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Smoko: a possible future for Australia

By Ern O'Malley - posted Thursday, 26 June 2003

"Hey Blondie! What d'ya think of John Howard's state funeral yesterday?"

"It was a pity King Willy couldn't make it, Ern. But I guess he had to sort out Prince Harry's latest scandal. Tell yer what, I'm sick of hearing about those bloody royals. Still, the Governor-General delivered a nice eulogy."

"Yair, Ruddock and Howard go way back, when they first cracked down on the reffos. Kind of overshadowed the PM, though, didn't he?"


"I reckon he'll get over it. Abbott has the hide of a rhino. He's been impervious to everything Mark Latham has dished out."

Ever heard of Frank Tudor or Matthew Charlton? Neither had we. Labor leaders after the conscription split of just on a century ago in 1917. Billy Hughes' Nationalists so dominated the next dozen years that they don't even rate a mention in most political histories.

"Tuco, have you fixed that Segway yet? Customer's been waiting for hours."

"He'll just have to wait a bit longer, Ern. You canna' expect me to fix these antique motor scooters without the right parts, do you? Anyway, I reckon Latham will get up at the election."

"Labor in power again? Don't make me laugh. Greg Barns' Centre Party has a more of a show. I might even vote for them."

"Come of the grass, Ern, you're not voting for that mad hatter's tea party? Nothing but a bunch of disillusioned Democrats, Labor tryhards and leftover Liberal wets. What hope could they have?"


"More than Labor, Tuco. And more votes at the last election as well. Just unlucky not to get as many seats. At least they have some policies. They've put on more of a show since the Libs and the Nats merged. With the Labor-Green alliance on the left and the Tories on the right, Barnsy could play them against each other and come up trumps."

Familiar with HV Evatt and Arthur Calwell? Didn't think so. Another pair of unelectables who led Labor through the Menzoic era of the 1950s and 60s. The DLP split did their dash. Now barely rate as a historical footnote.

"Well I'm voting conservative, Ern. Abbott handled the break up of Indonesia pretty well. We got out of that pretty lightly."

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About the Author

Ern O'Malley works in a mechanical repair shop in NSW. Of course, this is not his real name.

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