March 08, 2006

The Ballad Of Little Johhny Howard

From an anonymous author via John Quiggin's blog, with apologies to the great Australian poet, Banjo Paterson:
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better

Knowledge, sent to where I met him at the wheat board, years ago

He was chairman when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him

Just on spec, to make the point, that “Howard doesn’t want to know”.

And an email came directed, not entirely unexpected

(And I think the same was written in some Middle Eastern bar)

‘Twas his CEO who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it,

“Trevor Flugge’s gone to Baghdad and we don’t know where he are.

But when he left Australia, he was going to meet with Alia,

A trucking mob in Jordan, who were keen to grease the wheels

For 10 per cent commission, they could swing Saddam’s permission

To get our wheat accepted: it’s the mother of all deals.

But I guarantee, Prime Minister, that there’s nothing at all sinister:

The chaps at DFAT told us that the sums looked quite okay.

When you’re selling wheat in billions, what’s a quick 300 million?

If it keeps the Nationals happy it’s a tiny price to pay.”

Sitting here at Kirribilli, I’ve been thinking, willy nilly

That it’s somehow reminiscent of the children overboard:

But I can handle Rudd and Beazley as I always do, quite easily,

By endlessly protesting that there’s nothing untoward.

I’ll tell Bush next time I meet him at

The White House, when I greet him,

That I’m sure he’ll understand about the wheat board’s quid pro quo:

He’ll forgive this minor error in the global war on terror

When I look him in the eye and tell him Howard didn’t know.

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