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Dirk Flinthart's (not at all) disillusioned Whimsies

By Dirk Flinthart - posted Sunday, 15 July 2001

Disillusioned? With government in Australia? Not likely!

Hey! Anybody in this country who is disappointed with our man Johnny is just looking at the situation from the wrong direction. Oh sure, I suppose that if you were looking for a man of substance, a leader of a nation, a true representative of his people, then you might well have cause for disappointment. (Okay. Let's be honest. You'd probably have cause to go out and buy a gun.) But if that was what you were expecting from Johnny Eyebrows, then the mistake is yours.

Now me - I'm not disappointed by John Howard at all. I regard him as possibly the most subtle and gifted comedian of a generation. In the last four years I've had more belly-laughs from Howard's Heroes than I got in the entirety of the 14 years or so of Labor government preceding it. I mean, how can you be disappointed by a man with the sheer genius to appoint Abbott and Costello to his front bench?


The audacity of the man! I still get fits of the giggles thinking about that little episode.

Oh, but the comedy doesn't end there. The lineup of Howard's front bench leads one to suspect that he's planning to change the national anthem to "Send In The Clowns." How else to explain the transfer of Brutal Bronwyn from the Defence desk to Aged Care, where she has continued to behave exactly like a Defence Minister...

And the really spooky thing about that is that John Clarke manages to sound more like Bronny than Bronny herself! But it doesn't end there...


Speaking of Defense Ministers, surely the most disappointed person in Australia must be Peter Reith, who clearly wanted to be in charge of all the shiny toys and soldiers, but had to settle for Workplace Relations instead. Here's a man who successfully transformed the wharfies from a nationwide joke into folk heroes, practically overnight. Workplace Relations? More like an episode of Hogan's Heroes, with Reithy and Howard shooting it out for the role of Colonel Klink.

Then there's good old Dick Alston, the Minister for Preventing Communications. He's nothing short of wonderful. Leave this guy in office a few more years, and we can all go back to carving notches on sticks and shouting "coo-ee!" from the rooftops. I don't know what he's got against modern communications, but whatever it is, it's big and ugly. Have a look in this place, for Alston's take on 'Net censorship:

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About the Author

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

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