Those revelations have sparked emotions less joyful than rueful, in Cormann’s case, and scornful, in others’.
Senator Penny Wong may have been smiling on the inside, but she certainly did not present a joyful aspect on Thursday, when revealing to Senate estimates an email claiming Helloworld’s Burnes told one of his executives that he was able to arrange a meeting with US Ambassador Joe Hockey in speedy time because, «Hockey owes me».
Senator Michaelia Cash, whose own capacity for joy reaches its peak when she smells the blood of a union official, or meets a nice cat, failed to spark much besides outrage in senators Doug Cameron and Murray Watt during estimates hearings.
They were incensed by the Small Business Minister’s failure to provide a statement to the AFP over her knowledge, or lack thereof, of a leak to the media tip from her office about raids on the Australian Workers Union in 2017.
Senator Watt offered, at one point, to escort Senator Cash to the police for the statement, a bold cross-party KonMari attempt with which Senator Cash did not co-operate.
As for question time this week, this correspondent can report little joyful indignation.
In some cases, there was a quantifiable joy depletion, such as when Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, running out of steam in his attack against the government over the findings of the banking royal commission, repeated once again that the government voted against the commission 26 times.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is at risk of being tidied up by the voters in his seat of Dickson at the election.
Dutton rarely risks a smile, but a hint of satisfaction could be seen in his ability to hammer the opposition on their weak point of border protection, following Labor’s support for the refugee medical evacuation legislation.
Dutton flirts most dangerously with joy when united with his bro Ray Hadley, during their weekly chat on 2GB radio.
These two are so simpatico they have started talking for each other, like adorable twins from a madcap Disney film.
When a critical, Labor-voting listener rang in to the show, Hadley piped up: “I’ll talk on behalf of the minister”. Dutton approved: “That was very well done,” he told Ray.
The good news for KonMari fans is that parliament is de-cluttering itself.
This week saw valedictory speeches from many departing parliamentarians, who are auto-KonMari-ing out of the big house.
Labor MPs Kate Ellis, Wayne Swan, Jenny Macklin and Gai Brodtmann gave their valedictories, as did the Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer. Even the Parliamentary clerk is retiring.
Then, just before Parliament rose on Thursday evening, Julie Bishop stood in the lower chamber, resplendent in Shinto white, and abruptly announced her retirement.
As soon as she finished speaking, she left the chamber, not waiting to hear the praise bestowed upon her by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who took the job she wanted.
The departure of these politicians represents the end of an era.
Parliament will sit again for a minimalist few days for the Budget in April. Then comes the grand democratic de-cluttering of the election.
Jacqueline is a senior journalist, columnist and former Canberra press gallery sketch writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.