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.