Exclusive: All living ex-Aussie Prime Ministers who have helped make Australian politics the world laughing stock it is today will participate in a special ceremony at Parliament House in the New Year to issue national apologies for the roles they played.
Seven ex-PMs from Bob Hawke to Malcolm Turnbull will offer their heartfelt personal mea culpas at the event in the Great Hall on a date to be fixed. A ballot will be held for Australians wanting to watch what is expected to be a very moving experience.
Next year’s “we’re so, so sorry” day follows previous apologies on behalf of the nation to the stolen generation of indigenous Australians in 2008, victims of forced adoptions in 2013, and victims of institutionalised child abuse this year.
First to take the stage will be Bob Hawke who will apologise to the nation for putting it through the embarrassment of his public displays of drunkenness and infidelity in his early days in public life as well as for his overt, vomit-inducing public displays of affection towards his second wife Blanch d’Alpuget in his later years.
“I should also really apologise posthumously to my late first wife Hazel,” Mr Hawke said. “I mean I made her go through with our sham of a marriage and had her play happy families for decades when I was in my pisspot phase and rooting around all over the country.
“I can’t say I’d root anything that moved but certainly anything that stayed still long enough, even a pair of fluffy slippers,” Mr Hawke said before touching his ear lobe, brushing his hair, and breaking into his trademark laugh, and glancing at a clearly embarrassed Ms d’Alpuget.
Paul Keating plans to apologise for not challenging Mr Hawke sooner.
In an interview at his Sydney residence Mr Keating told The Bug: “If I’d have knocked off Old Silver a year or two earlier I reckon I would have had the runs on the goalpost to give me a better chance of winning in 1996.
“It would have given me more time to cement myself in the minds of average Australians as being one of them,” he said while polishing a French Empire period white Carrara marble and ormolu clock.
“I rolled Old Jellyback in late 1991 but I think if I’d made a move in, say, 1988 I would have been able to win what would have been the 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, and 2014 elections,” he said while quickly winding the clock’s hands forward.
“But that wasn’t to be because some leaders like Bob have huge egos, an over-inflated view of their capacities, and believe they are indispensable which is why they hang around for too long.”
John Howard is expected to apologise for pretending to know how to play cricket and for allowing TV camera crews and newspaper photographers to capture his daily morning walks wearing a green and gold tracksuit.
“I will be acknowledging in my apology that if it wasn’t for me doing that, then those who followed me as PM or wanted to be PM would not have emulated it in their efforts to give the impression they were physically fit enough for the job,” Mr Howard told The Bug.
“Because of me generations of Australians have been affronted by images of sweaty and grossly unfit politicians walking, running, or jogging which they otherwise would never do.
“I am sorry for inflicting on voters visions of Kevin Rudd’s lily white legs, Tony Abbott’s red Speedos, Malcolm Turnbull’s panama hat, and Bill Shorten’s jiggling man-boobs.
“I am especially sorry because I only started to do my morning power walks to show that little prick Peter Costello and others behind him that in my 60s I was still healthy enough to be prime minister.”
The Bug has obtained a leaked copy of the second apology to the nation to be delivered by Kevin Rudd at the special Parliament House event early in 2019.
Mr Rudd famously delivered the national apology to the stolen generations a decade ago.
“On behalf of myself,” Mr Rudd’s planned second apology begins, “I am sorry…for being such a cunt.
“For the pain, suffering and hurt I caused to all my many inferiors that I tried my very best to put up with in my time as a foreign diplomat in Sweden who spoke to them in perfect Mandarin, and later in Beijing where locals tried hard to meet my level of linguistic specificity, I am sorry ….. for being such a cunt.
“For the mistreatment of those who had the privilege of working under me when I was chief of staff to Premier Wayne Goss — who tried his best but wasn’t really up to my standard — I say sorry …. for being such a cunt.
“And to the bunch of fucking useless ministers and their hopelessly incompetent media minders and empty-headed policy advisers in that government, I say sorry …. for being such a cunt.
“I am sorry for the indignity and degradation I inflicted on everyone around me in my time in federal politics, especially as your prime minister trying to do his very best for all Australians.
“I am sorry I was handicapped by a fucking useless treasurer who couldn’t run the till at a sausage sizzle at Bunnings and a ministry full of babbling baboons you couldn’t trust to peel a banana even if those from the NSW Labor Right had opposable thumbs.
“In fact to everyone who let me down so badly, I am sorry …. for being such a cunt.”
At the end of his speech Mr Rudd will address the people of Australia directly, saying: “I today take this first step in acknowledging my past as a right-royal cunt and I’d really like to think the injustices I suffered in the past because of your incompetence will never happen again.”
Julia Gillard is expected to deliver an apology for being captive to “a mob of poll-driven men” during her prime ministership.
A copy of her speech obtained by The Bug begins: “I am sorry that as prime minister I let myself be advised and directed by out-of-touch right-wing backroom boys who shat themselves any time poll numbers or focus groups exhibited an atom of apprehension about even just a hint of any new policy proposal or decision.
“In particular I am sorry for allowing myself to be suckered by panicky men barren of policy ideas into participating in publicity stunts designed to build a media image of me that was in fact unnatural and totally alien to who I actually am as an individual.
“In particular I am sorry for feeding a male-centric stereotype of what a woman is capable of achieving by posing for Women’s Weekly knitting a toy kangaroo for a royal baby.
“I am sorry for compounding that sort of mistake by declaring I needed to show Australians ‘the real Julia’ when even the ‘real Julia’ was a figment of unimaginative men’s un-imaginations.
“And I am sorry for listening to the chorus of poll-watching misanthropes running the Labor Party for having to oppose same-sex marriage as prime minister — leaving me in the embarrassing position of publicly ‘changing my mind’ and supporting it just two years later.”
Tony Abbott said he had reconsidered the tactics he used to win office such as reducing complex issues to three-word slogans.
“I don’t plan to say much in my apology,” Mr Abbott told The Bug, “I’m just going to stand up and give a brief rundown of the key decisions I should have made but didn’t while prime minister.
“In fact my full speech will simply say: No more slogans; sack Peta Credlin; and don’t give knighthoods.
“I’ll just sit down after that. It won’t take long,” Mr Abbott said.
When contacted by The Bug the nation’s most recent prime minister (note to subs: check this before publishing) Malcolm Turnbull said he would attend the 2019 event and was more than willing to receive an apology from the Australian people.
When The Bug explained that the event was a forum for him to apologise to the Australian people, Mr Turnbull said he didn’t understand, fell silent, then promised to get back to us, although he did not call before publication.
The final time and date for the apology event is still being discussed by parliamentary staff and the participants.
The Bug understands a sticking point is Mr Rudd’s demand for two separate appearances at the event because he was prime minister twice.