“Meet me at Booroombah at 4.” was the scrawled note left on Bill Shorten’s desk this morning.

Booroomba Station, is a rural property 10 kilometres out of Canberra, near the NSW and ACT border. It was the property where the two most powerful men in the Australian Labor Party had a crisis summit today. Needing somewhere out of ASIO’s view.

The other man, Senator Sam Dastyari, is in trouble again for his relationship with rich Chinese donors.

Senator Dastyari is alleged to have told controversial Chinese businessman Mr Huang that his phone was most likely being tapped by intelligence agencies during a discreet meeting last year.

But even though it appears that ‘Dasher’ is the one who’s fucked up, Shorten is also in trouble – as Dastyari’s volatile temper is tested by his own theories that his party leader appears to be using the drama to ostracise prominent Sydney members of the Labor party.

Our transcripts of Shorten’s meeting with Dastyari in Booroomba were picked up with a hidden microphone that Shorten had agreed to wear in return for our newspaper not reminding our readers that he was vocally opposed to same-sex marriage only eighteen months

Shorten told our reporters that usually his prospects of coming back alive from a meeting with Senator Dastyari were ninety-nine out of a hundred. But this time, when he heard him say ‘A couple a hundred yards down road – he gave himself a fifty-fifty.

Dastyari: Where the fuck you get off talkin’ to people about me behind my back? Goin’ over my head?
Shorten: What people?
Dastyari: What people! What’d you think, I wasn’t gonna find out?
Shorten: I don’t even know what you’re talkin’ about, Dash.
Dastyari: No? You said I’m bringin’ heat on you?! I gotta listen to people because of your fuckin’ shit?! You’re ordering
me out?! You better get your own fuckin’ army, pal!
Shorten: I didn’t do anything. I mean, I didn’t order you or anybody… I only told Phillip Coorey [AFR] that you had a lot of heat on you, and that was a problem.
Dastyari: You want me to get out of my own fuckin’ town?!
Shorten: Yeah, I said I – let the bullshit blow over for a while so I can run the party. Anything goes wrong with the party, it’s my ass. It’s not yours, it’s my ass.
Dastyari: Oh, I don’t know whether you know this or not, but you only have your fuckin’ party because I made that possible! I’m what counts out here! Not your fuckin’ harbourside mansions or your fuckin’ TV shows! And what the fuck are you doin’ on TV anyhow?!
You know I get calls from back home every fuckin’ day?! They think you went batshit!
Shorten: I’m only on TV because I gotta be able to hang around Waleed. You understand that. You know that. Come on.
Dastyari: Your fuckin’ ass! You could have had a radio interview with Waleed without goin’ on television! You wanted to go on TV.
Shorten: Yeah, I did want to go on TV. That way I have a forum. I can fight back. I’m known. People see me. They know they can’t fuck around with me like they could if I was an unknown. That’s right.
Dastyari: You’re makin’ a big fuckin’ spectacle of yourself.
Shorten: Me?! I wouldn’t even be in this situation if it wasn’t for you. You brought down so much fuckin’ heat on me. I mean, every time I meet somebody here, the big question is do I know you.
Dastyari: Oh, sure. Now you want to blame your fuckin’ poll numbers on me, is that it?
Shorten: No, it – it – Dasher, when you asked me if you could meet with Huang, what did I tell you? I mean, you asked me, and I knew you were going to come out no matter what I said, but what did I tell you? Do you remember what I told…
…you? Do you remember what I told you?
Dastyari: Back – Back up, back up a fuckin’ minute here. One minute. I asked you?! When the fuck did I ever ask you if I could meet Huang?! Get this through your head, you –
You never – ?
Get this through your head, you union grub motherfucker, you. You only exist out here because of me! That’s the
only reason! Without me, you, personally, every fuckin’ Sydneysider around’ll take a piece of your fuckin’ union
arse! Then where you gonna go?! You’re fuckin’ warned! Don’t ever go over my fuckin’ head again! You motherfucker, you!
Dastyari drives off, leaving an angry and frustrated Shorten to ponder the desert and the holes.


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