Tuesday, 22 May 2007

"We're doomed! Quick boys, guzzle the Grange before the Reds get here!"

The news has seeped out that Little Johnny, our captain, warlord, and generally relaxed and comfortable Prime Minister has been at the tipple recently.

A recent Senates Estimates Committee has heard that the poor PM has been drowning his sorrows at the current polls at the public expense at no little cost.

The Kirribilli tab over the past few years was: $27,196 in 2003-04, $26,779 in 2004-05, $25,260 in 2005-06 and $30,172 so far in 2006-07, making a total of $109,407 for the past four years.

One can only surmise at the reasons for Howard's thirsty supping of (no doubt) the finest drinks available to the Aussie man.

* Given the time frame, is it perhaps a reaction to the horrible failure that is the Iraq war, where over a million people are estimated to have died? Is it maybe a sign of humanity in the man with the heart of a split pea, or of regret? But surely a man with unlimited booze would have started earlier - as indeed we know Howard did.

* Maybe, then, it's his way of dealing with the fact that he'll have to deal with Georgie Bush alone, without the help of Rummy and Tony? It's possible - but unlikely.

* Or maybe it's a response to the rise of Rudd in the polls, and the very real chance that the Coalition will be booted out at this election.

But if so, make no mistake, it's not in sorrow he's drinking. From all accounts he's been inviting around all of his corporate A-list mates ("a cross-section of Sydney society")
to suck on the jugular of the Australian taxpayer while they still get the chance. They've all made a mint out of the last decade, and the weakness they've left the union movement in, combined with Labor's supine response, means they'll reap the profits for years to come.

In fact, so similar is Rudd to Howard,in so many ways, that not only has the Australian population appeared to have decided to dump the old Holden for a shiny new oil-guzzling Kingswood without so much as the blink of an eye, but the shift in support is so clear that even Howard, the arch-deceiver, appears to have taken notice.

First, he tried to shrug off Labor's ongoing support of nearly 60%, as being merely
"an interesting exercise by the Australian public in its innate sense of humour,", but maybe it's started to sink in that the (11 year, union-bashing, refugee-tormenting, Iraqi-bombing, aborigine-denigrating, reactionary, back-to-the-1950's, trough-swilling, patronising) honeymoon's over, and it's time to let someone else rort the Australian public. This morning, Howard made the bold assertion that the Coalition government, given current polling, faces "annihilation".

Of course, we shouldn't trust the Right Hon. John Winston Lying Rodent Howard as far as we can kick him, but it's a concession regardless, particularly alongside the dropping of the
Orwellian name "WorkChoices" for the Government's new industrial relations system. Apparently, having your workplace rights stripped, your pay cut to smithereens, and your right to even dare to disagree made illegal has turned out NOT to be popular. Who would've thunk it?

Never fear, however, Howard is not giving up yet. A few tweaks here and there, and another hundred million for advertising, and all should be ok. And there's no reason yet to think that Howard's admission of possible annihilation is anything more than a rallying of troops for the final battle. After all, if they do lose, chances are he's right. By many accounts, the Liberal Party would be in terminal crisis if they lose this election, especially if, as seems likely, Labor suck-up successfully to Big Business.

But it's not all dire. In true ALP form, the Opposition, not content with recruiting a Rock Star (Peter Garrett), decided they needed some real 'working class' leaders. Militant trade unionists, did I hear you say? Leading environmentalists, or advocates for social justice reforms? Idealists seeking to better the world? Indigenous leaders fighting to rescue their fellows from a 4th world existence? Not a chance. Apparently, given the current drought, the best option the hacks at ALP HQ could cook up was - Mike Bailey, long time weather reader for ABC TV.

Don't get me wrong, I like Mike Bailey (I grew up on him, in fact, and my fascination with geography can at least be partially traced to watching ABC news weather reports in the 80's). But, is he really the best they can do?

And, as me ole chum Dom Knight points out, the past few years of accusations of lefty bias against Aunty are going to be hard to lick as the number of ex-ABC journos end up in the ALP caucus.

The Wombats will bring you updates in the weather at regular intervals. In the mean time, get angry - get active!

No comments: