Political Asylum


Last Sunday, I performed at one of my favourite comedy rooms in Melbourne, Political Asylum at the Brunswick Green. Here is the one-man sketch piece I performed. My Eric Abetz impression was flawless, my Jacqui Lambie impression incredibly flawed. Roll the dramatic theme music because here it is, a special edition of 4 Corners.

4 Corners Special Post-Budget Edition


SCENE - Studio

SFX: 4 Corners Theme

Kerry O'Brien sits and waits for the show's theme to end.

KERRY: Tonight a special post Budget edition of 4 Corners. I first spoke to Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz who controversially suggested that out of work youths could pick fruit in Tasmania until they found a job in their chosen field, presuming their chosen field isn't already an apple orchard.


SCENE - Eric Abetz’ Office

KERRY: Thank you for talking with us, Senator Abetz.

ABETZ: Good to be with you, Kerry.

KERRY: How are the unemployed meant to afford the start-up costs of moving interstate for work?

ABETZ: Kerry, the entitlement-drunk youths would obviously be housed in rudimentary shacks on the plantations.

KERRY: What would they eat?

ABETZ: I would envisage a diet consisting of scraps, stale breads and rat’s feces. This in conjunction with their lodgings will form the basis of their payment. I am then proposing a market mechanism where the workers could then be traded across orchards or sold off to other masters.

KERRY: What you’re suggesting sounds a lot like slavery?

ABETZ: There are going cynical members of the media and community who will argue that forced labour is ‘slavery’, but that is not what I’d call it.

KERRY: What else would you call it?

ABETZ: Growth, Kerry.

KERRY: For who?

ABETZ: The apples.


SCENE - Studio

KERRY O’BRIEN: Key to the Budget’s passage through the Senate are the minor parties like the Palmer United Party. I spoke to PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie for no other reason than to see how long it would take her to mention veterans.



SCENE - A Field

LAMBIE: Kerry, what I don't... pull!

Lambie shoots a clay pigeon.

LAMBIE: What I don’t understand, Kerry, how this Government can think this budget is fair and equitable when there are veterans-


SCENE - Studio


KERRY: It took twelve seconds. Christopher Pyne, who controversially instructed Speaker Bronwyn Bishop to stand to interrupt Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply applause, has been accused of using the force to manipulate the movements of other people’s bodies, while simultaneously using police force to shut down the protest movements of student bodies. Other’s, like former Prime Minister Paul Keating, suggest the Budget does not address the impending crisis of retirees living well beyond when their superannuation runs out. We caught up with Mr. Keating as he was heading-up the writers room for Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply Speech.


SCENE - Writers Room

Writer scribbles on butchers paper.

WRITER: OK, Paul, what about this: Tony Abbott, more like, eh, um, Tony… Cabbit.

Paul Keating raises an eyebrow.

WRITER: Because, you know, with lack of funding for trains we’re all going to have to take taxis…

Keating glares.

Writer maintains an enthusiastic smile.

KEATING: For the love of God, Kerry. Ask me something before I brain this dickhead.

KERRY: What is your suggestion to deal with the growing number of people living beyond 80 who can no longer support themselves?

KEATING: Simple, Kerry. We introduce a levy to create a new pool to deal with the 80 - 100 age bracket.

KERRY: And this pool of funds would be accessed-

KEATING: It’s not a fund, Kerry. I’m proposing we build an actual gigantic swimming pool.

KERRY: What for?

KEATING: To drown the fuckers! They’re a pull on the public purse, Kerry.

WRITER: What about this: Tony Abbott, more like Tony Dag-nabit… You know, like an old prospector… because, um, he’s cares more about miners, than the environment?

KEATING: What do you reckon, Don Watson?

WATSON: I think it’s the best we’ve got.


SCENE - Studio

KERRY: Mr. Keating isn’t the only former Prime Minister to raise concerns. John Howard has this to say about his protégé  Tony Abbott.


SCENE - Outside The National Press Club

A nonchalant John Howard whistles innocently.


SCENE - Eric Abetz’s Office

ABETZ: Kerry, just because I’m proposing putting the youths in leg irons, removing their citizenship and instituting a slave trade, does not mean they are themselves slaves.


SCENE -  Field


LAMBIE: What a lot of people don’t realise is the Clive Palmer is a veteran.

KERRY: Of what?



SCENE - Writers Room

WRITER: What about, Paul, something with budget and budgie-smugglers. Very similar spellings. We bring them together. Picture a venn diagram and the crossover.

Paul stands and wraps his arm around Writer.

KEATING: Son, do you feel like a swim?


SCENE - Abetz’s Office/Field

ABETZ: Yes, Kerry, obviously the youths will be slaves. I’m not debating that.

Kerry takes Abetz by the hand, leads him to Jacqui Lambie’s clay pigeon machine and loads him.

ABETZ: At this point, the question is how do we wring their HECS debt out of them if they’re only being paid in rat feces? I’m not opposed to confiscating organs or teeth. Removing organs would have the added benefit of the certain death of the youth, allowing us to take the money from their estate.

KERRY: Pull!

Abetz flies across the field.

Lambie shoots. With a cry, Abetz falls to the ground.

KERRY: Nice shot.

LAMBIE: Veterans.



KERRY: And that’s the program. 4 Corners attempted to contact Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott for an interview, but I was unable to do a passable impression of either of them. Goodnight.