Culture

Here Are Some Of The Most Hilarious April Fools’ Day Pranks Australia’s Politicians Pulled Today

"Tony Abbott brought the house down by jokingly promising to stop being an idiot every five goddamn seconds and act like a real Prime Minister for once."

April Fools’ Day is here again, and Canberra has well and truly gotten into the spirit, with politicians of every stripe unveiling hilarious pranks on a definitely receptive and not-eternally weary electorate. Prime Minister Tony Abbott led the charge by jokingly promising to stop being a fucking idiot every five goddamn seconds and act like a real grown-up Prime Minister for once.

“My frequent displays of insensitivity, immaturity and contempt have damaged Australia’s reputation abroad and weakened voter’s faith in the democratic system itself, and that’s why from now on I’m going to conduct myself with the dignity and self-respect Australians expect from their Prime Minister,” Abbott said, pausing every so often to stop giggling and regain his composure. “That means no more using the vast power of government to go after people I don’t like, no more reducing complex public debates to three-word slogans a child would find patronising, and no more scaring people by yelling about ISIS to try and save my job. Also, no more weirdly racist digs at the Irish.”

The gag held up for around two minutes before Abbott himself spoiled the joke by sneaking up on several Sky News reporters, yelling “APRIL FOOLS!” and blasting a novelty airhorn directly into their faces, causing several perforated eardrums and upsetting a nearby dog.

“That was fun! Can’t believe you guys fell for it though, I thought that was an obvious one. Honestly, all that’s keeping me in office is the desire to bring this pleb-riddled country crashing down with me. When I’m done we’ll be a cross between Victorian England and the new Mad Max movie, it’s going to be wild. Same old me,” Abbott laughed as he set an old-age pensioner on fire.

Not to be outdone, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten brought the laughs by pledging to “stand up to the government” on controversial policies like data retention, as well as promising a “genuine progressive alternative” to Tony Abbott and “a Labor Party with backbone”.

“The time has come for the Labor Party to stop looking into its past and offer Australia a real way forward — one that seriously prioritises renewable energy over fossil fuels, faces up to the vast and fundamental inequalities of Australian society, and gets big corporate money out of democratic processes,” Shorten joked to an appreciative press gallery. “The ALP needs to renew itself with big ideas and stand on its principles, and I’m the leader to take us to the next — ah, sorry, guys, I couldn’t keep it together. Can you imagine? I’ll probably just talk about Bob Hawke and Paul Keating some more, focus groups love that shit.”

Over in Western Australia, Premier Colin Barnett briefly had people going when he “reversed” his decision to forcibly close 150 Indigenous communities and relocate their inhabitants, before underlining the prank by demolishing a one-room school eighty kilometres east of Broome in a bulldozer with the words “HAPPY APRIL FOOLS’ DAY” painted on it.

“Me and the office are pretty proud of this one, it took ages to put together. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to set things up in out-of-the-way places like this, I dunno how the locals manage,” Barnett said before being distracted by a child visibly upset at the sight of her school being flattened by a novelty bulldozer. “Oh, love, sorry about that. Did you go there? You probably went there, didn’t you. Can we leave this bit out when we write up the funny news reports, guys? Cheers.”

Meanwhile, Education Minister Christopher Pyne confirmed his reputation as Parliament’s most prolific pranker by finally revealing the punchline to an April Fools’ gag he’s been working on for years.

“Joke’s on you, Australia! All this time you assumed I wasn’t a writhing sack of poisonous lizards wearing a human face made out of potato skins, but I got ya! I got ya good!” Pyne said in a press conference this morning before dissolving into a pile of venomous reptiles. “My other joke is how I’m still pushing for deregulated uni feessssss,” the pile hissed.