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Hello my dear Liberal Party switchboard operator. Please put me through to NBN Co – that’s the National Broadband Network Company – if my carrier pigeon didn’t arrive there 30 minutes ago.
No need to get smart with me! I know broadband hasn’t been invented yet. I’m trying to get back to the future.
I hate being yesterday’s man. I’m a social progressive. I’m a republican. I believe in gay marriage. I’m social media savvy. And you should see the way I dress. But here I am stuck in the past, in this party that makes time go backwards – ever since I lost control, that is.
Did you say, “Of my senses?”
Back in 2009, I will be opposition leader, then I’ll get dumped for supporting an emissions trading scheme to save the planet from climate change, which won’t be recognised until 1989 when a British Prime Minister called Margaret Thatcher addresses the United Nations on this catastrophic threat to the planet.
I will have argued that the world is moving in the direction of carbon pricing. But Tony Abbott – the bloke who steals my job – will say, “As I’ve always said, the world is moving away from carbon taxes and emission trading schemes, not towards it.”
Time will prove me right – the world will move forwards in my direction and not backwards in Tony’s. But Tony has stolen my job by one vote. That one lousy vote in that party room where time stood still and the world of progressive thinking swivelled on its axis and began rotating in the opposite direction – backwards – Tony’s way.
Operator, you do realise I’m Malcolm Turnbull and I will be Minister for Communications in the Abbott Coalition Government in 2014.
Did I hear you say this is 2014? Hallehulya! At last I’ve found someone around here who doesn’t think it’s the 1960’s. Someone who understands me. Someone who likes me. You do understand and like me, don’t you?
Seeing you and me are now buddies, and we are both in the communications business, I bet you would love to hear my story:
In 2009, as Opposition Leader I secretly believed in the Labor’s NBN plan to roll out high-speed optic fibre cable to 93% of homes, schools and business across Australia by 2021, with satellite and fixed wireless networks to service the remaining seven per cent. Fantastic concept I thought.
I could never afford to be seen to agree with anything Labor did or was going to do, even if I did agree. But I didn’t go out of my way to criticise the NBN.
Anyway, Tony knew I was pro-NBN. So after he stole my job, he announced he wanted to destroy it. Then, to make my life a complete misery he made me Shadow Minister for Communications. That man has a sick sense of humour.
I had to lie through my teeth with my legendary, persuasive silver tongue, and say the “$43 billion white elephant was a colossal destruction of taxpayer’s money”.
I knew most Australians wanted the highest possible broadband speed, and Tony’s threat to dismantle it was political suicide. I had to save my own arse, and to do that I had to save his by convincing him go to the 2013 election not still promising to dismantle the NBN.
After Tony became prime minister and I became communications minister, I saved it with my fibre-to-the-node compromise by incorporating Telstra’s old copper network . I brought it back to the future, in a backward, short-sighted sort of way. Now he makes out he invented my idea: “We believe in a national broadband network and we will deliver a better one”, he said.
It was not going to be a better one, it was worse, but it was better than what he wanted which was yesterday’s model, which he personifies, as opposed to tomorrow’s model, which I personify.
Yes, I’m tomorrow’s man. Get a load of this speech I’ve written in anticipation:
Firstly, I wish to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Abbott who tragically hanged himself with copper wire, a suicide which I personally oversaw. In this the year of 2021, as President Malcolm Turnbull, I proudly announce the completion of the NBN – my fantastic concept of rolling out high-speed optic fibre cable to 93 per cent of homes, schools and business across Australia, with satellite and fixed wireless networks servicing the remaining seven per cent. I now officially proclaim the Constitution of the Republic of Australia with its revolutionary provisions. Particularly noteworthy are the legalisation of gay marriage and the introduction of a market-based carbon emissions trading scheme. Furthermore, I have authorised that all clocks across this nation resume revolving in a clockwise direction and that progressive thinking be re-instated to its former glory, according to the holy scriptures of Saint Malcolm of Wentworth, who was recently canonised at the Royal Vaucluse Yacht Club.
Operator, it’s been so nice talking to you. Operator! Operator! Operator!
Don’t tell me you’ve put me on hold. You have! I asked you not to tell me that! That’s a funny line from Get Smart – a new TV series where a secret agent called Maxwell Smart has a mobile phone in his shoe. Imagine that! – a mobile phone with no cords or operators.
I don’t think you understand me or like me after all, putting me on hold like that. Suppose you lied about it being 2014, you neo-Luddite Liberal.
While I have you, book a wake-up call for yesterday morning at 5 am. I have an early appointment with my mirror. I need time for reflection on my future.
