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Losing power can be felt in many ways

28 September 2013

9:00 AM

28 September 2013

9:00 AM

Julia Gillard recently wrote that ‘Losing power is felt physically, emotionally, in waves of sensation… [with] odd moments of relief as the stress ekes away and the hard weight that felt like it was sitting uncomfortably between your shoulder blades slips off. It actually takes you some time to work out what your neck and shoulders are supposed to feel like.’

Sounds dreadful. But how did it feel for the others?

Penny: ‘Well, what we have here is a situation where Julia is suffering terrible back pain thanks to her losing power and clearly she should see a good Chinese herbalist because she might find those intense sharp stabbing pains that felt like 57 daggers plunging into her spine were of course entirely self-inflicted when she proved to be manifestly ill-equipped to perform the most basic tasks of leadership which is why my colleagues and I sadly, and I must say “sadly” because it pained me far more than it could have possibly pained her because of course she was a dear friend of mine, or rather, I should say I was a dear friend of hers, but it was time for the party to move on and I think what we’re seeing now from Mr Abbott…’ (tape runs out while senator carries on justifying brutal betrayal of former leader and best friend.)

Kevin: ‘What was it like losing power? Well, let me be frank: one, I’ve lost power before but that didn’t stop me getting it back again, two, there are absolutely no circumstances under which I can ever see myself grabbing the leadership of the Labor party for a third and final triumphant return after these other idiots have stuffed it all up again, and three, I owe it to the good folk of this great party of ours… [tape runs out] Aarrgggh!! Which of you moronic ratf—kers forgot to load a fresh f—king tape?!?’

Greg: ‘Um, what do I, er, think about, um, the humiliating loss of power? Well, that’s just complete bullshit, I mean, um, we face a catastrophic situation in which climate change, um, will devastate the world, and um, we have to switch off the big polluters and, um, focus on renewables, which is, ah, the future, but of course, there may be the occasional loss of power at, um, certain peak times when the, ah, base-load… oh, sorry, what? Not that sort of power loss? I thought there must’ve been another blackout.’


Nicola: ‘I find the idea of losing power highly offensive.’

Bob: ‘Many great minds over the centuries, such as myself, and of course Aenesidemus the Greek and Cicero the Roman have, like me, argued persuasively that power is an innate gift from the gods, and one wielded by people of exceptional ability and prodigious talent, such as myself, which is why there is no suggestion that although the Labor party may have suffered the most horrendous and humiliating defeat in a hundred years at the recent so-called election that this in any way reflects upon me or my extraordinary skills as a diplomat and international statesman. Indeed, how could it when I wasn’t even elected?’

Sam: ‘Personally, although I understand that this is a minor setback for many within the party such as my good friends Kevin and Julia for whom I have nothing but the utmost respect and a firm desire to never see again, what is now abundantly clear is that in putting me straight into the senate the people of Australia have demonstrated a strong yearning to have so-called “faceless” men such as me and my good friend Paulie far closer to the actual centre of power, rather than pulling the strings behind the scenes in drafty union halls and dodgy Italian restaurants.’

Wayne: ‘Well, of course, I know all about losing power, in fact as I recall it was Europower magazine who put me on the front cover under the headline ‘The World’s Greatest Loser’, which of course refers not only to the loss of personal power and prestige but to the three hundred billion dollars I, er, lost along the way. Not to put too fine a point on it, far greater minds than mine such as, er, Mr Springsteen from New Jersey have noted, and I quote directly: “the highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive…”’

John McT: ‘Who says we lost?’

Stephen: ‘Well, it’s not about losing power as such is it? I mean it’s about fibre optics and the future of our connect-ability… and our… sorry… can’t… brzzwkkych… breaking…. wireless… up… nope… wuffrthhgy… sorry… huh…? how does this WiFi thingy work anyway?’

Emmo: ‘The party’s been a-waitin’ for the killin’ and the hatin’ it’s a factional election oh yeah! Bowen is a crawler, Albo is a brawler, Shorten’s getting smaller — oh yeah! It’s a horror movie right there on my TV, horror movie…’

Chris: ‘Well, of course it’s absolutely devastating for me personally, and for my family, and let’s be frank, for the people of western Sydney. After all, I have been a wonderful leader these last few weeks and dare I say it I have led the party robustly with integrity and honesty thereby proving myself as the obvious leader of the future which is why no matter which of these two clowns happens to win I intend to stab him in the back at the first opportunity.’

Albo: ‘Well, I have no intention of us handing power to the Tories. Not now or not ever. I mean that Tony Abbott guy I mean as I always say ‘in your nuts you know he’s got no guts’, I mean, er, no hang on, that wasn’t it…’

Bill: ‘Well, I have no idea what Julia or Kevin or Greg or Bob or Penny said about losing power but I agree with every word they said.’

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Don’t miss John Howard, Tom Switzer and Rowan Dean discussing Beyond Satire at Writers@Stanton, 1pm, 8 October

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