair of trousers that had just been through the wash.
Realising his cause was lost, sources said, the Labor leader decided to just stay home and play his recently purchased game of Civilization VI instead. At time of writing, no one in the press gallery or parliament is said to have noticed his absence.