A very cruddy fable Part 9: A true test of character

As they vie for our votes the patriarchs of our two leading national religions, Archbishop Rudd and Monsignor Abbott, demonstrated their faith this week in very divergent ways. The Archbishop, as is his wont, clutched a prayerbook in his hand and stood shamelessly in front of a church to minister to his flock of fawning hacks. Preaching is his purpose and piety is his text. Sermonising in soundbites, he offers plenary indulgences as a stimulus. Just what penance will be exacted for this shameless appropriation of iconic facades will remain between the Archbishop and his maker (always assuming 24-7 isn’t a test tube baby).

Meanwhile, the Mons sweated a storm in his revivalist tent as he gyrated himself to breathless exhaustion at the end of a long day’s journey into pain. Like flagellants of old, the Mons whipped himself mercilessly as he swam, rode and ran relentlessly in search of stray votes. The naysayers were ten deep at the start of the race declaiming Mons for his lack of policies but few had the fortitude to stay the full fourteen hours of this peculiar contest of character. No matter how questionable some might try to make Mons’ commitment to endurance, the sheer grit he demonstrated silenced almost all critics. And the tea-leaf readers are left to ponder the portents. One was overheard to say: ‘The worm may have turned but the people love a character, even one with flaws’.

This was also the week that the Minister for the Nanny State, Senator Hapless Conrod, got a whack around the ears from the freedom fighters in the White House over his proposed censorship filter for the internet. Kevvie’s confidants have been advised there is no way The Blackfella would ever visit Oz if he could not have unrestricted access to erotic sites during his stay. Mother Theresa is thought to be furious with Kevvie now that her soiree with Michelle and the girls has been postponed indefinitely.

An interesting sight this past week was the Supremo of the Motherdollar Bank, Stingy Sourpuss, playing at being the Easter Bunny. In a performance that failed to secure any plaudits at all, Sourpuss wagged his finger and told the great unwashed: “Your shameless avarice is forcing house prices up to unconscionable levels so you must be punished with a rates rise.” The howls of anguish from those who could not see how they were at fault for this mess and why they should have their pockets picked were strident but failed to lighten the Supremo’s dour demeanour. One suggestion doing the rounds was that Sourpuss was actually trying to create a healthier nation by making people feel queasy before they even started to think about scoffing basketloads of chocolate easter eggs. One thing is for sure, Sourpuss has no intention of letting the markets enter a phase of irrational exuberance. And, God help us, Stingy also revealed that he, too, is given to taking a little divine guidance in his ministering of the Motherdollar Bank. Confessing his sins on morning tabloid television just like any other celebrity-seeking chorus girl, Sourpuss scared the bejezus out of the nation’s non-believers by revealing that his work (30 years with the Bank) is all for the Lord. In a heartening sign that his god, at least, may not be given to hellfire and damnation, Stingy said he did not believe the GFC was a sign from god. Mind you, sinners, he did confess that he sees human behaviour as being driven by greed and fear alternatively. Hardly a gospel of salvation but a fascinating, if almost terrifying, insight into the mind of the Motherdollar Bank’s supremo. God help us all.

As we close-in on the looming federal election, it’s not just pesky MPs getting ready for close-quarters combat. The Australian Army has signalled its intention to keep issuing our soldiers with bayonets. This was in response to the US Army’s decision to surrender centuries of tradition by scrapping the hefty knife that clicks onto the end of a rifle. Which is fine for the traditionalists but one should spare a thought for our brave servicemen and women in an era in which unmanned drones dispense death from scores of kilometres away and even standard issue rifles can take-out opponents from hundreds of metres away. It all smacks somewhat too much of the futility of Gallipoli, really.

This was also the week that the Building the Education Revolution was finally exposed as the shameless sham it really is and will henceforth be known as the Blatantly Egregious Rip-off. For all Kevvie’s posturing as The Saviour (He of the Stimulus who parted the Global Financial Crisis as if it were the Red Sea), a chorus has arisen that the Australian Lollipop Party cannot ever be trusted with more than 2 shillings and sixpence to spend at any one time. And isn’t it passing strange that Hot and Steamy is nowhere to be seen. Clever one, that, muttered a few Lollipop insiders darkly as they pondered the redhead’s chances of putting her shoes under the Prime Minister’s bed (only once he has vacated the room, you dirty little beasts!). The revelation of the squillions of our dollars being poured into the pockets of fat cat construction companies has raised fears that the Lollipop party has masterminded a cute scheme to filch traditional Liberal donors from under the conservatives’ noses.

And as Easter envelops us, we must wonder anew: where, oh where, are we to find salvation in all this fine mess? ‘Tis the time of revelation so perhaps all will be revealed shortly. Then we may be left to ponder: can we handle the truth?