Never trust a man with a rabbit under his hat



‘I’ve got a climate change solution,’ the winking PM spun throughout the cabinet room. ‘Try this on. We hunt down some rabbits, we fill them with hot air, we place them in a quality location – and wait for the people to come. They will be so taken with the rabbits, they’ll forget everything else. And I mean everything. They’ll be dizzy on hot air – and be all the happier for it.’

The cabinet room giggled like a kid on a gallon of red cordial.

[map 11 - The Hot Air Rabbits descend on Sydney]

[map 11 – The Hot Air Rabbits descend on Sydney]

And so the rabbits came. And geez, they were big. And for a time the people came, thousands of them. And they did forget – all their cares and woes. They wondered at the marvel of the giant rabbits. They nuzzled into them. Nobody worried at all about all that hot air. Where it might go and the damage it might cause to the planet were thoughts not worth contemplating. The rabbits were a gift of joyous distraction. And who could complain about that, without being told, ‘get over it, Mr Misery, and let the kids have some fun.’

[map 12 - one unhappy hot air rabbit - Sydney]

[map 12 – one unhappy hot air rabbit – Sydney]

But there was trouble afoot. And it was an angry rabbit’s foot, bringing no luck but bad. The hot air rabbits discovered that the grass beneath their feet was plastic. It tasted, well, like plastic. They didn’t enjoy being poked at by children. Or having elderly men fall asleep in their laps. And they were disappointed that they were full of nothing but the winking PM’s hot air. So the rabbits held a meeting and decided that enough was enough. They plotted against the PM and planned an escape.

[map 12 - the escape vessel, Sydney Habour]

[map 12 – the escape vessel, Sydney Harbour]

That night, after the crowds had left, the giant rabbits began to scratch at each other, piercing holes in their hot air coats. They quickly deflated, expelling the last of the hot air from their bodies. In the early morning the now flattened rabbits disguised themselves as giant plastic bags. They headed for a nearby ferry terminal and and bought one-way tickets for a ferry ride across the water, vowing never to expel wasteful hot air again – or for that matter, disguise themselves as plastic bags.

The PM was perplexified. No rabbit in the political history of the nation had dissented in such a manner. No rabbit had ever claimed that hot air was not good for the people, the environment, or rabbits themselves. He needed to spin a new distraction to keep the people at bay – satisfied, pacified, and holding to their position at number 6 on the global happiness register.

[map 13 - The Happy People]

[map 13 – The Happy People]

[map 14 - The More Happy People]

[map 14 – The More Happy People]

The PM came up with a new plan. It was as cheeky as his wink. He created a NEW SET OF DISTRACTIONS, and put them before the cabinet. His ministers replied as one, ‘yippie, you’re a genius.’ The PM had offered the people beauty pageants. He built them A Stairway To Heaven – which unfortunately ended in a cloud of poisonous hot air left behind by the polluting rabbits.

[map 14 - The winner of the 'get my mind out of here before I start thinking' pageant]

[map 15 – The winner of the ‘get my mind out of here before I start thinking’ pageant]

[map 15 - The Stairway to (even more) delusion]

[map 16 – The Stairway to (even more) delusion]

But the people had finally seen through the PM, and his wink, and his overblown rabbits, his tiaras, and bright lights, and said ‘enough is enough, we must act and not sit back.’ So, the PM, in a last-ditched effort to win the people over, suggested, ‘hey, let’s do yum cha.’ And they shouted back, ‘no yum cha, today, Sonny Jim,’ (although that was not his true name – which we cannot mention as we have a law suit hanging over our heads).

[map 17 - the final manifesto to save the planet]

[map 17 – the PM’s manifesto for saving the planet]

The PM was furious. Both eyes winked madly, like a speed freak in a lighting shop that’s gone on the blink because there’s been a power cut down the road which means that the globes tend to behave erratically and that’s why we’re gradually phasing them out and replacing them with LEDs.

Lost for words, lost for spin and sinking in the polls, the PM communed with GOD – and was told, ‘you have given the people everything, Sonny Jim. All your spin, all your love of the common people, all of that mad eye of yours. And what do you get in return? Abdicating rabbits. People who wouldn’t know a cheap meal if it bit them on the arse. And a guy who can’t run an electrical store. The time of entitlement is over, Sonny. Tough times require tough leaders. It’s time you cracked the whip. And you’re the man. It’s your hot air the people need, whether they know it or not.

‘What Do We Want?  Hot Air!  And When Do We Want it?  Now!’

So Sonny Jim, Prime Minister, leader of the  GREATEST nation on Earth, suited up – ready to deliver some hard medicine.

[map 18 - The Semi-Final Solution]

[map 18 – The Semi-Final Solution]

 Tony Birch

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