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A Rough Week For Turnbull But His True Character Shines Through!


“Thanks. So it’s been a rough week for the Liberals…”

“How do you figure?”

“Well, two ministers standing down, the back-down on Gonski funding and the cuts to Medicare.”

“Poor Jamie Briggs.”

“Poor Jamie Briggs?”

“Yeah, having to stand down over something as simple as a compliment and peck on the check.”

“It was sexual harassment!”

“Yeah, but that’s not his fault… He would have much rather’d it was just a quiet drink between two people. And his wife said that she didn’t mind what he did with other women, and if she doesn’t mind, why should they?”

“It was a clear case of someone with power making a worker feel intimidated.”

“Exactly! And as Dyson Heydon proved beyond a reasonable doubt, there should be more of that. Otherwise, you get workers behaving as louts, thugs and crooks.”

“The Royal Commission didn’t prove any of that. It merely discovered a handful of cases where criminal actions may have taken place.”

“He didn’t need the Royal Commission for that. He already knew that unions were full of crooks before he started his report.”

“So why did we need to spend $50 million of taxpayers’ money to find out what we already knew?”

“I think you’ll find that it was only $49 million. The figure of $50 million is one of those exaggerations put out by the left.”

“Yes, but whatever it cost, why did we need it when we’ve already got investigative bodies who could have done the same job?”

“They don’t have the powers of a Royal Commission. And that was one of the recommendations. Give someone the power to make sure that the unions aren’t doing anything illegal, like trying to get Labor politicians elected.”

“That’s not illegal!”

“No, but according to Justice Heydon, it should be. That was another of his recommendations. Stop unions from helping political candidates.”

“Well, if that’s the case, shouldn’t we stop businesses like property developers funding political candidates?”

“No, that’d be an infringement of their rights.”

“Anyway, two ministers standing down on the one day. We haven’t seen that since… well, did that happen under John Howard?”

“What about Labor. We had a whole lot of Labor ministers all standing down on the one day after Kevin Rudd was re-elected.”

“Yes, and look what happened after that. But Brough. Why did he suddenly stand down?”

“He was under police investigation and he and Mr Turnbull agreed that it’d be better if he stood down until the police investigation cleared him, so that Labor couldn’t ask him confusing questions like: did you ask Ashby to steal Sllipper’s diary.”

“There’s nothing confusing about that.”

“There is when you’re Mal Brough. I mean, he was doing the numbers for Turnbull until Turnbull realised that he couldn’t count past ten. He got confused when ’60 Minutes’ said ‘Um’ and answered the question all wrong.”

“Yeah, but the fact remains that nothing’s changed since November and Turnbull waits until the period where we’re all on holidays to announce the resignation.”

“Well, he couldn’t have done it while Parliament was sitting.”

“Why not?”

“Because Labor was telling him to. And if he did what Labor was demanding, he’d look weak.”

“Is that why he’s ruled out returning Abbott to the ministry? Because Abetz demanded it?”

“Exactly! Clever fellow that Abetz. By demanding Abbott gets returned he’s making sure that Turnbull can’t do it, and increasing the chance that he himself is made a minister again.”

“But Turnbull was talking about renewal.”

“That’s this week. Next week, he’ll be talking about the need for steady hands and experience.”

“So Abbott’s got no hope.”

“Nah, he’d have been better off to have taken the High Commissioner job in London like he was asked to.”

“So you think that he’s planning to stay around in the stupid hope that he’s made PM again?”

“It’s not that stupid. He’s worked out that Malcolm will most likely win the next election, but with a reduced majority, if Abbott’s backers keep leaking stories about disunity. And then he can take over when the opinion polls head south after Malcolm introduces things like the GST and abolishes Medicare for anyone earning more than $50,000 a year.”

“But why go back to Abbott? Wouldn’t it make sense to go for someone more popular?”

“Haven’t you learned anything? All political parties recognise that every now and then there’s someone that they need to make leader because of a single attribute that they all possess, and Abbott is one of those.”

“A single attribute? What?”

“He’ll wreck it for anyone else. Howard was like that. Rudd was like that. In the end, you have to give up and just make them leader and hope that you’ve only got one in the party.”

“Well, Abbott said that he’d make up his mind after Christmas, so he has to something about his future soon.”

“He said after Christmas. But he never said which Christmas! It’s just another example of people not listening to the promise he made, and going with the one they think he made.”

“And Gonski. Isn’t that a broken election promise?”

“Not really. It was Abbott that promised that and now Turnbull’s PM, he can’t be held responsible for Abbott’s promises. It’d be like trying to suggest that Turnbull broke his promise on the Paid Parental Leave Scheme.”

“But Abbott had already done that.”

“And the Liberal Party have removed Abbott. So they can’t be held responsible for anything he said.”

“Well, according to that logic, if the scenario you predicted comes to pass and Abbott becomes PM again after the next election then he’s not responsible for any of Turnbull’s promises.”


“Isn’t that dishonest?”

“No, as Scott Morrison said the other week, it’s politics. Sometimes you say things because you want to be elected and it’s not the same as saying things because you actually mean them. It’s only when you’re in government that you can start telling the truth about things like the Budget deficit.”

“So what is the truth?”

“We have a bit of a spending problem but not as bad as it was under Labor because we’re getting it under control by not spending money on things such as Gonski. I mean, let’s face it, it’s the quality of the teacher that counts and a good teacher doesn’t need all these fancy things like smaller classes, computers, air-conditioning, classrooms. A good teacher just needs a stick of chalk and a smooth surface and they can inspire.”

“So you’ll be cutting funding to the elite private schools then?”

