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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.
Kevin 07 to 10 - Rest in Peace

By Annie Hackette

MONDAY 21/06/10

Morning – 6:00am

Back at work refreshed from long weekend, took ALL of Sunday off. Watched Socceroos draw with Ghana. Thought they did well but media seemed REALLY hostile to the coach!

Check latest Newspoll. Great for PM: ALP 52 – Libs 48. Everyone feeling more relaxed, except Rudd Press Secretary (RPS). Economics Adviser (EA) tells RPS that if he had a healthy understanding of statistics he would probably relax a bit more. RPS agrees but says he enjoys having sexual relations with women. EA points out he has girlfriend! RPS asks EA if he’s ever heard of “outliers”.

9:00am

Just found out EA and I are going to G20! Might meet Obama! OMG so West Wing!!!

EA super excited about going to G20 as economics adviser of only successful economy in world. Plans to put together instruction manual for other EAs.

Lunchtime

Guy called David Bradbury rings. At first am excited, have never spoken to Winter Olympic medalist. Turns out he’s just a backbencher. Bradbury requests a meeting with the Prime Minister (PM) to talk about boat people.

30 Minutes Later

PM pleased to hear from Bradbury. Writes note on the back of a Kevin07 postcard thanking Bradbury for his interest in the Australian government – asks me to take it to Bradbury myself – “give it the personal touch”.

RPS tells me to go get at least 8 coffees. Ask who for and how they want them. RPS says it doesn’t matter, always need coffee.

30 Minutes Later

On way to getting coffees I bump into Bill Shorten and Mark Arbib. Shorten says “Mark and Bill Shorten were just talking about how the Socceroos coach, Pim Verbeek, is terrible at rewarding talent and has lost the faith of his players. Every time Verbeek opens his mouth everyone wonders whether he’s speaking English.” Suggest Shorten should talk to Sports Minister. Shorten congratulates me for great idea – asks me if I would “like a job with Bill Shorten.” Tell Shorten I already have a job with PM. Shorten tells me to think about it, he’ll give me to the end of the week.

Afternoon

Accompanied PM to function with Chinese delegation. PM was in good spirits. Told me he is looking forward to meeting leaders of G20 economies as he likes helping those less fortunate than himself.

TUESDAY 22/06/10

Morning

Leaving for Canada on Thursday! Only one sleep left!

RPS in. Says some idiot booked lunchtime appointment between PM and backbenchers which he can’t keep. He has important phone call with Obama to sort out lunch plans for Canada. I offer to cancel meeting with backbenchers. RPS asks me to attend in place of the PM:

“Look, I’m sorry about this, but can you go? All you need to do is write down the more moronic suggestions so I have something funny to read out aloud at Friday's staff meeting.”

Lunchtime

Go to meeting with backbenchers. Kelvin Thompson asks me for a ham, cheese and tomato croissant. Explain I’m actually there representing the PM. Awkward silence.

Backbenchers talked amongst selves about World Cup. All agreed that as a coach Pim Verbeek was never a true Socceroos man, that he did not understand the team culture, and he had no friends among the players. Backbenchers convinced that the Socceroos are doomed unless change is made.
Took copious notes. Certain that RPS will really enjoy reading them on Friday!

WEDNESDAY 23/06/10

Morning

Walking through Parliamentary corridors was weird. Everyone in the Labor party is talking about the soccer.

Lunchtime

Canada tomorrow! One quarter of a sleep left!

Afternoon

Conroy in – tells me he wants everyone in office to know he supports Verbeek – that change would be catastrophic this close to final group match and implementation of internet filter.

Evening – 6:00pm

RPS calls staff into office with PM. Declares “we’re being ratf**ked”. Tell RPS I thought the Chinese left on Monday. RPS states we’re facing a more malevolent and ruthless enemy than the Chinese Communist Party: the NSW Labor Right.

