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The Brough End Of The Pineapple

“Well, Brough will have to resign now, won’t he?”

“No, not at all. He has a right to the presumpton of innocence.”

“Presumption of innocence? That’s a bit hypocritical. Your mob didn’t seem to worry about that in the case of Craig Thomson.”

“That was different. We all decided that he was guilty.”

“But isn’t everyone entitled to the presumption of innocence until a court finds them guilty?”

“Not if they’ve confessed. And Craig Thomson was a self-confessed member of the Labor Party until they threw him out.”

“Anyway, I wasn’t referring to Mal Brough’s guilt or innocence of the charges. He’s guilty of misleading parliament and convention demands that any minister who misleads parliament should resign.”

“Yeah, but you’re forgetting that John Howard changed that convention just slightly so that it only applied if a minister knowingly mislead parliament. That way, you could just say that you were sorry and that you had no idea what was going on and that you weren’t really telling a lie, you were just incompetent and therefore had every right to stay on as a minister. Sort of like the way Turnbull handled the whole Godwin Grech thing when he was Opposition Leader. Great practice for when he became a member of the Cabinet.”

“But even with the John Howard changes, Brough still has to go.”

“How do you figure?”

“Well he told parliament that Channel 9 had selectively edited the tape so that it sounded like he was admitting to asking Ashby to procure Peter Slipper’s diary.”

“And they had!”


“Yep. They’d selected the bit where Liz Hayes asks him if he asked Ashby to get copies of Slipper’s diary and placed the bit where he answers that question immediately after it. That was very selective.”

“That’s not what selective editing means.”

“Well, Mal Brough can’t be expected to know that. He’s only a politician, not a media expert.”

“Ok then, if he didn’t mislead parliament. Why did he deny it when asked the very same question that Liz Hayes asked by Mark Dreyfus?”

“Because it wasn’t true. He didn’t ask Mr Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper’s diaries.”

“He’s on film saying that he did!”

“Yes, he was lying to Liz Hayes, not to Parliament.”

“So it’s all right to lie to a reporter?”

“I’d prefer to call it boasting. Lying is such a harsh word. It’s unparliamentary, you know.”

“You just said he was lying yourself.”

“I don’t think I did. Do you have film of it?”

“Of course not!”

“Then it’s your word against mine. Which means I’m telling the truth.”

“No it doesn’t, it just means… Never mind!”

“So it’s clear then. Mal Brough’s done nothing wrong except to get carried away trying to impress Liz Hayes that he actually had a role in trying to bring down Peter Slipper when, in fact, all he’d done was offer some advice to a young staffer who was having trouble with a boss who was sexually harassing him with unwanted text messages.”

“Hang on, that case was thrown out.”


“Well, isn’t Slipper entitled to the presumption of innocence?”

“Of course not. He’d left the Liberal Party, so he falls into the David Hicks category.”

“But wasn’t he a member of the Liberal Party when he – allegedly – claimed those trips to the wineries?”

“Now you’re just trying to use a technicality to defend an indefensible, horrific crime against Australia.”

“I’d hardly call fudging travel expenses a crime against Australia!”

“I meant leaving the Liberal Party.”

“So you don’t think Mr Brough will be forced to resign.”

“On the contrary, I think he’ll be promoted after his dazzling parliamentary performance of saying nothing whenever asked a question.”


“Yes. He has Immigration Minister written all over him. Whether it’s now, or when Peter Dutton becomes Deputy Leader, I don’t know, but …”

“How could they make a nuph-nuph like Dutton deputy?”

“Hey, you said that about Abbott and he become the most successful PM to be kicked out of office by his own party in less than two years.”

“Isn’t he the only PM to have that happen to him?”

“Well, if you want to indulge in casuistry …”


“Hair-splitting arguments.”

“Oh, OK. But Dutton?”

“Well, Turnbull has to do something for his own protection. A number of the Party have expressed the view that Bishop can’t stay in the job.”

“Because of her role in getting rid of Tony Abbott?”

“No, because she’s a woman.”

“Isn’t that a bit sexist?”

“We don’t see it that way. We don’t think that she can’t be deputy because she’s a woman; we just think that because she’s a woman she clearly isn’t the best man for the job.”

“And Dutton is?”

“Yep, since he became Immigration Minister we haven’t had a single boat arrival reported.”

“Wasn’t there one the other day?”

“No, it didn’t arrive. We found it and towed it back out to sea.”

“But if your tough policy is supposed to be humane because it’s about preventing drownings, doesn’t towing a boat back out into the ocean sort of undercut that a bit?”

“No, we’re only concerned with preventing the drownings of the people who have done the right thing and stayed on land. Anyone on the sea deserves to drown… But only as a deterrent to others, of course.”

“Sorry, I’ve just got a news report on my phone of a mass shooting in the USA.”


“I don’t know.”

“That’s awkward. I don’t know whether to argue for boots on the ground in Syria or to rail against the idiots calling for greater gun control.”

“Or whether to treat it as the insane act of a few people, or to blame the religious leaders for not condemning the violence strongly enough?”


“Yes, it must be hard when you’ve actually got to wait for more evidence before expressing an opinion.”

“Well, nobody on either side of politics likes doing that!”




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  1. Adrianne Haddow

    Great post, Rossleigh.

    A blend of Monty Python and Clarke & Dawe on steroids.
    Still laughing, in between my sobs at the realisation this is actually happening, in our parliament of fools.

  2. townsvilleblog

    If I can attend a court and plead ‘not guilty’ and then go outside and plead ‘guilty’ Brough should have nothing to worry about, what a hypocrite!

  3. margcal

    Could you get any nearer the truth, Rossleigh?
    Scary days 🙁

  4. John Fraser


    "Presumption of innocence"

    This is how it goes :

    Yes/No ….. I was answering the part of the question in the way I thought she wanted me to.

    A Broughism.

    And both belong in the crapper.

  5. trishcorry

    Lol this is very good. I found myself reading it in a Clarke and Dawe voice/s. Maybe you should draft their next skit and send it to them!

  6. Michael Taylor

    Trish, Rossleigh is certainly a skilled satirist.

  7. jim

    The sad thing is that Brough ans Ashly will be praised as
    really “fine politicians” and outstanding honest men ughh.

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