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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!