For someone who spends a large part of their time finding ways to make politicians look ridiculous, I must confess to mixed emotions when Tony Abbott was deposed as Prime Minister. Sure, it was good for the country but as any Liberal frontbencher will tell you, “Just because it’s good for the country doesn’t mean it’s good for me!” Little did I realise that, not only would Turnbull give me no reason to pause, but his replacement would leave me feeling like I didn’t have enough time to consider all the ways that I could hold his government up to ridicule.
When Phil “Sergeant Schultz” Gaetjens was put in charge of the inquiry, many of us thought that this would be a repeat of the sports rorts one where he only asked a couple of people if they’d done anything corrupt and was satisfied when they said that they hadn’t. We were wrong. He just decided the best thing was not to ask any questions at all because the AFP told him it would be “unwise”. I’m not sure whether it was because it might jeopardise the investigation that they are allegedly doing or whether it was because he might actually find that contrary to all evidence, Scott Morrison actually knows something. (I mean about this particular event/incident/security breach but the sentence works as a stand alone comment too!)
Anyway, the Opposition seemed to think that they could infer from Morrison’s answer in Question Time that when they questioned Phil the Uncurious next week at Estimates, that he would actually answer the questions. Au contraire, the PM merely said that they could ask him. He never said that there’d be answers. Tell you that last week? Ha ha, why would I do that? No, that’s not misleading. I reject the implication.
But little did I know that I wouldn’t be writing about the Gaetjens non-inquiry because by the end of the day, I’d be asking questions about the so-called Prayer Group. I mean, I’ve heard various journalists refer to the group and it always suggested to me that it was a group of religious MPs who spent some part of each day on their knees seeking a path to glory.
Given what we know now about the prayer room, one hopes that they didn’t meet in the prayer room… Or if they did, one hopes that they weren’t on their knees… Um, that sounds sort of wrong. What I meant was that I hope they did it standing up… Um, what I’m trying to say is that I’m sure that the Prayer Group is a religious group who would have used it for the purpose it was intended.
Perhaps, I should move on to the desk. Or rather, the staffer who was sacked for having an inappropriate relationship with someone else’s. Jen didn’t even have to ask what if it were your daughters’ desk. Swift decisive action. No need to ask how much alcohol was in the desk or why the desk didn’t report it at the time. See, we’re not a mob of misogynists like those silly women are saying… Apparently, Michelle Landry was sorry for the young man because he “loved the place”… How she knows it was genuine love and not just lust, I don’t know.
The Prime Minister fronted the media this morning to assure them he was deeply concerned by all this because his daughters are everything… and Jen she’s also everything…plus he has a mum – a widowed mum – who are everything and they inspire him, so I that’s why his job is nothing. But they’ve motivated him all life and he’s got several announcements up his sleeve about changing culture which is both appalling and not really worse than other places. He managed to justify his answer about getting an update about the end of the Gaetjens investigation by telling everyone that he didn’t mislead Parliament when he said he hadn’t had an update about anything because there’s nothing to update and he doesn’t know when he’ll get the final report because he won’t, so when he said that he didn’t know, well, what could be clearer than that. Apart from possibly saying last week that the whole thing had been put on hold.
Yes, while Parliament is a toxic culture where entitled males run rampant, is it any different from where you work? After all, as Scottyfromrejectedpremises said, nobody can be expected to know everything that’s going on, or if you’re PM, anything. Why, Andrew, there’s an investigation into an incident at NewsCorp which I know all about even if you don’t, so don’t go throwing stones. “Be careful!” Which isn’t a threat it’s just a simple statement and certainly not implying that there are countries not all that far from here where journalists are met with bullets for questioning authority.
However, it does make one wonder how lax things must be at NewsCorp when a complaint like that is mentioned in the PM’s press conference. I mean, who told him? If the Liberals can keep a sexual assault so confidential that Scott Morrison never hears about it, how did he find out about this one? Surely not gossip because he never comments on that, so it must have been official.
Still, criticising the culture at a Murdoch operation is a brave move. A very brave move.
He’ll be gone within the week!
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