Sketch: Pauline, James and the plane

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?

James: Well…one.

(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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