The following comment has been submitted to The Punch in response to Malcolm Farr's piece:
Malcolm Farr is in such a sour mood! We all go to the press gallery ball and have a good time but he comes up with that anti-Greens grizzle. Yes, I did insist on paying for the tickets - that meant an extra $250 for charity - but Malcolm begrudges it. Though he didn't raise the matter with me at the ball.
And yes, I do have to consider whether this entertainment special should have precedence over the major issues now at critical mass - such as negotiations on saving our nation from the onrush of destructive climate change and the fate of budget bills that threaten hard times for disabled Australians.
After all, not all the press gallery's senior players went to the MidWinter Ball. I did and, as well, some kind donor is giving $3,150 for charity by buying the simple pleasure of a pre-breakfast walk with me in Canberra in coming weeks.
Malcolm is welcome to come along too - the fresh air won't do him anything but good.