Australian Federal Police have raided the parliament house gift shop. The raid followed a call to 2UE’s whisper line by an anonymous tipster citing inside knowledge and details of a plan by a group of “face-covered Moslems” to disrupt parliament. The call was heard by Channel 9, whose film crew promptly notified the AFP, then made a beeline for Capital Hill. Sound familiar? Deja vu?
Shop manager Flossie Fairweather politely informed the heavily armed anti-terrorist squad that she had sold out of the offending face coverings. “I sold the last 60 to that charming group of young people barely 30 minutes ago. They said they were Moslem but they did not look like terrorists to me. I think they were heading for the public gallery in that big green room.”
The squad then stormed the House of Representatives gallery with the order, “Remove all face coverings immediately.”
Childish laughter erupted as the group of primary school children removed their Julie Bishop clown face masks. A spokeschild piped up, “We just wanted to have a bit of fun at your expense. We didn’t think you would have learnt any lessons from the Burqa ban debacle last October. You idiots. And by the way, we are not Moslem, not that it should matter one iota. And yes, it was me who phoned 2UE. It has been a pleasure to make a laughing stock of the AFP, the media and parliament. Kids rule! We are the future and don’t you forget it.”
Tony Abbott reacted angrily to the incident, “There will be no more benefit of the doubt for children seeking to harm Australia. We are a free and fair nation, but that doesn’t mean we should let bad children play us for mugs. Let me be quite clear about this. All children, I repeat, all children will now be treated as terror suspects.”
According to Flossie Fairweather, “Sales of the Julie Bishop clown face masks have soared. For fun-loving visitors to parliament house, to not wear a mask in the public galleries is as un-Australian as banning the burqa.”
Rumour has it that an outraged Julie Bishop approached Ms Fairweather, demanding that she withdraw all masks from sale. “Why don’t you wear one of these love. It will be a much better look for you.” came Flossie’s response. A gun-shy, red-faced and highly nervous AFP has kowtowed to Bishop’s demand that the incriminating CCTV footage be seized, archived and marked “Never to be released.”
Hello my dear Liberal Party switchboard operator. Please put me through to NBN Co – that’s the National Broadband Network Company – if my carrier pigeon didn’t arrive there 30 minutes ago.
No need to get smart with me! I know broadband hasn’t been invented yet. I’m trying to get back to the future.
I hate being yesterday’s man. I’m a social progressive. I’m a republican. I believe in gay marriage. I’m social media savvy. And you should see the way I dress. But here I am stuck in the past, in this party that makes time go backwards – ever since I lost control, that is.
Did you say, “Of my senses?”
Back in 2009, I will be opposition leader, then I’ll get dumped for supporting an emissions trading scheme to save the planet from climate change, which won’t be recognised until 1989 when a British Prime Minister called Margaret Thatcher addresses the United Nations on this catastrophic threat to the planet.
I will have argued that the world is moving in the direction of carbon pricing. But Tony Abbott – the bloke who steals my job – will say, “As I’ve always said, the world is moving away from carbon taxes and emission trading schemes, not towards it.”
Time will prove me right – the world will move forwards in my direction and not backwards in Tony’s. But Tony has stolen my job by one vote. That one lousy vote in that party room where time stood still and the world of progressive thinking swivelled on its axis and began rotating in the opposite direction – backwards – Tony’s way.
Operator, you do realise I’m Malcolm Turnbull and I will be Minister for Communications in the Abbott Coalition Government in 2014.
Did I hear you say this is 2014? Hallehulya! At last I’ve found someone around here who doesn’t think it’s the 1960’s. Someone who understands me. Someone who likes me. You do understand and like me, don’t you?
Seeing you and me are now buddies, and we are both in the communications business, I bet you would love to hear my story:
In 2009, as Opposition Leader I secretly believed in the Labor’s NBN plan to roll out high-speed optic fibre cable to 93% of homes, schools and business across Australia by 2021, with satellite and fixed wireless networks to service the remaining seven per cent. Fantastic concept I thought.
I could never afford to be seen to agree with anything Labor did or was going to do, even if I did agree. But I didn’t go out of my way to criticise the NBN.