“No, that’d be outrageously unfair. Many people struggle to send their kids to a place where they can get a good education. Why, many of the parents of these kids don’t even earn enough to pay tax!”

“But if money doesn’t matter and it’s the quality of the teacher…”

“Look, it’s simple. I’ll get you another drink and explain how our education policy has stopped the boats and if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we want a secure Australia with strong borders and jobs and growth and buying you a beer should make you see that it’s only the Liberals who can deliver because Australia Post doesn’t seem to be able to and that’s why we need to privatise it.”

“I’m confused.”

“Exactly. That’s why you voted Labor last time, but only Malcolm has a plan for innovation.”

“Just get me the drink and let’s talk about sport!”

“Gladly. This politics stuff is pretty boring, isn’t it?”

“I agree. I don’t know how you can stand to be a member of Parliament.”



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  1. Sen Nearly Ile

    Rossleigh, your choice of photos set the scene and I absolutely ‘p…..ed myself with this conversation.
    Being a total negative twit however, I think:
    “I’ll get you another drink…”
    should have been ‘Get me another drink…’

  2. Kaye Lee


    Your brilliance at satirical script-writing always leaves me feeling uncomfortable because that conversation could and does take place on a regular basis on conservative sites and I dare say in the halls of power. The cosy symbiotic relationship between politicians using journalists as their mouthpiece and journalists protecting and cultivating their sources means the real questions you so cleverly ask will always be met with ‘another round of drinks’.

  3. Kyran

    For some reason, you have reminded me of Joseph Heller’s work in Catch 22. Two quotes in particular;

    “It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”
    ― Joseph Heller, Catch 22

    “The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.”
    ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
    Wonderful work, Rossleigh. Take care

  4. diannaart

    Joy, Rossleigh, simply joy – in a very dark and disturbing way…

    Kyran – thanks for reminding me why I fell in love with Catch-22 all those years ago – I guess I was subverted early on, I have no regrets and the scars to prove it.

  5. SteveC

    Brilliant mind-numbing gobbledegook! I think the Marx Brothers and Clarke and Dawes are channeling YOU.

  6. Zathras

    As Keating once said – “Canberra is full of people who are shooting rockets and end up falling to the ground as dead sticks.”

    Briggs is not the first and certainly won’t be the last.

  7. margcal

    I second Kaye’s comments …. clever writing but too close to the bone.

    The photo – repeating what I said on FB when it first appeared there.
    I don’t think it should be used.
    There are enough brain dead people out there who would see it and take the first line as a recommendation because the second line is true. They wouldn’t be reading the article and thus see the graphic in the context of the words.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    One can add poor Dutton to that list. What a shambolic, chaotic and clueless government we seem to have.

  9. Kaye Lee

    “PETER Dutton, the minister who once resigned from the frontbench via SMS, yesterday labelled a female journalist a “mad f … king witch” in a text — and then sent it to the journalist instead of the colleague it was intended for.”

  10. Florence nee Fedup

    Also indicates that Dutton is not behind PM when it comes to Briggs. Wonder what he called PM, as mad f*cking witch wouldn’t make sense. #auspol #turc

  11. Möbius Ecko

    Yet the MSM has left out the effing bit of the text, which makes it more offensive.

    Also of note is that Samantha Maiden has forgiven Dutton and downplayed the text. Nothing is more certain if it had been a senior Labor pollie who had texted her as a Mad F…ing Witch it would be Ltd News headlines for weeks if not months and the Labor pollie would be hounded out of office. Another example of the blatant double standards practiced by the MSM and the Libs that makes it somhard for Labor to get ahead.

  12. paul walter

    Yes it is fairly comprehensive. I liked the mention of destablisation from within as a theme, particularly with more to come as to Abbott’s cranks, who are all facing charges of crassness in the eyes of pubic opinion.

    The nonsenses include the above involving Dutton and high profile conservative Jame Briggs re text and pics indicate either deep malevolence or/and crass stupidity, as the uncomfirmed stories of Abyan amd other refugees continue to circulate. Then there is the crass sneakniness involved With Sussan Ley and the sly beginnings of Robb’s FTA agenda.

    I take the push to get Abbott back very seriously. The destabilation will only contnue and it wil come to be seen as probable that Turnbull does not know how to drive the bus.

    Turnbull remains an environmental vandal and his trashing of the ABC ourtrageous.

    The royal commission remains an outstanding example of massive and Instutional blatant corruption, least of all within some unions. What it is about is the cynical thirties style corruption of the legal and public service system by George Bradis

  13. Mark Needham

    Yes. So very true.
    All encompassing.
    Mark Needham

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    Why did Samantha Maiden mention the text if of no importance? Suggest she was ordered to back track. Still offensive comment. Unnecessary text. Shows Dutton not on side PM.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    The more one looks at TURC report, the more one realises how little is in it.

  16. Howard Stagg

    Paul, having just read David Marr’s 2013 Quarterly Essay on Tony Abbott (‘Political Animal’), I think that I have to agree with your comment that you take the push to get Abbott back very seriously. He is so cast in the Santamaria mold that it’s very hard to see him him going anywhere soon; Santamaria was nothing if not long-term and tenacious. Marr quotes Paul Keating: “You know what Tony Abbott’s policy is: ‘If you don’t give me the job, I’ll wreck the place’ “.

    If Tones can’t be persuaded to leave – I suppose they could ‘Pell’ him and send him to the vatican as ambassador – this could be an extremely interesting year as long as we don’t have an early election.

  17. paul walter

    They are the Dead, Howard Stagg. The one consolation left for them is to drag as many bystanders as possible down with them.

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