- Published: 17 November 2020
- ISBN: 9781760899080
- Imprint: Penguin
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256
- RRP: $22.99
The Scomo Diaries
My First Eighteen Months at the Coalface
In case it’s not obvious to all readers, this is a work of satire, and while names may be real, the actions or statements of any person mentioned in this book must not be taken literally by anyone reading it.
August 24th 2018
I did it! Everything I have ever done has been leading to this point, and I finally did it! As of today, I, Scott Morrison, have become manager of one of the world’s pre-eminent marketing firms: the Australian Federal Government. I know in my heart that I am destined to be the greatest leader this company has ever seen, and so here I present to you, dear reader, my diary. May it inspire younger generations towards the greatness I am destined to achieve and act as a blueprint for future leaders long after I have moved into the private sector.
Before we get to all that, though, I guess you need to know a bit about who I was before I became the boss. My humble beginnings. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an ad man. It was a toss-up between that and being a priest, but I decided on the former because it offered greater variety in the things I got to sell. I had my first taste of the life as a child actor in my youth when I did a commercial for cough drops. There were a lot of great people on that film set, but the ones I looked up to most were the advertising executives. They drank whiskey, smoked cigarettes and had houses in the Shire – Sydney’s crown jewel. They commanded so much respect that people would literally stop talking when they approached and stand there staring, obviously paralysed with admiration. When they weren’t around, ‘those f**king ad men’ were all anyone could talk about, often tinged with the jealousy that comes with only being able to afford one car. After I graduated university I tried to track a few of them down, but the majority had died. The few who hadn’t were said to be in rehab, but I didn’t want to bother them. I heard through the grapevine a few years later that they had also died. I like to think their legacy was giving a little boy named Scott a dream that would lead to him, years later, also owning a house in the Shire.
My acting career came to an early end when I auditioned for a part in a planned revival of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. When I met the kangaroo playing Skippy, the animal panicked and threw itself in front of a passing truck. Its handler, understandably upset, said some pretty mean things about Skippy being able to ‘sense great darkness within the child’, and he later kidnapped me and tried to stab me with seven daggers on the altar of a local church. It was quite the kerfuffle. Afterwards, my parents said I was banned from working in an industry so full of drugs, perverts and loose morals, so instead I began my career in the more wholesome fields of marketing and politics. These two fields are essentially the same, except politics has the added bonus of being able to crush a weaker opponent, which adds a sense of victory to the whole thing.
After school I turned my focus towards crafting a personality for myself, slowly becoming the kind of leader with enough universal appeal to one day beat out a man with no eyebrows in a leadership spill. I adopted the name ‘Scomo’ when I noticed how popular a pop singer by the name of JLo (short for Jott Lorrison) had become. After several months I decided that velour tracksuits maybe didn’t suit me as much as they did her, but the name stuck. I spent some time in charge of Tourism Australia, left Tourism Australia by choice without being fired or ever called a ‘smug f**king turd’ by anyone I worked with, and finally, in 2007, I was offered a chance at preselection for the Division of Cook. I couldn’t believe my luck! Not only was the electorate named after one of the very first Australians, it was also located in the greatest local government area on the planet: the Shire! My friend and mentor Bruce Baird was retiring as member for the area and suggested I throw my hat in the ring as a candidate. The only person standing in my way was a man named Michael Towke. Towke was an engineer, a former Army Reservist and, unfortunately for me, somehow very popular despite being a Lebanese candidate for a division that covers Cronulla Beach. He narrowly defeated me in the first round, 82 votes to 8. I was understandably furious at Bruce for embarrassing me, but all was not lost, it seemed, as some stories appeared in the media insinuating that Towke was a liar and that elements of his CV had been exaggerated. He was disendorsed by the party and I easily won the second ballot. I was going to be an MP! The rumours about Towke were later proven to be false and his name was cleared, but I think I was the right man for the job, so all’s well that ends well. Now that I had preselection, all I needed to do was win the election, and I did that quite convincingly. Sure, the party may have suffered some losses, including the Prime Minister losing his seat, but the Shire got right behind me and I only suffered a swing of around 7 per cent against me, something described by others in the party as ‘baffling’. Such are the wonders of miracles. Shout-out to my Guy in the Sky, the G-Man (God).
Six short years of opposition later, my good friend Tony Abbott led the party to victory over the Rudd–Gillard–Rudd government. Tony, an unnervingly muscular man who looks a bit like a fish if you taught it to ride a bike then poured a lot of wine into it, discovered the power of the word ‘no’. By simply saying ‘no’ and attempting to block everything Labor wanted to do, their popularity plummeted and, in turn, ours went up. It was a strategy he employed to great success, even while in power, until he didn’t anymore when he was replaced as Prime Minister by Malcolm Turnbull after two years of not really doing anything other than regularly stripping down to practise his slow-motion Baywatch run along the corridors of Parliament House.
It was under Tony, though, that I was made Minister for Immigration and came up with what is still, to this day, one of my greatest campaigns: Operation Sovereign Borders. OSB was a multiplatform campaign that combined billboards and television commercials in multiple languages, on-water pop-ups courtesy of the Australian Navy, and offshore installations. My crowning achievement, however, was merging Customs and Immigration and rebranding them as BORDER FORCE!™ Unfortunately I was told there wasn’t room in the BORDER FORCE!™ budget to have members of the agency surgically modified to replace their arms with machine guns, but this is the only thing I would have changed. In the years since I have left the Immigration portfolio, it appears the name of the agency has been changed to mostly lower-case letters and the exclamation point has been removed, which, in my opinion, is far less cool.
