Michael McCormack
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

We here in the Crikey bunker are resigning ourselves to the fact that material for the Spiv-tionary, furnished by our wonderful readers, may very well never run out. After all, things just keep getting worse.

Commercial in confidence: Slap this bad boy on anything you’ve done that you don’t want anyone looking too closely at. A reader furnishes us with a plethora of examples from the Queensland government alone, but to pick one: “[Queensland Treasurer Cameron] Dick said when [Adani] would start to pay royalties [after the government had allowed the company to defer] and how much revenue the state would collect were commercial in confidence“.

This isn’t the time: During an urgent crisis, if people keep rudely asking you to address the long-term causes of that crisis, roll this one out, as indignantly as possible. Whether it’s climate change or the need for a federal integrity commission, now isn’t the time, because, bloody hell, you’re too busy dealing with all the other urgent stuff. Once the urgency dims, the phrase can be replaced by “it’s time to move on”.

Example, courtesy of Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack: “What people need now is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance. They need help, they need shelter … they don’t need the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they’re trying to save their homes.”

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I don’t recall/not to my recollection: A perennial favourite, it can be wheeled out during any interrogation. A reader translates the phrase as “I’m too clever to get caught by this line of questioning”. Example: “In 2018 you went eight times to the Wagga Wagga byelection campaign. Did you see Daryl Maguire on any of those occasions?” “Not to my recollection“.