With Parliament suspended and many MPs in isolation (no, not the protection wing at Long Bay. Yet) there's not been any coverage of how most of our government's representatives are faring with no access to boozers, nudie bars, investment properties or other people's water. What are they doing to justify their hefty, safe salaries; how do they while away the hours, what expenses are they rorting?
To find out our seasoned reporter Gnarley Gubbins, inspired by BroSco's virtual PowerPoint prayer presentation set up a multi-party Zoom interview with those who were cleared as plausibly deniable by the L/NP's corporate lawyer Lakov Morales from Trouser & Leggitt.
Following is the transcript. The muffled cries of grannies being suffocated with pillows have been edited out following legal threats.
The participants in this first of The Zoom Interviews were:
Jowels Flubbiter, taking up most of the backbench and aspiring Minsiter For Foreign Affairs.
Aldo Fittler. Goonsquad Spudführer. Dog whistling champion, kitten tormentor.
Otto Binleiner. Once thought to have died in a Berlin bunker but later found to be hiding in Hobart, cataloguing his collection of Tony Abbott bicycle seats.
Roger Thystaff. From Best Retail Politician to the remainders bin at the Tamworth second hand bookshop. Frontman for the Weatherboard Nine jug band.
Mibrain Hertz. Federal work experience Treasurer whose readily recognisable facial features resemble those of a bank robber who's stocking is too tight.
Bobbity McFucknuckle. Promoted to Tory deputy from his previous role as a nodding dog on the dashboard of the National Party ute.
Edna Bucket. Helmet-haired air raid siren, AFP pin-up and Minister For Workplace De-skilling and Employee Exploitation.
Gnarley: Welcome all, and before we start, can I ask Jowels Flubbiter to cover his ankle bracelet with tin foil, the signal is generating interfence. Yep, Jowels, use your hat, thanks.
We may as well start with you, Jowels. You're well known for your largesse throughout the, um, let's call them the "eclectic entertainment precincts" of S.E. Asia. Do you think your absence has affected their economies in what is the worst of circumstances?
Jowels: No doubt about it Gnarley. As you know I've spent a lot of time and money supporting the arts sector over there. It's why they call me The Incredible Bulk. Given I can't donate in person at the moment I've been throwing ping-pong balls at a schooner glass, with a GoFundMe page asking for a dollar for every time I score a ringer. $2 if it doesn't touch the sides. I'll be sending the money as soon as I can confirm its tax deductibility.
Gnarley: Thanks Jowels, that's very big of you. Next, the Minister for Fear, Loathing and Scapegoating - Aldo Fittler. Aldo, you've been unusually quiet lately. Why is that?
Aldo: How did you find me?
Gnarley: You picked up your phone when I rang.
Aldo: Doh! I thought it might be that idiot Scotty wanting some more Hillsongers' au pairs let off that bloody ship.
Otto Binleiner: Hi, Otto here. May I jump in.
Aldo: Otto! Shitty reception, mate; have you got the NBN down there in Tassie?
Otto: (Indignantly) I'm in your bunker. You said we'd see this out togther.
Aldo: Take a pill, Otto. I'm in Brazil, an old farm house became available through connections. Pretty good internet they've got over here I must say. My guys at the airport let me through on the last flight out.
Roger Thystaff: Give it a rest you blokes, we're doing it tough up here in New England. The billy-lids are taking all my bog roll so I've had to resort to sliding down the bannisters.
Gnarley: Errr...welcome Roger. I think. Tell us, how have you been filling in your time?
Roger: Most mornings are the same. I get up at the crack of dawn and put my tooth in. But otherwise I'm running down my stockpile of VB and streaming PornHub. I miss my nights out in Fyshwick and the stress relief of a bit of rumpy-pumpy. So every night I jog a couple of laps around Che Barmy in wet flip-flops to keep the memories fresh.
Gnarley: Our Treasurer has been quite busy lately, so let's cut to him. Mibrain Hertz, it's been quite a leap for you with your adoption of Labor-like fiscal stimulus.
Mibrain: Not at all Gnarley. This has been the biggest challenge we've faced since Dunkirk. Shovelling money to our corporate pals under these new circumstances just needed some clever, new thinking. In lieu of wage theft employers are coming up with innovative ways to rort JobKeeker©, and corporations have used bail-out money to pay off staff leave on their balance sheets without having to touch their Cayman's stashes and then still lay off their staff to be supported by Centrelink. Win-win!
Gnarley: Bobbity McFucknuckle, as Nationals leader (Roger snorts) you're well practiced in privatising profits and socialising losses. In a few words, what are your thoughts, if any?
Bobbity: (Nodding blankly) Yairs, Gnarley. A few billion thrown at those Middle Eastern owners of 72 Virgins Airlines will be money well-spent. We need to be able to fly in those Vanuatuan fruit pickers when this is all over and with none of that commie crap about taking equity thank you very much. You know Dickie Branson, the fella who looks like a disinterred Bee Gee? Well, Dickie was telling me that he thinks Wagga Wagga is an ideal location for a big, new Virgin Lounge.
I can see what you're thinking Roger and that's not what he meant.
Gnarley: OoohKay then. On a related theme, the Minister For Employee Exploitation, Edna Bucket. Edna, you'd be thrilled at the huge new numbers of unemployed?
Edna: It's wonderful Gnarly. A big pool of desperate unemployed will provide the cheap labour needed to get our economy back on track.
Gnarley: What's been your participation in the stimulus package?
Edna: Stimulus? (titter, giggle) Well, I slipped 350 large to that big hunk of spunk Scotty Scam to distract from our run down of trades education in favour of our mates in the...erm...ahhh...private training schemes (cough).
Gnarley: That got knocked in the head by the virus. What's Scotty Scam doing now?
Edna: (Blushes) Well, I told Scotty that with time now on his hands, if he can sneak out he can come round to my place and check out my curtains.
Gnarley: Ahem, moving right along - Brunhilde Schotte-Gunn couldn't join today's session as she's isolated in the dog house. Any thoughts on sports rorts?
Bobbity: As we move forward we're looking forward, not at the behind.
SchMo's been doing a great job. He's assigned the Minister For Dead Native Grasslands, Forgetful Jones, to work with AFP Reichskommissar, Godfrey Strongarm to, as he calls it, "reconfigure the electronic records". We want the L/NP legacy to be the virus and the fast tracking of disaster entrepeneurship rather than our generosity toward struggling polo stadiums. SchMo calls it New Horizon. That's our marketing man, eh?
Gnarley: That seems like an appropriate note on which to end this session of The Zoom Interviews. Thank you all for your attendance.
Oh, and Roger - next time you might think about not facing your TV screen towards the camera.