The Abbotts are at home on one of Tony’s rare nights off, discussing going to see a film.
TONY: Margie. How about we go to the movies? We haven’t done that for years.
MARGIE: Why not. I can’t believe it. Going out on a date together. There is a film I’m interested in seeing. Neruda.
TONY: I’m rather partial to checking out Churchill. About Winston Churchill during the war.
MARGIE: Oh. What should we do?
TONY: What’s Neruda about?
MARGIE: A Chilean communist poet.
TONY: Margaret. Why in God’s name would you want to watch a film about a person like that? I want Churchill. We’ll have to set up a plebiscite. Let’s vote.
MARGIE: That won’t work, you idiot.
TONY: Why? I believe in the will of the people.
@billshortenmp Who do you think you're kidding? Both 4yr terms and republic will reduce accountability Let the people have their say on SSM!— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) July 28, 2017
MARGIE: The people here are two and we are split down the middle.
TONY: OK, We’ll broaden the people’s voice to an uneven number. I’ll ring Peta and see what she says.
[Tony calls Peta.]
TONY: Peta. How would you enjoy a night at the movies? Churchill or Neruda?
PETA: Who or what is Neruda?
TONY: Some Commie Chilean creep.
PETA: Churchill for sure.
TONY: Thanks. I’ll get back to you soon with the details.
TONY: An overwhelming landslide result for Churchill.
MARGIE: What did you expect? You and your branch stacking. I’m sick of it. I think I’ll broaden the plebiscite participants with a phone call of my own.
TONY: Oh. Will you!
[Margie rings Malcolm Turnbull.]
MARGIE: Malcolm, it’s Margaret. How’s Lucy? Tony and I are debating which film to see tonight: Neruda or Churchill.
MALCOLM: Easy. Lucy and I saw it last night. Neruda. Fabulous. What a man. A great political thinker and an excellent poet. He wrote many of his poems in green ink, as a sign of his optimism for the future.
MARGIE: Sounds wonderful. Regards to Lucy.
[Margie hangs up the phone.]
Well, that’s 50/50 for Neruda, and if I include Lucy, it’s 60/40 for Neruda. Did you know he wrote using green ink?
TONY: Oh, did he now!! Just because he is dead doesn’t make him a saint. Green ink, you say! I’ll call Josh. He is our current environment minister, after all. I’ll show you green.
[Tony calls Josh.]
JOSH: Lovely to hear your voice Tony.
TONY: Margie and I are banging heads over which movie to see tonight. Churchill or Neruda? We’re split down the middle. I rang Peta. She’s for Churchill, like me. Then Marg rang Malcolm.
JOSH: What did Malcolm say?
TONY: Neruda. A film about some creepy Chilean poet.
JOSH: Well, I’d better go with Malcolm’s pick. Neruda.
TONY: Fuck you, Josh.
JOSH: Sorry, Tony.
TONY: Fuck off Frydenberg.
MARGIE: Well. I guess the plebiscite has come out favouring Neruda 60/40.That settles it.
TONY: Bullshit. Who says it’s over. I’ll speak to Eric.
[Tony rings Eric Abetz.]
TONY: Eric. I’m going to the movies tonight with Margaret. She wants Neruda. I want Churchill. What do you think?
ERIC: What are they about?
TONY: Neruda is about some Commie poet running from the Government, and Churchill is about Winston Churchill. Easy choice don’t you think.
ERIC: Yes. Those World War II films don’t end all that well for my family and I love the thought of Commies on the run just to stay alive. Has to be Neruda.
TONY: You’re fucking kidding.
[Tony slams the phone down.]
MARGIE: An avalanche for Neruda. The people have spoken Tony.
TONY: Bullshit. Who said it’s a binding plebiscite? Not me. You can watch whatever you want. For all I care you can visit Mr Harbourside Mansion and watch episodes of The West Wing with the Turnbulls.
I’m going with Peta to watch a film about a man of integrity, Winston Churchill.
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