It has come to my attention that this nation-state is in something of a sorry state.
Voice Referendum got voted down. Sleepy old Albo’s ALP has just lost a lot of ground in the polls, if you can believe Roy Morgan, which seems debatable. And basically, not much has changed since old Engadine Morrison crapped out.
When I’m out and about, I find many people coming up to me to ask, “Davo, what can we do to sort out this mess?” To which I typically reply, “Well, you go and put this Keno ticket in for me, grab me a nice cool drink and I’ll tell you.”
After the requisite interval, I'll take a long, grateful draught. “What needs to happen,” I’ll say, thoughtfully, kicking off my slides and leaning back magisterially on my bar stool, “is for me, Davo, to be installed as Australia’s wise and benevolent leader”.
Remarkably, this rather obvious statement never ceases to attract attention from the largely sports-loving patrons around me, sometimes even momentarily stopping conversation as far away as the TAB cashier.
As my loyal and devoted followers flock to my little round table to better hear my pearls of wisdom, I will then dramatically hold up a beer coaster, like a mystical totem, or like Moses coming down from on high, and show it to all. Upon this cardboard beer mat, probably scrawled with one of those stupid blunt little pencils you find, they will all sigh, probably because the beer mat is far too sodden to be remotely legible.
Then I’ll say, “Put out of your mind, fellow patriots, Whitlam’s famous cabinet of three, and his fast and furious first 100 days. I’ll do it all on my own on a Friday arvo, before the lights are fully warmed up at Albion Park.”
At which point there will be a flutter of applause, which I immediately quell, with a stern look all around, saying, “Enough of that! There’ll be plenty of time for cheering and well-deserved displays of adulation and hero-worship at my Nuremberg Rally scale swearing-in ceremony”.
You might then hear some besotted young citizen murmur to a friend, “Doesn’t he talk nice? You can’t half tell he went to a fancy private school.”
To which her equally voluptuous friend may reply, “Yes, I hear he was in the same class as that Robodebt Minister Rolex Robert and the ex-AFP Commissioner Andrew Pumpkinhead Colvin.”
At this point, an unusually well-dressed bespectacled gent will inevitably ask, “Davo, are we to conclude from this you plan to run for public office?”
To which I will respond, “Me? Run? With my knees? What are you, an idiot?”
“No,” I’ll say dolefully, shaking my over-large watermelon-shaped head. “No, I expect there’ll have to be some form of a coup. How you organise that, as members of the revolting public, is entirely up to you. I’d prefer it to be relatively quick and as bloodless as possible, but that’s your affair. I’m just here, ready to serve.”
“But what are you going to do once you take over as our beneficent ruler, wise and benevolent big-head?” the crowd, each one agog, in a state of mildly inebriated jubilation, will respond, in a tight and appealing three-part harmony.
I will nod appreciatively, allowing a suitably respectful pause before continuing.
“Well”, I’ll reply, “running the country isn’t rocket surgery. If it was, that idiot Abbott would never have allowed Peta Credlin to become Prime Minister.” Then I'll squint disconsolately at the now utterly useless, totally saturated, VB coaster and resignedly, after ripping the stupid thing in half and throwing it into an empty tumbler, I’ll begin my dissertation.
THE DAVO MANIFESTO
The first thing I'd do, as your wise and benevolent ruler, is tax the churches. That should pay for a few nuclear subs.
Second thing, cancel the idiotic useless overpriced subs. That should pay for a lot of other things.
Next. I’ll have a beer.
Puzzled buzzing from the throng, before someone pipes up, nervously: “The third thing you are going to do as our generous and magnificent leader is have a beer?”
“No, the next thing I want is for someone to get me a beer. Now.” I nod at my empty schooner, “All this jawing is leaving me a trifle parched.”
A rugby maul ensues, as each member of the growing throng battle for the privilege of getting me another quiet. Meanwhile, I'll sit patiently, gazing contemplatively into the middle distance, or possibly at the footy, until the lucky winner brings back a frosty top and places it reverentially before me. I take a dainty sip. Then a huge slug, before belching loudly and continuing on.
Where was I? Oh yes, three.
Affordable housing for everyone. Four, universal, free dental care. Five: free uni.
Then let's tax big corporations, become a republic, recognise Indigenous people in our Constitution, introduce proportional voting in the lower house and then go down the road for a couple.
At this, the large assembly will start to finish their drinks, gather together their belongings, look towards the exit and begin to shuffle away.
I’ll wave my arms at them.
“No, you fools! Not now. That’s another part of the plan. This nation repairing business is thirsty work and it will be smoko by then!”
I’ll shake my head, regain my composure and carry on explicating my brilliant strategy.
Next thing, put a multiplier limit on the difference between the top and bottom pays for big companies and introduce a German-style system of compulsory employee representation on company boards.
Then, abolish private schools. Nah. On second thought, don't abolish them. Just stop giving them any government money. They can buy their third international runway and a summer camp in Monte Carlo with their own money, not ours.
Whereafter I’ll bring in a Swiss-style citizen-initiated referenda system; make self-preparing your income tax return voluntary, as it is the UK; introduce a Robin Hood tax, release all immigration detainees and open up our borders.
Cheers will erupt throughout the vast array and someone will then usually bring me a double Jamesons and dry, with a twist of lime. I’ll thank them. Smack my lips. Smile widely and plough on, my tone abruptly turning grim, my countenance darkening.
Not all my necessary changes will be popular with everyone. For instance, I expect my regulation that all men must wear cowbells in public places so they can't sneak up on the unwary in dark alleys and other dimly lit spots may be controversial amongst certain genders.
As may be my proposal to exclude all men from any elected position in our democracy for the next 100 years. Let's face it, us dicks have had a pretty good shake and we’ve been piss-poor.
“Is there more?” the crowd will cry.
“You can bet your arse there’s more sweeping reforms,” I’ll slur.
Comprehensive free medical care for all, so those private medical insurance leeches can go back to grubbing under whatever rotten log they crawled out from.
We'll get rid of all the American bases. Take back Pine Gap. Rip up Anzus and AUKUS and declare our complete independence from all colonial overlords, present and past, from now into perpetuity.
And I’ll bring home Assange.
As cheers erupt all around, I will then almost miss hearing my phone beep. I’ll check it. Then I will stand up, knock back the whiskey dregs, slip my clogs back on, and grab my wallet and keys.
To all the suddenly hushed and bewildered faces, I’ll explain:
“That’s the wife. I’m late for dinner. Even mighty and benevolent rulers have much mightier powers to answer to,” I’ll say, before heading off.
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