Never one to hold back, Bob Ellis lets fly at various Liberal Pollies for Crikey
Apart from Labor, the Liberals are my favourite party. To many, it is true, they are a steaming pile of nonsense, mere doyens of the ruling class, mindless puppets of Her Maj. Yet within the chilly, ice-frothy hearts of those Packer-placators, those sons and daughters of Rupert, there is a warm geyser of unrealized goodness.
For there are – yes, there are – good Liberals. Nice Liberals. My own personal favourite, at the moment, is Jackie Kelly. She is a whimsical delight. I admire, especially, the way she always says whatever pops into that bubbly, shweppervescent mouth of hers. Yet she has never been taken to court for defaming the Treasurer’s wife. The world of politics is rife with double standards-just look at me!I well remember a smattering of drivel conveyed to me – in confidence – by Rodney Cavalier, renowned Labor icon, whilst we were cavorting, drunk, in his vegetable garden. Over a bottle or ten of good red, Rodney turned to me, sighed, and declared: “Ellis, you are a pompous idiot.” Rodney is, it is true, a hopeless tease. He is forever sprouting portentous waffle to everyone he meets. Yet he is also a font of useful information. Only the other day he was filling me in on Gerard Henderson and the fact that he is married to a distinguished Palestinian Arab lady. But I do not think there is anything wrong with this.
Rodney also has an excellent sense of humour. So, by the way, does Alan Jones – especially if you tickle his toes with a peacock feather.
Getting back to the topic, my next favouritest Lib is Tony Abbott. There, indeed, is a politician with a future. Since the revelation that he (like myself) fathered an illegitimate child, we have proudly regarded ourselves as kindred spirits. He often pops up from Manly to my Palm Beach property for a bout. Although I am, it is true, less qualified than he, we are both fine boxers.
As it happens, the rumour that Abbott fathered a child while still a teenager was first referred to by my fellow sexologist, Christopher Pearson, in the Financial Review. But I can’t remember hearing the rumour before that article appeared – though I had of course heard the other rumours, such as that (… censored …). I must talk to Pearson about that, when next we are cavorting in a vat of red.
My next favourite Lib, apres Tony, is, of course, Christopher “Posh Spice” Pyne. Pyne is a shimmering hunk of upper-class backbench arsenal in an Armani suit. He is well-known for his very refined and well-formed vowels.
Next in line is that great Crocodile Dundee of Parliament House, Warren “Bugs Bunny” Entsch. Bunnies, as he is known, comes from the savage, working-class wilds of Queensland, and survived, for the first twenty years of his life, by shooting feral cats and pigs and eating their skins for food. He is well-known as the person who made an impolite gesture in Parliament, in the direction of the Press Gallery. With one finger, Warren achieved more in a few seconds than most of his colleagues will achieve in years.
Even so, Bunnies remains a worry. While the ALP these days is above such things, the Liberals persist in recruiting inferior types from poorly-paid, working-class backgrounds-like Bunnies. Such people lower the tone of Parliament no end. It falls to the ALP, therefore, to take a stand and maintain an unofficial “middle-class only” policy. In these times of widespread moral cowardice, thank goodness there are some, at least, who are prepared to do what is right, and protect our institutions from invasion by the great unwashed. I was chatting intimately not long ago with Kim Beazley – that cuddly, fluffy, big balloon of a man, so full of oversized Munchkin goodness. (He resembles in size and personality Tiddalik, the well-known frog.) For hours we debated the question of who, on the Coalition frontbenchers, was the sexiest, but we came to no firm conclusion. Beazley told me a trick he had picked up from Bob Carr, a fellow civil war buff: imagine that Abe Lincoln were here today, and ask yourself who he would choose. I tried this, but it didn’t work. Whenever I so much as think about a politician, I became impotent.
While we’re on the subject, yesterday I had lunch with Margo Kingston. She was looking very radiant in a nice new frock. “Margo”, I said, “you are glowing”. She is a good sort. My two cuddly Pekinese, Oompa and Charlie, whom I walk every morning, agree with me on this.
Getting back to the nice Liberals, I almost forgot Peter “Dog” Costello. I first became friends with Peter in the course of participating in a court case with him. I did not participate in the actual proceedings, but stood outside the ACT court, doing silly walks and chatting politely with journos. Jack, my son and agent, was with me. No sooner had I stopped him from baring his bum before the cameras-in full view of everyone-than Peter Costello’s face appeared from around the corner. We have been inseparable ever since.
These, then, are the good Liberals. Without them, the party would be little more than a steaming mound of propaganda, wafting its mushy odour through the absurdist corridors of Australian political life.
Lastly, an acknowledgment. Were it not for the help of Our Lord, I would never have been the superguru of Australian politics that I have become. I would simply be standing on the sidelines, taking notes, furiously ejaculating my verbal diahorrea towards everyone I met.
Here, comrades, endeth the lesson. By the way, have you noticed how Liberal lady-politicians are sexier and classier – yes, and cleaner, too – than Labor chicks? Bear this in mind for future reference.
# Ed’s note: Crikey’s Bob Ellis is actually a Melbourne-based arts-law student. He is not to be confused with the Sydney author, Liberal defamer and Labor booster who trades by the same name.