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The Ashes Files Part I: Australian Prime Ministers, Treasurers and a Whistle blower

They say cricket is a gentleman’s game – diplomacy is needed just as much as  grim determination and extraordinary levels of skill.

In March 2013 Cricket Australia asked The Prof, The Freak and I to vet applications they had received to join Australia’s Ashes Squad to tour England.  We received many applications from all over the world.

This is the first of a series of sensational releases of the best applications we received.

The Politicians applications were in many ways what we expected.  Self-serving, honourable, laced with wit and true to label.  The apple-cart and ‘normal order of things’ (as some would say) has been upset enough since March for us to feel compelled to publish these applications in the public interest

Julia Gillard
[Ex-prime Minister and partner to Australia’s first ever First Bloke]

I would like to apply for a role batting in the middle for Australia. My strength is “moving forward” to the full pitched delivery. My new glasses have given me a sharp perspective on the ball, and I can catch anything that comes my way, including disaffected conservative independents.

Also, Tim is a good, very fashionable sort, renowned for working a crowd as a bon vivant. He will undoubtedly add some highlights and class to the WAGs contingent in the second half of the Tour. Of course, if you have any doubt, I am always there to catch his fly balls to left field, I mean mid-wicket, and can spit like a cut cobra when under pressure – excellent credentials for a three day Test.

Julia G

PM (I took Kevin07’s job in an afternoon)

Kevin Rudd
[Ex Prime Minister]

I hit John Howard’s flaccid off-spinners out of the park in 2007. I know what it takes to win and win big.  But like many fine leaders – Kim Hughes, Bill Lawry, Graham Yallop – I was unjustly cut down in my prime, and know adversity as well as how to order from the special menu at any restaurant in China Town.  This means I have got what it takes to be a member of team and take on leadership of the team, the Selection panel, the High Performance Unit, CA itself and the Channel 9 Commentary Team.

Kevin R (I took my job [Julia had it for a while] back in an afternoon)

[A further 24 pages were submitted but not reproduced here].

Wayne Swann
[Ex-ex-Treasurer]

On the first Tuesday in May 2013, I presented the 2013/14 budget to the usual cricket ground enthusiasm and polite endorsement from the private school kids in the gallery opposite, eager to witness Australian democracy in action.

The first session went well. 1/50 until the ball started reversing as I announced the $50Bn of pre-election goodies. The Opposition appealed vehemently for hit wicket but the DRS showed Simon had upset the bails at the change of ends. Their disruptive chirping tactics niggled away during the mining and carbon tax sections – a couple of dud ideas from Treasury – leaving us rudderless against the swinging ball at 5/55 just before drinks.

The scraggy-haired bourgeois lefties in the opposition gallery to my right missed most of the session. They seemed preoccupied thumping a plastic beach ball against the roof of the chamber and lathering their chests with reef oil. A kettle drum arced up at key points in my speech but it was drowned out by the Opposition’s opera singers and wind quartet.

I scored my 25 shortly afterwards by confirming funding for the disability scheme. At 7/86 the PM was run aground by asylum seekers for 39.  I passed on, mumbling something quickly about tax increases, to confirm our commitment to the education revolution striking a few lusty blows into the school kids for 6.  The place erupted.  Boaters from the students, party streamers from our side and purple smoke from the lathered lefties filled the chamber crowding out rude cat calls from the zoo opposite.  When play resumed,  we ejected the Speaker for bias.  Peter Garrett was caught at the wicket (snagged on revolution funding) following a sustained appeal from the lefties at which point they exchanged various hand signals and the odd expletive with a few of my staff, a senior departmental official who hates students – he has a 25 year old on his fourth degree – and Stephen Conroy [Ed. Allegedly], who gave them a spirited send-off as security began to shift them from the in-field.

A short guy with pimples managed to bowl a spinning pie into the chamber but it missed the stumps. Penny Wong dived across the PM’s lap at first slip to take the catch followed by most of the front bench who had been fasting during Lent (the 40 days of sacrifice before Budget night). When order was restored the ball had disappeared. The Deputy Speaker ruled not out. 9/99.

I struggled through the gaps in the NBN by myself – at times it felt like I was batting at both ends –  until I flayed at a lolly pop from Julie. OUT, for 44.  All OUT 105, finally falling into the long night of pre-election whimsy. [Ed. Bad light stopped play]

I am thinking about retiring as Australia’s youngest and World’s Greatest Treasurer [Ed: Allegedly]. My friends on the front bench are eager to find me a distinguished role in a winning team. My office will arrange an interview for you at Australia House in London.

Swannie

Joe Hockey
[Likely new Treasurer]

Think “Fat Cat” Greg Ritchie (Qld).

