Thoughts of Tom Wybrow

Wednesday, May 22, 1991

By Dave Riley

It's a new world, I tell you, a brave new world. I know this world because I know the Labor Party like I know the back of my hand. And you know, I think the devil got into it. It's possessed. I'm waiting for Bob Hawke's head to spin around.

There can be no other explanation.

Gough Whitlam said, "Maintain your rage, Australia". I've been raging on all that time — especially Saturdays. That man was hip.

I've been so angry that for the sake of it I've given up transcendental meditation, progressive relaxation, tai chi, biofeedback and lollies — and I end up with years of hard Labor. The fire in my belly has turned into an ulcer.

Long before the man came down from Snowy River or Holdens had bucket seats, there it was writ large on the ALP platform: the Socialist Objective. "The democratic socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange."

Let's say that together in case someone asks you what it is. Write it on the back of an envelope somewhere. Scribble it on the inside of the toilet door. Sneak it into a Xmas card: "Dear Aunt Maude. Have a very merry Xmas and may you realise your socialist objective in the year ahead."

Don't worry what it means. It's handy to have around. It's fun to say, "Actually it's a socialist objective. We use it as an ashtray."

Now all you Labor lefts. I know it is hard to give up — I've been in the party myself — but go to a chiropractor. He'll fix you up. Great with backbones.

You know, don't you? They junked it. They threw it out. Someone knocked off the glazed cherries. There's a thief in the Labor movement, comrades! Someone has gone and nicked the socialist objective! I want you to empty your pockets before you go, because if it's around I mean to have it. It's not yours to keep — some naughty people are after it.

Him. This one. He wants to go on strike next week. And this one didn't want to go to war. And she wants an abortion. They're all after a slightly used socialist objective in reasonable condition. No worries. You'll move it quick.

Labor is working out — it's all body corporate now. Labor Inc, WA Inc, Victoria Inc — working up cardiovascular output. This Labor Party is aerobically fit to govern. Ask Wayne Goss, he jogs every day. John Bannon, John Cain ... they all got ahead because in the new Labor Party they went with Reebok; Bob Hawke's on Pritikin. Carmen Lawrence, of course, is a doctor.

It's going to be a fun-run-led recovery. So who needs the socialist objective? All that Qantas and Telecom are just so much fat. We want a lean and mean machine. So it follows: enough of this stuff in the Middle East. "Hey Mum! Iraq just ate Kuwait!" Bob of Basra knows. Someone is getting fat on all this. So we sent them the ALP 30-day weight loss program — cut down on their food supplies and, to make them run, bomb the shit out of them.

Works every time. n

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