Anyway, Tony knew I was pro-NBN. So after he stole my job, he announced he wanted to destroy it. Then, to make my life a complete misery he made me Shadow Minister for Communications. That man has a sick sense of humour.
I had to lie through my teeth with my legendary, persuasive silver tongue, and say the “$43 billion white elephant was a colossal destruction of taxpayer’s money”.
I knew most Australians wanted the highest possible broadband speed, and Tony’s threat to dismantle it was political suicide. I had to save my own arse, and to do that I had to save his by convincing him go to the 2013 election not still promising to dismantle the NBN.
After Tony became prime minister and I became communications minister, I saved it with my fibre-to-the-node compromise by incorporating Telstra’s old copper network . I brought it back to the future, in a backward, short-sighted sort of way. Now he makes out he invented my idea: “We believe in a national broadband network and we will deliver a better one”, he said.
It was not going to be a better one, it was worse, but it was better than what he wanted which was yesterday’s model, which he personifies, as opposed to tomorrow’s model, which I personify.
Yes, I’m tomorrow’s man. Get a load of this speech I’ve written in anticipation:
Firstly, I wish to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Abbott who tragically hanged himself with copper wire, a suicide which I personally oversaw. In this the year of 2021, as President Malcolm Turnbull, I proudly announce the completion of the NBN – my fantastic concept of rolling out high-speed optic fibre cable to 93 per cent of homes, schools and business across Australia, with satellite and fixed wireless networks servicing the remaining seven per cent. I now officially proclaim the Constitution of the Republic of Australia with its revolutionary provisions. Particularly noteworthy are the legalisation of gay marriage and the introduction of a market-based carbon emissions trading scheme. Furthermore, I have authorised that all clocks across this nation resume revolving in a clockwise direction and that progressive thinking be re-instated to its former glory, according to the holy scriptures of Saint Malcolm of Wentworth, who was recently canonised at the Royal Vaucluse Yacht Club.
Operator, it’s been so nice talking to you. Operator! Operator! Operator!
Don’t tell me you’ve put me on hold. You have! I asked you not to tell me that! That’s a funny line from Get Smart – a new TV series where a secret agent called Maxwell Smart has a mobile phone in his shoe. Imagine that! – a mobile phone with no cords or operators.
I don’t think you understand me or like me after all, putting me on hold like that. Suppose you lied about it being 2014, you neo-Luddite Liberal.
While I have you, book a wake-up call for yesterday morning at 5 am. I have an early appointment with my mirror. I need time for reflection on my future.
Links to related articles:
The Aim Network 30 July 2014:
Media mogul Murdoch is buying a Conservative alternate universe
The Abbott Government is leading Australia down America’s path on a range of social and economic issues, and holding the reigns is Rupert Murdoch.
On Line Opinion 11 June 2014:
Democracy and diversity: media ownership in Australia
…… Rupert Murdoch, the founder and CEO of News Corp, used the media to sway” voters with headlines such as: “Australia needs Tony” and “Kick this Mob [Labor] Out”.
Link to The Huffington Post United Kingdom reporting on Rebekah Brooks’ acquittal (24 June 2014) :
Rebekah Brooks Not Guilty Of Phone Hacking Charges, Andy Coulson Guilty
Rebekah Brooks was overcome by emotion on hearing she had been acquitted on all charges in the phone hacking trial, as her former lover Andy Coulson was convicted.
Link to related article from The Guardian of 22 May 2014:
Sex hotline pensioner labels Abbott’s wink at her call ‘sleazy’ and ‘slimy’
PM says he regrets his reaction to the call from 67-year-old grandmother Gloria as he defends his role as minister for women
Queensland’s anti-bikie laws make the state look ‘ridiculous’
A senior barrister says Queensland’s anti-bikie laws make the state look ridiculous. In a scathing address at a lawyers conference on the Gold Coast, Stephen Keim said the Newman government’s laws breached human rights.
Boxing Day 2013
Dear Mr Abbott,
I was watching ABC TV’s News Breakfast this morning when presenters Beverley O’Connor and Paul Kennedy suggested that Mitchell Johnson should be knighted. I thought,
“ This idea has great possibilities. I should tell Tony. He’ll love it. He needs someone like me to get back on track.”
