by Ross Sharp

I lay claim to no great understanding of matters diplomatic, for the complexities of foreign policy and other such things are mostly a shapeless rattle of vanilla babble to my ears, but there are some basic things about these matters that I do have some grasp of …

Occasionally, the political leaders of various countries have need to meet up and talk a few things out, mostly about how much crap we can buy and how much of our crap we can sell and how we can rip each other off without seeming to be too brazen about it. Mostly it’s all bullshit, a dog and pony show of stiff-necked tricks and johns blowing one another’s egos for the sake of a couple money shots for the news, such as “news” is these days, which ain’t much.

But this type of thing is seen as a necessary thing to do, and so it is done and done on a fairly regular, let us say, scheduled basis. In some ways, these circuses of power and the overfed horses who prance and preen their way through such proceedings can be seen as a reassuring sign that, despite the fevered entreaties of your typically hysterical News Limited hack, we all live in a reasonably civilised world and most of us that are civilised aren’t all that interested in blowing the shit out of each other just for the fucking hell of it.

And so, Australia being a part of this world and not some “entity of other” plodding its weary way through time on the back of a turtle, the political leader of Australia, being of one party or the other, will be required to attend such soirees from time to time and be seen to do things while they are there.

What happens is they all turn up, and sit together in a big fucking room for a few days, it’s usually a circular room, wood panelling seems to be the go, they have name tags and jugs of water, it all looks very exciting, and when they first pile up, they introduce themselves to each other, or they have their “people” introduce them and then the introduced introduces another introductee and so it goes until everyone has forgotten everyone else’s name because there are just too fucking many of them to remember and they have to go through it all again tomorrow.

While all this shit is going on, and barely a one of them have got the foggiest what anyone else is saying because the interpreters have fucked off to the bar, a bunch of photographers are taking about forty thousand billion photographs of all this introducing, the photographs never being anything other than horribly dull shots of  really short people shaking hands for far too fucking long.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, Tony. You don’t turn up to one of these things and then proceed to shuffle off to a corner to sit in the little chair and mope like a sullen child until one of the grown-ups starts to feel sorry for you and comes over and asks if you’d like a fire-engine and a biscuit and why don’t you come on over to the big chairs and talk with the older kids for a bit.

Grow the fuck up, you silly cunt.