Vladimir! Vladimir! It’s Ban Ki-moon. I know you’re hiding down here in one of your last economic bastions – coal. There are dead canaries everywhere. That’s proof enough. You’ve sucked the oxygen out of everything else Russian with your feudal-nationalist, anti-West policies sending your country deeper into international isolation. Why do you do it?
Your Ruble is plummeting, your inflation is spiralling, your economy is stagnating taking living standards to new lows. Your poor citizens are suffering, but they blame the West, not you, for all their woes. But you are the reason for the sanctions. We want you to change your ways, but you refuse and Russia suffers. Why do you do it?
Just because I find you impossible to understand and might make the occasional criticism, doesn’t mean I am right and you are wrong. I just don’t understand how you can be such a remorseless, oppressive, arrogant tyrant and still have 88% of Russians approving of you. Guess it must your well-oiled state-run media propaganda machine.
I know that deep down you’re just a big sookie bear with a deep-seated paranoid-schizophrenic fear of losing your honey pot of power. You need help.
I just want a nice, friendly chat about Crimea, Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines MH17 and sanctions – coal included. I want to help you, you poor fellow. I will even admit that you have been misrepresented. I have come to apologise.
Response … Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
OK then, I am left with no choice. My security council anti-Putin secret weapon, code named ‘Julie Bishop from Australia’ which just happens to be my helmet, will find you and frazzle you to death – slowly.
Response … No! No! Anything but that.
OK. If you promise to tell Julie how you manage an 88% approval rating, we will remove all sanctions. Julie’s government is making big changes to the ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and she wants some tips on how to run a media system like yours.
Did they get him? No, because Putin’s tactic of runaway aggression always works against the West. His sting worked – Ban and Julie both died of asphyxiation.
The death stare on YouTube
That flagpole cost four million dollars plus. All that public money just to hold up a piece of cloth. Such a terrible waste.
I admit it was Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who commissioned the new Parliament House with that phallic symbol. Rather apt for an arrogant prick like him to epitomize himself on a grandiose scale. He’s a turncoat Liberal deserter.
Speaking of grandiose, I know Australians hate grandiosity, including big words like that. Anything grandiose or high-flown, like that flagpole makes them cringe.
Ah yes, the great Australian cringe. That’s the secret of my success. Australians love to cringe.
That’s why I’m PM. I am fantastic cringe material. I make Australians cringe. I make them feel so uncomfortable having me as prime minister. They cringe so much that they love me. If they love to cringe and I make them cringe, they must love me. It’s perfect logic.
Which brings me to the reason I have called this press conference.
You are all aware of a document leaked by my department that exposes my scheme, which I cannot reveal because it is the subject of an internal investigation. However, I can reveal that it relates to a plan to make Australians cringe to unprecedented degrees. And yes, it does involve dismantling that flagpole.
Might I say however, that nothing could be more Abbottesque to adorn Capital Hill than me, my Speedos and a giant Hills Hoist. And the Union Jack of course – would be un-Australia to ignore that. Australians will love me for it.
I suspect the leak culprit is Peta Credlin, my chief of staff who thought my idea was ridiculous – too cringe-worthy for my own good, she told me. How ridiculous to call me ridiculous. I’m the expert on cringeworthiness. She thinks my ego is out of control.
She does not realise that my ego and the great Australian cringe are a match made in heaven.
When you journos write your columns, please make your readers cringe. If you don’t, my grandiose gesture to the people of Australia might never eventuate. That would be such a terrible waste.
Order! Order! Order! Order! The Opposition Member for Thingumajig and the Opposition Member for Jiggamatite will resume their seats. Park your arses! This house needs some decorum and as sure as I’m a big ‘L’ Liberal, I’m going to make sure it happens – our way – our holier than thou way – which sure as hell entitles us to be absolute pricks and get away with it.
In this role as Speaker, I honour my pledge to act impartially. I mean to be impartial and I’m mean too, so watch out you ridiculous rabble on the left.
Order! Order! Order! Order! Infectious laughter will not be tolerated. I intend to be taken seriously. The Opposition Member for Shenanigans will leave the chamber for calling me an FNTV. The Manager of Opposition Business, Tony Burke will apologise for calling me biased and incompetent. How could I be biased or incompetent? I’m just an FNTV.
I call on the Leader of the House, Christopher Pyne to snot Mr Burke for castigating me for allegedly, improperly, allegedly using my private dining room for an alleged Liberal party fundraiser. Mr Burke will then leave the chamber under Standing Order I8U.
I am presently attending to important business in another chamber and will resume the chair in 10 minutes. Damn! There’s no toilet paper.
The Labor Member for Shemozzle will leave the chamber for wetting herself from laughter. Such impropriety will not be tolerated.
That’s the last time I use CCTV for doing my business.