Senator Pauline Hanson and adviser James Ashby at Parliament House Canberra on Wednesday 23 November 2016. Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew MearesPauline and James are 15,000 feet above the outback desert, perched in the tiny cockpit of a Jabiru 230-D.
Pauline: Would you turn off the communications system, please James? I don’t want to risk the ABC listening in again.
James: Good idea, boss. I’m not sure it’s legal to be out of touch up here, but life’s nothing without thrills, hey? (switches off radio communication).
Pauline: Good. Now, we’ve got to clear this up. Just who owns this plane, James?
James: That’s complicated.
Pauline: None of your nonsense, James! I told Sky it was One Nation’s, you told the ABC back in 2015 that you’d found me a plane, now you say it’s yours and suddenly there’s all this talk about a kind soul sending a lovely donation so you could buy it. It makes my head spin.
James: I can imagine. Look, it’s mine. Registered in my name. You can check.
Pauline: But I thought you were flat broke after all those lawyers and the business with that Mr Speaker. All those legal fees must have cost you a fortune.
James: I had help.
Pauline: Who from?
James: That’s commercial-in-confidence. And sub judice. And subject to lawyer-client privilege.
Pauline: Oh, the man of mystery!
James: They don’t call me James for nothing. (Blows imaginary smoke from the barrel of an imaginary Walther PPK pistol). And anyway, I did very nicely, thank you, from all the printing business from your wonderful party.
Pauline: But all these reporters are asking me to please explain…
James: Just look ’em in the eye and tell them you’re Pauline and you don’t engage with fake news. Tell them you’re going to make Australia great again.
Pauline: Isn’t that what Cory Bernardi has been saying?
James: Don’t you worry your little red head about Cory. I’ll be having a chat with him, just like I did with the Nationals. Hands off our patch and we’ll stay away from yours, that sort of thing. Or else.
Pauline: Did you really say that to the Nationals, James? What would I do without you? Hang on…what’s that noise?
James: Oh, it’s just one of the engines.
Pauline: How many engines has this thing got, James?
(The single propeller stops revolving and there is nothing but the sound of rushing air).
Pauline: We’re going to crash!!
James: We all do that from time to time. It’s just life, Pauline. You get up, you dust yourself off.
Pauline: We’re going to die!!!
James: Not to worry. I’ve got a parachute.
Pauline: Where’s mine??
James: Didn’t think you’d need one. You always land on your feet, Pauline. Ta-ta.
(James leaps from his door and disappears).
(Pauline lunges for the radio handset).
Pauline: Mayday, mayday! Can anyone hear me? Maydaaaaaaaay……
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