Anchor – Good evening, we hoped to bring you an interview with the Aged Care Minister but there was a last minute emergency. He was called away because Mr Morrison needed him to watch some water on the stove and call for help if it started to boil. Apparently he’ll be unavailable for interviews until Canberra runs out of water. Instead we have a spokesperson who is authorised to speak on his behalf. We cross now to Rossleigh.
Rossleigh – Hi, thanks for coming in.
Spokesperson – Good evening.
Rossleigh – I’d like to start off with the Royal Commission. It criticised the government for not having a Covid-19 plan for Aged Care…
Spokesperson – Well, I’ll just reject the premise of your question.
Rossleigh – But I haven’t asked it yet.
Spokesperson – Yes, but when you do I’ll just reject the premise of your question because you’d be suggesting that we didn’t have a plan and I reject that entirely.
Rossleigh – So you’re saying that you had an effective plan?
Spokesperson – Now just a second, will you be asking about whether we had a plan or will you be asking me to evaluate it before we’ve even implemented it?
Rossleigh – So you’re saying that you have a plan but you haven’t implemented it yet?
Spokesperson – Yes, why would we implement it?
Rossleigh – Well, isn’t that the point of a plan?
Spokesperson – No, the point of a plan is to have one. Once you implement it, then Labor would know what it was and, if it was any good, they’d steal it. I mean, if they come up with policies that look like winners, we steal theirs, so why wouldn’t they do the same?
Rossleigh – So you don’t think that the point of a plan is to actually make something happen?
Spokesperson – No, the point of a plan is to make it sound like you’re actually going to do something. Take our plan for jobs and growth…
Rossleigh – Yes.
Spokesperson – Brilliant.
Rossleigh – Yes, but what was brilliant about it.
Spokesperson – Well, we planned to have jobs and growth.
Rossleigh – But how?
Spokesperson – Well, if we told you that then the plan wouldn’t have been secret.
Rossleigh. – I’m not following.
Spokesperson – Look, it’s very simple. You’re obviously pretty new to this type of thing. What the government does is announce that they’re aware of a problem, then they say that they have a plan and then they keep the plan to themself, and that way nobody can criticise it.
Rossleigh. – But you’re in government. Shouldn’t you be implementing your plans?
Spokesperson – Ok, let’s go back to our jobs and growth one. We announce that we’re in favour of growth and we’d like more jobs and then we sit back and wait for private industry to fix everything because governments are the problem and now we’ve said that we’re not going to do anything, then they should feel good and start employing people.
Rossleigh – Yes, but what’s the role of government?
Spokesperson – Our role is to do as little as possible. We device a plan, and if things are concerning people enough, we’ll remind everyone that we actually have a plan even if we’re not going to put into action because that would involve too much government interference in the economy and it’s always best to let market forces rule.
Rossleigh – So how does that square with JobKeeper?
Spokesperson – Yeah, we never planned for that. We just had to do that because if we didn’t introduce JobKeeper people would see just how stuffed the economy really is.I mean unemployment is going to be through the roof as it is, so imagine how much worse it would be if we weren’t pretending that the people on JobKeeper actually had jobs!
Rossleigh – So you’re telling me that the role of the government is simply to pretend that they have a plan?
Spokesperson – No, we actually do have a plan. We just don’t tell anyone about it. And if it looks like people want about more then we announce that we have one and usually that’s enough. If that doesn’t work, we mention some money we allocated in last year’s budget and everybody’s happy and the press all nod and say everything seems to be under control now. I can’t believe you don’t know all this.
Rossleigh – I can’t believe what I’m hearing…
Spokesperson – Come on, this is all obvious. Let’s stop chatting and start the interview.
Rossleigh – This is the interview.
Spokesperson – Surely this was all off the record.
Rossleigh – No. This is all being taped.
Spokesperson – Gee, lucky I’m in the pre-palliative… sorry, Aged Care department. If I stuffed up this badly in another ministry someone would probably notice.
Rossleigh – Thank you and good night.
Spokesperson – You don’t have to say my name, right? Can you just say I work for Michael Sukkar… I mean, there has to be heaps of people falling on their sword with him, right? Maybe just say I’m…
Rossleigh – The tape’s still running.
Spokesperson – Shit! Can we just start again. I’ve got heaps I can leak to you anonymously. You think the stuff leaked to Costello for Sixty Minutes and The Age was dynamite…
Rossleigh – That’s all we have time for.
Spokesperson – Come on, I’ve got dirt on everyone. Just give me the tape. The things I could tell you about one of our ex-PMs… Or better yet, I can give you the recipe for Morrison’s curries. I’m prepared to deal. I’m in line for a safe seat, you know. There’s a plan to dump Tim and I’ve been promised… Oh, turn that tape off…
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