The censure motion is one of the most useless pieces of political theatre available to impotent oppositions. They know that the motion will never get up because the vote always goes on party lines, but they persist in rolling them out to give themselves the opportunity to grandstand in front of the Press Gallery. The Gallery always lap it up because most of them lack even the most basic understanding of Parliamentary procedure and think that a censure motion is a big deal. Well, today it was.
The pitiful ‘Leader’ of the opposition moved a censure motion and got ready to start droning on about petrol prices, grocery prices and interest rates in his usual fashion when I turned the tables on him. I used my numbers in the House to amend the motion, calling on him to be censured instead of me, and then we passed it. I think I saw Brendan tear up a little when he realised that he’d provided us with yet another opportunity to humiliate him. I don’t think he’ll be wasting our time with any more censure motions in the near future.
I knew that being PM was going to have some nice perks, but it’s the delight at finding new ways to exercise my power that’s the real thrill.
I have to admit that I’m really enjoying the new look Coalition. Gone are the days of absolute control from the leader’s office, they appear to have developed a more relaxed, individualist style where everyone simply does what they like. It seems that they don’t even bother to tell The Nightwatchman when they’re going overseas, let alone taking in 18 holes at Royal Canberra or lunch at Manuka. The absences of Messrs Downer, Vaile and Tuckey have been like a gold mine for us, the tabloids are lapping it up.
I also think I’m getting the hang of how media management works when you’re PM. Essentially you get your press secretary to hand out ‘story ideas’ in the non-members bar and the hacks type them up for you. What’s even better is that unlike when you’re in opposition they don’t go asking the other side for comment, undermining whatever point you’re trying to convey. I know that we all like to talk about the importance of independent media, but trust me when I tell you that lazy, compliant journos are starting to climb in my estimation.
I spoke to Bradley, my ASIO liaison, about whether we could organise for Mark Vaile to be ‘accidently’ picked up by the CIA while he was in the middle east, but apparently it’s not the done thing at the moment. Pity.