February 27, 2006 | Graham

Howard didn’t know

Originally posted with apologies to Banjo Paterson and courtesy of that great contributor to traditional poetry – Anon. But see comment below. Attribution and copyright apparently belong to Mike Carlton.
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him at the wheat board, years ago
He was chairman when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him
Just on spec, to make the point, that “Howard doesn’t want to know”.
And an email came directed, not entirely unexpected
(And I think the same was written in some Middle Eastern bar)
‘Twas his CEO who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it,
“Trevor Flugge’s gone to Baghdad and we don’t know where he are.
But when he left Australia, he was going to meet with Alia,
A trucking mob in Jordan, who were keen to grease the wheels
For 10 per cent commission, they could swing Saddam’s permission
To get our wheat accepted: it’s the mother of all deals.
But I guarantee, Prime Minister, that there’s nothing at all sinister:
The chaps at DFAT told us that the sums looked quite okay.
When you’re selling wheat in billions, what’s a quick 300 million?
If it keeps the Nationals happy it’s a tiny price to pay.”
Sitting here at Kirribilli, I’ve been thinking, willy nilly
That it’s somehow reminiscent of the children overboard:
But I can handle Rudd and Beazley as I always do, quite easily,
By endlessly protesting that there’s nothing untoward.
I’ll tell Bush next time I meet him at the White House, when I greet him,
That I’m sure he’ll understand about the wheat board’s quid pro quo:
He’ll forgive this minor error in the global war on terror
When I look him in the eye and tell him Howard didn’t know.

Posted by Graham at 2:49 pm | Comments (8) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Brilliant stuff !!!!

    Comment by Frances Kendall — February 28, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  2. Care to tell us which Banjo pome you used as a clotheshorse?

    Comment by Vince — February 28, 2006 @ 8:22 pm

  3. Bewdiful, bruvva.
    Now where would you like to be deported to?

    Comment by marklatham — February 28, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

  4. Vince, you must know, or you wouldn’t ask. But dip your thumbnail in some tar and rite me a reponse!
    Mark, I think I’m safe – I don’t have dual nationality.

    Comment by Graham Young — February 28, 2006 @ 9:43 pm

  5. Actually this comes from Mike Carlton and was published under his name. I put it up too as anon and was quickly reminded of the origin by someone who googled it.

    Comment by david tileyt — March 1, 2006 @ 9:52 am

  6. Thanks David, I have amended above. I assume that Carlton is more interested in spreading his words than enforcing his copyright, but I’ll try to get his permission to post.

    Comment by Graham Young — March 1, 2006 @ 10:22 am

  7. this all sounds rather tricky,
    tho the wording isn’t sticky,
    and I doubt the rhyming verse would stand in court.
    but remember now who rote It,
    while I take my boat and float it
    in the pool here at the side of my resort

    Comment by the bard from the bush — March 8, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

  8. Banjo would have been proud of it – can hear him chuckling in his grave.

    Comment by Colin Burt — April 3, 2006 @ 10:58 am

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