I’ve heard you are a royalist and a populist – I think that means you like to be popular – so you will find this idea irresistible. I know you are very good at telling Australians how they should think, but now it’s my turn to give you a dose of your own medicine. Believe me, it’s for your own good. I’ve also heard that you got to be PM by being a populist – guess you really like to be popular!
Seems you are not doing too well in the polls at the moment. Some dare to say you lack fresh ideas. Well, the moment has arrived for you to turn this around. You will be more popular than even I am.
Bring knighthoods back!
Australians, such as myself , want to be recognised with royalty-like status as true-blue, dinky-di, fair-dinkum Australians – not hoity-toity, intellectual, do-gooders. Leave AC’s to those twits – they can just be Companions – not Sirs and Dames.
Do you get it? Sirs and Dames can only be real Aussie icons – past, present and future – even posthumourously – I mean if they are dead.
Australians will love it!
The Queen or King, whoever she or he might be, would be delighted to come over to do the ceremonial honours. I reckon it should be done in the middle of the MCG just before the toss on Boxing Day.
And even better for you – thanks for my brainwave – it would kill off any chance of us ever becoming a republic. Imagine a future Sir Mitchell Johnson having to suffer the indignity of being a mere Mitchell Johnson AC. No future government would be game to drop these knighthoods, or its allegiance – that’s a big word isn’t it! I learnt it yesterday – to Her or His Majesty. Australia would be revolting!
I’ve even got some great suggestions on who should get the nod and why:
Sir Shane Warne for services to cricket
Sir Michael Clarke for services to sledging
Sir David Boon for services to beer
Sir Mark Waugh for services to bookmakers
Sir Merv Hughes for services to moustaches
Sir Bill Lawry for services to pigeons … and beaks
Sir Dennis Lillee for services to kickboxing (with Javed Miandad)
Sir Trevor Chappell for services to underarm bowling (and Australia-New Zealand relations)
Sir Kevin Sheedy for services to jacket waving
Sir Mick Malthouse for services to niceness
Sir James Hird for services to the Essendon Football Club
Sir Stephen Bradbury for services to “doing a Bradbury”
Sir Greg Norman for services to the American accent
Sir Lleyton Hewitt for services to “come on!”
Sir Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom for services to nicknames
Sir Ted Whitten for services to ‘sticking it up ‘em”
ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA
Sir Richie Benaud for services to the number “two”
Sir Kerry O’Keefe for services to giggling
Sir Bert Newton for services to the hair loss industry
Sir Peter Garrett for services to hair loss
Sir Molly Meldrum for services to hats
Sir Eddy McGuire for services to the racism debate (and King Kong)
Sir John Elliott for services to pigs’ arses
Sir Kyle Sandilands for services to sexism
Sir Andrew Bolt for services to freedom of speech
Sir Alan Jones for services to the chaff bag industry
Sir Tom Waterhouse for services to overexposure
Sir Sam Newman for services to women’s liberation
Sir Bruce McAvaney for services to “gee!”
Sir Michael Caton for services to Bonnie Doon
Sir Barry Humphries for services to transvestites
Sir John Farnham for services to premature retirement
Sir Derryn Hinch for (prior) services to the wine industry
Sir Paul Hogan for services to the Australian Taxation Office
Sir Reg Grundy for services to underpants
Sir Peter Harvey for services to “Cannbbbeeerrrraaa”
Sir Errol Flynn for services to the unmentionable
Due to your ‘women problem’ I have not included any Dames. I didn’t want to turn you off my idea. But I would like to suggest Dame Cathy Freeman for services to running really fast – which is a big advantage for women in Australia today.
You will notice that I have not included any politicians. They are not Aussie icons in the minds of most Australians. Except for your good self who I would suggest becomes Sir Anthony Abbott for services to the sexism debate.
22 December 2013
Men and women of Australia
“We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars”. (YouTube) So went the famous 1970’s Holden advertising jingle. A patronisingly corny attempt to beholden Australians to their remarkably unsophisticated sense of national identity. Holden was after all ‘Australia’s own car’.
