Now, I know that there’s every chance that this alleged transcript of Abbott’s address tomorrow is not genuine, but I’m sharing it anyway because, well, when was the last time anyone needed to check whether documents were genuine before sharing them with the public. (Think Utegate, people, so if it turns out that this is wrong, I guess I’ll be next Communications Minister).
First let me address the elephant in the room, and before anyone tries accuse me of another gaffe, I’m refering to the Queensland election result, not the journalist sitting to my left. (Pause for laughter) Yes, it was a terrible result for Campbell Newman, and I did consider trying to take time out of my busy schedule to help, but Campbell assured me that everything was okay and that I wouldn’t be needed.
Of course, it’s easy to be wise in hindsight, and yes, if only I’d ignored him and gone there to campaign, things would have been different, Campbell may have kept his seat and we wouldn’t be facing the awful prospect of a hung parliament. But Queenslanders are very proud, and unfortunately, he just couldn’t accept that he needed my help.
But on to more pressing matters. I’ve copped a lot of criticism over the knighthood for Prince Philip, and that’s fine because we live in a country where people are allowed to criticise and say unjustified things, even about someone as important as the Prime Minister and even when the person is doing such a great job, so I’ll just cop it on the chin. But I would like to explain my logic there. There are many people I intend to bestow knighthoods upon…he’s just one of them. If you remember I did say that the people receiving knighthoods didn’t have to be Australian when I re-introduced the honours. Once you see the full list, it wouldn’t look so out of place. In the coming years, I intend to knight John Howard, Rupert Murdoch, Shane Warne, Gina Rinehart, George Pell and, posthumously, Bob Santamaria. I just felt that, as Philip is a man of mature years, who’s been suffering health problems, I better move him up the list a bit, just to be on the safe side. And in order to show my goodwill here, I’m pleased to announce additional knighthoods to Cadel Evans and whoever scored the winning goal in the soccer to be effective immediately.
It’s not always easy being the man in charge, as I’m sure Ange Postecoglou will vouch. Just when you’ve done all the hard work, getting your team a goal up, someone will stuff up and let the other side score! But great leaders don’t give up. The reshuffle their team. Take a few stars off the ground and let some fresh people have a go. Julie Bishop has done a fantastic job as foreign minister, but I feel that it’s time to give her a rest, as she’s looking a bit tired. I’m just asking her, and Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull to go on a fact finding mission to the Ukraine to interview the separatists, followed by a quick tour of Syria to meet with ISIS in the hope of engaging them in dialogue. Scott Morrison will be going to Manus Island and staying there until he’s persuaded all the asylum seekers to either settle in Cambodia or go back where they came from. And he should be quite succesful because when I talk to Scott, I almost wish I could go back where I came from. (Pause for laughter)
When I announced my Paid Parental Leave Scheme, a lot of people said that it was too expensive and it was far too generous, after Labor had wasted all our money on school halls. After all, why do schools need halls when students should be in class being tested. But we are a government who listens, and I’m pleased to say that we’re postponing this policy until the Budget returns to surplus sometime in 2023. And with the savings we make, we’ll be able to subsidise the cost of anyone who currently employs a nanny. Who said we never support the nanny state? (Pause for laughter)
2015 will be an exciting year when we start to see the results of much of our hard work. The abolition of the carbon tax should lead to an increase of $500 in everyone’s household budget, and when the housewives of Australia get their hands on this money, we should see an unprecedented boom in the purchase of new irons. (Pause for laughter) But seriously, the retail sector will be picking up. Did you see how much busier the shops were just before Christmas? The mining sector, freed from the constraints of the mining tax, won’t have to hide their profits any more, which should allow them to dramatically increased the cost of iron ore. And petrol, well, we’ve done a marvellous job of reducing the cost of petrol to less than a dollar a litre in some places. John Howard said that this wouldn’t happen in his lifetime, so I really better check on his health and hurry up with his knighthood. (Pause for laughter)
Yes, for all its stresses, like The Lodge not being ready – another thing Labor didn’t do properly – it’s a great time to be Prime Minister. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it without support from that wonderful woman, who’s done so much for me and has been there through all the hard years. So you can just forget it, Mr Murdoch, that one isn’t negotiable, but I’m sure we can work something out because you’ve always been such a great Australian. Thank you all, and now I’d like to take questions.
While you’re all smirking and assuming everything I write is satiric, have another read of this from last year. Of course, I was making it up.
Of course. Just like I made up the bit about Steve Bracks returning to politics.