A spine implant has given veteran federal Labor member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon a new lease on life.
“I’m now being frank and open with the electorate’s coal miners about their long-term future and I’m telling you it’s been cathartic,” the veteran MP (pictured above in a 2019 poll poster) told The Bug about the effects he’s already noticed since the nine-hour operation a few weeks ago.
“I can almost feel the weight of that awful nickname of mine, “Jellyback Joel”, sliding off my back, so to speak.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said he had always heard he’d actually get more respect from local miners if he was upfront with them about their futures as climate-change fears took hold instead of “just visiting their workers’ clubs before elections, shouting them some beers and telling them he’s got their backs and they can keep on coalmining until they die of old age or black lung disease”.
“But I just couldn’t do it until some of my closest advisers and the party HQ suggested a complete spine implant!
“I hated the very idea of going under the knife but when I also heard growing rumours about possible disendorsement, I said: ‘Let’s do it!’
“Besides, with my skillset, where the fuck am I going to get a job anywhere, let alone one with my current salary?
“As it’s turned out, I’ve actually regained some ground with these chaps who apparently accept their industry is done for and will support a political party that has a bold plan for them to successfully transition to other jobs where they can continue to support themselves and their families.
“And I’ve also picked up votes from the tree-hugger set and climate-change weirdos.
“None of this would have been possible without the spine implant.
“My whole new approach seems so sensible now considering the massive number of votes I leaked last election by brownnosing the electorate’s miners and telling them they could keep digging up that shitty thermal and soft coking coal for ever and a day!
“Much smarter people than me – and that’s just about everybody – said ‘Mate, what you’ve been doing up to now isn’t really working for you, is it?'”