First published Mining Monthly, January, 2017
Some say the family was cursed by the Cornish lowlife Captain Splice’em Spargo, of the privateer Hell’s Strumpet. Splice’em was dismayed that a Pascoe forbear had eaten his lucky pasty, the one reserved for the captain’s last meal in the event of the ship starting to sink. The belief of the times was that, as long as the lucky pasty wasn’t eaten, the ship wasn’t sinking. If the pasty was eaten, the ship was assumed to have a dubious future. It was the same logic that, centuries later, would develop policy for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.
For interfering with the ship’s future, Splice’em damned the Pascoe cabin boy and his descendants to eternal custody of the Devil’s Trunk, an evil, oozing, pulsating thing that, once a year, would disgorge the blood-soaked tome known to you as Olde Pascoe’s Almanacke.
After many years of New Year’s Eve horrors, I thought I had become inured to the spectres that inevitably crawl from the be-slimed sea chest but I have been shocked anew: as I approached thing, it sprung open with a roar of The Star Spangled Banner and a fully-formed Donald Trump emerged, told me he was fabulous, just fabulous, that it was going to be beautiful and that he had to be off to an inauguration. As the creature brushed past me with a cursory grab of my crotch, I smelt sulphur and hair spray in equal measures and the book it left behind fell open to:
Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States, officially marking the End of the American Century. Trump renews his promises to make everybody rich by making the one per cent fabulously, beautifully richer. His aides explain that endeavouring to keep half a promise is better than none.
Australia’s Ambassador to Washington, Greg Norman, hosts a celebration barbie at the embassy. Joe Hockey serves drinks.
Australia’s politicians return from their various international junkets renewed and refreshed for another year of back-stabbing and dissembling. Prime Minister Turnbull reshuffles his cabinet to make room for the new deputy-leader of the National Party, George Christensen. Christensen tells the media he expects to be treated with more respect: “Remember I am deputy-leader to the Deputy Prime Minister which is, like, being third-in-line to the throne. And accidents can happen.”
President Trump recognises Russia’s historical right to control of Crimea and “any adjoining properties”. He says that’s the way he likes to develop real estate, so he can understand what Mr Putin is trying to achieve there. “He’s actually a great guy. We’re getting on bigly.”
Lucky Grylls raises the stakes in the WA election auction by saying he’ll force BHP and Rio to pay a production levy of a $50 a tonne on iron ore. He says the money raised will eliminate the state’s debt and enable every West Australian to have season tickets to both Dockers and Eagles games and free beer while attending.
“I’ve been inspired by Donald Trump to make this state great again,” he says. “We’re all Trumpettes now!”
Grylls wins in a landslide.
Redecorating is completed at what is now called the Gold House and President Trump holds a dinner for sundry wolves of Wall Street, retired and somewhat nutty former military officers and anyone who’s been CEO of a major oil company. This group is generally called the Cabinet. Joe Hockey serves drinks.
WA Premier Lucky Grylls scraps the production levy increase and abandons plans for AFL tickets and free beer. “Like I said, I’ve been inspired by Donald Trump,” he explains. “We’re all Trumpettes now. You can just say anything to get elected.”
Third-in-line-to-the-Lodge George Christensen agrees. “We’re all Trumpettes now” is adopted as National Party policy – apparently the only National Party policy.
Barnaby Joyce reported missing while visiting a cane farm outside of Mackay. “It’s a mystery,” says Acting National Party leader George Christensen. “It’s like the ground just opened up and swallowed him.”
Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers his second budget while wearing a “We’re all Trumpettes now!” t-shirt.
“The coalition has been inspired by Donald Trump,” says ScoMo. “This budget will extinguish all Commonwealth debt, halve unemployment by bringing back jobs that were lost to tax havens and ensure every Australian is better off. “
The Treasurer explained all this would happen because company tax would be abolished, the top personal income tax bracket would be abolished and any unemployed Australian who refused to pick fruit for $9 an hour would be declared fair game for harvesting body parts.
“We’re All Trumpettes Now” achieves bipartisan support as the motto for Federal Parliament. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten declares Trump to be the ultimate incarnation of the political species. “He’s such a perfect political operator that he was able to convince people he was not a political operator.” Senators Malcolm Roberts and Cory Bernardi come to blows in the chamber over claims and counter-claims as to who is the biggest Trumpette.
Deputy Prime Minister George Christensen tells Pauline Hanson he will appoint her Minister for Foreign Affairs if he gets the keys to the Lodge.
President Donald Trump renames the American July 4 public holiday as Trump Day. “It’s a beautiful thing, it really is. That war against the British was nothing to write home about. It was ages ago, nobody remembers. I’ll be making America so very much greater than anyone could with a muzzle-loading blunderbuss.”
Someone notices Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t said a word in public all year. His silence is part of a new deal with his party’s growing band of right wing of nut jobs to allow him to remain as nominal Prime Minister.
President Donald Trump sells California back to the Mexicans. “We needed the money. Besides, California voted Democrat. Let that be a lesson to all of you,” he told one of his weekly mass rallies featuring hundreds of thousands of Trump Youth marchers and hairdressers.
Josh Frydenberg is literally thrown under a bus after he argued in Cabinet against Federal Government funds being used to finance the Adani coal mine. Senator Malcolm Roberts announces Adani’s coal is so good, you can eat it – and proceeds to do just that during a tour of the project. Commentators agree it is an even weirder moment than when Tony Abbott, now Special Minister Assisting the Prime Minister, ate a raw, unpeeled onion. Abbott hadn’t chipped numerous teeth and stared fixedly at the camera while blood ran from his mouth.
Acting Prime Minister George Christensen, announces the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund will invest all its $5 billion in the Adani railway line and mine development. “Well they weren’t doing anything else with the money and realised that what George wants, George gets. Just ask Malcolm.”
The Republican-controlled Congress passes a bill banning CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times for being “un-American and generally not with the Trump program.” Acting Prime Minister Christensen says Australia could learn a lot from that.
President Trump accepts bids from China and North Korea for surplus aircraft carrier strike groups. “It’s a beautiful deal,” the President says. “We’re only starting to rebuild our export sector and, quite frankly, we’re having to manage a cash flow problem here while we wait for our Trickle-Down Tax Act to really kick with economic stimulus after abolishing tax for anyone earning more than $100K.”
Finance Minister Mathais Cormann, a huge fan of the Trumpster, announces yet another reworking of a tired and discredited report by a Gold Coast university academic who claims fiscal stimulus damages the economy and the Minerals Council saved Australia during the GFC. “We will make you watch it and watch it again and again until you believe it,” Senator Cormann demanded.
Someone realises Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t been seen for some months.
ScoMo’s mid-year economic and fiscal update fails to find out sign of the Trump-style trickle-down policies having any positive impact. “This doesn’t mean our policies are wrong,” said the Treasurer. “It just means the figures can’t be right and that’s all Labor’s fault. We are all Trumpettes now. And it’s all Labor’s fault.”
Prime Minister George Christensen announces all halal foodstuffs will be banned. Pauline Hanson becomes Foreign Affairs Minister. Someone points out that water is halal. “Don’t try to get tricky with us with your sciency science stuff,” Prime Minister Christensen says. “We’re all Trumpettes now!”