Matthew Reddin

About Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at

We uncovered more of Turnbull’s recorded sick burns

Yesterday, the nation discovered the Malcolm Turnbull tapes, where our ex-PM panned his contemporaries. This morning, we found more.



The Nine Network rather neatly got its hands on a set of apparently “off the cuff” remarks by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, wherein he got a few quick jabs into his PM forebears, specifically Messers Abbott and Rudd.

The quote getting all the attention is the following:

“When you stop being prime minister, that’s it. There is no way I’d be hanging around like embittered Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott. Seriously, these people are like, sort of miserable, miserable ghosts.”

Sick burn, Malcolm. I’m sure all the chaps at the club are going to be doing spit-takes of their ’53 Margeaux. Best of the century, I’m told.

But while that particular quote has gotten the lion’s share of the media attention, the rest of the recording seems to have gone astray – until now. The crack research team at The Big Smoke found the original recording and intercepted it just in time before it found its way to the NewsCorp proofreading annexe to be covered in lye and buried under a pile of draft Mark Knight cartoons deemed “not quite racist enough”.


(Tape begins)

“Which they are. Ghosts, loitering, haunting the halls of the pahh-lee-ahh-meant, as I call it. The pahh-lee-ahh-meant. Of course, someone like Tony Abbott, draconian papist that he was, he was never going to win the 2016 election. Never going to happen.

“Is that waiter going for another bottle of Grange? Can someone ask him to get the ’98 this time, not the ’99? The ’98 was a far see-u-pee-rior vintage.

“Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Burning bridges. The 2016 election. Of course, I led the government to something of a victory, if not an actual one, then a moral victory in 2016, when we took that significant majority, and turned it into a minority.

“And what the Fairfax media and the ABC don’t ever seem to understand with that is the fact that the Pahh-lee-ahh-mentary Liberal Party is one one of smaller government, and that’s exactly what we did. We took the government, specifically the Abbott government, and made it smaller. You seldom find me getting the credit for that.

“I know I stood for something, and that delightful Annabel Crabb seemed to fawn over me, Lucy and I, that time she featured us on that wonderful… Oh, yes, of course, selfie…


“Be sure to put that one on your Instant gram, champion. See you at the regatta.

“Yes, Annabel Crabb. She came over, and we had a nice pee-nohhh, discussed matters and this was before I was Prahhm Minister. And I said I had no ambitions for the top job, which disappointed many of the people who watch the ABC, and I’m sure many of the people in this room…

(Editor’s note: there is at this stage of the recording a series of strange, low-fi muffled sounds, which after further investigation was 127 seconds of continuous back-slapping)


“Yes, lovely legs on this one. Nothing like a good South Australian Shiraz. Everyone, a toast: to legacies! To entitlement! To the manner born!


“I love South Australia. Not that I’d ever go there again, or that I’d be there now. I’ve been out of the top job for just over a month now and most of the time I’ve been here in New York, which is a fine city. I like travelling on the subway, I made sure I did that, and that there was a camera nearby to capture Lucy and me using the trains. You know, a man of the people.

(Muffled laughter)

“No, really. It’s my hill and I’ll die on it if I want to. The whole noh-see-on of me having the common touch, I feel I pulled it off quite successfully. I’m sorry, kw-ahhht successfully. (Coughs). See, even I lose track of what I’m saying, and how I say it. Gough used to pull me up on that, back in the day. May he rest in peace.

“I don’t know what Julia’s doing. I know she wrote a book, which they mahht as well have serialised in the Women’s Weekly, and then Julia comes out and supports marriage equality, but who was it that made it a reality? That’s right. Malcolm Bligh Turnbull. (Sssssssssssip) But I don’t get much credit, all the pooves and ladypooves got all worked up that I brought about the plebiscite. Which I said I was going to do and we got it done. We bloody well got it done. I can’t walk past a reception centre in Bondi Junction these days without seeing a couple of chaps with rather overdone haircuts and exposed shins getting married. Of course, I never get invited.

“So while Bob Hawke skulls a schooner at the SCG and is a folk hero among the Richie Benaud lookalikes, here’s me, the true man of the people (sssssssssssip) who actually brings about marriage equality; me, Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, the man who changed this country. And there’s Tony Abbott, still lurking around (sssssssssssip) like the bad smell he is, and I tell you, it’s awful, the man smells like sunscreen and diuretics. And that walking legume Peter Dutton, who I swear has crossed the Rubicon in terms of self-parody these days. He’ll never been Prahhm Minister, will he? He has to get past ScoMo, and the last thing to get past ScoMo was the collection plate at Sunday mass.


“To be honest, they don’t deserve me, they never did. None of them. Not the pahhhhliamentary party, not the pahhhh-lee-ahh-meant itself, not the Australian people, not the people of Wentworth. I hope whoever wins that by-election likes spending time with a bunch of Brutuses…Brutii I might call them. Dutton, et tu.”


(Tape ends)


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