“Sir Governor General … I will only say this once so pay attention,” she said.
While you were away in Nauru someone swore in our new Deputy Prime Minister, did you know, I know you did. Sadly it all looked gagged and scripted to the tones of salience bias and constitutional forgetfulness. Yes, I thought it was a disgrace too.
Now if I were the Governor General I says, I would be speaking to the Queen. There is a hierarchy here isn’t there?
If I were the Governor General I says, this is what I’d say to Malcolm Turnbull, “Look here, sport, I will not be swearing in your deputy PM, and here is why … [eyes float out the window, hands clasped behind my back]”, and I would follow this up with, “Malcolm my old mate, you find someone who is worthy to carry that office, and if you cannot find someone then I will dissolve this government with the powers invested in me under the Constitution of Australia, and let the people decide their fate”. And I would remind him of the catalogue of evidence that would have enabled me to declare my ‘no confidence’ in this government a long time ago … “You’ve had a good run, old chap,” working backwards methodically from the Barnaby Joyce bi-election cover up to save “your cliff-edge marginal voice…sorry arse. Do I make myself clear Prime Minister?”, I says.
Of course if I were the Governor General I says, I would have done this a long time ago and I would be echoing my deep regrets over my glass of Barossa heritage vintage drought shiraz, which I would be waving tediously and unceremoniously in front of him, before looking composed and nonchalant at the door.
And if I were the Queen I says, and gender is no impediment here any longer … (stay with me here), I would be summoning the Governor General for a private head to head, and ask him what he intends to do. I would be reminding him of his responsibility not just to her subjects in Australia, but to the reputation of the Commonwealth, ‘my Commonwealth … our Commonwealth’. And then I would be sending him on my behalf to Nauru if he had any doubts about what I was talking about. I’d tell him privately, “It would not be dignified of me to go to Nauru, Sir ‘Major’ General Cosgrove, this is why my government in Australia pays you vast sums of money to keep you and your esteemed wife in antipodean luxury. Do I make myself clear, Sir ‘Governor’ General?”
“One last thing ‘Sir General’… Do you think Nauru will survive another 50 years or will they become wards of State? You know refugees, rising tides [hint of royal sarcasm and karma in my thorny stare]. Perhaps you could put that question to your Minister for Home Affairs, what’s his name, that potato head chap?” And then I’d wave him out with or without his half empty glass of Olorosa sherry which I thought of offering him pretending that I hadn’t, and my head waiter holding a silver tray adorning the usual coat of arms at the door at the far end of corridor.
I thought I’d write that letter I says, pretending to hold Barddy’s Crown in the mirror, but then she may not read it. If I were the Governor General I says, but clearly I am not.