Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader, Michael McCormack, has taken drastic action to shore up his position in the event of an expected second leadership challenge by Barnaby Joyce.
A National Party source said Mr McCormack’s low public profile since defeating Mr Joyce in a party room ballot earlier this week was explained by the need for him to take time off to overhaul his image.
“I can’t tell you the exact margin of his victory over Barnaby but let me say, it was close. Very, very close,” the source said.
“Michael got the clear message from the ballot that his own MPs — even those who voted for him — are not entirely happy with the image he projects and that they want someone a bit more like Barnaby.
“So for the last few days Michael’s been out of action after having facial reconstruction surgery to make him look pretty much like Barnaby.
“It’s involved pulling material from his arse and injecting it in and around his mouth and nose to fill out his face.
“Then he had his skin reddened and made a lot more blotchy. He was also treated with injections of a special compound that makes him spit a lot more when he talks, especially if he ratchets up his volume a few notches.
“Michael’s quite happy with the results so far (main picture) and didn’t want to go ahead with the lobotomy just right now, so we’ve moved on to the next few stages of his makeover.
“We’re tutoring him in how to bluff his way through interviews and news conferences by just spouting meaningless bullshit but ranting, raving, bellowing, belching, and spitting to divert attention from the fact you’ve got fuck all to say, or what you’re saying is just bullshit.
“We’re also forcing Michael to drink heavily and start to, shall we say, be a lot more touchy-feely with members of the opposite sex when he meets them.
“Plus we’ve shoehorned a pert young media adviser into his office and we’re encouraging him to start a torrid affair with her.
“We certainly hope it leads to a pregnancy and the break-up of his marriage and as a party that values family values above all else, we’ll be doing our best to get the whole sordid mess and the second family splashed across the media coast to coast when it happens,” the source said.