Pollie Waffle: Asylum seekers, storm offs and texts from Pyne

Tony Abbott announced a partial back down on Defence Force pay negotiations on Monday, and conceded ground on his promise not to cut funding to public broadcasters.


鈥淚 accept that what we鈥檙e doing with the ABC is at odds with what I said immediately prior to the election, but things have moved on,鈥?he said.

An appearance on morning television on Tuesday didn鈥檛 go according to plan for Mr Abbott who got a grilling from Channel Nine鈥檚 Karl Stefanovic.

Opening on opinion polls putting Mr Abbott behind his opposition counterpart as preferred prime minister, Stefanovic said the budget was in shambles.

鈥淣o one is buying what you are selling,鈥?he said.

But the pair had patched things up by Friday, when Mr Abbott told a Sydney radio station that 鈥淜arl鈥檚 a mate of mine and so it鈥檚 OK鈥?

鈥楽tick it鈥? press gallery

It was also rough week for Clive Palmer, who was again rattled by questions over a certain court case.

At the National Press Club on Monday the Member for Fairfax鈥檚 well-scripted promotion was derailed by questions over allegations he misused Chinese funds.

Mr Palmer told a News Corp journalist to 鈥渢hink for yourself鈥?and refused to let him ask his allocated question.

鈥淲hy don鈥檛 you try to be an independent journalist?鈥?he said.

鈥淚’m not going to take that rubbish.鈥?/p>

Later in the week Mr Palmer addressed media over his support for legislation put forward by the immigration minister, but was again haunted by questions about his legal case.

The PUP leader soon stormed off, telling the gathered journalists to 鈥渟tick it鈥?

Migration and moral lectures

It appears Scott Morrison may have taken a page out of Mr Palmer鈥檚 book, walking out of a Thursday press conference without taking questions.

He had more patience on Friday after his controversial amendment to asylum seeker legislation was passed, ensuring the reintroduction of temporary protection visas.

The bill 鈥?which passed 34 votes to 32 with the support of Senator Ricky Muir 鈥?was widely criticised by the opposition and Greens.

But Mr Morrison stood firm on Friday, saying he would 鈥渘ot take moral lectures from Bill Shorten or Sarah Hanson-Young鈥?

鈥淭hey have proven themselves irrelevant and impotent when it comes to having solutions on border protection,鈥?he said.

鈥楽enator Lazarus has swiped left鈥?/strong>

Unlike the Immigration Minister, Christopher Pyne wasn鈥檛 having much luck with his legislation.

The Education Minister鈥檚 controversial bill to deregulate universities failed in the Senate on Tuesday, but not for want of trying.

Mr Pyne was reportedly dogged in his attempt to bring Palmer United Party senators onside, to the point where Glenn Lazarus asked him to stop 鈥渉arassing鈥?him.

鈥淚 am being inundated with text messages from Christopher Pyne virtually begging me to support the Abbott government’s higher education reforms,鈥?he said.

While students took to Parliament House to protest, the mobile messaging inspired a prankster to post the minister鈥檚 phone number online for voters to text. It was, of course, a fake.

It also prompted a historic remark from Labor MP Tim Watts, who introduced Tinder to the Hansard.

鈥淚 have a message for Christopher Pyne: take a hint,鈥?he said.

鈥淪enator Lazarus has swiped left.鈥?/p>

But the ever-chipper Mr Pyne was undeterred.

Describing himself as 鈥渁 good minister [who] worked very hard鈥? he introduced a new higher education bill into the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The final bite

Women ruled the roost in politics for a day as Julie Bishop stepped up to acting PM and Tanya Plibersek to acting opposition leader, while Mr Abbott and Mr Shorten attended the funeral of cricketer Phillip Hughes on Wednesday.

Ms Bishop announced the government鈥檚 first declared zone under new counter-terror laws, deeming it an offence to travel to or remain in Syria鈥檚 Al-Raqqa province without a legitimate reason.

As the parliamentary year wound to a close, politics was briefly put aside in the spirit of Christmas.

Recapping the political year, Mr Shorten took time to thank Mr Abbott for expressing his sympathies when his mother passed away.

鈥淛ust when I am at the point of complete frustration with the Prime Minister, he does something nice to surprise me,鈥?he said.

Mr Abbott responded with warm wishes for the opposition, but saved the real praise for his chief of staff.

鈥淚 thank my staff led by Peta Credlin, the fiercest political warrior I’ve ever worked with,鈥?he said.

It鈥檚 been a huge political year with many memorable quotes, but the last word is left to the Foreign Minister.

Parliament adjourned till 9/2/15! Thanks @DFAT and min staff for stellar  year. Still more  before but have good break

鈥?Julie Bishop (@JulieBishopMP) December 4, 2014