Wednesday 12 July 2017
Wednesdays with Wes Walsh was the highlight of my week and I wanted to bounce a few things of a political nature off him. Yes, we met every Wednesday arvo, just Wanker and me. Everyone called him “Wanker”. It was a term of endearment that had stuck since he was in his teens. 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. Wes was a man of deep intellectual conviction and wonderful insights that belied his ocker image. He was out the back havin’ a fag, listenin’ to some country music when I arrived.
”Macca, how yah doin’ mate?”
”Not bad”, he answered in a sort of laconic laziness. “And you?”
”Yeah okay, Wes. The billy lids are playin’ up a bit. You know what teenage boys are like. Gettin’ a bit frisky for the opposite sex.”
”Same as usual. Always complaining. Nothin’ changes.”
”Been wantin’ to talk to ya, mate.”
”Yeah, what about Macca?”
“Well, you know. With an erection comin’ up in a couple of years I thought I’d get ya thoughts on a few things political.”
He looked at me and I could see that glint in his eye when politics is mentioned. His body language became animated.
”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, Wanker, 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 since Truss retired and he became leader of the Nats and the Deputy Prime Minister the standard of political discourse has gotten worse. I mean no one knows what he’s talkin’ about?”
”Now ain’t that scary, mate? Yeah his mouth is so big he can whisper in his own ear.” He added with a smirk as wide as the Harbour Bridge; ”And he’s about as useless as a bloody ashtray on a motor bike.”
”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 of a few names. “Hanson, Bernardi, Jones, Bolt, Price, Mirrabella, Bishop, Murdoch, Reinhardt, Hadley, Ackerman, Morrison. Bloody list as long as ya Warick farm.”
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 was a bit over my 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, Bishop. 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 Michaelia Cash. Well if I ever met her I’d give her a serve mate. You know I never forget a face but in her case I would make an exception.”
”Do ya remember that biased bitch Bronnie? Mate I reckon she’d hated men all her life judging by the way she treated them. If she had a whip I reckon she’d ask the opposition to drop ’em just to make an impression.”
Wanker was on a roll and I encouraged him with another stubby.
”And as for that Christian fella Morrison, well he’s been described as a pain in the neck but I have a much lower opinion of him.”
”And that radio bloke, yer what an excuse for a human being Jones. Let me tell ya Macca. He’s such a little twat, and so mean that if you paid him a compliment he’d ask for a receipt.”
”And don’t start me on Bolt, mate. I heard he has willed his body to science, and science is contesting the will.”
”And let me tell you about Abbott, mate. Some time ago I had a discussion 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 a Lib) in all fairness to nominate what character traits he thought Tony Abbott had that would make him qualified for the position again.
“He went for a piss and I never saw him again. What a bloody drongo, mate. And did ya see that tool Ackerman on Insiders last Sunday? Fair dinkum, mate, the man is an inspiration. Among fools that is.”
”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 knew he was about to spruik great wisdom.
”I’ll give ya the recipe, Macca. Ya try to bring about some of the largest 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.”
”Then mix in the might of the vile Murdoch bastards. While that’s comin’ 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.”
Wanker’s Warwick farm was working overtime with the stubbies really bending his elbow, as he reached for yet another Fosters. He was on his fifth already. I put another question to him.
”What do ya think will happen if that tosser Abbott gets back in and gives Turnbull the flick, Wanker?”
”Well let me tell ya cobber. I wrote a poem about it. It’s called ‘Abbott’s Lament’ and it’s sorta like that psalm from the Bible. The one about walking through the valley of political death.’’
The 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 depression and recession,
I anticipate no recovery, for he is with me.
He prepareth a reduction in my salary in the presence of my enemies.
He anointeth my small income with great taxes.
My expenses runneth over.
Surely, unemployment and poverty shall follow me all the days of my life
And I shall dwell in a mortgaged house forever.
”What do ya think, mate? Grouse, eh? Ya know what a recession is mate. It’s when ya neighbour loses his job and a depression is when you lose your job. But a recovery would be when Turnbull loses his.”
Just when our conversation was warming up me bloody mobile rings. It’s Ruth and one of the kids has cut his leg, choppin’ wood, and needs to go see old Doc Needleless. Wanker overhears and can’t help himself.
”Shit gotta go.”
”How is Ruth by the way, Macca? Still going to church?”
“We’ll I’m not into gossip, Wanker. As ya know I don’t judge people, but I do form my own opinions of course. Anyway she was tellin’ me that one of her Catholic friends said that sin had gotten so bad at St Michael’s of late 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 any improper thoughts and she said, “No not at all, I rather like them”.
”Yeah she’s one of those sorts who reckon the Pope’s not inflammable”.
”Sorry, Wanker. Gotta go. And this conversation isn’t finished. I wanted to ask you about Abbott’s first budget , the 2014 one.”
”Oh shit, piss off Macca ya bloody drongo. It was a bloody disaster.’”
”See ya next Wednesday, mate.”
My thought for the day.
”Good grammar is vitality important but is secondary to the expression of a valid well-constructed point of view.”