celebrity

The Steve Price moment with Carrie Bickmore that floored us.

How many times do you hear someone say “the old me was wrong”?

Never. (Maybe once, when someone was feeling extremely generous, but the details are hazy because you were definitely three glasses in.)

How many times do you hear it from older white men who are celebrities and opinion leaders and renowned for taking a tough, often controversial, stance?

I can hear you laughing.

But last night we were shown it’s possible from my new favourite person radio and television personality Steve Price, otherwise known as “Pricey”.

He was on Channel 10’s The Project talking about the former and disgraced Liberal politician Bronwyn Bishop.

She’s back in the news over her misuse-of-taxpayer’s-money (she once used a helicopter to travel from Melbourne to Geelong – an hour’s drive – to attend a fundraiser and claimed it as expenses). “Give me a break, we’re talking about a helicopter ride and some small expenses,” the former speaker of the House of Representatives told Sky News on Wednesday.

Price spoke for all Australians when he said she needed a reality check.

“This is a woman who thought it was okay to claim expenses to go to three of her liberal colleagues’ weddings,” he said. “And she went to a former Liberal colleagues funeral and tried to charge the airfare and the cab charges and the use of Commonwealth cars to you, and me, and every other taxpayer. She doesn’t deserve a break at all.”

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But the moment that was most golden was still to come.

Price had just finished what was once a very typical angry rant when The Project host Carrie Bickmore remarked: “I feel a little bit of the old Pricey coming back.”

I was expecting a non-reaction. A denial of the existence of an ‘old’ versus ‘new’. But the 62-year-old surprised me: He owned it. 

“No no absolutely not,” he said. “I mean the old Pricey might have said ‘oh well let’s leave Bronwyn alone, she’s okay, she served the nation well’. Nope! She is someone we need to say ‘wake up Bronwyn to yourself’. Us Aussies are doing it tough and you need to realise how much you’ve sucked out of the taxpayers’ teat over the years.”

I never thought I’d say it, but I take my stubborn, socialist ad extremely liberal hat off to you Steve Price.

You’ve stood up for the every-day Australian and you’ve done something none of us are very good at: admitted the old you was wrong.