Howard's New Year's (Core) Resolutions


It’s 11:55 pm on New Year’s Eve.

Janette is looking every bit as radiant as a good nuclear power station might, if only we could get one going. In a moment we will embrace. In that embrace will be everything that’s passed between us â ‚¬  it’s lucky ASIO did the check and cleared her.

Still, in this state of heightened terrorist threat and face transplants, one has to be fearful. I’ll not mistake any bomb wiring for a bra strap. I’ve done the training.

What a year! Terrorism, Latham, Windbag’s return, IR, and Costello wetting the bed again. Beazley’s such a winner for me  – if a soufflé doesn’t rise twice, what about a pork pie?

It’s Latham I most regret. Nice lad, eager to do well  – but no constitution for it.

Thanks to Bill Leak

Staffers have told me about the Costello diaries -it’s something we’ll need to monitor. Apparently, he’s obsessed with me  – counts the number of dandruff flakes on my suit collar; catalogues how many times I inadvertently spit on him (he shouldn’t stand so close). There is even an entry on eyebrow clippings. He’s done a tally and correctly estimates I get it done once a month. I might note that the beauticians use plastic tweezers  – on the advice of Security.

Costello will come to nothing. That is my first core resolution. It’s the half-grin I don’t like. It writes smugness all over his face, as if he’s behind all we’ve done. With Hawke and Keating, the Treasurer had a right to the big chair – but Costello? Well, I’ve not demanded much, just bring in the tax, quarry the mines, let the invisible hand of the market (our friends at the gentleman’s clubs) get on with its business.

Costello had Labor’s economic reforms to surf home on  – all I had was a big pile of cow turd called ‘political correctness.’ I moved a self-righteous country that was scared of offending an ant’s sensibilities to a State of shock-jockeydom. That’s what I call a historic achievement. May a hundred prejudices blossom on the cow turd of the pink-Left!

The clock is ticking, it’s close to midnight.

Dubya will back slap me again in public. That is my second core resolution. Not sure how I am going to get this one going. If we could get out of Iraq, I would. But the US will probably want to do a massive offensive before they go, so they can get rid of their excess munitions that will be too costly to return home. Dubya will want us in on it, but the body count might be high.

I’ve got Amanda working on conditional bridging visas that require compulsory service in war zones. I must admit, there’s beauty in the irony of Iraqi refugees fighting Iraqi insurgents on their own home turf  – something about crafty accounting I recall from those long-gone days of ledger sheets. There is the slight question of the Convention on Refugees, but hell, Dubya’s made it clear where Conventions belong: in Pansy Alley with the lawyers.

The clock is clicking, and Janette moves closer to me.

I will end the culture wars. That is my third core resolution. I’ve been briefed that some academics who write for obscure journals, and who work in tax-funded (not for long) universities, have been talking about culture wars. They also think I have it in for them, but I don’t even know their names – I prefer to court the journos.

Anyway, it’s all a bit vague to me. Not sure why arts professors are going on about culture wars, shouldn’t that be left to the medicos working on various strains of bacteria? It must be something to do with that horrendous trend towards inter-disciplinarity at universities. Little Nellie Brendan was complaining about it the other day when he was telling me which research grants he’d rejected, despite their getting the green light from the Australian Research Council.

Apparently, some bugger, literally, wanted to look at the constructed meaning (socially and medically) of ‘transgendered lesbian relationships.’ Funny how I should remember the details so well.

Anyway, back to the culture wars, I’ll instruct the Health Department to contract a private company to see what lies behind these raging bacteria  – I know that golden staf is taking over the hospitals, so it’s getting serious. Whoever is behind this proliferation of colonising bacteria will be dealt with severely. Funny name for it though, ‘culture wars’ …

It’s midnight, the fireworks begin. Janette embraces me. No wires. ‘God you’ve been a naughty boy this year,’ she whispers in my ear. The clock’s pendulum is vertical, and all is good in the world.

I am the iron man.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.