Sadly, for thinking Australians, it was an extraordinarily successful campaign, which served to demonstrate our collective gullibility for national identity gibberish. The advertising ‘geniuses’ behind this campaign clearly recognised that Australia’s sense of itself was so shallow that it could be capitalised on. And that they did with zeal.
The first car to be wholly manufactured in Australia was the Holden, launched in 1948. If Toyota quits Australia, it could be the second last. The first Holden design was based on a post-war Chevrolet proposal previously rejected by General Motors. Faint praise indeed for Australia. ‘Australia’s own car’ was an American reject and as disingenuous as a shrimp on the Paul Hogan’s barbie. ‘Australia’s own car’ was a myth.
That awful jingle is tantalisingly ironic though. Did vegetarians decide not to buy Holdens? Were rugby followers turned off because the advertisement deemed football to be Australian Rules. And the fact that the great Australian meat pie often contained kangaroo meat, just added to the irony. Besides, kangaroos and Holden cars did not get on well – they had a habit of colliding on country roads.
But the irony was lost on most. The hypnotic jingoism won the day – nationwide.
Apparently, we had not progressed in self-definition since Henry Lawson’s pieces in The Bulletin espoused our then collective colonial identity to be the ‘spirit of mateship’, as characterised in his poems on life in the bush. Interestingly, ‘mateship’, by definition, excluded women from this pseudo sense of nationalism.
The majority of Australians lived in the major cities. How could a national identity be based on a minority of Australians, living in the bush – a place most city folk had never experienced?
This does however beg a reasonable question? Did mateship live in the cities? Doubtful! Historically, city dwellers have been predominantly more concerned with materialism than any altruistic notions of ‘mateship’ or, in the urban context, ‘love thy neighbour’.
To add irony to irony, The Bulletin which was supposedly the ‘great levelling’ journal, would have perished if it did not achieve significant urban circulation. It was as geared towards those of a materialistic bent as much any other section of society.
Nevertheless, the romanticism of the notion of ‘the great Australian spirit of mateship’, was so appealing that it was embraced with fervour across all sections of society.
Banjo Paterson’s ‘Waltzing Matilda’ (YouTube) captured – and still does – the collective imagination with its melody and romanticising of the bush. But the content beggars belief. Our much-loved ‘unofficial national anthem’ is based on a mythical homeless transient who stole a sheep and committed suicide to avoid arrest. It’s enough to make you cringe – and that is something Australians have always been good at – cringing.
Apart from, in my opinion, ‘Waltzing Matilda’, what caused the much-discussed Australian cringe? Was it borne of fear that we are unworthy of comparison with other nations and civilisations?
Who knows? But despite all the theories, one thing is certain – we have always been highly dependant on international approval in order to feel good about ourselves.
It is as if we are a newborn – desperate for oxygen in the form of international approval. We are apparently not willing to have the umbilical cord cut – living and breathing in our own right, and standing on our own two feet seems too daunting.
After all, we still have the flag of another nation in the corner of our own. Yet ironically, we have become as Americanised as Uncle Sam’s index finger – “I wanted you. I got you” – perhaps!
Did we ever have a realistic, intelligent sense of identity? No! It has always been self-delusional. Myths, paradoxes and conundrums have always abounded.
By the time Ned Kelly was hanged in 1880, he had become a legend in his own right. He still is today. Along with his gang, he had stolen horses, robbed banks and killed three policemen. Kelly’s Jerilderie letter shed light on his indignation at the oppression of the Irish and his under-dog status. The Australian psyche, with its love of the underdog, shifted from seeing Kelly as a murderous outlaw to folk hero of mythical proportions. How’s that for a mystifying conundrum? Had Kelly been acquitted and become a wealthy property developer, his status would have shifted from underdog to tall poppy. Paradoxically, Australians love the underdog, but if he or she dares become too successful, they will turn nasty.
1901 saw federation. To this point, the island continent had consisted of a bunch of city-centric, disconnected colonies, with rivalry-driven differences over trade, tariffs and even rail gauges. The rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney over becoming the national capital was so intense that a brand new conundrum was born – Canberra.
Bulldust, the great Australian euphemism for bullshit, seems to be the substance on which the nation had thus far been built.
