“Inside State was told the impetus for Ms Lamont’s interest came when Mr Barnett and his senior media advisor Dixie Marshall, who served with Ms Lamont on the Tourism WA board for several years, had lunch at her Yallingup restaurant in late March while in town for the Margaret River Pro surfing tournament.”
Hmm, I thought. Having previously been the meat caught between a slice of Collier Pane ticinese (See ref 1 below) and Marshall Bubbleloaf (See ref 2 below) I know the Premier’s most senior bugle can be quite persuasive, so I wondered if she had worked her, umm… let’s call it charm, on Mr Barnett.
And on reflection, I think there’s probably enough evidence for me to confirm that our sometimes crusty old Premier has actually been dixied…
Before the Contract of Dixie (BC) the Premier said: "When did air-conditioning become a necessity of life?"
After being dixied (AD): “That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes…I think I’ve been a pretty straight shooter. I don’t try to spin things and tell it how it is and sometimes that gets me in trouble.”
BC: [To the media] “Sometimes I think World War III could break out and you guys wouldn’t notice.”
AD: Exclusive "puff piece" on Channel Nine News 9 March 2012
BC: "I don't think members of parliament should turn up with jumpers on, and I think it should be a coat and tie for males and suitable business attire for females" (I can vouch for this – I witnessed him do a press conference in Karratha in high humidity and 40 degree heat wearing a full suit)
AD: Premier Barnett appeared at a mid-morning press conference in the Perth CBD on a Parliamentary sitting day (3 May 2012) without a tie OR jacket!!
BC: "Be realistic about your expectations and be prepared to buy a fairly humble property first off and gradually work your way up as you go through life and your income increases.”
AD: “You’re not going to get political correctness out of me, I’ll say it how it is.”
BC: [a former Minister] “…I suggest he give the member for Vasse a kick in the nuts before he hits him in the head! [Mr BARNETT] “Mr Speaker, that is highly inappropriate”
AD: “This email shows the director of media doing her job,” he said. “This is what she is meant to be doing — co-ordinating the government message, communicating with her team. The email proves she goes about her business broadly, positively, and with good humour. OK, she occasionally says a swear word. She was, after all, a journalist for more than 25 years. Dixie has promised me she will never ever, ever, ever swear again in emails.”
A lot of people have been quite critical of Dixie Marshall in her new role, but you have to give her this – she’s managed to exert significant influence over one of the most strong-willed, headstrong men I’ve ever come across.
Ref 1: Pane ticinese is a soft dough Swiss bread that is all white, strengthened by several small sub-loaves or rolls.
Ref 2: Bubbleloaf is a gooey pastry from Africa that sticks to the roof of your mouth, usually served as a treat because it is considered too rich for daily consumption.