Talking points are a reality of modern political life, a bane of journalists, and both an aid and a shackle for backbenchers.
And they're usually secret.
Not so as politicians returned to Canberra on Monday for another parliamentary fortnight and the prime minister's office accidentally circulated the coalition's talking points to the entire press gallery, highlighting some of the government's perceived vulnerabilities.
The extensive document covers a broad range of topics including drought assistance, a banking inquiry and climate change targets.
It contains a series of anticipated questions from journalists on potential weak spots, including the lack of a national drought policy, rising carbon emissions and inadequacy of the Newstart allowance.
"If asked about the trial being likened to a Russian plan to send people who test positive for HIV to an island..." a cheerful section on the drug testing of welfare recipients starts.
As television and radio hosts made light of the blunder, Attorney-General Christian Porter denied it was an embarrassment.
"I didn't know that they were (distributed)," he told ABC radio on Monday.
"These things happen from time to time."
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack confronted the matter during Question Time, telling parliament he didn't have his talking points in front of him.
"I think they went to the Member for Hunter (Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon) because the member for Hunter is very much on board with our climate policy," he said to laughter from his own side.
Political opponents were making hay with the blunder.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese prefaced his questions with "the prime minister's talking for today say...", while a couple of his colleagues tried to get the document tabled.
"Mr Speaker, it's not a confidential document. We've all got it. They've all got it. It's not confidential," Labor frontbencher Tony Burke protested when his request was denied.
Earlier, Greens senator Nick McKim tweeted: "Oh no! Someone leaked my talking points to the whole press gallery!". The tweet also had a photo of a document that repeatedly said: "The world has 12 years to deal with climate change".
The talking points aren't all political spin - its 8200 words also include basic factual information like the contents of the government's "big stick" energy legislation, and that the prime minister visited Fiji over the weekend.
Insiders say this level of detail suggests those higher up in government don't trust their backbenchers to be across what's going on.
But no matter how extensive the notes to prepare MPs are, there will always be some who ignore them entirely.
"You know they're dilly-dallying - you know they're looking out for the green faction, the Mark Butler Booroolong Frog faction," Barnaby Joyce told the Seven Network about Labor and dams.
It was a darn sight more interesting than the approved line: "We are delivering the funding needed to fast-track construction of dams and other critical water infrastructure."