NSW federal MP John Murphy – whose complaints yesterday about the portion size of food servings at Parliament House provoked national fury and a Herald Sun front page – has been ordered by the Prime Minister’s office to cancel a junket to Mexico.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and his large portion seeking spouse Adriana were due to embark today on a ten day first-class all-expenses paid trip to Mexico as part of his trade responsibilities.
He is effectively the deputy minister to Simon Crean, the federal Minister for Trade. His enthusiasm for a lavish lifestyle is still considered by caucus insiders as being dwarfed by Crean’s fondness for five-star but as one noted “Crean does set the benchmark very high.”
The journey of luxury and undoubtedly large portions of lavish cuisine was summarily and cruelly cancelled on the instruction – sources say – of a furious Prime Minister and his Hollowmen who know to smell fear when the Herald Sun comes hunting.
The story of Murphy’s over-promotion to be Mini-Me to Simon’s Crean’s Dr Evil is indeed a fascinating one. It’s essentially Deputy PM Julia Gillard’s fault for organising a blatant pay-off for past loyalty in votes for Crean, Latham and Rudd.
His promotion was considered by many to have been an indication that Rudd’s promise of promoting people by merit.
A recent caucus meeting had members groaning in the aisles as he insisted on providing them with a travelogue of his trip to Ghana or Gabon or some other tin-pot little African country.
“There were no small servings in the Presidential palace,” one caucus wag noted.