Alarm enacts 5.00 am. 5.01 — showered, dressed and on the phone to Gillard to tell her I slept well. Staff teleconference 5.05. Articulate another ruddicle idea (as I call my conceptualisations) which entered my cranium like a message from the father. We shall dispense with welfare payments of parents of truants. Advisers call me astute, cerebral, phosphorescent; effulgent in their veneration.
Did I inform caucus? Did I need to? I retort, arguing with myself as only a vessel of my size can. Were my Advisers engaged? Possibly not. But let me tell the Australian people this: I don’t need caucus or advisers. I trust only myself and my reflection. And the proof, you ask? Policy announced across the land. I am the news. I enlighten the media and the world from the Press Club. A stellar performance of reading dryly from a ponderous speech marred by questions from the press gallery.
Was I miffed with Emma McDonald for making me look like a prize twit with her accusation I was presenting a re-hash of John Howard’s policies? Perhaps a tad. But you know something people, in this game you have to be pretty thick skinned, and that’s all I want to say about that dolly bird or my dermatologist.
Let me just say this though. Australians are smart people. I know this from my extensive travels across this fine, brown land. And you know something else? When I meet ordinary folk, working men and women, you know what they say to me? Besides the fact my voice and tone change from wanker to worker, what they say to me is such things as ‘you’re a terrific bloke’ and ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry I beat your pimply head in at school’. That’s what I hear from when I traverse this great country of ours, Australia.
Hearing the views of ordinary folk, plain folk, the mums and dads out there, battling to make ends meet, doing it tough with rising interest rates and a slowing economy – it’s their words that inspire me to be on the news every night.
And let me add this by way of an addendum: kids need to learn a few hard and tough rules about life. I did, and look where I am today. Prime Minister. Not Swan or Gillard or that jumbled metaphor Beazley; not some thought bubble like Tanner or a do-gooder like Shorten. And you know why I’m the Prime Minister? Because I was never truant at school.
I tell you this — the Australian people are well aware of my heart rendering upbringing: evicted by squadrons of black-shirts from the family farm where every morning I would awaken at dawn to the hen’s screech alerting me to the tasks which lay ahead: milking the bulls, plucking the pigs, hog-tying the chickens and soiling the till. Then off to Nambour High where I sat on my own reading about the life and times of Bornhoffen, fascinated by this German’s process of mixing multigrain and fibres. What type of Christian intellect could make such a tasty, wholemeal bread?
And that’s why we must take this punitive measure against school waggers.
Did the opposition attack me last week? I tell you this, they were predictable and pathetic. I know how tough it is out there in working Australia-land. I know how hard it is for ordinary mums and dads to drive down to the video shop to rent, say The Good German or Little Fish. Let me say two things here. First off, ordinary folk deserve choice.
That’s what the Labor Party I lead believes in. Choice and incentive without the heavy hand of government. That’s why, and this is my second point, I believe in grocery watch, fuel watch and school watch. And after Wilson Tuckey’s performance last Thursday, stool watch.
Busy week ended with another late night. Dinner with the French Ambassador; back to the office to ask Stephen Smith about potential media coverage in Brazil; a catch up to thank Garrett for his impersonation of Colin the whale over uranium mining; a midnight call to Gillard to tell her about my day, then a quick private viewing of Notes On A Scandal before bed in the Lodge at 4.59 am.
Ahead this week: Kevin saves the Murray-Darling, then the Nile, Amazon and Niger Rivers. Jenny Macklin comes face to face with a real life constituent while Kate Ellis’ proposal to bid for the 2013 Pan-African Games isn’t as popular as she thinks. Over the road, Tony Abbott decides to live with pygmies for three weeks as Peter Dutton has an accident involving a box of matches and an environment policy.
Stay tuned for the next Kevin’s Gate instalment, in your Crikey edition every Friday, starting this week.