The Scion, the Wheat, and the Cabinet – Chapter IX

If Malcolm B Duncan were still alive, I’d be asking him to direct his attention to Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. As – unfortunately for us – he is now seated at the heavenly bar with Tom Lewis (when Claude the White Persian isn’t trying to resume its rightful position on the Leather Armchair), we will simply have to endure another excursion to the Land of Nadir …

(Image Credit: Steppin’ Up)

As the three, Peter, Amanda and Little Lucy, walked along warily with the Beavers, their feet became increasingly wet in the burgeoning slush as the snow melted around them – a bit like Good King Wenceslas without the Page, thought Amanda to herself. Peter was walking with a funny gait, having had the Field Marshal’s baton which he had always carried in his back pocket wedged firmly up his … well as this is a children’s story, let’s just say that sitting down was now a painful process, made all the more galling by the fact that it had been an own goal.

Further into the Land of Nadir, the Dwarf and the White Queen were gaining on the children as they came closer to the teak table. Ruddock, now incarnated magically as a wolf, loped along beside them, fondly recalling the interview he had sat in on with Mr Patel. Why the boss was having renovations done when Patel wasn’t even in residence remained a mystery to him, but he supposed at least it meant that Patel couldn’t object to the DA. Corder was off somewhere doing whatever it was that Corder did.

In a fashion which need not be described but could only happen in a magical land, the Lady Jadis had become aware through Alexander of a scheme to supply Australian wheat to the land of Nadir. A huge amount of it was now available as a result of a shooting incident in a place called Mesopotamia or something like that – and the terms were extremely favourable.

A scheme had been devised by Little Johnnie, the Cabinet Secretary, the Head of Treasury and a frighteningly clever accountant – the modern Nugget Coombs, A W Board. It was top secret and known only to its devisers as quadruple entry book-keeping whereby the wheat deal could go ahead to everybody’s advantage. As a young solicitor, Little Johnnie hadn’t really understood double-entry book-keeping and he’d left the running of the trust account largely to the book-keeper but this new system looked – well – almost too good to be true. Mr Board would supply the wheat to the Lady Jadis, who would then pay for it twice-over by way of Fruits of Office. Half the Fruits of Office went to Mr Board (after the deduction of a handling fee) and half went to Little Johnnie who could then offload them on office holders, friends etc., at whatever he could get for them. A number of boards were already interested and suddenly retirement was starting to become an attractive short-term option on his horizon. He’d even put in a DA on the house. Because it was an offshore deal, there was no taxable supply and no GST. The Lady Jadis sold the wheat in Nadir for faery gold which she then stored in a pot at the end of a Swiss rainbow in Jeanette’s name.

Mr Board’s crucial role, however, was to ensure that no-one was ever told about the scheme or knew anything about it. He was vastly experienced in these things, having already been sent on trade missions about which he knew nothing to places as far afield as Mesopotamia and Persia. Little Johnnie thought it was a pity that we didn’t have Imperial Honours any more, because Mr Board definitely deserved a knighthood for this one. The Treasury Secretary said it would be sufficient reward to put him on the Board of the ABC and make him a Governor of the Reserve Bank. Mr Board liked that idea very much as he hadn’t been sacked as a CEO for a long time and could do with the cash. He wondered whether the job at Telstra might be coming up. It should be, he thought – they’d appointed the last one months ago.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the cabinet, there was terrible trouble brewing because of some documents that had fallen off the back of a trolley in the Federal Court. The Coalface was flintier than ever, as a consequence of which Mr Board had been asking about the possibility of a position with Macquarie Bank. The last one had been taken by an actor named Booth who did incredible impersonations of Abraham Lincoln. His wife never liked the plays, though. That didn’t really matter, because it wasn’t actually his wife he was interested in.

Back in the land of Nadir, Sir Alfred Deakin was giving himself some advice (he had been Attorney-general, after all) and he thought, on balance, that there had to be some accounting. Unfortunately, he couldn’t count so he wandered quietly into the Otherworld and looked up Sir Garfield at the Club. Sir Garfield couldn’t count either, which was why he’d gone bankrupt although it wasn’t really his fault but, as this is a children’s story, we don’t really have to discuss the vexed question of whether barristers can continue to practice after they’ve been bankrupted. As they were pondering what to do, a terrible thing happened: Red Ted Theodore walked into the Club bold as brass as though he were a member. Before the shocked assembly at the bar could call for him to be thrown out Sir Alfred suddenly had a brilliant idea: if anyone could count it was Red Ted. In fact, if he remembered correctly, Red Ted could count to 12 just using his fingers. To avoid the inevitable nasty incident, Sir Alfred threw his arms around Red Ted and said, “Sir Edward, how delightful to see you. Will you take a little air on the terrace, and a pint of porter? I keenly want to seek your views on Wheat.”

