Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The secret diary of Tony Abbott

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Tribune Exclusive: extracts of Tony Abbott’s campaign diary, smuggled out of Abbott’s bedside table by our master under-cover journalist, Ben Pobjie.

Friday, September 6

Went for a run in the morning. Thirty kilometres. Felt a bit bad for slacking off so when I got home punched myself in the stomach for fifteen minutes. Felt better. All through breakfast had nagging feeling there was something I was supposed to do today. Asked Margie but she had no idea. Asked Frances but she had decided she would only be speaking in burps today. Finally Bridget let me know that the election was tomorrow. I’d almost forgotten! I’m such a dag!

Morning meeting with Julie, to go over some details about the portfolio she’ll have after tomorrow. “Don’t forget Julie: the election’s not over yet,” I warned her, and we had a good laugh. She loves my sense of humour. She showed me a model of India she’d made out of egg cartons. It was pretty good but she’d given it wheels, which I don’t think the real India has. I told her it was great. “I’m a real foreigner!” she beamed. I let her have the moment. She’s earned it. Loyal girl. Loyal, loyal girl.

Had lunch with Bridget. She was looking smokin’ in a tan pantsuit. So proud. She told me that after the election she was considering becoming governor-general. I told her I would help her any way I could, but couldn’t guarantee anything: it’s really up to the Reserve Bank.

After lunch had a last-ditch tour of the electorate. Visited local merchants and showed them how much I could bench-press: they seemed impressed. Met one old lady who said she wouldn’t vote for me: laughed it off, but later on cried a lot in bed. Margie comforted me with a rusk. She really is quite a woman.

Saturday, September 7

Election day! Started off with a light 50km run before eating a few eggs to keep my energy levels up. Michelle Bridges is right: they DO taste better with the shells on. Then I had to vote, which was a bit of a drag: bo-ring! Margie kept me entertained while we waited though, with her impressions of famous Liberal leaders. She is amazing: her Brendan Nelson is absolutely uncanny. Unfortunately Brendan was behind us in the line and things got a bit tense.

When it came time to vote, I got a bit daunted by the Senate paper. It was huge. It said I could vote above the line or below it, but I did both because I plan to govern for all Australians. For the House of Representatives I forgot for a minute which party I’m in, so I just wrote “ME” at the top and drew smiley faces in all the boxes. I think they’ll get the gist.

After voting I was at a bit of a loose end, so I went for a 50km swim. Got attacked by a few sharks, but managed to fight them off. Felt very prime ministerial. On the way back to the office, got a call from Joe. He told me he’d just realised it’s called a Treasury because it has treasure in it. I told him that was great and I’d give him a star on his Joe Chart. He was very happy.

Felt very tense all afternoon. The girls tried to relax me by performing a little play they’d written, called “Minxy Flickster Builds A Church”. It was absolutely brilliant. Made me feel a lot better. Read my “How To Be A Prime Minister” pamphlet. It helped a bit, but I wish I had one that I hadn’t written myself. I’m not sure if I’m ready to be prime minister. Rang George B and asked him if I was. He said yes so I guess that’s OK.

Spent the evening watching the tallies come in. A lot of people seemed to vote for me, which was quite nice really. I suggested ringing them to say thank you, but Margie said it would take too long. Why won’t she let me be me?

All through the night the people on TV kept talking about “seats”. I asked Mr Howard if I had a seat. He told me I had a very safe seat which was a relief. I asked if it was a nice one, but he didn’t seem to hear me.

After a few hours I got a phone call from Kevin. Sure I made a huge fool of myself – I always go into such a giggly mess when I talk to him! He congratulated me, I suppose on my seat being so safe. I congratulated him back. “Thanks, I really deserve it,” he said, and he does. I think he’ll do well in future. I asked him if I was prime minister yet. He hung up. I asked Margie and she said I would be soon. So happy I went for a run.

After that I had to make a speech, which I hate. But Margie wrote all the words out for me to read so it wasn’t too bad I suppose. Everyone cheered, which was nice – I bet it was because they noticed the definition in my laterals.

Got a call from Sophie Mirabella. Hard to make out what she was saying – sounded like she was underwater. Had to hang up on her anyway because Julie had come in and was asking who I wanted in my cabinet. I told her nobody, I wanted a bit of personal space.

