IA gets an exclusive interview with "investigative journalist" Peta Credlin, whose mission it is to uncover the truth without fear or favour.
IA: Peta Credlin. Welcome.
Credlin: Please, Peta will suffice.
IA: We don’t often have the honour of hosting you here in our "socialist" enclave. You tend to ferret yourself away in the leafy Liberal strongholds.
Credlin: You’ve just explained why. I daren’t tell Bronwyn I am here in Australia’s "Little Cuba"; inner Melbourne, "latte-sipping, chattering class" region. I journeyed here several times with Tony during the heady days of his Prime Ministership.
IA: Not really a happy marriage.
Credlin: Listen carefully. Whatever difficulties Tony and Margaret’s marriage may experience have nothing at all to do with me.
IA: No; I just mean you and Victoria, and in particular, Premier Daniel Andrews.
Credlin: A complete incompetent. You wouldn’t trust him to remember his own kids’ birthdays.
IA: You say incompetent. Why?
Credlin: Why? Are you kidding me? Look at the numbers.
IA: I am. They’re down from over 700 a day to 3 or less a day.
Credlin: Not those numbers.
IA: Which numbers then?
Credlin: Sky News After Dark ratings. We were dragging the chain down here in Melbourne and Andrew Bolt needed some heavyweight back up. Management decided to heighten my profile by sending me to Andrews’ turgid daily press conferences. A bit of glamour never goes astray. Our ratings are through the roof now!
IA: Your constant grilling of Daniel Andrews suggests you see yourself as bit of an investigative journalist. Where did you develop your taste for it?
Credlin: Surprisingly enough, from the branch stacking issues down here in Victoria.
IA: You mean allegations against Adem Somyurek and Labor?
Credlin: No. With the Liberal Party. Michael Sukkar, Kevin Andrews and Marcus Bastiaan.
IA: That astounds me. Why them?
Credlin: I was fortunate enough to sit in on the investigation they set up to determine if taxpayer money and facilities have been used for Liberal Party purposes by Michael Sukkar and Andrews. Kevin, not Daniel. In fact, I have a recording of the process on my iPad. I’ll boot it up so you can see for yourself.
(Credlin quickly boots up her iPad.)
Credlin: Here, have a look.
(She hands over the iPad.)
Counsellor: Michael Sukkar. Did you, or any of your staff, ever use your electoral office and its facilities for the benefit of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party, rather than for the benefit of the Australian taxpayer?
Counsellor: Thank you. That will be all. Kevin Andrews. Did you, or any of your staff, ever use your electoral office and its facilities for the benefit of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party, rather than for the benefit of the Australian taxpayer?
Counsellor: Thank you. That will be all. Marcus Bastiaan. Did you use taxpayers' money to facilitate and finance branch stacking within the Victorian Liberal Party?
Bastiaan: I am affronted. Of course not. No.
Counsellor: Can you please stick to the question? Your feelings are not relevant. Did you use the taxpayers' money?
Counsellor: Thank you. That will be all. That about does it. I find nothing to suggest taxpayer’s resources have been used illegally for the benefit of the Victorian Liberal Party. Nothing to see here.
IA: That’s it?
Credlin: I was so inspired by how exhaustive the commission into the alleged branch stacking was, I thought, that’s what I want to do.
IA: I would have thought you’d be more interested in the inquiry into the Labor Party’s alleged branch stacking.
Credlin: No way. They take far too long. The Liberal’s inquiry cut straight to the chase. Did you? No? One simple, direct question. What more could you want?
IA: Accuracy. For instance, you getting stuck into the South Sudanese community, accusing them of spreading COVID-19 earlier this year.
Credlin: Surely everyone’s allowed an honest mistake now and then. And don’t you dare accuse me of racism. Aliir Aliir is my favourite Sydney Swan’s player. Remember, I did apologise over that mistake.
IA: Any other mistakes?
Credlin: I don’t make mistakes.
IA: How about going the early crow in Eden Monaro and declaring it for the government. Was that a mistake?
Credlin: Not really. Can you really trust our postal service or postal votes? Sort of thing you need to put a watch on I think.
IA: Surely you are here in "Little Cuba" for political reasons as well as ratings concerns.
Credlin: Like everyone I wanted to get to the bottom of the hotel quarantine fiasco. The choice of private security over the police and ADF.
IA: Are not you a champion of privatization and private over public?
Credlin: Of course I am. But I’m sure Andrews used this as an opportunity to curry favour with his multi-cultural mates. I mean, did you see the guards at the hotels on their phones? I bet you they were watching Bollywood blockbusters, messaging each other in Sanskrit. Before you go on, I’m not a racist. Virat Kohli is my favourite Indian cricketer.
IA: Of course your favourite Indian cricketer is Indian.
Credlin: No need to get all technical with me. I can tell you I often join Michaelia (Cash) for an Indian nosh up. See. I told you I’m not racist.
IA: That is all well and good, but I would have thought there is enough going on with the NSW Premier to keep a great investigative journalist like you occupied and interested in finding the truth.
Credlin: Glad you mentioned Gladys. Fabulous, scrupulously honest Premier. I’ll be up there at the weekend. Brian and I have organized a blind double date for Gladys with a friend of Brian’s.
IA: Who is he?
Credlin: You know Gladys. It’s a secret.
Rocky Dabscheck is a musician/songwriter and front person for Rocky and The Two Bob Millionaires. He is also the author of '42+1: The (Real) Meaning of Life' and ‘Stoney Broke and the Hi-Spenders' — available HERE.
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