“The Plot” – Episode one to four.
The First Episode in the four part Mini Series, The Ultimate Betrayal and the Chocolate Soufflé, opens in the plush Senate Chamber in Canberra, a great set location with state of the art sound and lighting and splendid in house facilities designed to keep the most temperamental actor happy. The opulent cherry red surroundings in the Senate are in stark contrast to the equally plush green hue interior of the Lower House. The in house Cafeteria serves up wholesome snacks and great coffee to keep the Director, actors, stage hands and crew well nourished and on top of their game. There is even a beautifully laid out licensed restaurant serving superb cuisine and great wines at budget prices. To make sure the production runs on schedule there is even a free limousine service provided from the door of the Senate Chamber and adjoining Lower House to the nearby overnight accommodation. This it was said was to defray production costs and compensate for the increased cost of petrol.
So it was in this setting that the script for the Mini Series, the Ultimate Betrayal and the Chocolate Soufflé was conceived and developed.
It is a compelling Mini Series with unexpected twists that lead to a truly memorable theatrical performance by the well known actors on the political stage. Actors who are joined by little known ones, a talented crew and many understudies. Sadly, the performance on the political stage sometimes lets us all down. There is nothing more rewarding than a good theatrical performance, but alas at times we find it difficult to award even a one star rating.
The genesis for the script for the second, third and fourth series came from adaptation of the original plot as set out in Series one only to be transformed into a more sophisticated highly legalistic production as the developing plot unfolded from March 1999 to December 2013 and April 2014. The four part series, based on each of the four broken promise and the Tivoli Theatre underlings 1 motivation and inspiration to keep going under the most debilitating, unfair circumstances, came from the lyrics of the musical Les Miserables.
The performance of the director, actors and crew dramatically improved in the second, third and forth parts of the series. The intriguing well orchestrated Political plot unfolded with dramatic life threatening intensity, after all it was the Producer and Director’s aim and responsibility to ensure the underlings from the Tivoli Theatre did not succeed in their quest for a just, fair and proper outcome that would see the reinstatement of their home and superannuation.
Act 1 of the First Episode opens on 18 November 1993 with the hired hands preparing the groundwork for the actors to gain the ultimate benefit from their commanding and very important roles. The scene was set and the actors perfectly typecast for a performance of a lifetime. It was said that Mr Humphreys of Yes Prime Minister fame had nothing on this cast, the production was well rehearsed when the cameras started rolling. Many an actor experienced the rigors of the Director’s Casting Couch only to be passed over. If the portrayal of events by the actors was not so serious and utterly compelling it could have been mistaken for a dark comedy.
There was a now famous scène in the First Episode where the Tivoli Theatre phones were hacked and bugged in an attempt to sabotage their business operations and silence the complaints by Theatre Proprietors. It soon became apparent that the Director’s role was to ingratiate the critics and advisors with generous fees, bonuses and lucrative incentives. Media outlets and journalists were silenced, in their own words “gagged” and intimidated to ensure the Theatre productions and the Proprietors were not afforded any positive exposure in the press.
The Second Episode, Act 2 saw a sterling performance by Richard 2, not to be confused with King Richard the Lion Heart, although he possessed an acting style, agenda and political circumstances that were not much different to King Richard. During Act 2, Richard was in close contact with Alan 3, not to be confused with Alan Alder who so aptly plays Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H. There is a similarity though in political leanings, this comes out strongly in the conclusion of Act 2 when Alan bows to pressure from Richard and the Director to secretly change the wording of the script in the Senate Report with an intent to deny the underlings from the Tivoli Theatre any opportunity to succeed in regaining their lives, home and superannuation.
In taking on the role and responsibility Richard was aware of the crusade that was before him and alas he could not make up for what he had done. Richard is superbly cast as is revealed with his brilliant performance in the second act with the setting resembling a scene out of Les Miserable. The underlings are of a similar appearance, to those portrayed in Les Miserables, as they stand in the Senate Chamber awaiting their fate.
Act 3 of the Second Episode was played out in the Supreme Court in Victoria. The underlings had made a brave but vain attempt to expose the concealment of evidence, including that of phone line sabotage and the fabrication of technical reports. It was the cleverly orchestrated changes in the technical wording as noted in the Award that the script delivered on so well, the Judge accepted the fabricated version to avoid an adverse judgment.
The Director, his associates and actors not to mention the understudies and support crew were simply delighted with the outcome. Even if it required a few nips and tucks to the evidence to deliver precisely the outcome the Director required, what did this matter! It had been a bit tricky at times but delicate political persuasion had won over justice, after all we have all come to recognize that truth and justice are incompatible in the real world. The amendments to the script delivered just the right turn of phrase required to influence the Judge in his Decision making process which led to his most curious Judgment.
