Editorial: Howdy bro, or is that cuz?

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 04/10/2013

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OPINION: Conversation overheard between John Key and Tony Abbott, heads of their respective tribes, on an airport tarmac somewhere in Australia.

JK: Hey cobber, how'ra going?

TA: Yea good mate, you?

JK: Yea, nah, good.

TA: Thanks for popping over.

You're the first you know.

JK: Yea, thought I should get in quick, cause we're family, right?

TA: Yea, nah, of course. Always have been.

JK: Good to hear that, because I wanted to chat about a couple of things.

TA: What's that then mate?

JK: These boat people from Indonesia, we're still happy to take 150 or so you know.

Because we're family and all that.

TA: Thanks but no thanks. Just sends the wrong message, like they think they can just keep coming.

And we still get lumped with them.

My tribe wouldn't like that.

JK: Oh. Thought that might have helped but I see what you mean. You might not like this then.

TA: What's that?

JK: Well, my tribe doesn't reckon it's fair that they come over here but can't sign up for benefits and citizenship and stuff, but your tribe can come over to our place and we let them. Julia and I nearly had it sorted, but what do you reckon?

TA: Well it's like this mate, and to be honest what I say to you might be a bit different to what I say to that press mob out there. I've just been elected right and the last thing I want to do right now is to look a little weak, like I'm giving stuff away.

JK: Yea ...

TA: And, like, there are about 650,000 of you guys over here and only 65,000 of us over there.

JK: True but the impact's pretty similar, percentage wise and all that. And most of my guys over here pay taxes and everything. And since you guys changed the rules a dozen years back, about 175,000 of them don't know whether they are Arthur or Martha.

TA: Yea mate but I quite like the rules as they are.

You blokes don't have to come over here you know.

Just get things right back home and they'll stop coming. Problem solved.

JK: Fair suck of the sav mate, that's a bit tough.

Wish I hadn't come.

What are we going to tell the media?

TA: How about that we're family?

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- The Timaru Herald

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