546 thoughts on “The Scion, the Wheat, and the Cabinet – Chapter IX

  1. Why are they discussing the ‘sale’ of the budget. I think the gov’t is doing a good job of selling its budget. It is just really hard to sell a broken down old Leyland P76 to a family which needs a reliable Holden hatchback..

  2. Gigilene & CTar,

    Hey, hasn’t anyone told the Norwegians and the Brits that they should be preparing for global cooling?

  3. Dear Ms Fiona

    Please excuse our absence this morning. Due to a certain person putting snail bait out, forgetting that Kira is no longer the boss, Hunter decided to treat himself to some. After a very rushed trip to the Vet late yesterday, and an early morning trip back to the Vet this morning to pick up said Hunter, we are now present and correct.

    Well at least one of us is present, the other is having a distressed Mummy nap to catch up on bad sleep last night.

    Yours sincerely

    Gravel and Razz

  4. Leone

    Re Endeavour Foundation… Yes, the exploitation has been going on for years. I worked in the Disab’s Policy area back in the 80-90s when the deinstitutionalisation push was in full swing and the original Disability Services Act was enacted as one of the Hawke govt social reforms.

    The Endeavour foundation was one of several large “welfare’ orgs that vehemently resisted the reforms, partly because the execs of these orgs were making megga bucks quoting for contract work like packaging at full price from the clients, but only paying their workers (slaves) a pittance, and brainwashing their workers (and their parents/carers) into being grateful for this pittance. The execs pocketed the difference/used it elsewhere in the org. They were observed driving expensive cars etc. A few attempts were made to try and stop this rorting and exploitation, but distance from Canberra and no support from State Govts made them ineffectual. Definding would have only hurt the workers. It didn’t help that many people with disabilities also lived ‘on-site’ with these organisations because they had been born in the era when parents would deposit their disabled kids with institutions and leave them there for life.

    The best defence against them was to encourage new employment services to start up and encourage workers to move, thus eroding their income source.

    One of the culprit’s in NSW was the Spastic Society (now called Northcott Society), but I can’t remember the others… memory is fading… but Endeavour is stuck in my memory as the worst, whenever I see/hear their name I get cross!

  5. Gigilene,

    they also give one headaches

    especially if one’s country estate is not a suitable wind turbine location, but the upstart cocky next door’s place is …

  6. Fiona / gigi

    especially if one’s country estate is not a suitable wind turbine location, but the upstart cocky next door’s place is …

    Claiming Badger ‘danger’ is a useful defence.

  7. gigi

    and the deputy premier, Peter Ryan, had his full support.

    Poor Ted. If he really supports Ryan he needs a brain transplant.

    His own words condemn him.

  8. True. But Baillieu did the right thing politically. The Libs are good this way. And Julia did the right thing too. Even, though you might say that she needed “a brain transplant” too for supporting Rudd….

  9. I don’t use snail bait anymore after watching those poor snails die in agony. If I happen to carry one inside I put it back out. They are quite pretty, too. I don’t seem to have all that many anyway. They must be under the hedge or somewhere out of sight.

  10. I did a comments post, which I was rather happy about, over at Loon Pond today. Thought I’d repost it here
    liked this sentence from today’s Pond
    The pond suspects that once you start on a vice, it can prove to be terribly pleasant in a masturbatory way, and hard to stop.
    It reminded me so much of Murdoch’s first major venture into intervention with the newsflow. It led to the Dismissal and a huge amount of resentment on the Left, echoed in the anti-MSM rants in Nation Review and Mungo McCallum. At one point, Mungo cited a flyer seeking advertising for The Australian. The slogan chosen to win over the advertisers was that The Australian had “More Pulling Power”. Mungo found it singularly appropriate.

    It is mystifying that The Australian in particular and other News Ltd rags get so much out of jihads against those perceived as some sort of threat, Accountability is important to everyone except themselves. No wonder they found so much to like in Abbott. Perhaps the sneering and counter-attacks is a means of coping with their unconscionable behaviour.

    And ‘unconscionable’ brings us to George Pell. It is surely bad enough that he should so brazenly attend an IPA celebration meeting. The Church he heads in Australia is nominally supposed to care for its flock, not those who are aiming to fleece it.

    But caring doesn’t come easily to George, at least not beyond caring for Church assets. Presumably deviant priests represent an investment by the church and are thus entitled to be shielded.

