Secret diary of a Liberal MP Part II: Who voted “no”
In order to help people better understand the last week, an anonymous Liberal front bencher has made available excerpts of their private diary to comedians Matt Kenneally Toby Halligan for The Punch. This time we can reveal who voted “no” in the final leadership ballot.
MONDAY MORNING 30/11/09
Dreamed of Hawaii. Woke up in Canberra. Nightmare.
Still, happy – drama is over. Hockey almost leader.
Have Senate duty. Will be okay, have Dan Brown novel(s).
LATE MORNING PARLIAMENT
Forgot pass. Guards very jumpy. Can’t get into building. Was optimistic I might miss Senate debate. Staffer arrives and lets me in (Note to self: demote staffer).
Press secretary shows me angry e-mails from the base. Base crazier than I remember.
Threatening to never vote for us ever again.
Inquire of Press Secretary which other party base intends to vote for. Press secretary agrees base just bluffing and will forgot about ETS when next boat arrives.
Email from wife. Wife angrier than base but lacks clear position on ETS. Wife has clear view on Abbott, says none of book club friends like Abbott. Ask are book club friends in base?
Wife hangs up.
POST MORNING SESSION IN SENATE
Xenophon excited about Senate debate. Xenophon needs to get laid.
POST AFTERNOON SESSION IN SENATE
Senate now dealt with 85 amendments to ETS. 125 left. Why are we amending something we will not pass?
Xenophon still having great time. Something not right about Xenophon.
Hockey meets Turnbull. Footage of Hockey going for walk makes Sky News. Media haven’t covered walking since JWH.
Must be An Omen.
Media says all over. Hockey leader, ETS to be delayed.
Hawaii back on cards! Call travel agent and pour scotch.
10 MINUTES LATER
Disaster! Hockey no longer consensus candidate.
Barnaby and Tuckey charge into office screaming. Joyce screams at me. Tuckey yells at fern.
Both angry about conscience vote on ETS and think Hockey wants to murder party.
Tuckey would rather surrender to Al Qaeda than pass ETS.
Joyce would rather make Indonesia part of Australia.
Joyce declares conscience vote unconscionable. Joyce proud of clever line. Leaves to find journalists.
Tuckey leaves screaming.
Continue to drink scotch.
5 MINUTES LATER
Bronwyn Bishop has written opinion piece demanding party back. Pleasant surprise, did not know she was still alive. Says we can win in 2010.
Makes Fielding seem reasonable. Seriously considering Fielding’s offer to join Family First.
4 MINUTES LATER
Just heard Fielding proposed Royal Commission into climate change.
I was wrong, Bishop is more rational.
3 MINUTES LATER
Abbott calls from Parliament gym showers (wife is right about Abbott). Abbott now running for leader for real and wants my vote. However, still insists he does not want to be leader, and that Joe is a great guy.
Abbott reminds me I promised to vote for him on Saturday. Tell Abbott that on Saturday I actually promised to vote for or against him and will keep promise.
Grab opportunity. Tell Abbott he’s breaking up, make static noises, hang up phone.
Scotch running low.
Secretary says Abbott is outside.
Tell Secretary to tell Abbott I’m not in. Turn off lights, and hide under desk.
Phone rings. Turnbull. Turn off phone.
Wake up in office. Have 93 missed calls.
Must weigh up options…
TUESDAY MORNING 830AM
Staffer brings coffee. Have conference under desk. Abbott and Hockey both loose in building. Staffer explains positions.
Staffer says, Turnbull is pro everyone voting to pass ETS. Hockey is for free vote on ETS, EST passes anyway. Abbott against ETS. Joining Family First still not option. Staffer says Hockey and Turnbull have same policy. Maybe somebody should tell them.
Staffer’s conclusion: Turnbull widely despised by party, Abbott loved by base – base un-electable. Hockey only choice.
TUESDAY MORNING 915 AM
Arrive to party room wearing same suit from night before. Robb hugs me. Says if I ever need to talk he’s there.
First ballot vote. Decide to vote for Turnbull, feel sorry for him – terrible for someone to have no friends.
TUESDAY MORNING 930 AM
Shit. Hockey gone. Not good. Now out of Turnbull and Abbott.
How is Abbott still in race? Was I only one to see speedos? If Abbott wins wife never speak to me. Definitely Turnbull. Get out red pen and write “NO” next to Abbott.
TUESDAY 1030 AM
In office. All my fault. Tell Staffer. Staffer gets scotch. Says best not to come forward – not voting properly bad for future career prospects. Staffer says she will start rumour it was Judith Troeth (Note: promote staffer).
Bishop somehow still deputy leader, not Dutton. Surprising, but this is healthy. Good to have Deputy who is woman and has seat.
Tuckey came to office. Very calm now. Hugged me (Note: Be nice to Tuckey. Think he knows about my “No” vote). Says we now have clear policy. Policy is that Liberal party does not believe climate change is a problem, and that Liberal party has better solution to problem of climate change.
Going to Hawaii. Not going to bother trying to understand policy. By the time I get back we will have new policy and leader.
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