Opinion

Strange Politics: Can Peter Slipper stop the rorters?

In the near-future, Peter Slipper is the target after threatening to destroy the lavish entitlements enjoyed by, from left, Julie Bishop, Victorian Labor's Steve Herbert, disgraced former Health Minister Sussan Ley and Labor shadow minister Tony Burke.
In the near-future, Peter Slipper is the target after threatening to destroy the lavish entitlements enjoyed by, from left, Julie Bishop, Victorian Labor's Steve Herbert, disgraced former Health Minister Sussan Ley and Labor shadow minister Tony Burke.

IT'S now July 2017 - six months since Sussan Ley lost her role as Health Minister.

Amid the furore that engulfed the Coalition frontbencher and her colleagues from all sides, the public looked for an answer.

That answer and a potential threat to the entitlements long enjoyed by politicians came from an unlikely source - former Speaker Peter Slipper.

In an unmarked Canberra building, political rivals have put aside their colours.

Ms Ley piloted herself down, while Victorian Steve Herbert arrived by chauffeured limousine. His dogs came too.

They are sitting in the building's foyer with his driver.

Labor shadow minister Tony Burke flew in at the tail-end of a holiday, his entire extended family also sitting outside the room.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrives by car.

She gently hands her custom polo mallet to one of the many personal assistants who are hovering by the door.

Everyone in the room will list this otherwise secret meeting as "ministerial business" and will later say any expenses claimed are "within the rules".

There is a single item on the agenda - how to defeat Mr Slipper. The former Speaker has become a one-man force in Australian politics in the first half of 2017.

Despised by both Labor and the Coalition, there is no perk he has not already claimed. That makes him immune to the lure of entitlements. To politicians, it makes him dangerous.

Mr Slipper's "Reduce the Rorts" slogan has tapped into a rich vein of public anger. He knows the system better than anyone, and is demanding it be dismantled.

Under his plan, every dollar claimed by a politician will be scrutinised.

Any attack on the man only strengthens his support - critics seen as elites wanting to protect their own feathered nests.

The meeting begins and everyone receives a black dossier. A giant red stamp reads "Classified" on the cover.

Inside is the nuclear option. It is a plan devised by the greatest minds of the Coalition and Labor. As they open it, a chopper can be heard overhead.

Moments later Bronwyn Bishop - whose own career was destroyed by overzealous claims - shatters a glass ceiling and rappels in.

"I have the answer!," she declares.

"We blame socialists!"

The room goes silent, then turns away from her. She is collected by two heavy-set men who deliver her outside the front door. Blaming the reds won't save them this time.

Each member of the group opens the dossier to reveal a single page, with a single line of text.

"Pretend it's not a problem," it reads.

Everyone looks at each other and nods. Julie Bishop sighs.

"And may God have mercy on our souls," she whispers.

 

This is a satirical column.

Follow Owen Jacques on Facebook here, or find him on Twitter as @Owenjay 

Topics:  editors picks mp expenses opinion strange politics sussan ley


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lismore's kids head back to school

COOL: Max Den Exter gets a short, back and sides from Jasmine Coello while Peter Crowley from Pomstar at The Star Court Arcade looks on.

Time to get your grooming in check for start of new school term

Creative thinking sparks a bright future for Northern Rivers

Jarrad and Ben McCredie with their dad, Manufacturing and Engineering instructor, Alex, taking part in the Printing a New Path Forward workshop at the Next Generation of Innovators Bright Sparks 2017 program at Wollongbar TAFE.

Students peek inside the classrooms of the future

PM loses a mate in Mike Baird

Mungo Mac Callum. Photo Doug Eaton / The Northern Star

Baird resignation leads to comparisons between two leaders

Local Partners

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Five local arts organisations funded by federal grants

LOCALLY MADE: A performance of Dreamland by NORPA at Eureka Hall during their 2016 season, with actors Kirk Page, Katia Molino, Darcy Grant, Philip Blakcman and Toni Scanlon.

In theatre, literature, music and visual arts

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!