Sunday, September 8

Woke up and went cycling. A lot of people high-fived me as I rode past, which was great to see – I love how into cycling people are. Cycled for a few hours, then went back to my office to work on repealing the carbon tax. I printed out “NO CARBON TAX PLEASE” on a piece of glossy paper, but Peta said it would take more than that. I said I would print out some more, but she said there’d have to be a “vote”. Can’t believe it – we just HAD a vote! Got a bit grumpy, so Peta sent me to my room. Joke’s on her, that’s where my Ninjagos are! Played with them all day. Scott Morrison dropped by but I was busy so I just told him he could have as many boats as he wanted.

Monday, September 9

Got up at 4am, ran fifty laps of the house, went back to bed. Very uncomfortable sleep – all the girls insisted on getting into bed with us, and I nearly fell out several times. When I got up again later, I had to do a bunch of interviews. Had a chat to Ray Hadley: I wanted to talk about my parental leave plan, but he seemed to just want to ask me about antiques. He wanted to know what the biggest antique I’d ever seen was. He said his was a piano. Got a bit freaked out when he started begging me to come home with him and look at his big piano, and then accused me of never having even seen a grandfather clock. Made my excuses and left after half an hour. Later on Peta told me we weren’t actually on the radio. A bit worried about Ray.

Did interview with Chris Kenny. He asked me what my sperm count was. Told him my sperm was committed to direct action. He seemed satisfied. Asked me at the end of the interview to autograph his daughter. Was happy to. A big part of a prime minister’s job is signing autographs, and I think it’s one of the thing I did best.

Was in the middle of my usual afternoon triathlon when I got a worrying call: Sophie had been arrested taking possession of consignment of smuggled machine guns. Bailed her out, but I was furious. Asked her why she did it: she told me it was just a hobby. But I have my suspicions: she has a tattoo of Cathy McGowan sitting on her own severed head taking up her entire back. Told Margie about my suspicions: she wanted to know how I knew what was on Sophie’s back. Explained that I always made regular physical examinations of all my MPs. Explanation backfired when Margie made me prove it by physically examining Eric Abetz. Very awkward, especially later on when I got a presentation boxed long-stemmed single red rose from Eric.

Dinner with Chris Pyne in the evening. He wouldn’t stop running around the table yelling “WHEEEEEEEE!” Told him he was embarrassing me and to sit down, but he refused. I think he might be off his medication. When our meals arrived he threw his fish at the waitress. Told him if he didn’t stop it he couldn’t be Education Minister: this made him sulk. From then on he would only speak in surly grunts and it was impossible to discuss school funding. Gave up and went home. As I left the restaurant Chris was dancing on the table.

Tuesday, September 10

Early-morning run with Bridget, who was looking positively edible. It’s great being a father. Asked her how she was going with the governor-general thing. She said she’d changed her mind and joined the army instead. She’s doing army by correspondence, so she’ll be able to stay at home, which is nice. Great to see her giving something back to the country.

Today was the day the new government gets down to business. Told Joe to start work on the budget emergency. Joe had lost his calculator. Told him to use the one on his phone. He said his phone was locked and he’d forgotten the password. Julie let him borrow her phone. Joe dropped it and cracked the screen. Julie punched him. Joe cried and ran away. It was a start, but we have a long way to go before the budget is in surplus again.

Asked Julie what her plans for foreign policy were. She got her guitar out and played me a song she’d written about Brazil. It was pretty good, I had to admit.

Next meeting was with Barnaby. Didn’t last long – he tried to shoot me as soon as I opened the door, so I made my excuses. On the way out bumped into Warren Truss. Apologised, but he said not to worry, people often mistook him for furniture. Asked him if he was glad about the election result. He said it was hard to take notice of events on such a brief timescale when one had lived through millennia.

Spent the afternoon walking the streets yelling “Open for business!” until Peta made me go inside. She really does not know how to have fun.

Dinner with Margie and the girls. Thanked them for all their efforts during the campaign and said they could eat at the big person’s table for once as a reward. While they were doing the dishes, called Sophie to see how she was holding up. She told me she was outside my house in a tree.

Too afraid to leave house. May have to abdicate.

Ben  Pobjie

Ben has not one but TWO hilarious books out now. Surveying the Wreckage and Superchef.

Follow him on twitter @benpobjie