A very cruddy fable (17): Digging yourself a hole is not mining

The Emperor of the First Rudd Imperium has spent a lachrymose week in a vain search for any suggestion that he would receive a hero’s welcome should he propose to stay on and lead Labor to further victories. Indeed, the Emperor might well have cried himself a river of tears as speculation ratcheted-up noticeably on who would present the best alternative should anything untoward befall the Great Leader. The PM’s office was initially mystified by a veritable flood of valid bus tickets that came through the mail urging the Emperor to see the sights. When the lights finally came on an additional limousine was ordered to ensure there could be no chance encounters with a bus.

Solace was not to be found anywhere as seemingly the only person in the land willing to deny that the Emperor’s position was in jeopardy was the purported pretender to the throne herself. It’s all froth and bubble, she demurred fetchingly to the Oak Statue himself as he conducted a customarily lugubrious tete-a-tete with the new darling of the Fabian Optimists’ Club. My every dream is being realised as Deputy Prime Minister, she demurs, with such solemn sincerity that herald angels can be heard lullabying in her presence.

The other two heirs apparent – the Duck with an Abacus and Lendus a Tenner – appear less than enamored of Hot and Sweaty’s current pop star ratings. Unwilling to be seen as churlish (or, worse in the hothouse of politics, as possibly insecure in their own self-belief), they have selflessly not availed themselves of the chance to stick it to her. Well, not in anything said publicly though it’s not hard to imagine dark mutterings, with occasional ferocious outbursts, happening behind the scenes. Abacus Man must be spitting chips that his glorious moment in the sun has been all but forgotten as the Budget sputtered to a dull fate as this week’s fish and chip wrappings. All those months of laborious checking and rechecking the figures to see they all added up right delivered him no bounce at all in the Next PM Stakes.

Worse was the petulant reaction of those filthy capitalist pigs, the miners. Abacus had simply asked them to buy the next round for everyone and, while they had their hands in their pockets, to keep doing so till closing time and, just for good measure, to purchase the pub and, to round-out a great celebration, to implement an enforced takeover of the breweries as well so they could supply free drinks forever. To Abacus this is simply vertical integration. Not quite nationalism, just for the national benefit, you understand. The miners, who could feel their wallets being filched, reacted by throwing a flurry of haymakers. In the ensuing melee, quite a few made a connection. Abacus, the Emperor and their mate King Henry suddenly wondered why they had fancied a drink after all but their moral imperatives came to the fore once again and they tried to quell the fracas by shouting: “It’s for the good of the people”. The crowd that had gathered outside, however, was not quite so sure. They had been bought quite a few drinks by the miners previously and happened to think their occasional free shindigs were always pretty good value. Indicative of most crowd mentalities the onlookers continued to wait till one side or the other gained the upper hand and then they would throw all their support behind the one on top. The scramble for supremacy promises plenty more entertainment yet.

A minor distraction through the week got everyone playing: Who was that? This was the general response of anyone under 30 when asked what they thought about Malcolm Fraser resigning from the Liberal Party. Hardly any could name Fraser as a former Prime Minister though some, when shown photo images, asked if he had ever held a senior post on Easter Island. There was some muttering in retirement villages around the country as those not stricken with dementia demurred that The Statue’s best days were well behind him and that Tammy was the best thing about his prime ministership anyway. Ever since his fabulous Memphis holiday in which he had substantial apparel difficulties The Statue has developed a severe tilt to the left and has been in danger of being more at home in LathamLand than anything remotely like the Liberal Party of today. Our Kevvie’s latter day pole-dancing exploits in the US were but a pale imitation of The Statue having lost his trousers in a hotel in still unexplained circumstances. Nor could this rather essential piece of garb be easily misplaced since they contained enough material to provide a spinnaker for an America’s Cup yacht. So, vale Malcolm. No flowers by request.

And, in late-breaking news, it has been announced that Kevin Michael Rudd (occasionally known to some of his better pals as Our Kevvie) will be the key focus of the forthcoming federal election campaign. This startling revelation came to us from one Kyle Bitter who pulls strings behind the scenes for the Fabian Optimists Club. More astounding still was his statement that Our Kevvie is the Fabians’ greatest asset. Startled hacks and flacks could discern no sarcasm in Bitter’s mien and, so, played it straight in their reports. There was one small resort to reality, though, and it came in the admission that the Emperor’s Praetorian Guard will be arraigned around him during the campaign, the better to help thwart all the slings and arrows sure to come his way. It was portrayed as enabling the Fabians to better get their message out but all the Emperor could hear was that their voices would drown out his own. He kept his own counsel on the proposal but his lips were drawn tight.

The Lollipops and the Naughties, however, know a sting when they hear it and they, too, quickly announced that, yes, Kevin Michael Rudd will also be the centrepiece of their campaigning efforts. What Monsignor Antony thought of this is yet to seep out. He will probably have a confessional with the Gallery tarts and make a clean breast of his sincerely-held belief that he had, in all modesty, begun to believe he should be rather prominent in the quest to persuade Australians that socialism is a spent force and that liberalism is the great hope for all humankind. No wonder so many idealists and just plain folk keep searching for a Third Way that will simply deliver sound and decent governance. There is a greater threat than Work Choices, it is Poor Choices.