Wry & Dry looks back at a year highlighted by the suffocating imposition of Chairman Dan’s view of freedom and PM Jimmy Morrison’s ability to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to show sound judgement. There were also Princess Princess, Barnaby, Croesus Turnbull, Macron de Gaulle, Borisconi, Emperor Xi, Tsar Vlad, Sultan Recep, The Trumpster and Sleepy Joe. And more! What could possibly go wrong?
Lots. But being double vaxxed with humour is a useful antidote to all wrongs. So we made it to the end.
Firstly, Wry & Dry’s message:
No matter what child of Abraham you are, may Christ’s blessing of peace be with you and your family.
“To be impeached once…”
…may be regarded as a misfortune; to be impeached twice looks like carelessness.” .
With just one week remaining in his presidency, I-Won-The-Election-Trump found himself creating history by being the first President of the Yoo-Ess-Ay to be impeached twice. Carelessness, indeed.
Nancy Pelosi, the well-Botoxed Leader of the House and energetically entering her ninth decade on Planet Earth, had trouble hiding her grin as she announced the impeachment vote. Her cavernous mouth was well covered by a large, but fashionable and florid, mask.
 “ To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” Lady Bracknell, in the Importance of Being Earnest, by G.B. Shaw.
Idiotic, but not harmless
Readers always delight in the antics of idiotic but harmless politicians. Barnaby Joyce, Pauline Hanson and Bob Katter are some who, if not luxuriating on the comfortable benches in parliament earning some $200,000 p.a. from we-the-taxpayer, would otherwise be carried away by strong men in white coats and bewhiskered professors with hearing trumpets.
But Craig Kelly, the well-upholstered Liberal member for Hughes, not only occupies the same cage of idiocy as the aforementioned Three Stooges, but also is a menace. He has been re-sending online articles about unproven Covid cures for weeks and this week sent posts that actually undermine the government’s vaccination strategy. 
 Mr Kelly later in the year turned his coat and joined Clive Palmer’s reborn party: Political Ads in Yellow ‘R Us.
Jimmy and women
With the speed of Geoffrey Boycott at bat and surety of a child choosing which chocolate to take, PM Jimmy Morrison has taken five weeks to decide that women do, after all, deserve a measure of respect greater than the opening of car doors.
So, Readers can see that there are two issues here. Firstly, Jimmy’s inability to appropriately respond in a timely manner to a non-economic issue, as a Prime Minister surely should. Secondly, it took a shocking workplace incident to lift the dense and damp Morrison fog to understand the absolute priority of workplace safety (to put the issue in its bluntest, blandest terms), especially for women, over political expediency.
Tsar Vlad tilts at Ukraine Part I
Astute Readers will realise that things in Russia must be getting bad. “Things’ could mean a range of matters that are causing the average Russian in Red Square to hit the vodka more than usual. Not least of which is the Navalny problem .
The tell-tail sign is that Tsar Vlad is showing his hairy chest, flexing his military muscles and speaking “thems fightin’ words”. A military build-up on Ukraine’s border greater than that before the invasion of Crimea is underway. Tsar Vlad, a student of history, is taking a leaf from Otto von Bismarck’s textbook . To divert attention from domestic issues, Otto would rattle the sabre and occasionally invade neighbouring countries.
 Alexei Navalny is the de facto leader of the opposition in Russia, but now languishing in a jail, the temperature within which being, perhaps, cold.
 Otto von Bismarck was a conservative German statesman who masterminded the unification of Germany in 1871 and served as its first chancellor until 1890. He provoked three short, decisive wars, against Denmark, Austria, and France. The Second World War battleship the Bismarck is named for him. Bismarck, North Dakota, is the only U.S. state capital named for a foreign statesman.
Now the Taxes
Well, it had to come. If you (a) lock down an economy (thrice); (b) employ thousands to walk the streets of then empty Melbourne with bottles of Spray and Wipe to clean traffic light buttons: (c) pay riot police extra to dress as teenage mutant ninjas to monster peaceful demonstrators; and (d) keep empty trains running so as to keep trains running, then sooner or later the bills will overflow from the in-tray to the chair.
But the fiscal decay was well underway before the bugs from Wuhan escaped from Chairman Dan’s quarantine arrangement. Ignoring other snouts (sequere pecuniam), Readers might consider that Victorian public sector employment grew by 6.5% between 2017 and 2020, but the public sector wages bill grew by 23%. 
 S&P Ratings later advised that Victoria will have the weakest post-covid fiscal position of any state or territory in Australia – and with debt expected in 2022 to be triple the level that it was is 2019.
The misplaced hysteria of this week’s Melbourne now 14-day lockdown has stoked the dying embers of Victorian’s memory of the 163 days of Chairman Dan’s 2020 lockdown. And of the small retail and other businesses which are close to or who have already gone to the wall. Gone is the “flatten the curve” objective.