[Ed: No other material was supplied]

A Whistle Blower

silhouetteI manage the s457 sports desk for Migration Australia. Since you released your job advertisements in March, I have received 457’s from 66 Sri Lankans who made landfall in the Solomon Islands somewhere, 500 part-time batsmen from Galway, 300 New Zealand berry pickers and a host of dead people from St Giles parish churchyard at Stoke Poges, England describing themselves as cricket professionals.

Odd balls apply for 457’s by the boat load. Most are turned back by the Navy at sea, or at the airport, when they fail the three question GMAT*.  Qantas employs some that manage to fluke a pass as aircraft maintenance workers in Singapore.  Jetstar employs one or two as baggage handlers. Those true refugees who seek political asylum are entertained at Christmas Island or Nauru until they can name 3 Parliamentary Secretaries and explain why Australia has a mining tax. The UN HCR makes a fuss occasionally but even they cannot fault the GMAT logic.

I am concerned that the Navy and Immigration officials are confiscating large quantities of sprinkler heads, match balls, and signature bats from boat people and other illegals.  We are re-exporting them to Morocco and Kenya as fast as we can but demand is running very fast. The bats are being used as house cladding and vehicle foot pedals.  The balls have various uses as floor coverings and homeware – a do-it-yourself line of coloured lamp stands is very popular.

Could you help to stimulate supply?  Dropping Tests 1 and 2 in England [Ed. We did that!], or dropping KP 4 times [Ed. Couldn’t quite bring ourselves to do that],  might replenish our inventory during the winter.  I promise to cut you in on the profits we make on our carbon license. Naturally, using tax loopholes, we are domiciled in the Cayman Islands, which is a nice holiday destination twice a year when I check inventory and the condition of the local beaches.

Last night (May 2013) the Minister deemed cricket to be a trade not covered by s457 unlike other sports professions such as swimming and sports psychology. He has however moved notice to introduce a Bill to amend the Citizenship Act to deal with Tony Abbott’s no cricket policy [Ed. At the time]

The Prime Minister’s [Ed. Julia G] trade union comrades consider that climate change experts (due to grant cuts), waterfront workers doubling as contract miners, and under-employed old forest Tasmanian wood chippers can supply forecast shortfalls in cricketing talent until Labor loses office. This lot are very big swingers and experienced picket line performers.  Just thought I would let you know.

John

(Brian is my real name)

*The General Migration Aptitude Test 2013: Q1. Outline the history of Australian Federalism Q2. Spell and define onomatopoeia Q3. Prove a genetic connection either to a Tasmanian aboriginal or a First Fleet settler. The GMAT is verbally administered by Navy boarding parties or by Immigration officials during offshore processing.

Tony Abbott
[Now Prime Minster elect, former Leader of the Opposition, triathlon athlete]

Today, I announce a $1Bn pledge to make Australia the only 10% tax haven in the southern hemisphere for world class cricketers and emerging junior talent, coupled with the following freebees (frisbees?) –

  • a contract with Cricket Australia starting 1  October 2013 (now that I am PM!!)
  • Australian  citizenship
  • permanent residency (completely by-passing Labor’s ineffective s457 visa process).

Yesterday I received a delegation from the League of Concerned Test Cricket Supporters. The League represents 6m cricket supporters and well-meaning sympathisers throughout Australia – active K-12 players, sisters who hate cricket but loath Test losses even more, parents who just want some peace, spectators, critics who find writing about dead matches boring, and weekend readers who find reading about dead matches depressing.

I have not yet appointed a special Minister of State for Cricket, yet, but I cannot ignore 6m voters, and more future voters, or their economic impact.

If we do not start winning again, soon, the League will emigrate en masse to the highest bidder. New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland and Canada have submitted indicative offers and pledged gold bullion reserves.

Imagine our population declining by 6m overnight and overworked officials presiding over de-citizenship ceremonies, or exam halls of clerks processing emigration applications. Imagine the carnage for Sydney property prices, the run on banks, music teachers, shoe shops, sales of vegemite, ice cream, Ribena, smarties, fairy bread, ballet, fairy anything. Imagine the elimination of winter sports, and our inability to manufacture and market budgie-smugglers economically.

Imagine trying to repopulate our nation, supplying our own boats to help people immigrate and overworking officials to process immigration applications. Imagine a cricket and rugby team filled with free-loading New Zealanders. Wicked!

The destruction of the tax base would be massive. I cannot in good conscience let this happen.

Tony Abbott, PM

[Ed. Julia never thought she would be PM either, until the short guy gave her a knife in 2010 and told her that Kevin had to go.  She was loyal until then]

 

 

ashes diary cover grass edge2bGet your copy of

Ashes Diary – Summer of the 17th Man – England 2013

in ebook now at amazon.com (Aust/US residents) and amazon.co.uk (UK residents) .

You’ll be busting share it with your friends on Facebook and/or Twitter with these pre-populated links.

PS  The ebook is fantastic on the kindle app for iPad.  Paperback out soon.

 

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