But blind allegiance to that grand old euphemism, ‘Mother England’ was, and still is the greatest conundrum of all. Certainly a euphemism for Barry McKenzie who hated the mother country, describing the English as “rotten pommie bastards”. (YouTube)
In the film Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, the ever-erudite Bazza on British-Australian relations said:
Look, let me out of here. I mean, there’d be no Mother England if it wasn’t for Australia. Our fighting men came over here when you Poms were ready to throw in the towel. Musso and them slimy yellow nips would’ve flattened this dump if it hadn’t been for me uncles and their superlative fighting spirit. I mean the game was nearly up for youse poms, no risk. And if it hadn’t been for Australia, Musso and them slant-eyed pricks would’ve strung every white kiddie up by the pills and gone chocka-block with all the nurses and bus conductresses. Oh look, let me outta here you ungrateful Pommy bastard!
Bazza was in rare company amongst ‘notable’ Australians who dared to challenge the motherland.
Similar sentiments, though more eloquent, were expressed by Paul Keating who, whilst Prime Minister used parliament to lambast Britain for its abandonment of Australian forces when Singapore fell to the Japanese in World War 2:
I was told that I did not learn respect at school. I learned one thing: I learned about self-respect and self-regard for Australia – not about some cultural cringe to a country which decided not to defend the Malayan peninsula, not to worry about Singapore and not to give us our troops back to keep ourselves free from Japanese domination.
John Curtin, who as Prime Minister during World War 2, had the courage to stand up to the Churchill, and brought troops back from the fronts of the Middle East to defend Australia against the Japanese. Churchill was furious – apparently Australia mattered less.
According to johndotcurtindotedudotau:
In early 1942 Curtin clashed with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill over the use of Australian troops overseas. Curtin’s insistence that his troops return home to protect Australian soil was seen as a brave stand against a powerful ally. His personal anguish over the safety of the returning troops has become part of Australian folklore.
Australia as a nation is said to have been born at Gallipoli. Quite strange that the birth of a nation is perceived to have emanated from a monumental loss of life, created by a massive tactical blunder made by the top brass of in London.
But having just published accounts by the last 10 Gallipoli Anzacs who I interviewed for my latest book – Tall Ships and Tall Tales – and also for a TV documentary funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, I cannot hold my tongue.
These last eye-witnesses all pleaded for us “not to glorify Gallipoli” because it was such a disaster and there was little to celebrate. I thought they were brave, but none were upbeat about their “heroic” achievements. Sydney’s Corporal Ted Matthews, the world’s last survivor of the landing, told me on camera, “Gallipoli was a failure because the British mucked the whole thing up.” His comrade Trooper Len Hall said, “Oh yes, it was a terrible mistake altogether.” Melbourne tunneller Roy Longmore said, “They landed us on the wrong beach.” Sydney’s Private Frank Kelly said, “It was ridiculous. The ridges we had to climb went on and on and got higher and higher. Anybody who tried to capture Gallipoli would have to have been mad!” They may have been disgruntled but they spoke the truth – hundreds also died of diseases in the dirty, overcrowded beachhead because leaders failed to provide sanitation or enough clean water or edible food; incompetent English high command appointed via the “old boy network” sent thousands of Australians “over the top” to certain death; the Anzacs only captured a small area and all had to retreat.
Australia’s efforts in World War 1 to save the mother country, came at a huge human cost – 61,966 lives. And financial cost! Not only did Australia have to repay Britain for the cost of artillery and ammunition, it was expected to pay interest on the loans.
But Australians never wavered from their subservience and adoration of the mother country. In fact, Robert Menzies stated that it would be better that all Australians starve rather renege on repayments due to Britain.
The absurd immorality of this was lost on the majority. Delusional royalists believed that the sky would fall in if Australia dared any challenge that might upset the motherland.
Then a character called Jack Lang emerged. As Labor Premier of NSW, perceived by the right as a dangerous socialist, he was hell-bent on the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, despite the depression, which had put huge pressure on the state budget.
Lang did the unthinkable. He reneged on the payments. His bridge workers and his beloved working class were more deserving. He dispensed with the tradition of royalty, or its appointed Governor of NSW, doing the honours, and decided to open the bridge himself. King George V was outraged.
