Never throw books away. After what was described as a “tense” interview with Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week, in which Leigh Sales asked the PM why his success as opposition leader hadn’t translated to being one of the most effective prime ministers, Sales and her bestie Annabel Crabb on their must-listen podcast Chat 10 Looks 3 were discussing whether signed books should be kept. Sales, a self-described “religious chucker”, said she barely kept any books. One regret she had, however, was not keeping the PM’s own book Battlelines, published in 2009 before he was opposition leader.

“You know what I did, and I really regret? This is a terrible confession, and I hope Tony Abbott doesn’t listen to the podcast,” Sales said.

“Years ago when Battlelines came out … he gave me a ‘To Leigh from Tony blah blah blah’ and when I was doing one of my regular chuckouts, I looked at it — and this was before he was opposition leader — and thought ‘if I need that in future, I can get it, Tony is never going to be prime minister, I don’t really need an inscribed copy of his book’ and I turfed it.“I’ve regretted it very much.”

“You idiot,” Crabb replied. “I’ve got my signed copy in this office somewhere. I can’t read the inscription because he has the worst handwriting of anyone I’ve met. Think your average GP to the factor of 10.”

Poor PM.

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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey