Top of the table

Until recently it was an obscure little table in Tony Abbott’s office.
It looked like the sort of thing you’d see in an upmarket doctor’s waiting room – neatly piled with glossy magazines and a vase of fresh flowers.
But the former PM’s marble topped table has shot into national prominence after it was broken during what appears to have been a wild party to celebrate him losing the leadership.
That in itself seems an odd reason to throw a party but a gathering to blow off steam, vent a little anger and commiserate each other after a leadership spill is understandable.
The party sounds a little like a wake that became slightly out of hand.
By all accounts the Prime Ministerial drinks cabinet was opened and, as the party progressed, the PM’s shirt came off, presumably to deliver a little flesh action for the faithful in between the reported dancing on tables.
It sounds like a good old fashioned, let your hair down, don’t tell your mother, sort of party. It could be a scene from a Don Williamson play.
Everyone was having a good time … until the little table in the corner was unexpectedly shoved into the national spotlight.
Who broke the table?
Our own Jamie Briggs turned up to work the following morning in a wheelchair clutching a pair of crutches saying he’d damaged his leg on an early morning run and was adamant table-top dancing was not in his bag of party tricks.
So when news of the smashed $1000 table was revealed and that pieces of it had been taken as souvenirs by party goers – rather like their own bits of the Berlin Wall – it was understandable that the culprit turn themselves in and pay for the damage.
But, like a group of chastened teenagers caught by their parents doing the wrong thing, the silence was deafening.
Mr Abbott has offered pay for the damage but still the perpetrator has not come forward.
And that is the nub of the issue.
The table doesn’t matter.
What is important is people’s preparedness to accept responsibility for their own actions – whether it be charging the taxpayer for helicopter flights or business class holiday travel for the whole family or accidentally smashing public property.