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.

Iconic trophy coming to Lismore

2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Lismore will host the 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup in 2017

Applications open for Country Arts Support Program

CASP 2016 The Microscope Art Project Mullumbimby

Northern Rivers projects favoured for funding

Northern Rivers drug driving rate 5 times state average

CAUGHT OUT: At least eight people have appeared at Ipswich Court this week to plead guilty to drink-driving or drug-driving-related offences.

Number of people facing drug driving charges has more than tripled

Local Partners

Big Rob needs Legal Aid to help defend charges

Mr Rob appeared before Lismore Local Court this morning over seven charges one which includes breaching an interim AVO in relation to the Lismore mayor.

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Felix Riebl wants to be in your arms

TOURING NOW: Australian musician Felix Riebl is coming to the Northern Rivers in June.

Cat Empire frontman brings out his romantic side in solo show

First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

Wonder Woman is a kick-arse superhero romp

WITH so much at stake, thank Zeus that Wonder Woman didn’t fall into the same trap as its DC Extended Universe predecessors.

Everything coming to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime Video this June

Orange Is The New Black returns for another season.

Find out what's being added to our streaming services in June.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

Apparently, the answer is no.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!