Abbott addresses his cabinet on terror and tactics prior to Parliament resuming.

8:34 AM

The coalition’s cabinet meeting was opened by Peta ‘Don’t look at me in that tone of voice’ Credlin and Prime Minister for Aboriginal Photo-Opps,Tony Abbott adding that there was a lot on the agenda. A very big agenda. A lot to get through. And if we don’t quite get to everything, today’s edition of the Daily Telegraph will, as always, carry full details of our decisions and resolutions. Abbott winked at Credlin. Credlin stared wordlessly back at Abbott for some time. She went back to sorting through a pile of high-vis vests, assorted sundry hard hats, lycra tights and tie-dyed loin cloths.

It had been an eventful coupla weeks, Emu Dancer Abbott said winking again and jerking his head in his collar like a skittish workhorse bitten by a botfly.

Been a bit on the go. He fiddled with the bottom button of his jacket. But we will get to that shortly. First job is to hand out report cards for those of us who had not yet been in to pick them up. You gutless bastards.

My but they look so big, thought Christopher Pyne who has a trained eye for educational resources. Pyne had missed his performance review when his weekly hairdressing appointment had gone over time because so much work was discovered that needed doing. And then he had been told a long but juicy story about a friend of a former member of Peter Slipper’s office. He just could not get away.

So big! Massive cards. Must have got a job lot off some reality TV, cooking, singing or some such TV show. Nice! He made a mental note to quiz the PM about his new tone of hair colouring. And did he spot some extra thatch? Was Tone intending to go down the Shane Warne path, he wondered. Who said politics was show business for “ugly” people he murmured admiring himself on the new security monitor. Hair today. Gone tomorrow.

Scott Morrison led members in prayer, fell into a trance and began to babble, speaking in tongues.   A quick thinking attendant nearby deftly inverted a nearby wastepaper basket and wedged it tightly over the minister’s head. The meeting resumed accompanied by a seductive low babbling like a neighbour’s radio tuned to the Dapto Dogs or 2GB.

Defence Minister? Peta Rottweiler Credlin scanned the assembled group, holding up an F. Do we have one?, quipped Barnaby Joyce.

“Missing in action”, Pyne chipped in. He couldn’t help himself.

“AWOL, more like it”, he added for good measure.

“Senator the Honourable David Johnston”, Abbott intoned, stepping in before the boys got too raucous.

Just like that prick not to turn up after a coupla weeks’ holiday. Gutless bastard. And I’ve been working my arse off Emu dancing and having my photo taken in the top end. As if I don’t have anything better to do with my time.”

The minister was typically nowhere to be seen.

“Nigel Scullion”


“Keeping a low profile!,”

Warren Truss hoped his witticism would deflect his leader’s wrath. At least he was still awake.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Abbott snarled through gritted teeth. He is quite good at it. His father, Dick is a retired dentist. They had wanted to call their son little Dick but agreed that another Dick in the house would be confusing.

“Scullion absent again”, he snarled to Credlin who was keeping a roll call with notes on her Blackberry. Credlin sighed rolled her eyes and arched her long neck and shoulders in withering disdain.

The meeting proceeded as meetings must. It was agreed that the terror threat and the imminence of random execution would eclipse the budget crisis, absolve the government of all sins of omission and commission and distract the nation from attempting to hold the government to account on anything. The “humanitarian war” would take care of the rest. This was met by universal random noises of approval from those present who were still fully conscious. A spontaneous outbreak of over-hearty applause ensued.

Warren Truss woke up with a start and coughed his teeth into Barnaby Joyce’s cup of tea which he was resting on his lap.

I am with you all the way, John!  Truss boomed, his a voice a stock auctioneer’s at the end of a long sale day. Clearly the Deputy PM had slumbered back into the dream time of the last coalition government where he was already banking his superannuation payout and about to embark on free travel for the remainder of his days.

Credlin hissed. Truss pretended he was just testing Siri on his iPad. He lowered his long head until his chin struck the sharp edge of a pin in his lapel causing him to rear up in pain and knock little Julie Bishop out with an elbow blow to her temple. Pyne was at her side in a flounce and gave her a prolonged kiss of life. Sucking and gurgling sounds ensued for a few seconds before Bishop screamed, eyes crossing “Take it out! And get that thing off me!” Bishop took to kicking and slapping Pyne forcefully, a gesture which found favour with the entire group except the Minister for Sturt himself.

Business resumed but not before Pyne had been dealt some further hearty random slaps and kicks from other members quick to exploit such a rare and long deserved opportunity.

All war questions would be evaded, it was agreed secondly. As too would be any questions including the illegal invasion of Syria, Assad’s genocide, Turkish shootings of refugee Kurds and lies about the existence of any government to speak of in Iraq could be augmented with empty rhetoric about our humanitarian duty. Nothing would be said about numbers in the coalition of the wilting which currently stand at two.

Lurid, graphic details of beheadings would be repeated. Random execution plots would be said to be imminent in all parts of Australia. The phrase on the best available evidence at the time would be brought into play. On no account could the words war, feet on the ground, Assad’s gassing of his own people or Saudi beheadings be brought up. The total lack of anything resembling an Iraqi government or army could safely be deemed to be the result of the Labor Party’s great big new tax on everything, their hopeless mismanagement of everything and their putting of IOU’s in the afternoon tea kitty instead of cash like everyone else.

House Leader Pyne outlined a series of very clever strategies for the day. He circulated a briefing paper on why terrorists hate our way of life and our freedoms, food, hairdressers and barber salons plus another in his capacity as shadow minister for Justice on why all civil liberties should be curtailed indefinitely.

The second was a favour to the Attorney General who has yet to learn about computers. Brandis and Abbott would explain why new anti-terror laws would effectively mean the end of the current rule of law including habeas corpus. Suspended without notice would be all other legal principles governing arrest and fair trials. Everything necessary would be prudently retired in order to facilitate Summary arrest, indefinite detention and any other legal precedents needed to replace onus of proof with suspicion of intent.

Backbenchers would ask fatuous questions of Ministers about terrorism. What was the government doing to combat terrorism? Other leaders would simply turn their backs on the opposition if questions about Ashbygate, actually eventuated as rumoured. Bronwyn “The Rhinocerous” Bishop would continue to deploy her formidable talents as speaker to prevent any semblance of fairness in debate and promised to head-butt Electricity Bill Shorten should he get within striking distance. It was generally agreed, however, to give Shorten a hearing given that he has been so useful to the coalition already. And given his performance so far in this parliament, this can only continue. Members uttering the words budget, RET or responsible competent government would be evicted immediately.