Cabinet documents released yesterday have reignited the bitter feud between Julia Gillard and her former colleagues as to who can lay claim to the many policy decisions taken during the turbulent Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Shorten/Combet government thirty years ago.
"Kevin's a dear friend of mine and I'm not going to get into some slanging match about trivial events that occurred so long ago, but the carbon tax was all his idea," said a defiant Ms Gillard, speaking to reporters outside her lakeside apartment as Canberrans shivered through their coldest summer on record. "I made it very clear to everybody at the time that there would be no such tax under any government I led. Yes, I was forced to change my mind, but that was Bob Brown’s fault."
But her former Treasurer Wayne Swan, enjoying a summer skiing trip in the Gold Coast hinterland, sees it differently. "What you have to remember is that all the Treasury advice at the time was that climate change gave us the perfect excuse to, er, make the numbers stack up again. How else was I going to balance the books after Rudd went and blew a perfectly good surplus?"
Former PM Rudd, questioned at his own lakeside home on the outskirts of Geneva where he has just reappointed himself to another five year term as UN Secretary General, was quick to dismiss the assertions as mischievous scuttlebutt from a bunch of "pretty crook cobbers." "The record shows quite clearly I had nothing at all to do with any of it. When I spoke of a great moral challenge I was not speaking of any detailed programmatic specificity, but rather, merely articulating a widely held and popular point of view. Let's not forget - am I the guy who said sorry to the indigenous population of Australia? Yes. And am I the humble kid from Eumundi Plains who in my first term as Secretary General of the World apologized to the Inuits, the Aztecs, the Armenians, and the Orang Asli? You bet.”
Former PM Shorten takes an altogether different view.
"Basically, when the shit hit the fan and the country ground to a halt in the Winter of Discontent let's not forget I was the go-to guy who the party turned to. And I massively increased productivity almost overnight by repealing the carbon tax, repealing the mining tax, and introducing Fair Work Choices.”
Former PM Greg Combet laughs dismissively at any suggestion that Shorten’s short tenure as PM in the last two weeks of August 2014 had any impact whatsoever on the country’s economic health: “The papers clearly show that it was under my leadership that we introduced the Super Profits Tax, the Medium Profits Tax, the Tiny Profits Tax and the No Profits Whatsoever Tax. These were all key Labor economic reforms that transformed the way we do, er, I mean did, business in this country.”
However, Julia Gillard is adamant the records prove she was the key Prime Minister of the period. “My revolutionary Open Borders Policy was a huge success, ushering in a new era of vibrant and colorful Islamic culture into all aspects of Australian life.” But when questioned about the rumours of mass drownings taking place at sea during that era, Gillard is unequivocal. “Yes, but they were all Tony Abbot’s fault.”
Speaking from his tour bus on the Short Memories Anniversary Tour, Midnight Oil lead singer Peter Garrett called the release of the cabinet minutes "one of the greatest travesties of misinformation ever perpetrated upon the Australian people.” Mr Garrett, quivering with outrage and indignation, claimed: “When they said they were going to start digging up uranium and selling it willy nilly to the Indians I stomped my foot really hard underneath the cabinet table. And when they said they were giving the nod to basing more U.S. forces in Darwin I banged my fist really loudly on the table. Or it might have been the palm of my hand. But there's no mention of my steadfast opposition to both those thingies anywhere in any of the minutes.”
Of the mass-closure and bankruptcy of pubs and clubs throughout 2013 highlighted in the papers, Ms Gillard is unequivocal: “Yes, but that was all Andrew Willkie’s fault.”
Speaking via Wireless Hologram from his farm in Tasmania, former communications minister Conroy defended the blowouts of over two hundred billion dollars on the abandoned NBN as a tiny blip of no consequence whatsoever in the bigger picture of the government’s key economic platforms.
Penny Wong, currently President of the Gays Against Unfair Alimony Laws, said that gay marriage was one of the proudest legacies of her time in government.
In other news today, police hunting fugitive Malcolm Naden in bush north of the Barrington Tops say they are getting "very close."