At this juncture, it is now five years since Richard personally promised settlement within six months.
So it was on 11 March 1999 at the conclusion of the Senate Working Party process that the underlings were summoned to the Senate Chamber to add some illusion of credence to the performance of the political actors. In the gloomy light here they stood helpless as they were told the terms of reference had been changed, forget about finishing your home, the lawyers have advised that your case is a risk to the Director’s plans to sell what was commonly referred to as the farm (Telstra).
As the Senators debated their plight, the underlings stand before the Senate in a bedraggled and penniless position but possessing a will to survive as is so appropriately depicted in the acting of the wonderful rendition of “Do You Hear The People Sing” …Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of the people, who will not be slaves again, when the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes! Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me? Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see. Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!
Unfortunately, the underlings were to be disappointed, no one was strong enough to stand with them. Their life was not about to start again once Ron had accepted his new role from the Director.
And so it was that when the Second Episode was reaching its finale on 30 March 1999, out of the blue, an unanticipated acting opportunity arose for understudy Ron 4. Ron was a talented understudy who despite his many years on the national stage had not been able to secure a lead role. Not to be confused of course with the famous Actor turned Politician, Ronald Reagan, although there are distinct similarities between the two.
Ronald Reagan in 1964 made his final film, The Killers, where he played a villain for the first time. Audiences were shocked and dismayed when the nice guy they thought they knew turned villain and smacked co-star Angie Dickinson in the face.
In Act 5, the Director 5 unexpectedly offered Ron a lead role as Parliamentary Secretary, it was an outstanding financially rewarding acting role he could not refuse, it was said the Director’s offer was reminiscent of the famous quote from the Godfather in 1972, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” In return Ron was to play the role of villain in denying the underlings from the Tivoli Theatre any chance of having their home and superannuation returned to them.
Ron was well directed and delivered a superbly executed performance for which he received a standing ovation, it was said it was the performance of a lifetime. This resulted in a further Director’s cut to the scene which left the underlings in a tormented disadvantaged state, Ron had delivered on his role. On behalf of the Director and Richard, Ron’s new role was to inform the underlings from the Tivoli Theatre, that the promise for an independent assessment of their claims would not be honoured. They would instead receive what was referred to as a survival money payment to cover their costs and a few dollars to survive.
In delivering the bad news Ron said to the underlings that he could not deliver them justice only keep them alive and away from the dark damp hole of bankruptcy, a proper fair assessment by an independent assessor would affect the T2 share offer due diligence process. Ron had certainly delivered on the script in a compelling way. Ron’s performance was more profound than first thought or anticipated by the Director. The superb execution of the role led to a night of high drama, far away at the Tivoli Theatre in Brisbane.
During Ron’s superb performance, without prior notice a new actor enters the fray with ex Policeman Barry 6, not to be confused with Barry Manalow, appears at Ron’s side with the underlings in Ron’s Senate Office. Act 6 unfolded with the dramatic scene where Barry did not sing from the same songsheet, rather he developed new lyrics which saw the Producer immediately change the Mini Series rating to a Mature Audience, MA category. Barry was to later give a full account of the betrayal when he said in part the next step had this not come off, they would have just went out and thrown a rope over the tree. They were fucked and finished, they didn’t have many choices,
The Second Episode ended dramatically in the true sense of a theatrical “tragedy” with one of the Director’s associates accomplices orchestrating a night time raid on the Tivoli Theatre. It was at this stage in the Series, now that Ron and Richard had executed their respective roles so superbly, the distinct possibility for a co-production presented itself. This opportunity arose through out of the appointment of known associates, namely Deloitte who had been appointed as Administrator’s of the Tivoli Theatre under the artful orchestration of the Mortgagee in possession, incredulously Mr Warwick Parer.
The night time raid on the Theatre was carried out with military precision by armed body guards. The underlings were thrown out onto the street under threats of violence. The scene was brilliantly choreographed to inflict the utmost harm and damage possible on the underlings. And so it was that the associates excelled in the artful execution of the take-over of the Tivoli, an orchestrated take over which led to death threats against the Theatre proprietors, the underlings and their staff. These extraordinary politically motivated actions were followed by the offer of substantial financial bribes to cover up the dastardly conduct engaged in to destroy the underlings.
