• Feed RSS
Comedians Toby Halligan and Mathew Kenneally reveal the internal workings of Federal Parliament with their exclusive access to diary entries from within the halls of power.
MONDAY 23/11/09


Booked holiday flights to Hawaii for Friday evening.

ETS bill before senate tomorrow. Still don’t understand it.

Air conditioning was playing up. Stood in front of fridge for a while and felt better.


Barnaby visited office to rant. Thinks everyone should stay in Canberra to fight ETS over summer.

Dislike Barnaby.

TUESDAY 24/11/09


Party room debate on the ETS today, issues to consider:


1) Go to Hawaii for summer (!!)
2) Future of planet (?)
3) End of ETS debate = Fewer conversations with Barnaby (!!!!)


1) More Tax = bad
2) Process of being dragged into One World Government (!?!?) begins (Who controls? UN?  Al Gore? Reptoids?)
3) Party base elderly, don’t like cold weather.


65 speeches later still not sure. Thank god Malcolm didn’t make us vote. Hard to vote absentee when you’re in the room.

Tense party meeting but Turnbull had clear majority.

WEDNESDAY 25/11/09


Turnbull called another party meeting.

Breakfast with Kevin Andrews. Seems he’s challenging Turnbull, unclear why.

Told him I saw him more as a friend than a leader. Awkward.

Weather in Hawaii looks beautiful.


Phew! Malcolm won 48 to 35.

Result, again, was clear as day.

Hawaii here I come!

THURSDAY 26/11/09


Visit from Nick Minchin. He thinks Turnbull actually lost vote on Tuesday and Wednesday.  At first I was confused, 48 to 35 seemed clear.

Nick explained that my view of the maths was wrong. He said no clear consensus exists on how to count the votes. Said he is a maths sceptic. Also pointed out that the vote wasn’t representative of the Liberal party given Andrew Bolt didn’t get to vote (Note: must check why that is).

Nick stormed off.


Abbott just blew in. Says ETS is tearing party apart. Says Nick’s so upset he’s threatening to commit suicide with a diesel 4WD, if ETS goes through. Tuckey’s so angry he spent afternoon threatening trees in Parliamentary courtyard.

Abbott asked if I supported getting rid of Malcolm. I agreed. Always regretted missing the knife Nelson bandwagon late, didn’t want to miss this one.
Just sent off resignation to The Australian, and updated Facebook status.

Bodes well for Hawaii!


Abbott just in. Said my resignation had problems. One, I forgot to send resignation to Malcolm. Two, he complained my statement did not emphasise how long it took me to make the difficult decision to resign. Told Abbott I did not want to lie to public. Thirdly, Tony very upset that I said I had lost confidence in Malcolm’s leadership. Says this is not about leadership but policy. I asked him if we were still knifing Malcolm. He said yes.

Am confused.

Decided I should raise it with leader.  Called J. Howard. Phone busy. Will try in morning.

FRIDAY 27/11/09


Worst day ever. Wife in Hawaii without me.

Media is calling it a mutiny. Ridiculous. Not enough agreement or organisation to qualify as mutiny.

Sat in Senate all day. No vote and Evans and Wong yelled at us for breaking deal. Tired of being yelled at.

Malcolm still keen on being leader. Not sure why.

Tried to call JWH. Phone busy.

SATURDAY 28/11/09


Leadership race is on. Tony called during marathon bike ride (freak).

Tony is running for the leadership but does not want to be leader. He gave lots of good reasons why Joe should be leader. I promised to vote for or against him. Tony happy.  Pretty sure he is insane.

Very good arguments for Joe. Party still debating it though. Hockey in particular is anti-Joe. Called me to insist he should not be leader.

JWH phone still engaged.

SUNDAY 29/11/09


Turnbull says Abbott and Minchin destroying party. Turnbull now yelling at everyone.

Do they yell in Hawaii?


Joe now wants to be leader. Abbott on TV in speedos. Decision clear.

Everyone says Joe and Dutton can unite party. Apparently, Dutton does not have seat. Nobody seems worried by this.

Unclear why all this took a week. Am thinking of demanding inquiry.
We are hanging around next week to vote against ETS. This means no Hawaii and more Barnaby.

I hate the ETS.

MONDAY 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. Secretary arrives and lets me in (Note to self: demote Secretary).

Media adviser shows me angry e-mails from the base. Base crazier than I remember.

Threatening to never vote for us ever again.

Inquire of Secretary which other party base intends to vote for. 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.

Abbott confused.

Grab opportunity. Tell Abbott he’s breaking up, make static noises, hang up phone.

Scotch running low.

Moments Later

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.

Finish scotch.

TUESDAY 01/12/09

Early Morning

Wake up in office. Have 93 missed calls.

Must weigh up options...

Morning - 8:30am

Secretary brings coffee. Have conference under desk. Abbott and Hockey both loose in building. Secretary explains positions.

Secretary says, Turnbull is pro everyone voting to pass ETS. Hockey is for free vote on ETS, ETS passes anyway. Abbott against ETS. Joining Family First still not option. Secretary says Hockey and Turnbull have same policy. Maybe somebody should tell them.

Secretary’s conclusion: Turnbull widely despised by party, Abbott loved by base – base un-electable. Hockey only choice.

Morning - 9:15am

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.

Morning - 9:30am

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.

Morning - 10:30am

In office. All my fault. Tell Secretary. Secretary gets scotch. Says best not to come forward – not voting properly bad for future career prospects. Secretary says she will start rumour it was Judith Troeth (Note: promote Secretary).

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.