It was a near-death experience for Tony Abbott this week. But how did the man himself see it unfold? We had another peek at his diaries.
7:00am It’s the spill vote today. Wake with a slight tightness in my tummy. I slept with my boxing gloves on last night, which I normally do when I’m preparing for a fight. But must’ve accidently punched myself in the tummy while I was dreaming. A little sore. You should’ve seen Malcolm though.
8:00am Walk into the office, best suit on, new blue tie, ready to go. Tummy issues aside, feeling really good about today.
“You should probably take your gloves off now,” Peta says. Smart woman. Good attention to detail. I hang the gloves in their spot behind the door.
9:00am Walk into the party room with my cabinet team behind me. Peta organised for the theme tune from Rocky to be playing while we walked in, which was nice. Although everyone else said they couldn’t hear it. We all sit down and write our vote on the piece of paper provided.
9:10am Results are in. I had wanted Julie to stand between me and Malcolm and lift up the winner’s arm as she announced the result. But she said that might be too ‘confrontational’, so she just reads out the result instead.
61 to 39! What a thrashing! “Yesss!” I say, loud enough so Malcolm can hear. ‘One-nil Abbott’, I text to Margie.
9:15am I send out Phillip Ruddock to talk up the result to the media. When you want to create a bit of a buzz and get a bit of excitement happening, he’s your go-to guy. That’s why some of the other guys in the party call him ‘The Hype Man’. I think.
9:20am Chris Pyne texts me saying he secretly drew a dick and balls on Malcolm Turnbull’s ballot paper while he wasn’t watching. Funny guy!
2:00pm: Media conference. “This is an adult Government. I’ve listened. I’ve learned. And this is a fresh start,” I say, making sure to remind the country that I stopped the boats and scrapped the Great Big Tax On Carbon.
And then I pull out the big line I’ve been working on all weekend: “Good Government starts today”. It’s got a bit of an oratory ring to it – like something Obama would say. I reckon it’ll get picked up in the papers tomorrow.
6:00am Wake up early to do some work on my ‘Stop Wall’. It’s a little fun thing I do in my bedroom when I’ve got some spare time. It’s like a collage, with little cut outs of all the things I’ve stopped. There’s a picture of a boat, Julia Gillard, the carbon tax, the mining tax, Kevin. It’s even got a real Stop sign up the top that I ‘found’ during my Uni days. I add Malcolm’s posh little face to the wall.
10:00am: Some of the boys are having a laugh about that one ‘informal’ vote from yesterday’s spill motion. “How the hell could someone stuff that up!” Greg laughs.
“Yeah, pretty hard to get wrong,” Scott says.
“Yeah I know. How hard is it to write ‘Me’ or ‘Not Me’ on a piece of paper!” I say.
The guys look at each other and then quickly walk away. Off to a meeting I guess.
10:00am: Malcolm walks up towards me and says “Tony can we discuss …” but I cut him off with the “Look At The Score Board!” chant, complete with claps.
He walks away shaking his head. I don’t think he’ll be bothering me again for a while!
9:15am The polls don’t seem to have turned around just yet, so Joe, Peta and I have a quick meeting to discuss a plan of attack.
“Things couldn’t get much worse” Joe says.
“Well, you could mention the holocaust,” Peta says.
Brilliant. She always knows how to get out of a tight spot.
3:00pm Turns out that holocaust idea wasn’t such a good one after all, if the media response is anything to go by. Funny, because Peta usually has a fairly good sense of these types of things.
5:15pm Peta calls. “Jesus Tony, why not just go the full hog and mention Hitler in Parliament next time!”
“Ah, I’m not sure that would be the best response right now,” I point out. Hitler? Strange thing to say. She must be stressed or something. Am I the only cool head around here at the moment?
6:00am Peta calls. “You need to get rid of Ruddock,” she says.
“Really? Ruddock? But he’s The Hype Man – that’s what the guys call him,” I say.
“I think that’s a joke Tony. They also call him The Excitement Tampon”.
I guess she’s right. He does seem a little boring sometimes. “Get rid of him,” I say.
And then we both remember we’re supposed to be more consultative.
“Ring a few people and ask their opinion, then get rid of him,” I say.
7:00pm Valentines Day. Head out with Margie to a fancy restaurant. We don’t get to do this very often these days. It’s also a bit of a celebration of Monday’s win.
It’s a nice place, but a bit stuffy. “This cutlery is a little fiddly,” I say, struggling to keep hold of the knife and fork.
“Take your gloves off Tony” Margie says. Smart woman.