Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lashed out angrily at a group of senior Canberra public servants over their assessment of his performance at the National Press Club yesterday.
The Bug understands that the senior bureaucrats in the Home Affairs Department created a specific algorithm for the process after being stung by comments from the PM during the sports grants scandal that while he greatly respected the nation’s public servants, elected politicians with their feet on the ground were better at distributing such funds.
Perhaps intentionally, they created a 100-point scale for the PM’s address, and rather provocatively created a multi-page spreadsheet for his entire address and question period, coloured in blue for precise and clever comments, green for comments that were passable, yellow for those that didn’t stand up to much scrutiny and red for outright fibs.
The Bug understands the bureaucrats ended up rating Mr Morrison at a very low 21 points and the spreadsheet looks like the killing floor of a country abattoir after a very busy day processing racehorses and the occasional goat.
A spokesperson said Mr Morrison had accepted the bureaucrats’ work in good spirit but believed they had overreacted to probably the only blemishes in his entire performance: when he talked about the need for “trout-resistant crops” and his usual couple of dozen or so word mispronunciations “that anyone of limited intelligence could easily make while reading an autocue”.
“The PM has made the necessary adjustments to the findings, just as Senator Bridget McKenzie was entitled to do to the Sports Australia grants recommendations, and was more than happy with his 89-point rating, even though he wouldn’t have got a sports grant with a rating that high,” the spokesperson said.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told The Bug this morning that he had no idea why senior staff in his department had unilaterally conducted the survey.
He rejected the findings completely and wanted to reassure Mr Morrison that “he is my leader which naturally means he has my back at this point in time”.