RPS has intelligence that party heavyweights have turned on PM. PM asks whether he means obese or powerful heavyweights. RPS looks at PM “Both”. PM goes pale.

Bill Shorten, Mark Arbib, David Feeney and Don Farrell are ringleaders.

PM confused - does not know Farrell and Feeney.

RPS recounts a meeting PM had with Farrell and Feeney last year, when they challenged his proposed cut to MP’s electoral allowances. RPS recalls PM called them “F**kers”. PM remembers now. Says he never knew them as “Feeney and Farrell” but rather as “F**k and F**ker”. Everyone laughs except RPS. This must be serious.

PM declares he is not worried as “Gillard is such a loyal Deputy, who will make a great Prime Minister one day”. RPS tells everyone in office that if anyone asks, the line is “There is no mood for change”.

6:30pm

Gillard’s office rings. She is coming over!!! Everyone panics.

RPS screams at PM to call election immediately! PM runs to call election, accidentally goes into bathroom. Runs back out again. Asks how he calls election.

RPS has no idea, has only seen it on TV.

EA confused at panic. Insists polls are clear – everything is fine. Begins reeling off favorable statistics. RPS begins chasing EA round office. RPS screaming at EA: “Fuck you and your Harvard inspired, Henry Review bullshit!!! It’s all your fault! Why didn’t you just say the super-profits tax was a crap idea!” EA jumping over desks to avoid RPS, yells “But it was theoretically sound!!! Really theoretically sound!” I intervene and stand between them. RPS says he doesn’t want to hurt me, but urge to not hurt me may be overcome by urge to hurt EA.

6:45pm

Tell RPS I have a suggestion. Turn the lights out and hide under our desks! EA very supportive. PM leaps under desk. RPS raises problem – completely implausible that PM’s office would be deserted at 7:00pm.

7:05pm

Gillard, Tanner, Swan, Faulkner and Albanese arrive, go into meeting.

7:15pm

RPS listening at door with glass. Traitors telling PM he has undermined credibility of Government by backing down on ETS. PM points out that Traitors insisted on ETS backdown. Gillard says PM failed to sell ETS backdown. PM asks “How the f**k do you sell a backdown?”

8:00pm

RPS’ hand is tired. Gives me glass. Storms off.

Traitors are telling PM he has failed to ease electorate’s concerns about boat people. PM says he has great policy on boat people. It’s racist enough for West Australia and Queensland but not too racist for Victoria and NSW. Gillard says it’s not about policy, it’s about having respect and empathy for the Australian people’s legitimate fears that their sanctuary will be compromised. PM asks which traitor would like to sink the first boat?

8:15pm

RPS back. Grabs 3 chairs and a sticky tape dispenser. Needs to build barricade in corridor “to keep the News Limited Jackals out”.

8:45pm

Phone rings. It’s Shorten. He asks how things are going. Tell Shorten there is no mood for change. Shorten whispers: “You have nothing to fear. You are the latest person to have been freed by Bill Shorten. Are you going to support Julia?” Ask Shorten why he’s canvassing staffers. Shorten says: “Bill Shorten has already used The Beaconsfield Touch to Sure-ten up (laughs) support for Julia in the caucus.” Shorten reiterates job offer. Tell Shorten “Annie Hackette isn’t down a mine right now, so Annie Hackette isn’t sure she needs The Beaconsfield Touch.” Shorten impressed at sass – says I have bright future.

9:00pm

RPS bursts back in, slams door and screams at journalists “If you don’t f**k off, I’ll recall the troops from Afghanistan to secure this god damn press corridor!”

EA has glass too. Gillard telling PM that if he resigns he can take all of Labor’s bad policy decisions with him. He can sacrifice himself for the party. PM asks why he would want to do that. Gillard says because PM could be like his hero, Jesus. Long awkward silence.

9:30pm

PM offers compromise. Offers to split country with Gillard. Gillard can have WA, SA, NT and Tasmania, PM will accept off-cuts.

9:45pm

PM agrees to spill.