Now it’s all about confected heroism: 1. amplify the problem; 2. create hysteria (aided by the media); 3. play the cavalry; 4. take the applause; 5. win the election.
The policy of the Victorian government to create a climate of fear in the population was laid bare yesterday. The justification for the second week of lockdown was that the latest variant is significantly more contagious than previous outbreaks. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton had described the virus as “an absolute beast” that was “spreading in settings we hadn’t seen before.”
Err, no. “There is no epidemiological evidence that this virus spreads faster… I don’t think it is helpful to seed alarmist or doomsday-type thoughts into the community,” said Professor James McCaw, an infectious disease expert.
The end-game, is, of course, when the outbreak is over, for the government to claim plaudits for saving Victorians from Apocalypse 2021. Just like last year, when the mantra was that Chairman Dan heroically delivered Victorians from Apocalypse 2020. Statues will be erected. A knighthood AO awarded. Eponymous parks created. A university renamed.
Sigh (again). When will this lockdown cycle end?
Wry & Dry spent the week watching ads on television, interrupted by watching some Olympic events. And there were a few weird ones.
Skateboarding? Seriously? Clearly an attempt to excite whatever age cohort comes after Millennials. Readers should wait for the 2024 Olympic teen-pleaser: Graffiti art.
Wry & Dry hopes that skateboarding will go the way of that early 20th century favourite: the tug of war 
 Held at five Olympics (1900-1920), with the Brits the clear champions at tugging the forelock, winning 2 gold, 2 silver and a bronze. A tugging team consisted of 6 members in 1900, 5 members in 1904, and 8 members in the last three appearances of the sport.
Olympic cracher factice
French boxer Mourad Aliev personified the Gallic response to unfavourable events. Go on strike. Well, sit down, if you will. M. Aliev was disqualified for using his head in a sport that allows use of only the fists. And so he did what any self-respecting Frenchman would do: stage a one hour sit-in, in the ring.
But wait, there’s more. The disqualification was part of a conspiracy, apparently. John Dovi, the France head coach, “If it was not that (use of head), they would have found something else, or another bogus thing in order to disqualify Mourad.”
Hunt for Red September
In a masterclass blending of Machiavelli , Sun Tzu  and anyone whomever upset Charles de Gaulle , PM Jimmy Morrison has shown the first evidence that he does have a spine and bit of leadership.
And in so doing he has annoyed the very people on Earth who love to be annoyed. The French.
Mon Dieu! Yesterday’s announcement to scrap Australia’s disastrous submarine building contract with France, entered into in 2016 by former Francophile PM Croesus Turnbull, will ensure that Jimmy doesn’t get his Christmas hamper of French goodies from the Élysée Palace .
France’s president, M Macron went nuclear, so to speak, on hearing of the deal. Not that he knows where Australia is. Readers will know that the French, albeit useful chefs, models and keepers-of-museums, take any slight as a declaration of war. French pride has been pricked. Readers can expect a haughty response when next seeking directions from a Parisian policeperson.
 Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, philosopher, and historian who lived during the Renaissance. He is best known for his political treatise: The Prince.
 Sun Tzu was a Chinese general and military strategist who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. He is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy.
 Charles de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II and later became Prime Minister and then President of France. Famously prickly, aloof and arrogant, he was an excellent manipulator of the media.
 The Élysée Palace is the official residence of the President of the French Republic. It was built in 1722 for a French nobleman, and contains not only the presidential residency but also presidential offices. It is larger than the White House.
When the cat’s away
In Glasgow, the streets are being cleaned for the bizarrely named COP26 , the world’s most notable hot air fest since the Montgolfier brothers in 1783 . PM Jimmy Morrison remains precariously balanced on the beam of Net Zero indecision, tugged by marginal seats in Queensland on one side and marginal seats everywhere else on the other.
In Victoria, Chairman Dan’s poll-driven epiphany (i.e. private polling by his operatives showed that Melbournians were not happy about being the most locked-down city in the world and so Dan suddenly decided that zero-covid Victoria was not viable) means that he is now counting double-vaxxed Victorians instead of covid cases.
In Moscow, Tsar Vlad’s smile gets wider as Russia’s control of gas supplies to Europe helps force up domestic gas prices from Scotland to Greece. He waits for Europe to come begging. Why bring out the tanks?
In New South Wales, one non-British-heritaged premier (Gladys: Armenia) was succeeded by another (Dominic: France). The latter has promised land tax reform. But tax reform is in the eye of the beholder. A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. Tax reform is something that benefits you.
In the USA, inflation hit 5.4%. An increase in US interest rates and its consequences will crimp Sleepy Joe’s party’s mid-term election chances (November 2022). The Trumpster is counting the sleeps.
In Victoria, a corruption commission enquiry has commenced into Chairman Dan’s party’s use of taxpayer funds to finance ‘branch stacking’. Chairman Dan has already pleaded the Sergeant Shultz defence .
 The 26th United Nations’ Climate Change Conference.
 Inventors of the hot air balloon.
