It’s only a minute ago that I decided to run for Saturday’s election, so you’ll have to forgive me if some of my policies lack a little detail. Nonetheless, here’s what I’d do if I were elected Prime Minister.
I’d ban tea bags. Australia used to have a thriving culture of tea drinking. A pot was made to mark either success or tragedy. It wasn’t quite the Japanese tea ceremony, but some effort went into the thing. They’d be a little jug for the milk. A bowl for the sugar. A plate of biscuits would be provided, with cream centres if you were up yourself. Then there’d be a contemplative pause as the miraculous liquid brewed. Into this nirvana strode the tea bag and destroyed everything. A noble culture was left a smoking ruin. You can now attend a top hotel, order tea, and be presented with a cup of hot water, a tea bag perched on the saucer, and the unspoken instruction: “go ahead – dunk it yourself”. This is not OK. Banning all tea bags may seem a bit extreme, but someone needs to take a firm hand against what has become a nation of jigglers. If you are not willing to make tea properly, you are not worthy of its pleasures.
My campaign is all about the big issues.Credit:Illustration: Kathleen Adele
I’d ban special rates for the new customers. Why should loyal customers, who may be a bit inattentive when it comes to price comparisons, pay more for everything? My policy: if you offer an introductory rate to attract a new customer, you should be required to offer that rate to all your customers. Even the overly loyal, dozy ones like me.
I’d ban the sale of scissors. Well, at least I’d ban the sale of scissors in hard plastic packaging that requires a pair of scissors to reach the pair of scissors. My theory: if you had a pair of scissors, you wouldn’t be buying a pair of scissors.
I’d prevent the sale of pre-ripped jeans. The idea is to increase productivity. If you want your jeans to look like you’ve been working in the field, down on your hands and knees, you’ll need to find a field in which you can work, down on your hands and knees.
People who eschew buying a clothes dryer on environmental grounds shall be prevented from constantly using the one at Nana and Pa’s place. OK, this might be a little self-interested, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the problem is more widespread than you might think.
Firms would be forced to disclose their average telephone waiting time. They say: “Your call is important to us”, but how important? I’d like to be told before I sign up. Is it five minutes worth of “important” or three hours of “important’?
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I’d ban the display of sweets at toddler height. I know, standing there at the checkout – unloading your trolley, fishing out your rewards card, grouping together the cold items – you should also be exercising parental control of any child who happens to be with you. All the same, for the supermarket to essentially wave chocolates in the face of a toddler at exactly the moment when the accompanying adult is under maximum pressure, just to extract an additional sale of $1.90, is an act of evil bastardry. It must be stopped.
Leaf blowers will be banned. Haven’t you noticed? They just move the leaves from one place to another. For those trying to find an alternative, I recommend the opera “The Rake’s Progress.”
I’d go back to imperial measurements. Well, at least for the height of criminals. I’ve tried, I really have, but I need to know: is the thief six foot three inches, or five foot nine? Saying he’s 190 centimetres doesn’t help.
Shrinkflation will be outlawed. This is where, faced with rising costs, manufacturers shrink the size of the product, rather than put up the price. They think we don’t notice. We do! Under my policy we will return the Wagon Wheel to the size it was in 1971, when – this is my recollection – it was the size of an actual wagon wheel.
UHT milk will be banned. Not only does it taste like it’s from Chernobyl, the design of the packet means the contents always end up on your lap.
Paper towels will be mandatory in public toilets. Death, I say, to the Electric Trouser Wetting Machine. Everyone knows it doesn’t work. It should say “Step 1: Hit Button; Step 2: Rotate hands in air-stream; Step 3: Give up, and wipe your hands on your clothes as you leave the room.” Also: you can use the paper towel to open the door, thus being covid-safe.
My other policies will be developed as time allows – tackling issues such as climate change, the threat from China and housing affordability.
Critics will say I should be dealing with the big issues, rather than spending so much energy on trivia, but at least I’m in lockstep with the rest of Australian politics.
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