Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: James Brickwood

From the Office of the Prime Minister
TO: Australian Archives.
Re: Transcripts, PM’s office. November, 2013.
(Archival note, present were the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Minister for Stopping Immigration).

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: Come in Jules, Scotty. You can help me, er, you know, draft the letter to Bang Bang. Jules, you want to come sit on my lap? Take some dictation?

Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister: (Freezing silence, as vast and cold as the space between the stars).

Abbott: Er, okay, all right. But I am, er, I am the Minister for Women, you know. It's all good.

Scott Morrison, Minister for Stopping Immigration: (Zombie noises, mostly snarls and sucking gurgles).

Abbott: So, er, I thought, you know, we’d er, send old Bang Bang a note, and er… er… well, I dunno, can we blame it on Jules?

Bishop: (The sound of frozen air sucked through teeth, filed to sharp points.)

Abbott: Ha! You thought I meant you? No, er, no. I meant the ginger ninja. She’s got to earn her, er, she’s got to earn her pension somehow now.

Bishop: (hisses) It wasn’t her.

Morrison: (Snarling. The sound of flesh rending. Bones breaking… Unintelligible… Possibly terrified screaming).

Abbott: Jeez, Scotty. Is that one of those reffo kids? Er, never mind. Just… er, just chew with your mouth closed would you? You’re getting bits all over the carpet. What was that Jules? I could er…

Bishop: It wasn’t Gillard. It was Rudd. He was Prime Minister when they bugged Yudoyono.

Abbott: Well that’s good isn’t it? Lets, er, lets go with that. Can you, er, can you take a few notes, Jules? You’re, er, you’re the Minister for Foreigners aren’t you? Well, the one’s we can’t lock up anyway. Ha! See what I did there? And Bang Bang’s a foreigner. He, er, certainly, he ah, he certainly sounds like one on all the tapes. ah, ASIS send me. Sounds like, er, like he’s always got a gob full of, er, nasi bloody goreng.

Morrison: (grunting, unintelligible, possibly chewing and lip smacking sounds)

Abbott: So, er, what do we call him, you know, official like but, ah, friendly? What did, er, what did his lady call him? Did ASIS run it, ah, through, er, you know the Google translate thingy. I’m er, you know, I’m not, er, I’m not a techy. I think she called him… Love Monkey, was that it? Er. Like a nick name or something? is that what Google said? You reckon we should do that? Dear, er, Love Monkey?

Bishop: (Darth Vader breathing)

Abbott: No? OK. Er, how about mate, then? Everyone loves being called mate. Obama got a real kick out of it, I think, er, when I called him mate that time. On the, er, phone. He was laughing and everything. Couldn’t even stop.

Bishop: (More Darth Vader breathing) Mister President.

Morrison: Braaaaainnzzz.

Abbott: Yeah, okay, we’ll do the cross out thing. Take a note, Jules. ‘Dear Mister President. Then cross it out, and, ah, write in Dear Love Monkey. Like we’ve, ah, like we’ve changed our minds. Cos, er, you know, that’s the, ah, that’s the impression we want to give. Isn't it? that the impression to give, that we’ve changed our minds and ah, we’re not gonna spy on the Love Monkeys any more. And, ah, better get ASIS to, ah, check that they believed it. You know, like, ah, can we bug him or something? So, er, we start, off, ah, Dear… Dear Love… Oh, look, ah, lets just call him… lets just call him Bang Bang. Yeah. You getting this, Jules? Dear Bang Bang. Ok. Good start. And we’d better get the, ah, the apologies, out there, you know. Better get them out there? So, ah, lets say, ah, mate, look, ah I’m, ah, sorry if you’re upset about all this. Ah. And I’m really… really… sorry you’re ah thinking of turning back our juicy beef exports.

Morrison: Meeeeat. Fleshhhhh….

Abbott: Yeah, Scotty. That’s good. Just, just calm down, Scotty. So, Jules, you, ah, you getting this? Lets, ah, lets say, ah, look we’d better ah, apologise some more. It’s like, ah it’s like a culture thing or something, with them, isn’t it? It’s all about apologising.

Morrison: (Snarls, grunts).

Abbott: Oh… brain storm. I know. I got it. Lets, ah, lets apologise for that, ah, letter, that, ah, you know Scotty sent him, ah… or maybe just for Scotty. Er. You right with that, Scotty? If we chuck in an apology for you?

Morrison: (burps)

Abbott: Great, that’s great, mate. So, er, Jules, er, lets say we’re sorry that Scotty’s been, ah, you know, stalking you, Bang Bang, and ah, that er, kid who works for him. What’s his name, Marty Alphabet something? Yeah, that’s right, Marty, er, we’re sorry Scotty’s been stalking him too, and er, just, er, you know, hanging around down, ah, at the, er, docks and stuff, just, er, you know, stalking people and stuff. We’re sorry for that.

Morrison: (explodes in rage. Clanking of chains and manacles)

Abbott: Calm down, Scotty. Lets, ah, Jules lets ah.. oh I now, let’s turn it around, eh. Ah… something like, Bang Bang, we’re really sorry about, ah, no, no we’re so sorry about Scotty crawling in through your, ah, your palace windows and, and you know, ah, your bedroom windows and stuff. Ah. But, ah… oh, this is good, Jules, get this. Lick the pencil. Yeah, that’s good. Make sure it’s ah, working. Say we’re, ah, sorry about Scotty always, er, following him and, ah, jumping out of, er, cupboards and things, but, er, he’s, er, just, you know, he’s new in the job and, er, if you ah think about it, you know, Bang Bang, it ah, goes to prove, ah, it just goes to prove doesn’t it me old Love Monkey, that ah we can't be, ah, you know, listening in or, uhm, reading your, ah, snappy chat, your, uhm, sexy text, ah, any more, because, ah, that’s why we’ve got, ah, Scotty off the leash now. Because we, ah shut down, you know Labor’s great big ah, new spying scheme. It’s gone. All gone. Brilliant. Yeah! You got that, Jules? Can we, ah, can we get one of the ah girls to, er, you know, ah, one of the girls to put it on the good paper? With the roos and emus and things?

Bishop: (A low rumble, like the implosion of star in a long dead galaxy)

Abbott: Great! Good, ah, good work, everyone. I reckon we’ll, ah, we’ll have these love monkeys all over us when I’m done.