Thursday, 16 August 2007
John Hunt is a Coward
Thanks to a tip-off from Crikey, I have learnt that the late, great Scribe, and former Political Adviser to Bill Hayden (and presumably many others) Mungo MacCallum is alive and still scribbling, for a local paper in Byron Bay.
There was a time when Mungo took himself way too seriously, as a political commentator. He masqueraded as a right wing commentator, but those of us with long memories knew there was a real person underneath that facade. It seems retirement to Byron has allowed the real Mungo to resume it natural expression.
Joy of joys, Mungo's columns are available on line at: http://www.echo.net.au/?source=cmailer
Click on the Mungo Icon (top right).
Mungo is still up to his spicy best, telling (re-telling) this good old John Howard joke. It bears repeating, I think.
Scene: A secure office somewhere in Baghdad. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is seated behind a desk checking the latest casualty figures.
There is a knock at the door.
Maliki: (resignedly) Come in.
(Enter a small, grinning, perspiring, twitching person)
Maliki: And you are ?
Howard (for it is he): John Winston Howard, Prime Minister of Australia. G'day, or Shalom, as I think you people say.
Maliki. No. (pause) Australian, is it?
The Australian ambassador told me a joke the other day. He said 'John Hunt is a coward.'
I did not understand.
Perhaps you can explain no?
Then what is your business?
Howard: Well, it's about all the fighting that's going on among you lot. I can tell you we're getting pretty sick of it Down Under.
Maliki: It may surprise you to learn that we don't like it much either. So ?
Howard: Well, I'm here to tell you that unless you pull up your socks and do something about it, we'll have to take action. The opinion polls won't stand for it much longer. We'll have to consider the position of
our soldiers. They might even have to leave.
Maliki: Yes, I suppose that might help. But remind me: you have soldiers here? What exactly do they do?
Howard: Well, some of them guard our Embassy
Maliki: The Australian Embassy. That's very helpful.
Howard: and there are others down South, in the thick if it.
Maliki: Doing what?
Howard: Well, until recently they were looking after the Japanese.
Maliki: Yes, the Japanese... I believe they have left. So are you too planning to cut and run?
Howard: Oh no no no no no no no. Far from it. It is just that if things don't improve public support for our presence here may no longer be sustainable.
Maliki: But as I understand it there has never been any public support. Almost from the first day the Australian people have vigorously opposed your sycophantic, token involvement.
What has changed, my little man of steel?
Howard: Well, I have this election coming on
Maliki. Ah, an election. I understand. Well, good luck to you. And may I give you one piece of advice?
Howard: Oh yes, thank you Caliph or Sultan or whatever it is, please please. I'm a little desperate
Maliki: Change your name to John Hunt.