Leaks from Tony’s Journal
Keeping Malcolm out of the Middle
Joe came to see me last week. He’s such a delightful human being and loyal to the core but there are times when I despair about him ever being able do a simple thing like running the nation’s finances.
“Look” he said “I’m really in a bind over the budget. I can’t cut back on health, education or social services, coal and iron ore are dirt cheap and I can’t raise taxes or charge people for going to the doctor. So what the hell can I do?
“It’s simple” I said “you’ve got to raid the superannuation funds of your rich mates and charge them corporate tax even if they aren’t a business just in case they’ve got zillions stashed away in Switzerland”
“I couldn’t do that” cried Joe “they’d all go and live in the Cayman Islands and leave me here trying to make ends meet by taxing my poor mates”
That’s the trouble with Joe, he can’t see the white writing on the wall. Even if his arse was on fire he wouldn’t think of switching to non-flammable toilet paper.
“Here’s the bottom line Joe” I said “if we do something as breath-takingly brain-dead as including six months paid parental leave and doctor co-payments in this next budget Malcolm will be in the Lodge faster than you can say “good government starts any day now” and you and I will become as loyal as humanly possible to Malcolm while plotting deviously Kevin-style to dump him”
“I’m frightened that you’re going to fire me” said Joe “and appoint Malcolm as Treasurer”
“Are you mad?” I cried “I’m not going to appoint somebody to the job who would make it immediately apparent that you and I have about as much chance of running a sound economy as Knox Grammar School have of teaching Prince George”
Peta’s really pestering me because I’ve partly de-barnacled her by not letting her go into parliament or cabinet meetings and I’ve forbidden her to attack ministers unless they publicly agree with Malcolm.
She protests this is unfair because she makes a much bigger contribution to running the country than most of them. Whilst that is probably true I’ve got to be mindful of the possibility of ministers taking out AVOs against her.
Predictably there was a significant improvement in my poll numbers last week. Many commentators viewed it merely as a response to the brain-dead economic policy released by Bill Shorten or as a vote of sympathy from people who saw it saw as inevitable that Malcolm will resume his leadership alliance with Godwin Grech.
However these numbers are extremely encouraging given that I haven’t actually got round to starting good government yet.