||Issue No. 269||24 June 2005|
Truth In Advertising
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
The Locker Room
Stuck for words
More care, less scare
Do or die time
China throws in Mao’s towel
Don’t strike out strikes
Cutting and Running
Imagine John Anderson's surprise when he found out he'd retired.
One can only assume it came as a surprise. Our Tool Of the Week doesn't seem to be aware of anything much that happens on this planet.
He wasn't aware that there is better security at the Mudgee McDonalds than at Sydney Airport. Anyway, what did that have to do with him, he was, after all, just the Minister for Transport?
And the only reason he stuck his hand up for that job was because it meant he could land his plane wherever he liked, which is a handy thing if you zip around in a Cessna the way some scoot around the eastern Suburbs in an MG. Luckily, the rest of us are safely stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on our overcrowded and crumbling infrastructure.
Apart from pointing his own plane around and making sure it went up when it was supposed to go up and came down when it was supposed to come down, John had a pretty vague idea about how the aviation industry worked.
So when the share price of Ansett went down when it was supposed to go up, poor old John was a bit nonplussed.
He consulted his advisers, Bessie, Daisy, Tiddles and Rex, but they just mooed and quacked and barked and poor old John was in a pickle.
Then a mass of humanity equal to the population of Wagga ended up out on their arse and John's response was to move on to the Gunnedah show and doff his hat and listen to the whistling sound that seemed to emanate from between his ears.
For our Tool Of The Week is the sort of chap the National Party throws up that in any other society would be dismissed as a village idiot, but here gets taken vaguely seriously because he's related to half the district, and that's just the sheep.
The Country Party of Black Jack McKewan and several rather closely related generations of Anthony's provided landed gentry with the benefits of socialism, while still being able to keep membership at a number of decent Pitt Street Clubs.
Then along came the free market, pillaging the countryside and being about as helpful as the Black Death in many districts. Any self-respecting Country Party MP would have taken to the economic dries of the Liberal Party with an axe years ago.
But not John.
This is, after all, the bloke who sat and picked his nose while the Mudgee Abattoir keeled over for want of sustenance, knocking a hole in the size of that town in Anderson's own electorate you could drive a Debt Truck through.
If our Tool Of The Week had of just sold his electorate down the drain you'd shrug, and write him off as another scion of the landed gentry who spent his public life wallowing beyond his depth.
Even if our Tool Of The Week had risen to a level of mediocrity that allowed him to bugger up some minor portfolio like Tourism, you'd just smile and go "what's that madman Anderson up to this week?"
But our Tool Of The Week so embraces the meritocracy of the Free Market he landed the leadership of the National Party through seniority when the men in white coats dragged Tim Fischer away.
This has allowed him to demonstrate a spectacular level of incompetence we had always suspected, but hitherto had not witnessed.
One could only watch on in awe as Anderson managed to repeatedly perform the triple pike twist with a back flip of Political Ineptitude.
From creating international incidents out of nothing, to trying to fatten the Telstra pig on market day, John is a man who will be a hard act to follow.
But he also represents the great Australian tradition of egalitarianism that is not shared by the flint hearted elites of his Liberal party, for only through the National Party could a man with the IQ of a house brick fill the second most powerful position in the country.
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