10:00pm

Meeting ends, PM calls staff in. Assumes we were listening in “So we know it’s over”. RPS says he’s going outside. He may be some time. He’s going to pick one last fight with the press gallery.

Ask RPS what I should do. RPS says “If I were you, I would spend my remaining time in this office stealing as much stationary as possible.” RPS walks out. So noble.

THURSDAY 24/06/10

Morning

PM gave really powerful final press conference. So sad.

RPS incredibly relaxed! Can barely see veins in his neck.

Lunchtime

Watching Gillard press conference. RPS very impressed at way she extended olive branch to miners. Idea of asking that the miners stop spending their own money on devastatingly good ads in return for us not spending other people’s money on terrible ads is revolutionary! RPS thinks Gillard Press Secretary is Spin Zen master.

Evening

Last ever work drinks, and first ever work drinks.

EA and RPS have proper conversation. No swearing! RPS tells funny joke about Mark Arbib “He’s like a bowling ball, but without the personality.” Everyone laughs.

EA says he’s going to take some time off. Is thinking about proposing to his girlfriend. RPS asks where his girlfriend works. EA can’t remember, last time he spoke to her she was leaving Tanner’s office to go to Plibersek’s office. RPS agrees to help track her down and even offers to write the EA some lines for his marriage proposal.

Ask RPS what he’ll be doing. RPS is going to take some time off to spread some really horrible unfounded rumors about the sexual deviancy of “F**k and F**ker.” Not sure after that.

Don’t know what I’ll do. Might try writing memoirs. Definitely not working for Shorten.

Long chat with PM. Tell him I'm sad about missing out on Canada. PM sad too. Was really looking forward to lunch with Obama. Worried about how Obama will get on without him.

Tell PM about obsession with soccer in Labor Party. PM asks what I think about Verbeek. I think I know what PM means. Say that Verbeek seemed dedicated and hardworking, REALLY HARDWORKING, but that team ultimately did not give him the support he deserved. PM disagrees. Thinks Verbeek was s**tbox coach. But also, thinks players were much s**ter. PM then proceeds to explain Verbeek's tactical failures in enormous detail.

Think PM will be ok.

THE END
MONDAY 14/06/10

Morning

Day began strangely.

Prime Minister arrived at work and began doing odd things with his leg. Thought he had leg injury but PM said it was a "spring in his step". Then the PM started asking weird questions, like how my weekend was. Told PM I worked on the weekend and he should know because I was working with him. PM asked how my family is. Told him my mother's last email suggested she was still alive and my brother had had a child of some kind. PM said he just wanted to check in on me, to see how I was trucking along.

Ask PM if he is going to fire me. PM laughs and asked why I thought that. Tell PM it seems like he was circling for the kill.

PM apologises for misunderstanding. Said he has made a Queens Birthday resolution: to be a nice guy. Plans to treat everyone he meets this week like an old friend. Ask PM if he wanted me to send press release about new policy. PM laughs.

Ask PM if, given Mid-Winter Ball is on Wednesday, I should prepare the usual humour gauging focus group for his speech? PM said no need. He and Economics Adviser (EA) spent all of last night working on it. Ask PM to promise me that there are no jokes about the long term bond rate. PM tells me to wait and see.

F**k.

Afternoon

Find note on desk. PM's handwriting. Says that I am to go to Parliament’s underground car park at 6:07 pm and knock three times on the storage shed next to the car that has K10 scratched on it’s bonnet.

6.00pm

Arrive in car park. Take ages to find car with scratch on it. It's my f**king car!!!

Open storage shed. Gillard, Swan and PM in storage shed. PM says he’s tired of Kitchen Cabinet leaking, wanted to make it more secure.

Tanner arrives late carrying copy of Green Left Weekly. Says he is trying to track the concerns of swinging voters in the electorate.

