Monday, 22 December 2014

Tony Abbott's Christmas letter

Tony Abbott: Before the egg nog kicked in

Dear [Insert name – MARGIE: Can you help me out here please? Just use last year’s list but cross off Alan, Ray, Karl and that Chris or whatever his bloody name is from Sunrise].

Well, another year – my first full one as Prime Minister of Australia – has passed. Like you, I’m very glad to see the back of it. We’ve had some good times this year. We’ve stopped reporting on the boats (onya Scottie!). We got rid of the carbon tax and the mining tax, which raised no money and no one cared about except Auntie Gina, who sure looked happy at our Easter function. I do love it when she smiles. [PETA, can you work your magic on that last sentence please? Want to convey arms-length affection but can’t think of the right phrasing!].

But really, it’s Jules who’s been the star of our family this year. Or should I say, Julie “Deathstare” Bishop! The kids have even taken to calling her JBish! I guess I’m too much of a ‘daggy Dad’ – or so I keep telling myself – for the kids to give me a cool moniker.

How about all those who reached for their calculators to tally up the gender split when I announced my cabinet, eh? “Only one woman!” they cried. And guess what, she’s the ace in my deck! The best performing woman all year! [PETA: of course except for you. I’m just spit balling here! Feel free to change!]. In fact, she's been so good, I’m DOUBLING the number of women in Cabinet next year. Take that haters! [PETA: I'm trying a bit of pop culture slang here - what do you think?!].

We’ve had quite a few challenges too, I’ll be honest. Poor Joe Hockey has probably had it toughest. In fact, I’ve never seen him so down. I’m thinking of putting one of my old road bikes on chocks and giving it to him for Christmas, because the other night I caught him tucking into a tub of Crème Caramel ice cream with Clive. And it wasn’t a good look, from any perspective.

Joe’s a good lad, he just needs a bit of time away from Mathias Cormann, who I think has become a bad influence. First there was the cigar smoking behind Parliament and then Mattias doing his Arnie impressions, when we’re trying to be the adults in the room! Christopher Pyne has had an awfully rough trot trying to get the young uni bludgers to bankroll their own education. But you know young Christopher! He won’t go down without dragging us all with him! Heh heh heh.  

Anyway, it’s a problem of PR, not policy. We’ve just got to get better at saying bad things, better. It was so much easier when I didn’t have to remember more than three words at a time. Peta’s got me trying this new ‘think-before-speaking-while-still-speaking’ style. So, what that essentially means, is that whilst, some might say…there are questions to answer…I’m not going to be drawn to answer them until I have had the opportunity, that is, the time to reflect, learn and recite verbatim, the key messages that have been approved for me to say.  It’s quite a neat trick! But I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet. I can also repeat a phrase if I get stuck. That is, I can repeat a phrase, repeat a phrase, and hope the minutes tick past so I don’t have to answer any more questions. Gives it more gravitas don’t you think?

Over Christmas, I’ll be spending time working out how we can get off on the right foot in 2015 and by right, I mean left. It’s why I’m thinking of shuffling Malcolm closer to the action (I know, I know, but the lefties love him). I have to hand it to the Silver Fox; he’s done an okay job with the shit sandwich I gave him. The look on his face when I gave the man I credited with inventing the internet the job of reversing all those Telstra trucks from the NBN-promised lands! But the little bugger just kept smiling! Sometimes I just want to shove his good-looking, Prime Ministerial, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth articulate, intelligent smooth talking face into a wall, you know?! [PETA: Please fix! Thought I was back at Uni and got carried away, lol!].

Anyway, we’re Libs, we love each other, no matter what. No knives in backs in our party room. If we have battles – and they’re only ever in the spirit of ideology – we battle with class, like Siamese fighting fish, not backyard bogan brawlers like that mob led by the face of the Faceless Men, Shorten!

So in that positive spirit of Christmas and my new government, I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas. Wherever this finds you, remember, if you’re one of us, you’ll always have a place on Team AustraliaAnd if you’re not, we’ll tow, tow tow your boat, gently back to Indonesian waters! [MARGIE: Please use this or insert other Christmas carol here].

Tony "Your Captain" Abbott,  PM.

Diana Elliott.

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