Ah, I have an over-active imagination. Or so some claim. For example, right now I imagine that I’m in a coffee shop and that some big wig from the Liberal Party has arranged to see me.
“Don’t tell them I’m from the Liberal Party,” he says. “And whatever you do don’t mention that we went to school together or people will be able to work out who I am.”
“What if I tell them you’re a woman?” I ask.
“How many women were at our school?” he asks.
“There was Matron. And the Nurse. And the Principal’s secretary.”
“Look, you’re a writer – I’m sure that you can make something up!”
Mm, I tell him that I’ll pretend that he’s Bill Shorten, but he thinks that it’s highly unlikely that Bill Shorten would know this much about anything, much less the Liberal Party agenda.
“Just pretend that I’m a low level public servant who was typing up the minutes of a meeting.”
“Are there any public servants left?”
He sighs and says he’d rather begin before anyone recognises him. I want to tell him that in this part of the world, people are more likely to recognise me, but before I have chance to boast, he’s away.
“I’ve tried to be a good servant to the Liberal Party.” (This still fits with the Bill Shorten cover story, I think.) “However, some of the things I’ve been hearing are starting to really concern me.”
(A Liberal with a conscience, it’s going to be hard to make that convincing.)
He hesitates. “Can I trust you?”
“Of course,” I tell him. “I never reveal secrets unless I get drunk and then nobody believes anything I say anyway. Did I ever tell you about Bob Ellis and 1999 Victorian State Election…”
“Shut up and listen!” (Now he sounds like a Liberal…)
He continues: “Ok, Abbott is planning to avoid the Senate altogether. The fuel excise was just a test. Next it’ll be the Medicare Co-Payment, followed by various other blocked Budget measures.”
I don’t know how to break it to him that this isn’t actually news to most of us. I try a different approach.
“But surely, this is … er, unconstitutional? Surely, there must be ways to stop him.”
“There are. But they’ll involve lengthy court cases, I mean just look at that boat from India that disappeared from the media while the courts work out whether we can just grab people from international waters and send them to another country. And while the court cases are going on, they’ll create a sense of emergency about the various forces who are opposing them and use some of the anti-terrorist laws to close down the discussion.”
I sip my latte and smile, before asking: “What’s next? Privatising the Australian Federal Police? Shutting down the Internet? Asking us all to sign an oath of allegiance?”
“I know it sounds like a left wing conspiracy theory, but trust me, things are happening that you wouldn’t believe.”
“Ok, so why tell me? Why not go to the mainstream media?”
“Two reasons. First, I don’t know who to trust and I’m afraid, and secondly, nobody’ll take you seriously at first, but once things start to happen, they might actually realise that you were telling the absolute truth.”
At this point, I realise that my imagination should have given me something stronger than a latte. I clearly need a chardonnay to complete this. Strangely, the waiter brings me one without asking and tells me that it’s on the house because that’s the way life works when you’re indulging yourself with fantasy.
I sip the chardonnay, but the claims still seem a little silly: “So, they start to by-pass the Senate and things get tied up in the courts. But ultimately, the Senate will have to agree to pass the legislation or it won’t be legal.”
“Ah, the Senate. The states house! Didn’t Mr Abbott talk about how Queensland had rid itself of the upper house at the G20?” He smiles.
“What’s so funny?” I ask.
“I guess this is why he has a group of people working on how we’ll be able to abolish the states. Then there’s no reason to have a Senate!”
“You’re making that up.”
“No,” he replies, “you are. And you’re making me up. Why not say, I was a Murdoch journalist who’d been asked to write an opinion piece on the duplication and waste of having both states and a federal government, and that I was terribly troubled by what I was privy to?”
“Gee, a Liberal Party member with a conscience was bad enough, but I don’t see any way to make a Murdoch journalist with one plausible…”
“Look,” he says, “why not just suggest that they’re going to create a committee of audit – or something – to look at ways of reducing the duplication and red tape between the Commonwealth and States?”
“But haven’t they already said that? And aren’t the States part of the Commonwealth?”
My chardonnay has turned into a cognac. “Bond,” I say, “James Bond.”
He looks at me like I’m an idiot . Which is harsh, considering I have completely made him up!!!! But that’s what happens when you drink cognac at this time of the morning. Then, he sighs.
“Ok, I know it sounds far-fetched, but as you pointed out in your blog from last year https://theaimn.com/the-cassandra-effect-abbott-and-boiling-a-frog-dr-who/ what seems far-fetched one day, is perfectly believable a few months later.”
Mm, I wonder the fact that he talks in hyperlinks makes him a less believable character. And then I wonder if it’d be even plausible that any Liberal would ever read my blog without calling me an idiotLaborsupporterwhojustreliesonabuse,andanywayJuliaGillardlied
And I wonder anybody’ll actually come back to re-read this after they attempt to by-pass the Senate for the second (and third time) time, the Murdoch press starts to talk about why we don’t need start state governments and it all just sounds that much more plausible.
P.S. How do hide a tree?
Yep, in a forest…