Howard Didn't KnowA poem by Mike Carlton©2006
With apologies to 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.
NotesThis parody of Banjo Paterson's "The Man From Snowy River" first appeared in the Mike Carlton column in the Sydney Morning Herald 11 Feb 2006 as the Australian Wheat Board scandal broke.
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union songs..........a selection by mark gregory