…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
The ancient fable that a swan sings beautifully just before it dies was accepted by such luminaries as Plato, Aristotle, Euripides, Cicero and Seneca, though doubted by Pliny. Shakespeare in Rape of Lucrece, has Lucrece declaiming “And now this pale swan in her watery nest, Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending.”
Sad sack Swan has not sang yet. The humourless Gillard’s clown Wayne, whom the other economy-illiterate clowns, showing at least some sense of humour, dubbed the world’s greatest treasurer, has not resigned. He is still doing what he can do best. Click on our sidebar Economics and finance links – Australian Debt Clock to see how the Greatest Treasurer is going this hour. And we must also wonder where would we be if he wasn’t the greatest.
So what is he doing in his spare time? He knows he can’t possibly achieve his aspiration to be a Prime Minister. He knows that his name is synonymous with fiscal deceit and that the impending economic collapse would be rightly laid at his feet. So what goes on in the mind of a rat cornered? What is left? No pun intended.
Not much, but he can still swan about. “To swan” is a word used in Western Europe during the World War II. It denoted taking a vehicle off for a drive for one’s own amusement when off duty. It also came to be applied to any apparently aimless movement, e.g. one who drove his tank about without any apparent purpose might be described as “swanning about the battlefield”.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Treasurer Wayne Swan, swanning about, spoke at the Financial Services Council breakfast in Sydney last week about political gridlock over spending cuts and tax increases due to kick in early next year, which, according to him, could tip the US economy back into recession. “Let’s be blunt, the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over parts of the Republican Party. Despite Obama’s goodwill … the national interest was held hostage by the rise of the extreme right Tea-Party wing of the Republicans.”
In Wayne’s Left academia addled brain everybody slightly to the right of Trotsky is “extreme right wing”. For him and the entire Labor, people who want a balanced budget are the “cranks and crazies”.
What are we to make of it? Obviously, he is looking for yet another excuse for the inevitable dismal collapse of his budget. This time he added the United States Taxed Enough Already (TEA) party to the favourite culprits like Abbott, Rinehart and Anthropogenic Global Warming. Racism, homophobia and islamophobia may come later.
He also could be aspiring to a worldwide attention in order to sideline the ex-Prime Minister Rudd and make himself look at least semi-prime-ministerial. One can not imagine a more futile effort. In any case, a Deputy Prime Minister of a minor country ought not to became a partisan in democratic elections in the still relatively democratic and large country. It could misfire. Do not do to others… (Matthew 7:12) But the Left academic Swan would not know what that means*.
*/ Swan was elected as the Member for Lilley (Queensland) in the March 1993 election, but was defeated in 1996 by Elizabeth Grace as part of Labor’s severe defeat that year. In 1996, Swan donated $500–$1400 (amount disputed) to the Australian Democrats campaign manager in his seat of Lilley. At the time speculation surrounded the nature of the donation. The matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police, who chose to take no further action.