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Leaks from Tony’s Journal

The Cabinet Maker

The Cabinet Maker

Friday 30 January, 2015
In this week’s journal leaks Tony ponders over why his ministers totally misunderstand the nature of their job.
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Abbott Journal Leaks

I’ve been copping quite a few serves in the media for not doing more cabinet reshuffling when the truth is it’s a lot more trouble than it’s worth.

My summer break is being constantly interrupted by Kevin Andrews, Peter Dutton and Sussan Ley pestering me for help to understand their new portfolios.

They can’t seem to get it into their heads that they’ll never understand their portfolios because they won’t be in the job long enough.

I had to put Kevin into Defence before David Johnston announced his policy to keep Holden open by giving it the submarine contract. He persists in trying to comprehend the complexities of the Defence portfolio despite my reassurances that it’s not his responsibility. It’s the Department of Defence’s job to understand all that stuff. The Defence Minister merely has to remember to keep his head down so as not to be caught in the crossfire between Army, Navy and Air Force or feature in videos produced at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Peter Dutton was a standout choice for Immigration Minister. The job requires the enforcement of absolute confidentiality about Operation Sovereign Borders and not only does he rarely say anything but he talks so softly that only experts in lip-reading can understand what he’s saying.

Sussan was the logical choice for Health Minister because I desperately needed another woman in the cabinet and doctors aren’t quite so rude to women.

I thought about reshuffling Malcolm into Joe’s job but he knows so much about budgeting that his appointment would be embarrassing for Department of Treasury not to say disruptive. Scott Morrison hasn’t asked me for a briefing about his new job. He’s far too preoccupied with briefing me about mine.

The job of a minister is simply to communicate in public and parliament what Peta and I tell them. When they start believing they know more about their portfolios than their departments chaos is inevitable.

When I’m taking a break I can always hand over the reins with confidence to my deputy Warren Truss. All he has to do is repeat what Peta’s saying to him through a direct connection to his hearing aid.

I’ve just had a note from Prince Philip thanking me for the Knighthood. He wants to know whether this makes him Sir Prince Philip or Sir Duke of Edinburgh. He said it gave him almost as much pleasure as when he was honoured by France with a life membership of the Folies Bergere.


About this Series
Tony Abbott writes a regular journal to record for posterity his innermost thoughts about the momentous daily events and decisions that are shaping the very future of Australia. However a confidential source in his office believes the journal is so politically explosive that it could go off before posterity happens so he’s decided to leak it exclusively to Friday Mash in the national interest.

View all articles in the Leaks from Tony’s Journal Series
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