Friday, May 27, 2011

The rice pudding of life

British journalist John Grimond in The Economist has, like Bill Bryson, swept into Australia for five or six weeks and taken it upon himself on the strength of that to write about the country for the Poms back home to snigger at. I'm going to write a longer post about this but just one quick observation first: one of his remarks is to the effect that the current crop of Australian politicians 'couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding.'

In this, I fear he may be quite correct. Can't see Hockey able to do it, though he might just eat the whole thing skin and all. Abbott is plenty forceful but wouldn't be able to work out which bit was the skin. The Prime Minister (and most of the rest of Labor) would have to check what the Howard Government's rice-pudding policy had been, and then ask western Sydney if it minded. Julie Bishop would subject the rice pudding skin to the death stare and the playground insult and wonder why that wasn't working.

But I can think of one Australian politician who could and would pull the skin off a rice pudding immediately, delicately, elegantly, without asking anyone's permission and with no visible effort. Tragically, he is on the wrong side.


Mindy said...

Or does he just have us all lulled into a false sense of security?

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh, I don't feel at all secure. It's just that I would love to see someone in charge of one of the major parties who is both courageous and intelligent, and whatever else may be the matter with him, neither of those things could be disputed.

Link said...

I think we'll live to see the day when we hear talk of Prime Minister Turnbull.

Sadly for now, it's Abbott the Awful and Gillard the Goose. Ostrayians are getting the guvmint de dezerve.

At present it's a vicious circle of idiocy. Both parties are as mechanical as an army marching to their doom. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right.

seepi said...

bob could do it too!

mainly commenting for the password:



Tim said...

Glad someone else had that reaction to the article. Everything else I've seen has been people falling all over themselves to praise it. All seems a bit cringey.

Looking forward to your longer piece on it

Nigel said...

Agreed - our current crop of pollies is pretty rubbish, at least the FRONT-LINE pollies. There's some talent on Labor's back-benches, but they're alll so smothered in spin that they can barely get out of bed in the morning.

As to Turnbull. To me he's a bit like a fine-looking dog you see walking down the street. You think, Geez, how beautiful is that, totally charming. You manage to get the thing home, where it pisses on your carpet, craps in your kitchen, frightens the living shit out of the cat, then turns on you and tries to eat one of your shins.

In short: he looks good on paper, but I think there's a nasty man lurking beneath.

Emily said...

Don't agree with you on this one. Malcolm might stir the pudding around with his finger to see if there are any coins in it, but since it represents school food and was a food of the poor, he would just find it distasteful.
I don't buy the media representations of politicians we have been flooded with over the past few years, nor agree with the disrespect portrayed in comments like those of Link above.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Just to clarify once more: saying that I think Malcolm is alone among our current senior politicians in his ability to pull the skin off a rice pudding does not equate to wanting Malcolm for PM.

Inspired said...

Kerryn, I'm a bit shocked! Turnbull's ETS, the one Labor was willing to adopt before the last election, was an absolute dog (with great apologies to the canine world, but I can't think of another suitable word).

It would have locked in economically catastrophic levels of taxpayer-funded compensation for the worst polluters, including the coal lobby, for an indefinite period. This would have discouraged government from increasing the 5 per cent carbon emissions reduction target, because an increase might have led to a corresponding increase in the amount of industry compensation.

The Greens had no choice but to vote against the legislation. They were then portrayed as being negative and obstructionist, while Turnbull, who had turned himself inside out for the corporate bully boys and girls, was portrayed as having integrity.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Inspired, see my comment immediately above yours.

Once more with feeling: I said, somewhat lightheartedly but with perfect truth, that he had guts, and that guts were a commodity apparently in short supply in Parliament House. I did not say that I wanted him for PM.