The Magic Pudding, is a ripper yarn. It hails from the olden days. It has colourful characters and involves a quest of sorts. Tony Abbott was right to use the Magic Pudding as an analogy. Firstly because it gave animation to an idea that’s almost dead, COAL. Very hard to ignite the same imagery with Bernie Briquette. Much easier to use the jocular imagery of the pudding that just keeps giving. And, this is where the reference works most aptly, the pudding, the fount, the source, the symbol of mythic eternality and sustenance, is a bloody minded, recalcitrant little bugger. Who ends his soliloquy; “I hope you get a belly-ache yer pudding eating lot’.
But Tony is off the mark to use the pudding to describe the Finkel Report. It’s just not fair. For a start, the Finkel Report is just a report, Bland, timid and unimaginative. This is where policy begins these days. The Pudding’s tale was Homeric. And the pudding characters, the penguin, the wombat, the koala, and the goanna, are all endangered. Most people have never seen a penguin. Bit like a free thinking, intelligent imaginative individual in the Coalition. So rare, they’re practically extinct. But as a children’s story, the imagery of infinite possibilities unfettered by the constraints of suburbanism and all it entails are exhilirating.
At the core of the Pudding, is the reality, the pudding thieves. Good stories work if they’re believable. Bit like the Finkel Report. And adopt a simple plot. Goodies versus Baddies. If you adopt any sort of carbon reduction scheme, its gonna harm coal. That’s the core of the plot. George Christensen, (the pudding thief) doesn’t want to pay for anything cos it’ll Hurt Coal. Coal is endangered. The Queensland governments (other pudding thieves) are quite correct in using taxpayers money to finance coal. It’s good for humanity. What is there not to love COAL? It’s warm… ‘Coal-ey’, and very tactile. Solar energy is not tactile and wind is for the fairies. Wave power just wont do, and battery storage wont work. Batteries always run flat. And they need to be replaced. Coal-fired power stations last for years and years, and if they’re publicly funded for ever, they can go on producing good reliable power for ever. But COAL aint a Magic Pudding.
That’s why We need more ‘Lord Bucket-heads’.
He’s much more a cultural icon than the Magic Pudding. He’s contemporary for a start and has a lineage going back all the way to the glory days of Margaret Thatcher. He’s not divisible like “Bert”, and stalwarts like Barnacle Bill and Uncle Wattle-berry. Those characters from Pudding were icons of stoicism, integrity and rounded personalities. That just doesn’t cut it with the digital age. The scenarios are too complex. That’s why Lord Bucket-Head, enigmatic, mysterious, a virtual Darth Vader of the funny side is perfect. He’s the perfect vehicle to encapsulate the absolute emptiness of contemporary politics. Which makes us think, Tony Abbott, his policies on coal, his stymieing of the renewables industry for the past decade surely is the ‘Lord Bucket-head’ of Australian politics. And the best thing is with his three word slogans, he doesn’t even need to wear the bucket.
There’s economy in that.