Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Send in the Clowns

Australian politics is growing madder by the day. First, the redoubtable (such a good word that, its veneer of positivity masking, in this instance anyway, a bemused and disrespectful astonishment) Clive Palmer throws his hat in the ring (although, in the hat department, no-one can really compete with Bob Katter).

Then Pauline Hanson re-emerges from hiding to offer us her dubious services as a representative. Having had the pleasure of struggling with her speeches during her brief time as a member of Australia's House of Representatives - she was among the figures who made me wonder whether being a Hansard editor wasn't really a bit immoral, as I laboured to transform garbled half-baked utterances into something that would give future readers the impression of articulacy and even commonsense (dealing with Bob Katter's burblings usually presented an identical ethical conundrum) - I, if only out of sympathy for all my former colleagues still working at the Hansard coalface, will not be taking up her invitation.

Finally, we have the reappearance of that round-faced goon who in 2007 somehow led the nation into a collective delusion unequalled in our nation's history (unless you count the brief period when we actually believed that Little Britain was amusing). The press are now touting the likelihood that before the next week is out he will once again be our PM.


But what can you do, in the face of such horror? The answer, obviously, is: take a stand.

Which is why I now offer to the Australian public my own manifesto, my vision for our country, my pledge, if you vote for me.  I've already outlined two of the pillars of my vision for the country - one and two. My other major policy initiatives would be:

1. To make public transport something that, like sewerage, is just a given, rather than a service that somehow has to operate as a business. Thus, public transport would be free and efficient and no-one would start muttering about how much it costs. Trains would run more regularly and to more places. Old country stations would be opened up, providing rural employment. Conductors would operate on trams once more.

2. Plastic throwaway biros would be banned and everyone would have to write with fountain pens. Not only would this have a beneficial effect on the environment, it would lead to a reinvigorating of the blotting paper industry, which has been languishing for years.

3. Abolish all the horrible little stickers they've started whacking onto fruit (except these, because they are adorable). The people who become unemployed as a result of this measure can be redeployed to blotting paper factories.

Other policies may follow, but these seem pretty good to me, to be going on with. Let me know if I've overlooked any areas of pressing need.


  1. You think you have problems in Australia...you should see what it's like here...

    1. I think you're in the UK, where the political scene, I have the impression, is slightly less colourful than it used to be, following the exit of Screaming Lord Sutch [spelling?] from the scene.

  2. I make no comment on the great politicians of our era, for they are all, all honorable men, including the women, but wish to see your nomination go in immediately [is there yet time?] with these suggestions.

    On 1. I would go further and say that all rail freight costs should be reduced to the point where the road hauliers operate profitably only where trains can't. The savings in terms of damage to our roads alone would offset any subsidisation of railway freight costs.

    On 2. I think it's a non-starter. No-one knows what a fountain pen is and biros are declining rapidly in use given that people only use their opposable thumbs to help tap incomprehensible messages into mobile phones.

    On 3. As a person with only one usable hand, I declare my eternal loyalty to your 'Stuff Odious Stickers' [SOS] Party and kiss your feet [metaphorically because I'd have to stay down there if I did it for real.] I'm in.

    1. On 1., I appoint you transport minister.
      On 2., damn you with your commonsense.
      On 3., metaphorically is quite adequate.
      Now, do you want to hear my policy on ministerial allowances?