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Dirk Flinthart's highly suggestive third-term whimsies

By Dirk Flinthart - posted Saturday, 15 December 2001

What should be first on Little Johnny’s agenda? Tough call. There’s so many things that warrant the Prime Minister’s attention. For example, the issue of detention centres and asylum seekers: that’s a big one. And the Australian Electorate is out there, demanding hard and fast answers to the tough questions, such as: why did we have to kick out that really amazing woman in the Cougar Bourbon advertisement, Mister Howard? That seems like overkill to me. Couldn’t we have declared her a natural asset? Like Uluru, except doubled?

Actually, there’s a bunch of really tough questions out there waiting for Howard’s Heroes. For me, possibly the most pressing issue is the question of eyebrows: precisely what happened to the giant hairy caterpillars that used to disguise the front of our Prime Minister’s head? Once upon a time, they were as much a part of Our Johnny’s image as were the ... ahh... features ... of the Cougar Girl to the sales of bourbon in sleazy nightclubs. I’m not the only person concerned by this disappearance, either:

On the other hand, if they’re going to try and sell us one half of the Abbott and Costello Comedy Lawsuit Duo as our next Prime Minister, maybe they need to address the Smirk Situation...


Of course, the biggest question of all has gotta be: what are we going to do for new policies now that Paul Keating's not on the scene to invent things we can steal? Tell ya what: Johnny and Pete must have felt like they'd scratched a winning lotto ticket when those poor schmoes lobbed up in the Tampa.... I can see it now:

"Pete! Pete! I’ve got a policy!"
"No ya haven’t, John. That’s just your eyebrows growing back."
"No way, mate! It’s a real policy — a genuine vote-getter. Listen to this: Keep the Riff-Raff Out! "
" How is that a new policy? I thought that was our White Australia policy back in the fifties."
"Well, yair - but we'll market it as a sort of retro-chic thing, like wearing flares and listening to ABBA. It’ll be a bomb, Pete!"

And it worked, didn’t it? So really, you’d have to guess that they’re going to be right for policies so long as boatloads of poor buggers keep drifting in from the general direction of Indonesia, and a few quiet words with Megawati ought to be able to ensure that. Might help rebuild the relationship, too. It would give her something to do with all those left-over Suharto kids running about the place, after all ...

Seriously, though, the stage is set for a real disaster for the Conservatives. Let’s face it: they’re a bunch of clowns - but they’ve been the clowns voted least likely to pull the plug on the nation. Now they’re isolated; caught out in the open like the last, staggering, puking drunk at a frat party where the football team has already gone home. There’s no more Keating Piggery or Beazley Beerbelly to keep the public eye off the Costello Smirk. Cheryl Kernot has jumped her last political fence and crashed to earth with a permanent wedgie. The perpetually perky team of Stoat-Despoiler and Ridgeway is insufficiently stupid (and insufficiently numerous!) to draw attention to itself. Pauline Hanson has been defrocked.

And the Labor mob? Who’s in charge there? I can’t quite recall... no clues... don’t help me here... Oh yeah. It’s that Cream bloke, isn’t it?

Nobody knows. Nobody cares. And that spells danger for Howard’s Heroes. Here’s the prediction from this less than prescient political pundit: in a bloodspattered governmental landscape bereft of noteworthy opponents, Howard’s lads are going to make the kind of righteous prawns of themselves that Keating’s boys did in that last term, with the same result: Simon Crean and his crew of non-descripts will keep their heads down, their mouths shut, and slide into government by dint of sheer mediocrity.


But if you were to ask me what’s next on the government’s agenda, I’d say this: they just won their third straight federal election. As a result, the first agenda item (a monumental piss-up) has already been carried out. There remains only the inevitable sobriety and miserable hangover to follow.

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About the Author

Dirk Flinthart is a writer and student who lives in Tasmania.

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