Tanner asks if PM would be ok with Tanner joining the next flotilla trying to run the Gaza Blockade. Tanner ok with being shot, thinks it would give him a clear edge over all-talk no-action Greens candidate Adam Bandt. Swan says that trip probably would not qualify as a research tour, so no tax payer support. Tanner less keen on trip.

Storage Shed Cabinet went for four and a half hours. PM consulted on every single government decision of week. Says he understands he has failed to consult properly on some issues, and wants to make amends. Gillard would have appreciated being consulted about moving Cabinet to storage shed.

TUESDAY 15/06/10

Morning

PM and EA already in when I arrive, laughing in office. Ask them what’s so funny. PM says “the long-term bond rate”. Both laugh hysterically. Really hate EA.

Afternoon

PM just back from maternity leave policy announcement. Says announcement went well, especially his joke about 3AW's Latika Bourke’s hat and tie. PM says everyone laughed at joke. PM thinks media have finally turned – thinks they might not all be f**k sticks after all!

Evening

Stop EA in corridor. Ask EA how speech is going. EA says I don’t have appropriate security clearance and giggles. Ask EA if he and PM have run jokes past a normal person. EA says that PM wouldn’t want any of his punchlines to lose their… punch. Tell EA if speech is terrible, I will stab him with a salad fork. EA walks away laughing.

He seriously needs a girlfriend.

WEDNESDAY 16/06/10

Morning

In full damage control mode. Media is calling PM's comment to Latika Bourke 'Fedoragate'. A third of the media thinks PM was being sexist, a third thinks it demonstrates the PM is cracking under pressure and the remaining third (News Ltd) are still talking almost exclusively about the mining tax. No one mentions maternity leave policy.

PM very upset. Thought everyone wanted him to be more human and natural. Explain to PM that, originally, media were eager for PM to be human because they thought he was an affable, friendly version of John Howard. Media now wants PM to be human for same reason they interview Abbott about sex – light news day. PM determined to stick to nice-guy policy despite media, but says he might adapt his approach to being nice. Ask PM what that means.

PM grabs my nose and says I'll get to find out soon. Really miss angry PM.

Bump into EA, who had just seen the new mining company advertisement. EA thought it was boring - just a whole bunch of dumb ordinary people who don’t know what's going on with mining tax. Holy crap, ad sounds like dynamite.

Lunchtime

Brief staff on Mid-Winter Ball. Emphasise to staff that room will be full of journalists and event is the most on-the-record off-the-record event of the year. Ball is not fun – ball is an annual opportunity to ruin your career.

Tell staff to keep blackberries on throughout – have booked everyone on same table so we can operate as mobile office.

Afternoon

Disaster! Abbott has beaten PM in charity auction - $16,000 paid for dinner and a surfing lesson with Abbott, only $12,000 offered for PM. PM very concerned. Notes that the last PM to lose charity auction was Andrew Fisher, one-term Labor PM.

Tell PM that winning bid for Abbott was from GetUp! Now, Abbott will have to eat dinner with 6 asylum seekers who will hassle him for hours about the evils of mandatory detention.

PM very annoyed. Says HE is the one who's detaining people, why the hell don't they want to hassle HIM about it? Abbott is just the powerless opposition leader, certain to lose next election. Explain to PM that while GetUp! organisers know PM detains people, GetUp! organisers may also one day want to run the Labor Party.

Also, Abbott offered surfing lesson. PM instructs me to offer dinner plus mandarin lesson.

Evening

Ring up girlfriend to see if she’ll accompany me to Mid-Winter Ball. Girlfriend says she’s engaged to another man. Assumed we were broken up after 5 months of no contact. Note to self: remind personal assistant to keep an eye on this in next relationship.

Mid-Winter Ball Pre-Speech

Decide to shadow PM, just in case he rat-f**ks himself.

15 Minutes Later

So far PM has averted total disaster. He is behaving oddly though. He complimented Martin Ferguson on “his well aligned eyes and nose” and told Peter Garrett his forehead looked clean enough to eat off.

30 Minutes Later

Realised something really wrong when PM spoke to Abbott, Abbott’s wife and Julie Bishop and commented that he thought Abbott’s suit fitted his muscles well. When he told Wilson Tuckey his hair made him look 10 years younger (Tuckey looked extremely alarmed) I decided to act. Pulled PM aside and told him to stop overcompensating for Fedoragate and start complimenting women and women alone.

5 Minutes Later

Steel myself for PM's speech. Instruct all staff to follow EA's lead when laughing. Chances are he’ll be the only person in the room who’ll know when the actual jokes are.

After Speech

Awful. Stab EA in leg with salad fork. Immediately regret stabbing - now have no way of eating salad. Take EA's salad fork.

So drunk right now.

Late Evening

Dance floor going off.

Abbott doing star jumps to work off dessert.

EA convulsing on dance floor. Lots of women admiring EA. What is wrong with women?

Fielding protesting to DJ that dancing is sinful. Joyce aggressively arguing that though he doesn’t really approve of dancing, Fielding has taken it too far.

THURSDAY 17/06/10

Arrive to work late at 8:30 am.

EA off work sick, everyone else is in attendance.

PM asks me where the fuck I’ve been. Explain I’m hungover. PM repeatedly pokes the side of my head and asks me where it hurts.

Asked him what happened to nice guy policy? PM said to me:

“Let me just say this, when you’ve made an effort to engage in a positive, reciprocal dialogue with people in the media, and others, and their response is to behave in a belligerent, gratuitous, petulant manner, by reprinting your positive dialogue and lampooning it, then you know what? F**k them, f**k their publications and f**k anyone who reads them.”

Thank Christ for that.

Call EA. Thank him for his invaluable work. If it weren’t for his speech, PM might still be in election-losing nice guy mode.

Vomit at work. PM tells me to “suck it up princess”. Asks if he means that literally. PM laughs.

So good to have PM back!
MONDAY 07/06/10

Morning - 6:00am

Meeting with PM. PM furious at David Marr essay. Wants to call inquiry into how that “rat-f**ker” found out PM uses the word “rat-f**ker”. Remind PM he used word in front of journalists after 36 hours of no sleep. Also explain to PM that an inquiry would risk uncovering PM's other extremely offensive language. Believe it would be poor for relationship with Japan if they learned PM refers to them as “fish-fisters”. Point out that PM's comments on closeness of George Pell and Abbott would offend both Catholic and gay community. PM agrees to call off the “f**king inquiry”.

Brief PM on Nielson poll. PM says reason media is attacking government is we aren’t working hard enough. Wants staff to work harder. PM tired of “luxury sleep” and wants everyone to burn the midnight oil, day in day out.

PM determined to work even harder, if only to piss off David Marr.

7:00am

Annie in. Says Jean is under her desk crying. Ask Annie if Jean is under Annie’s desk, or Jean’s desk. Annie says she’s under Jean’s desk. Ask why Annie isn’t still working?

Annie says Jean has snapped and that 60 hours of monitoring media responses to mining ads has broken her. Annie suggests I give Jean a 'pep talk'. What the f**k is a pep talk?

15 Minutes later

Pep talk did not go well. Jean threw bulldog clips at me.

Decide Jean needs vacation. Take her to Garrett’s office. Tell Garrett that Jean is his new media advisor, however she will be taking two weeks leave from today. Garrett asks how he'll prepare for media? Tell Garrett he should not under any circumstances do any media. Ask Garrett who he thinks he is!? Garrett says he thinks he’s Environment Minister. Laugh at Garrett.

Afternoon

Kitchen Cabinet meeting with PM, Gillard, Swan, and Tanner. Discuss ways of winning war with miners. PM proposes more ads. Gillard says negative media coverage of last ads got more air-time than actual ads. Swan says government would have to cancel construction of 40 new school halls to pay for any new ads.