 “I know nothing.”
Macron de Gaulle’s dummy spit at being slighted by both America and Australia has little to do with French submarines. It’s all about him:
(a) projecting himself as chivalrous medieval (i.e. French) knight, gallantly battling enemies (Australia and America) in the name of honour and virtue (French pride), even as his noble steed (a $90 billion submarine contract) is felled;
(b) trying to regain French pride after the humiliation of Brexit; and
(c) winning next year’s election.
He engineered a fawning Kamala Harris (deputy to Sleepy Joe) to come to France for a four-day kiss-my-boots visit. In a speech she gushingly said that, “France is America’s oldest ally.” That is correct, as far as it goes. France supported the rebelling American colonies against Britain in 1778. Ms. Harris might have observed that France supported America because it hated the British, not because of any affection towards America.
In spite of the US helping to save Frenchmen from speaking German twice in the 20th century and the US agreeing to Britain’s request for France to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the only finger that France has lifted toward America has been a vertical one. But that is a subject for another day.
Wot. No live feed?
The most sensational and lurid trial since the UK’s Profumo Affair in 1963  has begun in New York. The curtain rose on Monday of the trial of British former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell on a host of sexual abuse and procurement charges. Ms. Maxwell’s association/ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein (now rotting in hell) will be the subject of weeks of testimony.
Famous names already named include Prince I-Wasn’t-There-And-If-I-Were-She-Was-Over-18 Andrew, The Trumpster and Willy Clinton. All enjoyed all the benefits, broadly defined, of a private jet.
So hold Netflix, Opera Windbag and Disney. This is made for all-day television viewing. The curious, salacious and wannabe titillated were salivating like Pavlov’s dogs. The popcorn and Bud on hand.
Err, hang on. Which channel, Norm? Can’t find it. Too bad. It’s not being televised. Unlike many trials in the US, cameras and recording devices are banned in the New York Federal Court.
Back to Opera windbag.
 The Profumo affair was arguably the largest ‘sleaze’ scandal in twentieth-century British politics, which is certainly saying something, there being so many. A woman named Mandy Rice-Davies was also involved. But Wry & Dry would say that, wouldn’t he.
And, to soothe your troubled mind…The 2021 Wry & Drys
Wry & Dry’s Worthiest Appointment – Col Murray
A Mr. Col (Colin?) Murray has been appointed as the new Chairman of Infrastructure Australia. Who? Allow Wry & Dry to join the dots for Readers.
Col is the mayor of Tamworth. Tamworth is in the electorate of New England. The federal member for New England is Barnaby Joyce. Barnaby Joyce is the Infrastructure Minister.
Col seems just perfect to be Chairman of such an important body. IA has priority projects valued at $59 billion. Smart and experienced leadership will be needed for the role. Col’s LinkedIn bio shows his education as being Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School in Tamworth. There follows a blank space, suggesting no further education. Perfect. Who knows what nation building projects will emerge…
Wry & Dry’s Kow Tow of the Year – JP Morgan’s CEO
On a Tuesday, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, America’s biggest bank, speaking at a business forum, said, “I made a joke the other day that the Communist party is celebrating its hundredth year. So is JP Morgan. I’d make a bet that we last longer.” 
The next day, Mr. Dimon was on his knees, earnestly apologising. “I truly regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture…”
 He got that wrong. It is JP Morgan’s 150th anniversary.
Wry & Dry’s Unclear of the Concept of the Year – Police Scotland
Police Scotland confirmed that it would record rapes by offenders with a penis as carried out by a woman if they identified as female.
Wry & Dry’s Passing of the Year – Bernie Madoff
Bernard Madoff ran the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Some $64 billion was lost. He died in the slammer, aged 82, only partway through his 150 year sentence.
Wry & Dry’s Video of the Year – Borisconi
Wry & Dry’s Embarrassment of the Year – Macron de Gaulle
France’s Cour des Compte (State Auditor), in a series of unprecedented notes on the country’s “structural failings, highlighted (four months before France’s presidential election):
- Went from eighth to sixth place in the world rankings of industrial powers between 2004 and 2019
- Industry lost ground to Germany and even northern Italy
- State spending now at 59% of GDP, highest in Europe
- Public debt highest in Europe at 115% of GDP
- School system produces “mediocre” results despite costing more than the OECD average
No mention of submarines.
Wry & Dry’s Quote of the Year – a photographer
“With the tree of life behind them and the garden representing fertility, life and moving forward, they didn’t need any direction, because they are, and always have been, waltzing through life together as absolute soulmates,”– Misan Harriman, photographer of Princess Princess and Princess Harry’s upcoming-baby-reveal photo (February).
Wry & Dry had to reach for the bucket.
Wry & Dry will now take a break. This is Wry & Dry’s final edition for 2021. And will resume, energetically, on Friday 4 February – unless the sky falls.
PS A reminder that the opinions in Wry & Dry do not necessarily represent those of First Samuel, its employees or directors.