Taking the PM’s trip to book


The race is well and truly on as some of Australia’s leading political scribes scramble to be the first to print with the definitive account of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Donald Trump’s White House.

The Bug understands three books are hurriedly being penned right now. All have wildly different assessments of the success or otherwise of the PM’s journey and all are by Peter van Onselen, professor of politics, Network Ten’s political editor and contributing editor at The Australian.

Daze of Our Liars is reportedly van Onselen’s eviscerating, take-no-prisoners account of the events of the past week, where the author argues that enormous damage has been done to the political careers of both Mr Morrison and President Trump by the “vomitous love-in witnessed over recent days by two of the most mendacious political leaders this world has ever seen”.

Coming Up Trumps allows van Onselen to expand fulsomely on his view that Mr Morrison’s official state visit and dinner have cemented the PM as possibly the greatest leader in Australia’s history and “we can put down the glasses when it comes to the next couple of federal election campaign outcomes”.

Van Onselen’s third book, The Eagle has Dangled, weighs up the pros and cons of Mr Morrison’s trip across the Pacific and valiantly and fairly tries to dissect every word uttered and every image taken between the two countries’ leaders to ascertain whether the Aussie PM “has held his own with possibly the greatest showman post-war politics has produced”.

“While I believe he has, the verdict on that might take many, many months to wash over a drought-ravished Australian political landscape,” van Onselen opines with his trademark flourish.

Contacted by The Bug, Mr van Onselen said he planned to fine-tune all three books on the way home in the PM’s VIP jetliner if “that hunk of junk” has working wi-fi and “the manuscripts should be off to the printers well in advance of Christmas sales”.

He said rather modestly that he would leave it to universities and colleges across the nation as to whether they would list the three books as essential reading for any diploma or degree centred on political science.

“Naturally as one of our nation’s leading politics academics and authors I would like to think at least one of them will be regarded as the definitive, most objective and professional dissection of the events in Washington, New York and Ohio over recent days.

“And as such, it will hopefully appeal to the same political science students who turned to some of my other works to understand the enormous similarities between Hitler’s national socialism and other identical examples of socialism in history”.

News of van Onselen’s pending publishing trifecta has reportedly dried up the creative juices of other political scribes who had covered the PM’s trip and had planned memoirs.

The Bug understands the ABC’s political editor Andrew Probyn has ceased work on his own account, When Morons Meet, and Channel 9’s Chris Uhlmann has likewise deleted from his laptop all preliminary work on A Stable of Geniuses and has resumed writing his opus Why wind farms will never work!.

But competition is always good, and The Bug can report that Sky News Australia’s Paul Murray is still working hard on his full-colour, pop-up cartoon book based on his in-depth interview with the US President, including one excellent diorama showing Mr Trump eating a steak from the White House kitchens.