JOURNALIST: Mr Turnbull, you are now staring at 33 consecutive Coalition Newspoll losses in a row. This surpasses Abbott’s 30 losses you used as a benchmark trigger for your successful leadership coup in 2015, does it not?
TURNBULL: Yes that’s true, but I recently expressed regret for leveraging that number 30. I won the spill and got to be Prime Minister — that’s all I care about. If you in the media think the number 30 is to be my nemesis, you are sadly delusional. I, on the other hand, am happily delusional.
JOURNALIST: Oh my God!
TURNBULL: Indeed. God willing, the Coalition would win the next Newspoll if only the public would start listening to me. Maybe they get distracted by my charisma and tune out in stunned awe of me?
JOURNALIST: Maybe your credibility is already ruined?
TURNBULL: I have apologised. For a prime minister to be so humbly apologetic is so refreshing in the public eye. So, my credibility has benefited from my brilliant bleeding-heart expression of remorse.
JOURNALIST: Are you surprised at your poor performance?
TURNBULL: Worse than surprised, I would say shocked. I did not expect to lose even one poll. By the way, how dare you call my performance “poor”?
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.
Mothologists are aflutter with the discovery of a new phenomenon unheard of in the annals of mothology. After dusk every evening, humanoids from Sydney’s trendy inner suburbs metamorphose into moths and are drawn to the garden lamp of Malcolm Turnbull in the posh harbour-side locale of Point Piper, only to return before dawn to continue their existences as leftie hipsters.
“Malcolm is their Messiah, his lamp is their Mecca and every night they make their pilgrimage.” said a leading mothologost. “Moths being drawn to light sources is nothing new, but being drawn to an idolatory source of enlightenment is an exciting development in the evolutionary realms of mothdom.” he said. “But we are baffled. These are left-wing socialists who would normally spurn any association with Point Piper. We cannot understand how lefties are so besotted with this Liberal that they even take on a resemblance to him.”
A team of clinical socio-political entomological psychologists has made daily visits to trendy hipster cafes in search of clues. It found patrons in states of trauma, privately weeping into their skinny lattes, muttering near indecipherable whisperings, which all clinicians agree can be paraphrased as, “I love Malcolm, but don’t tell anyone.”
The team’s observation:
Identity crises, self-loathing and paranoia on a mass scale.
The team’s diagnosis:
It is all to do with left and right hipsterical hemispherical brain functions. The magnetic mystique of Turnbull, known to be pro-republic, pro-same sex-marriage, pro-ETS, pro-sexual-equality and pro-ABC, is so appealing, in the absence of any left-wing inspiration, that the right hemisphere launches into euphoric fantasies of a charismatic prime minister who will lead Australia into enlightenment.
When the left hemisphere gets wind of this, it screams at the right, “What are you doing you idiot. You are a leftie hipster and you should be ashamed of yourself. You traitor. You defector to the Liberal side. What would your peers say?”
Inner conflict becomes unbearable until the right hemisphere prevails bringing a profound sense of universal connectedness with like-minded souls who, as it turns out include the hitherto feared peers. Blissful transcendence into messianic Malcolm exaltation overrides all left brain constraints, and en masse they metamorphose and take flight.
The team’s prognosis:
Left brain hemispheres will become servile to the right, and euphoria will prevail on a 24 hour cycle. Humanoid-mothoid symbiosis will be complete. Man-moth Malcolm mania will reach mammoth proportions.
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.