I’m not sure if this was sent to me by mistake!
Transcript of meeting.
Malcolm – Ah, Peter. Sit down.
Peter – Now, there’s no need to thank me, I…
Malcolm – Thank you?
Peter – Yeah, for distracting everyone from those cuts to Gonski and Medicare. Isn’t that the plan for this week?
Malcolm – Are you suggesting that you sent that text deliberately?
Peter – Um… No, but I just thought that it worked out well.
Malcolm – Worked out well?
Peter – Yeah, I rang Sam and we had a good laugh about it. We laughed and laughed. I suggested that maybe she’d like to go to a Hong Kong bar with me and she laughed and laughed, and told me that I was unbelievable…
Malcolm – Yeah, well I’m with her on that. Have you any idea how this looks to the general public?
Peter – I suppose some might think that I shouldn’t have sworn in the text message…
Malcolm – You called her a “f*cking witch”. We’ve been trying really hard to distance ourselves from accusations of sexism and you do this. I mean, Tony tried to argue that he didn’t see the “Ditch the Witch” sign. I don’t think you can argue that you didn’t see your own text!
Peter – I could say that it was sent by a member of my staff and that they didn’t draw it to my attention.
Malcolm – That’ll never work.
Peter – It worked for John Howard plenty of times!
Malcolm – This is going to undercut a lot of my work promoting women to cabinet.
Peter – Well, it might seem a little bit sexist, but surely it’s only women who’ll care.
Malcolm – Women make up over half the population!
Peter – When did that happen?
Malcolm – It didn’t happen! It’s always been like that.
Peter – Oh, so you want me as Immigration Minister to stop more women coming in?
Malcolm – No. You’re here to discuss the re-shuffle.
Peter – Does this mean your going to make me Deputy Leader?
Malcolm – Why would I make you that?
Peter – Well, there’s talk that I’m now leading the conservatives in the Liberal Party.
Malcolm – Are you?
Peter – I don’t know, they haven’t told me yet.
Malcolm – No, I’m not making you deputy. But I am considering changing your portfolio.
Peter – But you said that my talents were best suited to being Immigration Minister.
Malcolm – I said that you were best suited to a job where all you had to do was keep repeating, “I don’t comment on operational matters” and stay away from open mikes, but I forgot to confiscate your phone, so I’m wondering if you might be better suited to something like Foreign Affairs.
Peter – But Julie’s doing that, isn’t that a girl’s job?
Malcolm – She’s the first female Foreign Minister we’ve had.
Peter – Yeah, but before her it was Kevin Rudd and Alex Downer. I mean it’s not a real blokey sort of job. Tony’s never done it.
Malcolm – I don’t really think you’re grasping this non-sexist language concept.
Peter – No, I get it. I shouldn’t say anything that’ll upset those feminazis, like “women’s work” or “ugly bitch” or “Just get us a cup of coffee, dear” when I’m speaking to a female head of state.
Malcolm – Ah, progress. Anyway, you’re telling me that you don’t want to be Foreign Minister?
Peter – Not if I’ve got a choice.
Malcolm – Well, how about if you take over Mal Brough’s job?
Peter – Oh, what’d he do?
Malcolm – Well, nobody actually knows, so it’d be a perfect job for you.
Peter – But is it a promotion?
Malcolm – That’s the beauty of the job. It’s the most important job in Parliament because you’re in charge of making sure that we all act with propriety and integrity.
Peter – How do I do that?
Malcolm – That’s the beauty of job, nobody knows!
Peter – Ok then, what happens when Mal’s cleared. Does he get his old job back?
Malcolm – Ah, Peter, you do make me laugh. So, Special Minister of State it is then. And part of the condition of the job is that you don’t have a mobile phone.
Peter – But how will I contact people then?
Malcolm – They’ll contact you. Until someone contacts you, I’d like you to sit in your office and wait.
Peter – What am I waiting for?
Malcolm – The election…
Peter – And then I start campaigning?
Malcolm – No, you’re waiting for the election to be over.
Peter – I see.
Malcolm – There’s a first.
Peter – What?
Malcolm – Nothing. Off you go. Just hand your phone to my secretary as you go.