Dressed as a cowboy, for no apparent reason, Mr. Xenophon said that even though the fallout from the Greens’ proposal was only a state issue at the moment, with the upcoming NSW state election directly affected, it could foreseeably have implications at the federal level and so he should have been involved. “Everyone here knows that anyone with a slightly mad agenda and no access to the major parties comes to me at some point for publicity,” he said. “So it was not only rude of The Greens to steal my act, but irresponsible to not even consult me on how to do media announcements properly. They say they want to be seen as serious and responsible politicians, but they didn’t even have any crazy props — no tiny cars or donkeys, not even someone in a sausage suit!
“Now they’ve put me in an invidious position. Every journalist I’ve been calling to complain about it expects me to have a position on the matter, and The Greens, with their recklessness, have made that nearly impossible.
When asked to elaborate, Mr Xenophon changed chairs for no apparent reason, then explained the process of policy development in his office.
“I always like to look appealing to the liberal sensibilities of Greens and Labor voters whilst not alienating my conservative voter base. On most issues, I do that by adopting the position of the first lobbyist that walks through my door, and then massaging it into some sort of shape that minimises my exposure to attacks from the other side and avoids any real disruption to anything. Then I get to get to go on the telly and look all reasonable, and independent. I love being on the telly. Have you seen me? I’ve got some videos here if you want to have a look …”
Two hours later, we finally managed to resume the interview.
“Anyway,” the Senator continued, somewhat huffily, “with this ban thing, it caused such an uproar that by the time I got back to my office it was already full of people from vegan groups, animal liberation groups, anti-halal groups, school associations, and Matt Preston. And, naturally, lobbyists for Tofu Australia and Pork Australia. Then, to cap it off, the Greens’ and Shooters and Fishers Party’s representatives came through the door at the same time. It was a nightmare!”
When asked what position he had finally settled on, Mr Xenophon yelled, “I don’t know! How are you meant to have an opinion when no-one does all the work for you and then just tells you what to think?! That’s not how politics is done!”
At this point Mr Xenophon collapsed back onto the couch, muttering “its not fair” repeatedly, and we left the political warrior and guardian of democracy rewatching his interviews with Leigh Sales and sobbing quietly, safe in the knowledge that things were worse during the war.