Vladimir! Vladimir! It’s Ban Ki-moon. I know you’re hiding down here in one of your last economic bastions – coal. There are dead canaries everywhere. That’s proof enough. You’ve sucked the oxygen out of everything else Russian with your feudal-nationalist, anti-West policies sending your country deeper into international isolation. Why do you do it?
Your Ruble is plummeting, your inflation is spiralling, your economy is stagnating taking living standards to new lows. Your poor citizens are suffering, but they blame the West, not you, for all their woes. But you are the reason for the sanctions. We want you to change your ways, but you refuse and Russia suffers. Why do you do it?
Just because I find you impossible to understand and might make the occasional criticism, doesn’t mean I am right and you are wrong. I just don’t understand how you can be such a remorseless, oppressive, arrogant tyrant and still have 88% of Russians approving of you. Guess it must your well-oiled state-run media propaganda machine.
I know that deep down you’re just a big sookie bear with a deep-seated paranoid-schizophrenic fear of losing your honey pot of power. You need help.
I just want a nice, friendly chat about Crimea, Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines MH17 and sanctions – coal included. I want to help you, you poor fellow. I will even admit that you have been misrepresented. I have come to apologise.
OK then, I am left with no choice. My security council anti-Putin secret weapon, code named ‘Julie Bishop from Australia’ which just happens to be my helmet, will find you and frazzle you to death – slowly.
Response … No! No! Anything but that.
OK. If you promise to tell Julie how you manage an 88% approval rating, we will remove all sanctions. Julie’s government is making big changes to the ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and she wants some tips on how to run a media system like yours.
Did they get him? No, because Putin’s tactic of runaway aggression always works against the West. His sting worked – Ban and Julie both died of asphyxiation.
John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election but lost to incumbent George W. Bush … Full Wikipedia profile
Julie Bishop: He should certainly step down. It is untenable for the Prime Minister to have a Foreign Minister that she cannot trust. Senator Bob Carr was a prominent although covert supporter of the Rudd camp …… If Julia Gillard has a shred of authority left she should sack Senator Bob Carr immediately …… It’s untenable for him to continue as Foreign Minister. There shouldn’t be a slither of light between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister and yet there’s this yawning chasm and Bob Carr while-ever he remains in that role will be undermining Julia Gillard, she knows it, everybody in Parliament House knows it. He should go.
This painting by Arthur Boyd (1920-99) was commissioned in 1984 by the Parliament House Construction Authority as the design for a tapestry to hang in the Great Hall. Arthur Boyd, one of Australia’s greatest artists, was approached by the Parliament House architects, Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp, to conceive of a work of art for this key position on the south wall of the Great Hall – a space intended for ceremonial and state occasions ….. The architectural vision for the Great Hall was that it would convey a sense of the Australian land, emphasising the importance of the physical environment in shaping Australian values.
Imagine that! Parliament House and “shaping Australian values” – presumably good ones – in the one sentiment!
Imagine even remotely linking parliament with its hatreds, vitriol and duplicity with the spirit of the Australian bush! Banjo would turn in his grave.
What is it about ‘the bush’ that is so special to Australians? The bush has an iconic status in Australian life and features strongly in any debate about national identity, especially as expressed in Australian literature, painting, popular music, films and foods.
The bush was something that was uniquely Australian and very different to the European landscapes familiar to many new immigrants. The bush was revered as a source of national ideals by the likes of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson. Romanticising the bush in this way was a big step forward for Australians in their steps towards self-identity. The legacy is a folklore rich in the spirit of the bush.
And so, with inspiration from Banjo, we have Julie’s poetic take, as she covets Bob’s job:
CLANCY OF THE AFTERGLOW – J.B. “Bishop” Patters-on
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I saw him in Washington, weeks ago,
He was fraternising when I saw him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just “on spec”, addressed as follows: “Clancy, of The Afterglow”.
And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written in a thumbnail dipped in tar)
‘Twas his secretary who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone to New York crowing, and we don’t know where he are.”
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-dining “down the UN” where the western delegates go;
As the limos are slowly stringing, Clancy rides with them singing,
For the Senators life has pleasures that the Opposition never know.
And the UN hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the dealings and the shimmer of its brass,
And he sees the vision splendid of the Security Council extended,
And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting bars.
I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the chambers tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty polity
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.
And in place of foreign tattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the cameras and the mikes making hurry down the hall,
And the language uninviting of the media scrum fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of gall.
And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For Liberals have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.
And I somehow fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at Foreign Affairs where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the doorstop and the journo –
But I doubt he’d suit the Opposition, Clancy, of “The Afterglow”.