It’s finally here. Welcome to ‘The Insider’, the official blog of New Matilda.
Here we’ll post stories, snippets, gossip, links and whatever else takes our fancy, which bring readers the ‘inside story’ of life, the universe and everything… particularly if it’s related to politics, media or what’s going on at NM.
The Insider will, in the new year, go behind a paywall and only be available to paid subscribers. But for the next few months, it’s everyone’s to enjoy.
And speaking of ‘enjoy’, here’s a Christmas Card we received directly from the Prime Minister and his wife earlier today.
No kidding – it came direct from Big Mal’s personal Australian Parliament House email address. Which means we’re either far more important at NM than we realized, or Malcolm Turnbull – the man who invented the internet in Australia – has worked out how to make spam feel personal. Genius!
As with all things Malcolm, it’s a little… wordy. So to assist, we’ve provided a plain English translation which you can read below.
And before you do, if you want to support New Matilda and independent media, you can subscribe here. Enjoy The Insider.
Merry Christmas from Malcolm and Lucy
Christmas is a time of love, hope and joy.
TRANSLATION: And spending money. Lots of money.
Bright eyed children waiting for Santa, grandparents welcoming home their far flung brood – the mystery of a thousand Christmas services in churches large and small.
(TRANSLATION: Most Australians go nowhere near a church at Christmas, unless they’re looking for an alcove to pee in after spilling out of the pub, but part of my deal to become Prime Minister involves me placating the religious right of the party).
This is a very special time as the year comes to an end and we draw closer to family and dear friends – fond reminiscence of a year gone by and looking forward to a new year with anticipation and excitement.
TRANSLATION: Insert meaningless paragraph here, which makes me sound Churchillian. When my spin doctors try to sub it out, I’ll sneak it back in in the final draft).
But for many of us it is not so happy. Poverty, loneliness, illness, the loss of loved ones – these shadows hang heavier at Christmas.
(TRANSLATION: Especially on Nauru… and virtually every Aboriginal community around the nation. You get that on the big jobs).
We can lift some of those shadows by sharing our love with others – beyond our family and close friends.
(TRANSLATION: And when I say ‘love’, I’m not referring to government funding, or basic human rights).
This might mean inviting a lonely friend or workmate to your Christmas dinner – a few “strangers and orphans” can add variety to your company!
(TRANSLATION: Lucy will be dragging Christopher Pyne plus some homeless people to our $25 million Vaucluse mansion for Christmas lunch. If media happen to turn up and film that, well, so be it. And if they also happen to catch me serving slop at a local soup kitchen, it just shows how persistent and wonderful our media really are).
And if you can donate time or money, local charities like the Wayside Chapel, the Matthew Talbot Hostel and WAYS Youth Services will turn your gift into practical love for those who are struggling.
(TRANSLATION: A lot of NGOs had their funding slashed by my party, so they need al the help they can get. All of the ones I’ve mentioned above are based in the affluent Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, which is what I mean when I use the term ‘local’… I may be the Prime Minister of Australia, but the Eastern Suburbs remains the centre of the Universe).
Nationally, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, Meals on Wheels, Soldier On and the Black Dog Institute also do wonderful work all year, and especially at Christmas.
(TRANSLATION: I added these ones in, in case people noticed that while I was waxing lyrical on poverty, I was actually focussed on some of the wealthiest suburbs in the southern hemisphere).
We should also remember this Christmas to thank those who are protecting us at home and abroad – the men and women of the Australian Defence Force as well as our Police, security, emergency and firefighting services.
(TRANSLATION: I really just wanted to mention ‘ANZACS’, but my media adviser reminded me of my role in the sacking of Scott McIntyre. That’s why they get the big bucks!).
This is a hot summer and fires have already tragically taken lives in Western Australia and South Australia.
(TRANSLATION: My deal to become Prime Minister with the right-wing nutjobs of my party prevents me from mentioning climate change – sorry future generations of Australians, this is the best I can do for now).
For those in areas which are prone to bushfire, implement your fire plans and follow the advice from the authorities.
(TRANSLATION: Yes, I described our own policy of Direct Action to tackle climate change as crap, but people need to move on from that).
Wherever you are, during heatwaves, take care of your family and look out for neighbours – particularly the elderly who may find the heat especially challenging.
(TRANSLATION: You think I’ve done nothing for the environment? When John Howard appointed me Prime Minister I demanded that my electorate vehicle be a Prius. Take that Peter Garrett).
From Lucy and me, and our family, to you and yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, a relaxing and safe holiday and a 2016 filled with peace, happiness and love.
(TRANSLATION: I saved your family from another year of Tony Abbott. You should remember that when Uncle Bill gets drunk and ruins Christmas with another political argument).
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