Tanner makes World War 2 analogy and suggests opening new front of attack on miners by bringing back ETS. PM says second ETS reversal wouldn’t be a backflip, more like a triple reverse somersault all the way into opposition.

Swan suggests spending proceeds of mining tax in Queensland and WA. Tanner asks if rest of proceeds could be spent on projects in City of Melbourne. Swan asks why we would waste money on Victoria when no important seats are under threat (Tanner’s face priceless, Gillard stifling laughter, Swan confused – hilarious)

PM tells me to talk to Ken Henry and find way to compromise on mining tax while still allowing government to “f**k those fat arsed dirt f**kers”.

Late Evening

Get Economics Adviser (EA) to contact Ken Henry.

TUESDAY 08/06/10

Morning

Conroy in with resume. Wants to apply for spot in Gang of Four. I list the four members of Gang of Four - point out to Conroy his name isn't on list. Conroy wants Tanner’s soon-to-be-vacant spot. Tell Conroy Senators not allowed in Gang of Four. Conroy accuses me of discrimination and exhibiting House-ism. Storms out.

Lunchtime

Wong in. Has heard about my House-ism and demands to be considered for Gang of Four spot. Tell Wong not to worry. Happy to make exception for Wong, but still no space in Gang of Four.

Shorten in. Just wanted to make clear he doesn’t want Tanner’s Gang of Four spot. Shorten disagrees with speculation that “Bill Shorten would be an amazing candidate" because Bill Shorten is too busy fighting for disabled Australians and helping Lindsay Tanner keep his seat. Thank Shorten and tell Shorten that I hope Bill Shorten will continue Bill Shorten’s great work. Shorten says Bill Shorten will.

Jenny Macklin walks in. Tell Macklin the answer is no. Macklin walks out.

Afternoon

David Marr rang. Asks how PM is. Says he’s a big believer in following up on state of subjects. Says PM seemed fragile during interview. Thank Marr for his concern. Tell Marr that PM would be great but he’s having to deal with pointless psycho-analytical two-handed wankery resulting from the musings of a washed up ABC media critic.

Marr asks if I want to discuss my childhood. I told him I remember being really busy beating up kids like Marr in my childhood. Marr says I need some sleep. Says he was only reporting facts and making logical conclusions based on life PM has led. Tell Marr he would make excellent New Idea columnist. Suggest to Marr he should try psychoanalysing Lara Bingle, at least then someone would read the utter tripe he writes. Marr says he’ll call back when I’m rested.

Evening

Meet with staff. Announce new policy on work/life balance. Tell staff PM thinks they're lazy and they must each work extra two hours a day. Staff ask where they might find these two hours. Tell staff to sleep less.

Staff demand negotiations over work hours. F**k.

WEDNESDAY 09/06/10

Morning

In Perth with Annie and PM for Community Cabinet.

Anti mining tax rally happening outside Perth Hyatt Hotel - need someone to report on it. Decide to send Annie. Risk of me punching “miner” too high.

Afternoon

Annie reports back from the billionaire’s mining rally. Media reported 1500 protestors at rally. Annie says there were actually only 500 protestors, but there were at least 1000 butlers, secretaries, caddies and helicopter pilots.

Gina Rineheart told her that while all her workers were very supportive of the rally, their workplace agreements forebade attending rallies and it would set a dangerous precedent to allow them to attend a political event on a workday.

Also, Julie Bishop attended rally. Annie said the “protesters” were very disappointed. They were promised liberal leadership figure.

THURSDAY 10/06/10

Left PM in Perth to talk to voters. Return to Canberra to do important work – dealing with staff who are still refusing to work harder.

Morning

Meet with EA. Reports that Henry would like to help but cannot identify way to change tax that will not compromise it’s perfection. Says you can only polish a diamond so much.

Afternoon

Meet with staff. Staff put forward proposal that sets minimum sleeping hours and guarantees everyone time off. Tell staff willing to consider proposal, but not willing to accept it.

