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.
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