Mondays with Morrie Mince was the highlight of my week, and this week l wanted to bounce a few things of a political nature off him. Yep, we meet every Monday arvo, just Wanker and me. Everyone called him Wanker. It was a term of endearment that had stuck since he was in his teens. I dunno its origins. No one ever said, but I had me suspicions.
We had been best mates since we was kids, and we liked to talk serious stuff while we sunk a few stubbies. Hand Grenada’s, we called em.
Morrie was a man of deep intellectual conviction and compelling insights that belied his ocker image. He was out the back havin a fag, listin to some country music when I arrived.
“G’day, Morrie” I said.
“Macca, how yah doin mate?”
“Not bad”, he answered with a sort of laconic laziness. “And you?”
“Yeah, okay, Morrie” The billy lids are playin up a bit. Gettin a frisky for the Sheila’s. You know what teenage boys are like.
“Same as usual. Always complaining. Nothin Changes”.
“Been wantin to talk to ya’ mate.”
“Yeah, what about’ Macca”
“We’ll you know. With an election commin up in a couple of years. I thought I’d get ya thoughts on a few things political.”
He looked at me with eyes that had politics written into his pupils. His body language became animated. I had lit the flame of his gift for political wisdom.
“You come to the right bloke, cobber”. He said.
“What do ya think of that fellow Joyce, Wanker?”
“Oh, a bloody fine writer Macca. One of the best ever I’d say.”
I was a little confused, and then it dawned on me.
“No, the politician Barnaby Joyce,” I said.
“Oh, that Joyce,” he said. “We’ll since ya asked, he reminds me of a beer bottle. Empty from the neck up and the same complexion.” Do you know that Littleproud is likely to retire before the next election, and Joyce will become the leader of the Nats again and the deputy Prime Minister as well?”
“Now ain’t that a scary thought, mate? Yeah, his mouth is so big he can whisper in his ear.” He added with a smirk as wide as the Harbour Bridge. And he’s about as useless as a bloody ashtray on a motorbike.
“Tell me, Wanker. What is it that attracts the nasty types to the right of politics?”
He looked at me quizzically.
“How do you mean, Macca?”
“You know, Wanker”, I rattled off a few names.
“Hanson, Barnardi, Jones, Bolt, Price, Mirabella, Dutton, Murdoch, Reinhardt, Hadley, Ackerman, Morrison. Bloody list as long as ya Warick Farm, mate.”
Wanker put his hand up, indicating that I should stop.
“Yeah, take a breath, mate. I take ya point, Macca. I dunno what it is, mate but they are all deeply conservative and a conservative believes that nothing should be done for the first time.”
That was one of those deep insights that were a bit over me head, but Wanker continued.
“I think it’s in their character traits Macca.” Let me explain. “Let’s go through the list. I’ll start with the Charley Wheelers. Now take that, Sheila, Ley. She might have eyes like two limpid pools, but she has a nose like a small diving board. And ya never trust a small nose, mate, never. And as for that other Sheila, you know, the blond with the voice. Well, if I ever met her, I’d give her a serve mate. You know I never forget a face, but I would make an exception in her case. And as for that Christian fella Morrison. Ya know he’s been described as a pain in the neck, but I have a much lower opinion of him. And that Bald bastard Glutton. I reckon he’s hated our first nations people since he was a copper. If he had a whip, I reckon he’d ask the government to drop em just to make an impression.”
Morris was on a roll, so I encouraged him with another stubby.
“And as for that excuse for a human being, what’s is name? Angus, yeah, that’s im. Speaks a lot of bull. Let me tell ya, Macca. He’s such a bloody twat, and so mean that if you paid him a compliment, he’d ask for a receipt. And don’t start me on that other bloke Bolt, mate. I heard he has willed his body to science, and science is contesting the will.”
And that’s not the end of it, mate. Let me tell you about Abbott, mate. Some time ago, I was yappin’ with a young bloke down at the Cock and Bull. He reckoned that Julia when she was PM, had character flaws that made her unsuitable for the position. I asked him what they were, but he wouldn’t be in it. So, I asked him (no doubt he was kicken with his right), in all fairness, to nominate what character traits he thought Peter Glutten had that would make him qualified for Prime Minister. He went for a piss, and I never saw him again. Fairdinkum, mate, what a bloody drongo. And did ya see that tool Taylor on Insiders last Sunday? Fair Dinkum mate, the man is an inspiration among fools?
“So, tell me, Wanker why do ya think we were so unpopular with Julia as leader?”
“It’s a bit like cookin, Macca.”
“Cookin, how’s that, Wanker?”
Wanker had that expression on his face when ya sorta know he was about to spruik great wisdom.
“I’ll give ya the recipe, Macca. Ya try to bring about some of the most significant policy reforms ever in Australian history while in a minority government. Then ya combine that with a massive scare campaign by the most negative lying bastard of an opposition leader Australia’s ever had.”
Ya could see he was warmin up with some big words.
“Then ya mix in the might of the vile Murdoch bastards. While that’s commin together, ya blend in the influence of the shock jocks. Then add a decent dose of anti-feminism and toss in the Labor Party’s inability to sell its policies. Combine all the ingredients and stir. Stir bein the operative word, Macca. The sterin is the most crucial mate.”
Wankers Warwick Farm was working overtime with the grenades, really bending his elbow, and he reached for another one. He was on his fifth already. I put another question to him.
“Whadya think will happen to that tosser Glutten ever gets in, Wanker?”
“We’ll let me tell ya, cobber. Me Mate Terry Dickson wrote a poem about it. It’s called 4 Duttin’s Lament, and it’s sorta like that palm from the Bible. The one about walking through the valley of the shadow of political death.’’
Politics is my shepherd… I am in want.
He maketh me to lie down on park benches
He leadeth me beside empty factories
He disturbeth my soul
Yea though I walk through the valley of the
Shadow of Recession,
I anticipate no recovery, for he is with me forever
He prepareth a reduction in my salary in the presence of my enemies
He anointeth my small income with immense taxes
And my expenses runneth over
Surely, unemployment and poverty shall follow me all the days of my life
And I shall dwell with a mortgage forever.
“What do ya think, mate? Grouse ah? Ya know what recession is, mate. It’s when ya neighbour loses his job, and depression is when you lose your job. But a recovery is when Mutton loses his.”
Just when our conversation was warming up, me bloody mobile rang. It’s Ruth, and one of the kids has cut his leg, choppin wood, and needs to see old Doc Needleless. Wanker overhears and can’t help himself.
“Shit gotta go, Morris.”
“How is Ruth by the way, Macca? Still going to church.”
“Well, I’m not into gossip, Wanker. As ya know, Mate, I don’t judge people, but I do form my own opinions, of course. Anyway, she told me that one of her Catholic friends said that sin had gotten so bad at St Michael’s lately that they had to install an extra confessional with a sign over it. Eight items or less. Yeah, it’s getting to be like a supermarket for sin. And that’s not all. She said the last time she went to confession, the Priest asked her if she was troubled by improper thoughts, and she said no, not at all. I rather like them.
“Yeah, she’s one of those sorts who reckon the Popes not inflammable.”
“See ya on Monday, Morrie.”
My thought for the day
A greater understanding of what I am saying might be obtained by exercising a greater willingness to think more deeply.
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