Staff unclear as to why we are having discussion.

Tell staff I want them to feel involved in process.

Evening

Keating calls. Has heard we were looking for someone with financial credentials to replace Tanner. Keating asks when he should start. Keating also happy to begin by managing consultation with miners.

Thank Keating. Assure him Tanner will win seat. But we can use his help. Ask him to begin by attacking his ex-Ministers such as Peter Walsh in the media. Keating says he has extensive notes on flaws of ex-Ministers.

FRIDAY 11/06/10

Morning

PM on Sunrise. Kochie heard rumour that compromise with miners was imminent. PM furious – says to me afterwards that if people think we are planning to compromise, then when we do compromise its going to look like f***king compromise. PM says we can’t compromise until talk of compromise is out of media cycle.

Lunchtime

Tanner in - very angry that others are applying for Gang of Four spot. Assure Tanner only people who will take Gang of Four spot from him are people of Melbourne.

Tanner has idea to save seat. Proposes legalising gay marriage in Melbourne only. Tell Tanner legalising gay marriage in Melbourne would still upset Christ-tards in Queensland. Tanner reluctantly agrees.

Tanner considering coming out as gay and releasing of footage of himself in sauna to evoke sympathy from latte left. Ask Tanner if he is gay. Tanner says no. Ask Tanner if he visits saunas. Tanner says no. Tell Tanner this is not something to joke about to media officer with high blood pressure.

Afternoon

David Marr calls. Tells me he's heard I’m making life of staff hell. Marr thinks PM and I really need to talk about how we are feeling about things. Swear at Marr. Marr asks if I’m glad I got it off my chest. Hang up on Marr.

Evening

Gather staff. Yell at staff. Ask who has been talking to David Marr? All but EA raise hands. EA says he’s been too busy talking to Henry and Keating.

Staff agree not to talk to David Marr, providing I guarantee 6 hours of sleep a week.

Agree. Staff rat f**ked me. Really proud of them.
By Annie Hackette

MONDAY 24/05/10

Morning

Rudd’s Press Secretary (RPS) calls office meeting. Government will announce mining tax ad campaign later this week.

Economic Advisor (EA) asks if breaking election promise is necessary. RPS says PM is not breaking election promise. When PM made commitment to ban government advertising, PM had complete faith in PM’s integrity. PM had no idea, at time, that mining companies were compulsive liars. RPS added that campaign will merely inform people about tax.

EA says he is happy to help explain to Australian people how tax works. RPS tells EA that people do not need to understand how tax works, just why it’s good for them. EA confused.

RPS tells EA that his job is to make sausage, and RPS’s job to sell sausage sizzle. EA asks how sausage can be sold without knowledge of content of sausage. RPS says sausages much easier to sell if person has no knowledge of contents. EA queries capacity for rational consumer to make intelligent decision regarding the quality of a meat based product without someone to provide in-depth information regarding ingredients. EA suggests that anyone promoting the sausage would need to be fully across any qualities that may increase it’s marginal value and worth.

RPS informs EA he would rather have wild ferret explain mining tax to Australian people than EA.

Midday

Attend meeting between PM and Smith. Heated debate. Smith firmly in favour of ejecting Israeli diplomat in response to counterfeiting of Australian passports. PM would prefer to comprise. Asks whether we can expel 0.5 of an Israeli diplomat. Smith confused, PM explains nature of public service head count policy. Smith not convinced that reducing an Israeli diplomat’s hours to part-time sends same message as expulsion.

PM suggests 0.75. Smith concerned that 0.75 will require explanation of nature of public service head count policy and possibly expensive ad campaign (Smith clearly joking about ad campaign). Remainder of meeting devoted to PM advocating ad campaign. Smith asks PM if he remembers promise to never repeat WorkChoices style advertising.

PM agrees to expel full Israeli diplomat but Smith should give Israel option of reducing two diplomats to part-time.

