Grave fears are now held for the safety of Prime Minister Scott Morrison after he went missing on his RAAF flight to Rome overnight.
He left the plane about 6.30am AEDT to “get a bird’s eye view of things for myself” about two hours flight time into the second leg of his journey after the RAAF A300 Shark One had refuelled in Singapore.
One of the four SkyNews journalists among the several dozen News Corp Australia media invited to accompany the PM explained what happened.
“We’d had a lovely trip to south-east Asia and our evening meal was divine,” a tearful Sky News After Dark presenter Peta Credlin told The Bug by radio phone this morning as the plane began a low-level circular flight path over the Bay of Bengal looking for any sign of the PM.
“Scott had a menu printed The Australian Way and the kangaroo steaks, fresh spring vegetables from the dead centre and a wonderful tangy spinifex jus was to die for, as was the sliced Atherton Tableland mango, smothered in cream and icecream made from contended Jerseys from near Maleny on the Sunshine Coast and a selection of divine goat, sheep and dairy cheeses from the Illawarra region just south of his electorate.
“And all enjoyed with a range of craft Aussie beers, some excellent Aussie wines from various states and Tasmanian whiskies.
“Afterwards, Scott stayed down the back of the plane with us and read extracts from his excellent booklet, The Plan to Deliver Net Zero The Australian Way.
“Well, after leaving Singapore, we had some more drinkies and snacks – boy, those Tasmanian whiskies really do pack a punch – and we knew it was definitely time for some shut-eye.
“But after earlier wishing us all a good night and hoping we had all filed positive stories, Scott surprised us all by reemerging from his private prime ministerial suite up front in his Climate Change Man superhero outfit (at top) and sashayed around a bit in it while we all naturally applauded.
“It’s then that he ordered one of the RAAF crewman to roll out a little red carpet to the aircraft’s main door and ordered the poor chap to ‘unlock the main door and crosscheck’.
“Scott said simply: ‘I’m told the coal-fuelled lights of the major cities of India are an absolute must-see from 30,000 feet up so I’m going to get a bird’s eye view of things for myself’.
“He gave a dramatic flourish of his cape and then he was gone.”
Ms Credlin said she later spotted the prime minister outside her window.
“He gave me the OK, blew me a kiss and signalled that he was going to go ahead and then he was off like a flash.
“I’m just hoping beyond hope that he’s decided to get to Rome early to give himself more time to prepare for his role in saving the world at COP26 in Glasgow.
“I can say that now because luckily, earlier in the flight, Scott and I had a one-on-one and he convinced me to stop being upset over his 2050 net zero emissions Plan and News Corp’s supposed support for real climate-change action.
“He told me it’s all bullshit and if anyone should have been able to recognise bullshit when they saw it, it should have been me.”
While Ms Credlin is hopeful that the PM has turned up safely in Rome, albeit a little windswept, other veteran journos on the flight are not so sure.
The Bug has learnt that The Australian Financial Review’s respected scribe Phillip Coorey, one of only two non-News Corp Australia reporters invited to fly with the PM, threw his hands in the air the moment Mr Morrison jumped out the door and shouted: “That’s the end of good, strong stable government in Australia!’
“This country’s fucked!” agreed Channel 9 politics reporter Chris Uhlmann, before both men embraced and sobbed uncontrollably for quite some time without any embarrassment or shame whatsoever and you’ve got to admit it takes real men to be able to do that.