    George is clearly not used to accountability such as he is currently facing at the Royal Commission. Otherwise how could he make such an appalling analogy with truck drivers? Goodness me, the entire basis of pastoral care is based on trust, as is the teaching of children. To breach that trust, even before we get to the dreadful damage done to victims and their families, is the gravest of failures.

    I doubt George is imaginative enough to deliberately insult, but to compare parishioners and children with people seeking an unlawful hitch with a truckie, and suffering the consequences, represents the worst denial of accountability. Imagine, it amounts to saying, “well, your kids took the risk”. And as you say, a transport company in any case would at least be willing to rectify and make good on such failures.

    In Gulliver’s Travels Swift mentioned a country that had the most severe penalties and death sentence for embezzlement and such fraud. “For you can take some defensive precautions against burglary and robbery. But there is no defence against a breach of trust.” I’m not sure about capital punishment but otherwise he got it right.

    And those unable properly to defend themselves, such as children and animals, are rightly seen by most human beings as entitled to special protection. The abusers are loathed.

    To gloss over the indefensible puts the Church back where it was before Chaucer and Martin Luther. Worth linking to the whole post today

  11. gigi

    But Baillieu did the right thing politically

    Yes. He seems to have been picked as Leader as someone who would be politically acceptable to the majority of voters. But the knifing shortly thereafter also seems to have been planned.

    And he was so well judged that he didn’t rock the boat.

    Did/does he understand this?

    Fcuk nose!

  12. GD

    Pell has pissed off every proper Priest/Clergyman/Iman/Which Doctor etc and every Truckie as well.

    He’s lucky he’s not elected.

  13. Re: that Shorten story – there’s not a lot of mileage in it, but the press are squeezing what they can out. It seems nobody is allowed to dispute that there’s nothing in it, but a lot of fuss is being made out of the accusation being made in the first place. It’s the only angle they have.

    It’s a sort of whispering campaign I suppose. I notice it’s been sitting on the ‘trending’ list on Twitter since yesterday, which I can only presume is due to Liberal trolls thrashing the life out of it. But it doesn’t seem like anyone is buying it, and people are getting more adept at picking up on Abbott and co doing the old “look over there!” routine. They’re at least saying “Why should I?” nowadays.

  14. Why is Morriscum and his sidekick allowed to argue rudely with Gillian Trigg in her capacity as President of the Commission of HR enquiry? It was a disgraceful display of arrogance by the pair of them.

  15. There is an iron based snail bait which is not harmful to dogs and birds. They sell it at Bunnings. The pellets are brown. I am not sure how it does the snails in, but it has to be better than that green stuff.

  16. janice

    Morrison actually bullied G Trigg. I must say she didn’t play that particular moment really to her benefit. And now on the news they’re only showing that part. Nevermind if he is the biggest bully in the world. It looks as though he’s being praised. Again.

  17. I don’t know how good the ‘safe’ snail bait is but agree with Puffy that it has to be better than the green stuff – however, in using the green stuff I used to be careful to scatter the stuff (about 1 pellet six inches apart). Then I read a tip from an organic gardener who used shell grit and crushed egg shells. I tried this and it works in a small garden but a bit hopelessly inadequate in my few acres.

  18. Gigilene,
    You’re right – I thought ‘Madam President’ was taken quite unawares. She should have used her position and slapped the pair of them down for their rude and bullying behaviour.

  19. Hello everybody…back from the market. We go down to the Central Market once a month without fail…except for next time when it will be five weeks in between….oh, and last time I was called away so it was three weeks…but you get what I mean…
    Tell Y’ what….strange things there at the market…was waiting for the OH there by the “Smelly Cheese” shop…now why is that?..why call a gourmet cheese place by a derogative name?…it’s typical isn’t it…can’t give a respectable name to some place that sells quality…noooo!’s gotta be …; o’…”The Jockstrapp Diner” or, or ” The Arsehole Perfumery” or some such thing!..anyway I’m there next to the Smelly Cheese place and this older Sikh couple come walking past, fully kitted out in Indian specific…at first sight they looked a treat ..she’s got the full sari thing, diaphanous aquamarine w/ gold thread sparkle floating all around her…same with the pantaloons, he with the high turban, dark eyes, moustachioed aquiline face and full kit except…except he had Nike runners on….AND those “pensioner White” ones…..killed the atmosphere stone dead!
    If I could’ve caught his att’n I woulda’ said ; “Hey, Punjab….lose the runners, mate….they’re strictly Sunshine Coast retirement village!”…
    Tell Y’ what…you see some things down at that market…I’ll tell you about them sometime.

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