Afternoon

Smith announces expulsion of Israeli diplomat in Parliament.

5 Minutes later

Michael Danby runs into PM’s office. Extremely irate at decision regarding diplomat. RPS tells Danby to calm down, RPS has already prepared statement for Danby condemning decision. Danby extremely grateful to RPS.

RPS amazing at job.

EVENING

EA offers to give me tutorial on mining tax. How exciting!

TUESDAY 25/05/10

8:00am

Conroy storms in – demands to see PM. Open Conroy Incident Protocol file RPS sent me.

Ask Conroy what is worrying him? Conroy wants to ban Google cars and filter offensive content on Facebook, beginning with pages defaming Conroy and Government. Conroy offers lengthy explanation of Google conspiracy to gain dirt on all members of Government.

Ask Conroy why he doesn’t call the police. Conroy says police aren’t returning his calls. Conroy runs off to Senate Estimates to “tell the world the truth about Google”!

On way out Conroy notices Jean is on facebook. Unplugs computer.

Afternoon

RPS gets everyone working on lines about Julie Bishop leaking national security secrets. Bishop had ‘revealed’ that Australia copies passports too. Ask RPS if Bishop really did leak top secret information. RPS explains that Government has longstanding bipartisan agreement with Coalition to not provide Bishop with top secret information. One of few issues PM and Abbott agree on.

WEDNESDAY 26/05/10

Morning

Watch recordings of old Howard Government ad campaigns. Feel slightly nauseated - watch Keating’s Working Nation to pep up.

Afternoon

Watch recordings of press conferences of Howard Ministers defending their ad campaigns.

Evening

Report back to RPS. The only thing that is worse to watch than a government ad, is the explanation for why a government ad was needed.

RPS says sometimes even shit sandwiches can be good for you.

THURSDAY 27/05/10

Morning

Government announces ad campaign. Abbott announces border security policy. Bummer. All press negative.

Midday

Sat in on meeting with PM, Gillard, Swan, Tanner and RPS to talk about today’s crisis. Never sat in on a meeting this important before! RPS says it was reward for sitting through Howard's ads.

PM asks if Government can get any tougher than freezing processing for Afghan boat people. RPS says we could shoot refugees out of cannon back to home country. Nobody laughs. RPS clarifies – it is impossible to outflank Abbott on right, on immigration Abbott has no right flank.

Other item on agenda – revolt from caucus. Other Ministers demanding own ad campaigns. Swan says we must adhere to our strict spending cap. Everyone laughs. RPS says we can’t spend any more on ads, otherwise we’d be no better than Howard Government. Right now we are slightly better than Howard Government.

PM adds that we actually spent $38.5 million as opposed to the Howard Government's $368 million, which is an 89.96% reduction in taxpayer money being spent on advertising, or to put it another way we only spent 10.04 per cent of what the Howard Government spent, they spent almost 10 times what we spent. PM says the Liberals are 10 times as bad as we are and that’s a positive message to sell.

Gillard tells PM, “it would be best for future of the Government and the country, Kevin, if you never repeated that line again”.

Evening

Spent the whole afternoon on the phone. RPS set up a hotline for all Ministers to propose ad campaigns. So many calls!
  • Garrett suggested ad campaign informing public about good work he did in alerting PM to dangers of insulation. Told Garrett I would not be passing that on for his own safety.
  • Jenny Macklin asks for campaign about all the good she’s been doing for indigenous affairs. Ask Macklin what good work? Awkward.
  • Stephen Conroy wanted advertising campaign to show people how much good work he has personally been doing fighting for freedom from google and facebook.
FRIDAY 28/05/10

Morning

PM entered office. Angry - opposition is spreading lies about ad campaign. Accusing PM of calling “national emergency” to get around guidelines. RPS says that’s nonsense, we were very clear – we did this for urgent reasons.

PM nods – tells RPS to immediately launch $50 million advertising campaign to inform Australian people about reason and justification for mining tax advertising campaign.