I still keep a small memento of this campaign on my desk – a trophy made for me by a friend after he heard me complaining about not being allowed to enter my campaign at Cannes. It’s a silver boat with the words ‘I stopped these’ printed on the side. The boat represents the boats that I stopped, and the message on the side is a reminder that I stopped the boats. Sometimes when I need to remember that the boats were stopped by me, I will look at this boat statue with the words ‘I stopped these’ on the side and think to myself, I stopped the boats. If I need to be reminded while I’m at home, I have a picture of the trophy on my phone and another in a frame in my study, or I’ll have my receptionist go into the office and set up a video chat. I don’t like to bother her when she’s at home though, as she has a family to look after, so I’ll only ask her to do this – at most – three times a week.
After I stopped the boats I had a brief vacation as Minister for Social Services before Malcolm decided my talents were needed elsewhere and asked if I would mind stopping the budget deficit as well. This proved slightly more of a challenge, since all that boat-stopping had cost quite a lot of money. The obvious solution was to cut welfare, but this would increase the number of desperate and impoverished people in Australia, which my boat-stopping campaign had been specifically designed to prevent.
Then I remembered a lesson I’d learned from my old friend Tony. After Malcolm beat him in the spill, Tony held a party in his office. The next day, when I asked one of the cleaners at Parliament House to vacuum up my Dorito crumbs, I was told he couldn’t do it because he was ‘still cleaning up the mess left by the former PM’. It was true that Tony’s office was a reeking nightmare of urine, blood and other unidentifiable fluids, but as I watched him from the air vent, I realised he wasn’t doing anything to rectify the situation. He had closed the door and was sitting amongst the detritus, playing a video game about angry birds on his phone. (I believe the game is called Angry Bird.)
I watched the man do this for several hours before I was struck by an idea. If I could somehow wallow in the mess the Labor Party’s budgets had made of John Howard’s beautiful, shiny surplus, I could coast through however many years it took for me to be given a new portfolio. The fact that we’d already been in power for a full term by this point would normally have posed a problem here, but luckily for me Tony had spent his entire time as PM continuing to talk about Labor. All I had to do was sit in my office, play Angry Bird and wait for my next assignment.
On April 21st 2018, after almost three years of Angry Bird, Malcolm called for the tri-yearly leadership spill, traditionally held towards the end of the first term of each Prime Minister since Kevin Rudd. Peter Dutton, the man who took over as the leader of BORDER FORCE!™ after I became Treasurer, had been canvassing for votes and had planned to move against Turnbull as soon as he had the numbers. I had been eagerly awaiting this moment too, although I could never say it publicly.
My plan was to let Dutton have the top job for a year or two, allow him to build up a large amount of resentment by looking like a hateful mushroom, then move against him and take the job for myself, picking up a nice popularity boost along the way. By allowing myself to be compared to Dutton, my possession of a soul would be seen as a positive attribute.
Malcolm found out about Dutton’s ambitions, though, and called the spill before Peter had the numbers. Not wanting to reveal myself, I was forced to vote to keep things the way they were. I had thought that would be the end of it, but, as the plaque on Peter’s office door says, ‘How do you kill that which cannot die?’ Even after his loss, that munted spud continued to gather supporters for another challenge.
This morning, just three days after the first spill, Malcolm stepped aside, declared the leadership vacant and said he wouldn’t be running. My plan was back in action! Dutton could sail to victory unopposed, herald the beginning of the Apocalypse then be slain like the dragon he is by Saint Scott of the Shire! Everything was progressing exactly as it was meant to before frigging Julie Bishop put her hand up to run. The chances of a lady being voted in as leader of the Liberal Party were slim, but I still couldn’t risk it. My plan would need to be accelerated. In the first round Dutton pulled in 38 votes, I got 36 and Bishop only ended up with a measly 11. Serves her right. She was eliminated and, in a case of history repeating itself, the second vote delivered me a victory with the final numbers being 45 to 40.
I haven’t asked around yet, but I’m assuming a lot of the boys voted for Dutton to wind me up. We often play pranks on each other around Parliament House, like the time Christopher Pyne glued the windows and doors to my office shut and fed a pipe connected to his car’s exhaust through the air vent. I was banging on the windows, begging him to turn the engine off, but he just cackled and did that thing where he spins his head around 360 degrees. Eventually Joe Hockey broke the door down and we were able to get Christopher back into his cupboard, but these japes were a regular occurrence around the old PH (Parliament House, not Pauline Hanson – Pauline hates jokes, says she doesn’t get them). So all the guys voting for Peter as a joke is definitely something they would do. Accounting for prank votes, I put my real numbers at around 84 to me and 1 to Dutton. Josh Frydenberg was voted in as deputy, but no one really cares about that. He did vote for me though, so that was nice. Maybe I’ll make him Treasurer as a reward. Hopefully he has a lot of games on his phone to keep him busy.
A bank robbery. A hostage drama. A stairwell full of police o¬fficers on their way to storm an apartment.
– a whirling mass of vapors is unhinged, shooting through outer space for an infinity until it collides with an ellipsis which does not let go, and after another infinity, the vapors boil into fire clouds...
I start wearing the family dog, a mini-sheltie, a little Lassie, in an unbleached cotton baby sling across the front of my body like a messenger bag, a few weeks shy of fall.
Johnny Casey launched into a fit of energetic coughing – a bit of bread down the wrong way.
The aging captain, gray at the temples now, had steered the great ship Glory for many years, and was ready to retire.
There’s a story from World War I, perhaps apocryphal, but possibly true, that sums up Australia’s love of gambling.
Dear Girls, You are prohibited from reading this book until you are twenty-one years old.
The reason I agreed to travel to Europe with my dad was because I was sick of having fun overseas.