Julie Bishop said she had ‘no way of confirming’ Reece Harding was dead. ‘That news, phoned through to his father, may have been a practical joke,’ she explained. ‘What I can confirm, however, is that if he had survived and come home he would have been flung in gaol for twenty-five years. Although the death cult DAESH must be destroyed, and urgently destroyed, it is wrong to fight against it voluntarily. For that crime one gets more than twice that which one would for the rape and murder of a child.’
Abbott asked God to bless his new Border Force, who immediately went on strike. A mixture of Customs and Immigration, the new force would be ‘massively protected,’ Abbott said, by what he called ‘a condom of national secrecy. Anyone who sees them abusing children, or offering naked young women hot showers for blow-jobs, and says they have seen them do this, will go to gaol for two years for revealing classified information.’ Two hundred doctors, nurses, teachers and social workers immediately put their hands up, yelled out various crimes, and defied him to gaol them. ‘Oops,’ he said, and scrambled around for something else to talk about. ‘Let us pray,’ he said, and solemnly bowed his haggard, brain-damaged head.
Michael Thawley said China should ‘get off the earth, and not presume they have, or have had, or will have, a global role.’ Julie Bishop said he had meant this ‘in the friendliest possible way.’ Abbott disagreed with this. ‘No, no, no,’ he said, ‘on the contrary. China’s attempts to seize islands which are rightly mine, mine, mine!, in the South China Sea will be met, in the coming perilous months,’ — and here he lit up and waved a cigar — ‘with the armed might of Border Force and I confidently expect that in the near future, with God’s good grace, we will have a small, but growing, regional war with the Yellow Devil by Christmas.’ PVO described this statement, interrupted when Credlin dragged her employer off in a headlock, as ‘a little over the top, but we can see where the Prime Minister is going.’
Eric Abetz condemned the US Supreme Court as ‘a pack of Trotskyist radicals’ and said his home state, Tasmania, must lead, in troubled times, the counterrevolution against ‘the plague of sodomy which led in times past, as is well known, to the fall of Rome and has lately infested America, Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and Pitcairn Island. Tasmania, he said, had been a past proud example, ‘as is Uganda today’, in its gaoling of consensual perverts up till 1986, and their kicking to death in Port Arthur, and, indeed, before that, its extermination of Aborigines, an enfeebled species, and its replacement by many, many Hodgmans.’
To Abbott’s surprise two Queensland backbenchers, Gambaro and Entsch, proposed a gay marriage bill, co-sponsored by Labor and the minor parties to be made law in a conscience vote by mid-August. ‘This cannot be!’ Abbott yelled. ‘Many, many backbenchers’ bills have come before this parliament, but none, almost none, have been considered!’ Words were then exchanged with Entsch, who asked his leader to apologise for having with his abolition of gay marriage in the ACT in 2013 impeded the progress of world civilisation, and bareknuckle fisticuffs followed. Entsch, a big, old, burly crocodile-shooting man, had one thumb on Abbott’s throat and another in his eye, but Credlin, a larger, fitter person, got him in a headlock, dragged him off and ‘settled him down’, as she calls it, with a cup of her ‘special tea’.
Cory Bernardi told Fran Kelly that a tiny minority, ‘a mere three billion people’, supported gay marriage but they had been seduced into this crazed heretical belief by ‘a determined cabal of Satanic propagandists’. Asked if the Liberals, who had proudly believed, in times past, in its members voting their conscience, should vote their conscience in this case also, he said’ Not until they have been comprehensively re-educated.’ Fran asked, gulping, ‘How…re-educated?’ and he said, ‘We have studied the methods of Pope Sixtus V, who invented waterboarding, and these, plus those of the Spanish Inquisition, will inform our deliberations.’
Zed Seselja said no marriage that did not produce children was worth sanctifying, nor no marriage that did not have both a mother and a father. Though this meant all deliberately childless couples, or those that had been, like Ben Chifley’s, disabled by gynaecological catastrophe, or those where the husband had been killed at Gallipoli, or, like Clive James’s father, in a plane crash coming home from the war, which would rule out a quarter of all heterosexual marriages in the twentieth century from this young idiot’s new bizarre definition, he persisted with it, saying he had been ‘verballed’ when it was quoted back to him accurately by Nick Champion, his bemused opponent.
Abetz on the same programme, AM Agenda, warned that gay marriage would ‘open a Pandora’s Box’ to polygamy, a vile practice espoused by Mohammed, the prophet Abraham, and King Solomon the Wise, who, oops, had, oops, a thousand wives…let me read that again. Rallying, he declared, throwing down the gauntlet, that those uppity sneaky pansy Liberals who disagreed with him on this entirely trivial question should forthwith resign from the Ministry and, indeed, from the Party. Asked if this included Turnbull and Frydenberg, Entsch and Pyne, he hissed, ‘Don’t verbal me, sunshine’ (you can’t make this stuff up); then, clearing his throat, expressed his lasting gratitude that the Catholic wing of the Liberal Party could now, with the assistance of its principal donors the Mafia, enforce its point of view.
More and more it seemed the Liberals, the party of individual conscience, did not know any more its arse from its dildo and would soon, with the hourly aid of Abbott’s twitchy dementia pugilistica, rip itself apart.
And we will see what we shall see.