Riding his bike through the corridors of parliament house, wearing his fire brigade overalls with his red speedos on the outside, donning a hard hat and safety goggles, Tony Abbott stopped a cleaner to ask for directions, “Excuse me, I can’t remember where my office is. I’ve been so busy obeying Peta – running, cycling, life-saving, fire-fighting, kissing babies, visiting factories and gallivanting around the country – that I seem to have forgotten. She sends me here, there and everywhere to keep the media distracted from the real business of prime ministership. I happily use her fail-safe scripted verbatim rhetoric ad infinitum, ad nauseam. She’s a genius. I tried to ad lib a few times with my own ideas but those gaffes made me a laughing stock. Prince Philip was the barbecue stopper of the century. So I just do what she says and follow the script. She runs the government. I call her boss. That’s how I manage to keep my job as PM. Without her I’d be stuffed. I have the political discretion of a flying pink elephant on steroids, with a pretty face, if I might say so.
The ‘cleaner’ was an unrecognised journalist by the name of Paul Kelly, who promptly gave his name. “My word you are multi-talented – a journo, singer-songwriter and a cleaner.”
A hasty shower and a “help-me-get-dressed-and-choose-a-tie-please-boss” later, Abbott addressed the National Press Club with an unread speech prepared by hers truly.
When the people of Australia elected their prime minister they got one of the fiercest political warriors ever known in the history of federal parliament. I am in command and control of this government, and I am getting on with the job of governing our country.
There is absolutely no possibility of me losing my job, despite the wishes of the majority of cabinet and backbenchers who loathe and despise me. I cannot be sacked because I am the boss. Bosses don’t sack themselves.
So Julie, hate me as much as you like. I ain’t goin’ nowhere.
And if you or Malcolm or Scott think you can get rid of me, I’ve got so much dirt on you I could leak like a sieve all day everyday for years. I’ve had my spies planted in your offices and I know you are ratting on me. I eat rats for breakfast, so watch it!
Abbott: Whoops, I seem to have the wrong document. Are there any questions? Yes, you the cleaner I was talking to earlier.
Kelly: Mr Abbott, I put it to you that you have the right document, heinously contrived as a ploy by your chief of staff to look like a mistake but, in fact to shore up her position as pseudo prime minister. What you have just blurted out makes her untouchable. I put it to you that there is an elephant in this room and its name is Peta Credlin. It was you who was elected prime minister, not her.
Abbott: When the people of Australia elected their prime minister they got one of the fiercest political warriors ever known in the history of federal parliament. I am in command and control of this government, and I am getting on with the job of governing our country.
Kelly: Mr Abbott, those are Credlin’s words not yours.
Abbott: Whatever Peta says is true and I stand by her every word. You have my word on that. I put it to you that our discussion – when I said that she runs the government – was a figment of your imagination. I deny having the political discretion of a flying pink elephant on steroids, with a pretty face, if I might say so. With my looks and her brains we are a duumvirate with the intestinal fortitude you, as a cleaner, may never see the likes of again. Better fly now. Come on boss, let’s wing it back to our office. Thank God you know the way.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has hit back at UN criticism of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers ~ SBS
Actual quote: “The most flagrant abuse of human rights I am aware of is the beheading and crucifying of people in Syria and Iraq, where Australia is seeking to relieve the humanitarian crisis.”
Possible response: Small consolation Mr Morrison. We would prefer to be beheaded and put out of our misery, rather than suffer this endless torture. Come on, be humane. Relieve our humanitarian crisis. Decapitate us! That’ll do your party the world of good in the polls. Those polls which are the reason we are here.
Actual quote: “My Christian faith remains the driving force for my family, beliefs and values.” Possible follow on: I regret to inform you whingeing pack of heathens that my Christian faith prohibits me from having you decapitated. However, your invitation does have one particularly appealing feature. It would get the UN Committee on Torture off my back for causing you – “serious physical and mental suffering” – as they claim. I can’t be accused of torturing dead people, can I? I’ll have a chat with our party pollsters and see what they think. I’ll let you know how I get on. Regards, Scott.
Sky News ~ UN report points to Australian failures
Link to related article from The Age of 2 July 2014 by lawyer Julian Burnside:
Silence on missing asylum seeker boat a disgrace to the nation
“We are breaching our central obligation under the refugee convention” says lawyer Julian Burnside, after two boatloads of asylum seekers were allegedly screened and handed over to the Sri Lankan navy by Australia.
Coverage by ABC News on 24 February 2014:
Candlelight vigils held for slain asylum seeker Reza Berati who died on Manus Island
[Contradicting an earlier statement] … Immigration Minister Scott Morrison released a statement saying that new information suggests the fatal head injury sustained by Mr Berati, along with much of the violence that night, occurred inside the detention centre’s perimeter.
25 November 2013
Everingham’s column – The Everingham files: The Indonesian interceptions – contains translations of phone calls made by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the Indonesian Ambassador in Canberra, following revelations that exposed the activities of Australian intelligence in tracking phone conversations made by president and his wife, Ani Yudhoyono.
Referring to Scott Morrison, Australian Minister for Immigration, SBY is reported to have said: “I caught that idiot Morrison on Sky News holding a media conference but refusing to answer any questions from the media pack. I was hoping one of them might ask him what day it is and hear him say, “I don’t have that information in my folder”.”
Column in full with video covering protests in Indonesia against Australia.
PS: Should this Keogh Cartoons post have been dated 1st April?
As a background, here is how the ABC covered the initial revelations of spying:
Indonesia has recalled its ambassador and is reviewing all cooperation with the Australian government, over revelations Australia attempted to listen in to president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s phone calls.
Documents obtained by the ABC and Guardian Australia show that Australian intelligence attempted to listen in to Mr Yudhoyono’s telephone conversations on at least one occasion, and also targeted the phones of his wife, Ani Yudhoyono, and his inner circle.
Spies also tracked activity on Mr Yudhoyono’s mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, the material – leaked by the US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden – reveals…….