More outraged were the extreme right royalists of Sydney. The New Guard was formed and Lang feared for his life. In fact, civil war was feared. But Lang proceeded with his intention to open the bridge. However, Captain de Groot of the New Guard stormed through the crowd on horseback to cut the ribbon with a sword. The ribbon was re-tied and Lang cut the ribbon with scissors.
This unparalleled display of extreme royalism and devotion to Britain is the most significant in Australian history. But there is little in Australian history to demonstrate much British devotion to us.
Britain had established an outpost at Sydney Cove in 1788 to rid itself of undesirables and lay claim to a hitherto land seen as inhospitable. Its other intention was find new timber for masts for its naval fleet. An empirical convenience at the time – no more, no less.
‘Rule Britannia!’ – and rule it did, expecting and receiving hypnotic servitude. No Australian Prime Minister was ever more mesmerised than Robert Menzies.
Per se, here is Menzies’ public announcement in 1939:
Fellow Australians. It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.
That’s right! He actually said “As a result Australia is also at war!” And Australians dared not dispute the lack of logical subsequence, because subservience to Britain was second nature, as it was to all other members of the British Commonwealth. Now there’s a misnomer – ‘British Commonwealth’!
Whilst on the subject of Menzies, consider his announcement regarding Australian involvement in the Vietman War:
The Australian Government is now in receipt of a request from the Government of South Vietnam for further military assistance. We have decided – and this has been done after close consultation with the Government of the United States – to provide an infantry battalion for service in South Vietnam.
This was a lie. No such request was ever received from the Government of South Vietnam.
It is highly probable that Menzies would have followed this course of action in any case. But why did he lie? Whatever the reason, it just serves to compound the fact Australian history has been deeply flawed by falsehoods on a grand scale.
At this point, let’s not forget the genocide and maltreatment inflicted on the Aboriginal population – our original inhabitants who worshipped the land that our predecessors desecrated.
However, Australians have done many great things in science, literature, the arts in all its forms, sport and a plethora of other fields. Why can we not be an enlightened nation with a belief in our true identity, based on our many real accomplishments? A robust, multi-cultural and humanitarian society, taking pride in its unique place in the world.
Why can we not be a republic with an Australian head of state?
The next in line to the British throne is an adulterous man known as Charlie. His taped phone conversation with his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, whilst married to Princess Diana, included a wistful remark that he would like to be his lover’s tampon.
Just the sort of person we need as our next head of state!
That illegal taping was first released by New Idea, the Australian women’s magazine then part of Rupert Murdoch‘s media empire, in January 1993.
And there’s conundrum wrapped in a paradox – Rupert – who holds more power and control over Australia through his media influence than our ‘democratically’ elected Prime Minister, who co-incidentally and ironically got the top job thanks to Rupert himself. Murdoch’s influence, particularly through Sydney’s Daily Telegraph’s blatant and bizarre pre-election anti-Labor bigotry-come-propaganda, was influential in winning the all-important Western Sydney vote in determining the 2013 national election result.
There was a popular saying when I was a kid at school if, for example, anyone dropped an easy cricket catch. It went: “Wake up Australia, the country needs you”. Little did I realise that in later life I would come to realise the true significance of that epithet!
Indeed! Wake up Australia, the country needs you. But you appear to be anaesthetised. A good opportunity for some radical surgery!
In conclusion, I repeat: Why can we not be an enlightened nation with a belief in our true identity, based on our many real accomplishments? A robust, multi-cultural and humanitarian society, taking pride in its unique place in the world.
As John Lennon sang: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” No, I am not the only one. There are all of you here tonight, who I am confident agree with me wholeheartedly.
Thank you to all five of you for attending the Annual General Meeting of A.N.A.E.S.T.H.E.T.I.C. – the Australian National Association for the Eradication of Sociopolitical Heedlessness of Enlightened Thinking Intelligent Citizens.
It appears that you have all nodded off.
I rest my case!
Link to related article from the Melbourne Herald-Sun 3 December 2014:
Coalition MPs attack ABC over charter
Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken aim at the ABC, accusing the national broadcaster of not sticking to its charter requiring it to be fair and balanced.