Opinion

STRANGE POLITICS: Turnbull nips out; the wheels fall off

PARLIAMENT stormed, a police probe into MPs spying on each other and even a healthy smattering of Elvis the Pelvis. This week in politics had the lot, with extra gravy.

While Malcolm Turnbull was at the Paris climate talks copping flak from island governments too slack to bulk-buy snorkels, the wheels back home had fallen off and rolled down the street.

The Australian Federal Police has launched an investigation into claims Special Minister of State Mal Brough had told a staffer to copy then-speaker Peter Slipper's diary in 2012.

There was even footage that, to the untrained eye, looked suspiciously like Brough admitting to doing just that.

Brough wrote off the seemingly damning 60 Minutes interview on Tuesday, saying "what was put to air was not the full question". He qualified the comment the next day (somewhat disjointedly) and declared his "recollection of the interview was that the question was put to me in a somewhat disjointed manner".

But then 60 Minutes released the unedited footage which showed all that had been edited out of the "Did you ask James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper's diary for you?" question were some ums, ahs, and tongue-fumbles that did not really affect its meaning.

To which Brough replied, "Yes I did".

Keep in mind this was all over $954 in Cabcharge vouchers Slipper fraudulently used to visit wineries in Canberra.

Since then, Bronwyn Bishop had to repay the $5000 she used to take a chopper ride to a fundraiser. And now the other Bishop, Julie, is accused of spending $30,000 to get an empty private jet from Canberra to pick up her partner and her from a charity dinner in Perth and fly them back to the capital.

There are calls for Brough to face an extra charge of misleading parliament, but we will have to wait to see how that one pans out.

Parliament's usually stuffy dress code was thrown into disarray on Wednesday as a mob of more than 100 environmental types forced their way inside.

Those pesky Greens got in on the show, with blokes like Richard Di Natale photographed sitting cross-legged on the tiles (imagine that!) alongside this uncouth rabble.

Police dragged some of the climate change crusaders outside and presumably treated them to a vigorous delousing on the Parliament House lawn. But none of that compared with our former Prime Minister's garbled rendition of Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds.

Some mean-spirited bully secretly recorded the audio of Tony Abbott singing The King's 1969 classic at the Nationals' Christmas party on Tuesday night. The weakling did not even have the guts to catch the performance on video.

Abbott apparently sang the song twice to tell his Coalition partners: "We can't go on together... with suspicious minds".

But I really should not be too harsh.

Somewhere a video exists of me locked in an energetic pub rendition of John Williamson's Old Man Emu, in full thigh-slapping glory.

Let's hope that never sees light of day.

Strange Politics is a satirical column. Follow Chris Calcino on Twitter: @ChrisCalcino

Topics:  malcolm turnbull opinion strange politics



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