In a bold break from tradition Australia’s new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has put the severed head of his predecessor Tony Abbott on display atop of a large pole outside parliament house.
“Generally in this country a defeated leader is sent to the back benches for a few months of humiliating obscurity before they resign their seat and burden us all with an unnecessary by-election,” said press gallery member Greg Byzantine. “But I’m guessing Malcolm didn’t want a repeat of the white anting that Kevin Rudd unleashed upon Julia Gillard so he’s made a decision to be proactive in his own defense. Plus this will also stand as a handy reminder to Scott Morrison that Malcolm doesn’t mess around if you get in his bad books.”
The beheading and piking of Mr Abbott represents that most forceful transition of political leadership in this country since Billy McMahon had John Gorton tarred and feathered after defeating him in a party room ballot in 1971.
“There’s nothing in the constitution that forbids displaying the former PMs head on a pike,” said Dr Kylie Grech, professor of political science at the ANU. “And of course one of the perks of the office is that Malcom is allowed to order three murders every year without the Police having to be involved. I assume he’s keeping the other two murders in reserve for any pesky members of the Q and A audience who ask him curly questions.”
Tourists spent the morning posing for selfies in front of the head but not all citizens were happy with the move.
“It’s up to the people to decide Mr Abbott’s fate, not the party room,” said disgruntled voter Gilbert Pencil. “Surely the right thing to do was to unleash Mr Abbott back to his electorate and allow an unruly mob to tear him to pieces.”
In a further development in the transition of power, Joe Hockey was interrupted as he was putting the contents of his desk in a cardboard box by two members of the AFP. A large iron mask was put on the head of the avuncular treasurer and he was escorted down to the parliament house dungeon.