This artful ‘tragedy’ set the stage for the final scène in the second part of the Series. A tragedy where the main characters from the Tivoli Theatre are in ruin and suffer extreme sorrow. With the stage now set for the complete demise of the Theatre and the underlings, the plot started to unfold further with the expose of the politically motivated actions by Warwick Parer and Deloitte which resulted in ‘The Sting’ on the Valuers Insurance Company. The eight hundred thousand dollar sting was brilliantly executed by the associates who played a devious, yet brilliant role in achieving the undervaluation of the Theatre by many millions of dollars. This covert strategy to undervalue the Tivoli mirrored that adopted by Deloitte four years earlier. Deloitte prepared Telstra’s defence during the Arbitration of the underlings claim. In their Report Deloitte adopted exactly the same strategy to erroneously discredit the Tivoli property and business. Deloitte is a top tier consultant to both Telstra and the Government.
This dastardly captivating performance of a theatrical tragedy was followed by the orchestrated theft of the last of the underling’s possessions. The unacceptable political actions of Deloitte and Warwick Parer in overseeing the sting resulted in the new owner of the Tivoli Theatre taking Court action against the underlings. They were rendered defenceless until they managed to obtain a copy of the fabricated property valuations and financial reports through the Supreme Court some seven years later, being October 2007.
As a direct consequence of the Director’s removal of the right of the underlings to a proper and fair claim assessment through the promised independent claim assessment process, the Supreme Court actions taken out against them resulted in unnecessary professional fees amounting to $868.000 over the seven years until the vexatious action was abandoned.
In November 2007 a significant development, Mr Kerry Herron of Herron Todd White provided a Statement to the underlings. In his statement Mr Herron identifies that I & L Securities (Warwick Parer) and Deloitte provided incorrect information which caused the HTW valuation to be flawed as only the shell of the Tivoli building was the subject of the valuation. This was nine months prior to the Director’s direction that the underlings would receive a survival money payment on 31 March 1999. Mr Herron said it was clear that as a direct result the Tivoli was undervalued by almost $2million and consequently sold to the Chinese investor for $1.65million.
This led to a meeting between the underlings and Mr Wayne Goss the Chairman of Deloitte. Subsequently and very fortunately Wayne Goss was ethical enough to apologise for Deloitte’s part in the $2million undervaluation and the fabrication of the financial reports on the Tivoli business. In saying this Wayne Goss tempered it with the proviso that no action could be taken because it was now time barred. He indicated that the main blame should be attributed to Warwick Parer a Lawyer who was debarred for stealing from his Trust Account.
Furthermore, Wayne Goss explained that Warwick Parer repeatedly boasted that he had impeccable links to the most senior Politician in the land, in essence Wayne said all roads lead to Rome, he also explained that Warwick Parer had orchestrated the fabrication of the financial reports on the Tivoli business and the undervaluation of the Tivoli Building to allege that the Tivoli was not a viable business.
During the sadness that followed one of the actors reminded the underlings of the famous quote by the Godfather. A quote reminiscent of the involvement of the Director’s Lawyers and others commissioned to finish the task of destroying the underlings. It was a quote by Mario Puzo, “The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.”
In one of his last performances Richard and his side kick Paul 7, not to be confused with Paul Newman’s role in “The Sting” but in a canny way there exists a distinct similarity to the script. But notwithstanding a polished performance by Richard his acting skills were waning and so by series three the Director unceremoniously excluded him from the cast.
The third Episode makes for compelling theatre following the demise of Richard. We are left to marvel at the amazing role the lovable Barnaby 8 plays, not to be mistaken with Detective Barnaby from Midsummer Night Murders, it is an important bit part involving the third political promise. In the second Act Barnaby comes into contact with Helen 9, not to be confused with Helen of Troy, although Helen is also a beautiful woman.
The scene develops into a betrayal of Barnaby’s trust and brave commitment to justice and his reluctant support for Helen’s ambitious plans to sell the farm. Helen was well directed in her role, one which the Director obviously relished. Helen had a deal on foot that would deliver billions of dollars in rewards for the Director, his crew, the cast and associates. In essence a substantial windfall for the Government’s coffers, a windfall that was much more important to the production schedule than honouring the deal she had done with Barnaby. The underlings were present in the Senate Chamber and were observed to once again sing the number from Les Miserable, Do You Hear The People Sing.
As time passed during the expensive all consuming Political production, the burden of the scripts multiplying absurdities began to emerge. The talented cast from the Senate Chamber included a memorable performance from the obligatory Joker 10, complete with red underpants delicately placed on his head. In Act 4 the Joker calls upon highly paid cartoonists and writers to help him develop some of the sick jokes he intends to play on the underlings from the Tivoli Theatre.
