The Cassandra Effect, Abbott and Boiling a Frog. Dr Who?
I step out of the phone box. I look around. Picking up a paper, I see the date September 16th, 2009. Either the time travel has worked or this newsstand is selling very old newspapers. Rudd is enormously popular. There is a headline that the latest polling has Labor ahead 60.5 to 39.5 two party preferred. It’s not too late. I need to warn people. Perhaps we can stop this happening.
I make my way to the pub opposite Trades Hall. I stick my head in. “I’ve come from the future to warn you all.” A couple of people look up, but most people go on drinking. “I come from the Year 2013 and Tony Abbott is PRIME MINISTER.” A couple of people look up and laugh.
“Have another drink,” shouts somebody. There is more laughter.
Obviously, this is not an effective way to communicate. I go to the bar and order a scotch. One of the men smiles and says, “Good one!”
I shake my head. “I know it must seem incredible, but it’s all true.”
“So just four years after Labor save us from the GFC, we elect the Liberals. And not just the Liberals, Tony Abbott?”
“Yes,” I say, gulping my drink quickly.
“Fascinating, so why do we elect him?”
“Because the economy’s a mess and the borders are weak,” I repeat the Abbott mantras.
“Oh, inflation get’s out of control and interest rates soar?”
“Unemployment goes through the roof.”
“No, um, it’s lower than it is now, I think.”
“We’re invaded by a foreign power?”
“No, there a lot of asylum seeker boats. Well, a few anyway.”
“That’s no reason to vote out a government.”
“Well, it happens. Shortly after Rudd is returned to the Leadership.”
“Yes, Julia Gillard replaces him, because he becomes very unpopular after Abbott becomes Leader of the Liberals and the Senate block the ETS.”
“So why does he become unpopular if it’s Abbott that blocks the ETS?”
“Um, I don’t know. Anyway, all this is unimportant, I’m here to try and stop it happening!”
“Sort of like Arnie!” I look blank. “In The Terminator,” he explains.
“Sort of.” I remember the instructions for boiling a frog. If you do it slowly, the frog doesn’t notice.
“Ok, so what’s he like? As PM.”
I can tell that he’s humouring me, but I continue. “Well, one of his first acts is to abolish the Ministry for Climate Change.”
“I suppose that he incorporates it into one of the other departments like Science.”
“Oh, there’s no Ministry for Science, that becomes part of Industry.”
He smiles, “Next you’ll be saying he gets rid of all the women in the Cabinet.”
“He does. Well, Julie Bishop’s still there. She’s in charge of Foreign Affairs.”
“I see,” he smirks.
“It’s all true. And Abbott takes over as the Minister for Women’s Affairs.”
“You’re from the future, you say?”
“And I suppose that you’ve got some explanation for how you got here?”
“Yes, Dr Who lent me his TARDIS. How else?”
“Ah,” he says, “at last you’re telling me something I can believe.”
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