As scene four unfolds the red underpants slip curiously and the jokes develop into a farcical performance portraying the Jokers most dastardly acts, the jokes were politically incorrect, unethical in content, derogatory and in such bad taste. The Joker was so ably assisted in his performance of hysterical spin and pure fantasy by Oliver 11, not to be confused with Oliver Twist, although there is a distinct similarity in performance between the two. Oliver possessed a brilliant yet curious habit of twisting the true facts and therefore had a strong identification with the role, he was perfectly cast by the Producer and casting Director.
The Forth Episode reveals the circumstances surrounding the forth promise. By series four, the public voted overwhelming for the appointment of a new Director 12 and some changes to the cast and crew. The Producer under the direction of the new Director and his cast of actors set the scene for part four of the Mini Series. In Act 2 the new Director suddenly appears on the set. The cast and crew observe that his style of directing is somewhat different and he is obviously not aware of the inappropriate acting style and unethical political activities of some of the cast and in particular the Joker, the Joker is a politician who’s moral compass is a little off and in fact it is so off it is off the planet. However the new Director relied heavily on the Joker’s brilliant yet highly unethical and dastardly dishonest handiwork in providing a response to the underlings from the Tivoli Theatre’s plight.
Suddenly, without any warning the new Director’s cuts have a dramatic effect of the production, the actors and crew, not to be confused with the plight of the underlings who by now are totally reliant on the new Director’s professed ability to mount a good production in keeping with his promises. Promises the underlings were entitled to believe would be honoured when he was appointed to the role of Director. He appointed one of his talented crew, Mathais 13 to the role of Manager of Finance, not to be confused with the Belgian actor, Matthais Schoenaerts who was a star performer in the captivating Movie Daens. Although there are many similarities, Mathais the Politician is well cast in the role.
In the movie, Daens is upset when he hears about the bad work conditions in the textile industry. Workmen are abused and exploited by the rich directors only for their own profit. To gain more profit, the companies just decided to fire all men. They are replaced by women as their wages are much lower. The similarities end there, Mathais as the underlings from the Theatre can attest to, does not display the same inherent commitment to the right of the underlings to fairness which is fundamental to the individual rights in all decision making processes, in fact quite the opposite has occurred. Still as they say in the Movies, it is not over until the fat lady sings, it is so far a chronically underachieving role, but not to give up hope of a just and honourable finale. Mathais despite his tough cigar smoking exterior is touted to be an honest ethical politician deep down he has a conscience and a heart of pure gold. The last Act is yet to be choreographed by Mathais and the jury is still out on his performance quality, effectiveness and ethical considerations.
The other brilliant casting decision was George 14 in the role of legal advisor to the Director, not to be confused with actor George Burns, although there are many similarities. In the movie, Oh God! You Devil, in which George Burns appeared as both God and the Devil was brilliant. As a result of his brilliant performance as God and the Devil, George Burns won a lifetime achievement award from the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in 1988. So it has eventuated that George also plays god so brilliantly and scares the hell out of people, including the underlings, so what’s new! The trail of correspondence with Senator Brandis QC is available on the Web, reference 23 and the video presentation at Dropbox 5.
During each of the four series, the entire cast and crew acted out their respective roles with a dedicated adherence to the script. The talented and creative Director of the four part series was course was not to be mistaken for Hollywood’s Ron Howard. The Director, Producer, Script writer and actors are still developing the script for the grand finale, surely the new Director will ensure the promises are honoured and underlings from the Tivoli Theatre are afforded a fair go and their democratic right to a fair and proper outcome so that they will not be forced to sign once again the soul wrenching number from Les Miserable, Do You Hear The People Sing.
The quotes adopted in the unfinalised script, by Mario Puzo in the Godfather echoed the sentiment of those who’s adaptations were embraced: “He had long ago learned that society imposes insults that must be borne, comforted by the knowledge that in this world there comes a time when the most humble of men, if he keeps his eyes open, can take his revenge on the most powerful. It was this knowledge that prevented the Don from losing the humility all his friends admired in him.”
- Harry and Ann Garms and family ↩
- Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications ↩
- Senator Alan Eggleston, Chair of the Senate Legislation Committee on Communications ↩
- Senator Ron (Ronald) Boswell ↩
- Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP ↩
- Barry O’Sullivan, now Senator Barry O’Sullivan ↩
- Paul Fletcher, Chief of Staff, now the Member for Bradfield, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP ↩
- Senator Barnaby Joyce, now the Member for New England ↩
- Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications ↩
- Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications ↩
- Mr Richard Oliver , First Assistant Secretary, Corporate, Department of Communications ↩
- The Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP ↩
- Senator, the Hon Mathais Cormann, Minister for Finance ↩
- Senator George Brandis QC Commonwealth Attorney General ↩