Wry & Dry #2-25 Übermensch. “I’m shocked, shocked…” “And now, the end is near…”

Cartoon of shooter from attempted assassination of Trump

If ever the phrase “a week is a long time in politics” was apt it was this week. The indifferent Brits elected a government that received just 35% of the vote, the French effectively elected nobody to govern, and Jill Biden picked up the phone and ordered the removalists.

And, weirdly, surviving an assassination attempt makes a person a hero. Suddenly, the Trumpster is just that. A colourful blend of Horatio at the bridge, the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, Jean Valjean at the barricade. All because the bullet missed.

Wry & Dry #1-25 International year of elections. Open all hours. New political party.

As Readers pass the halfway point of 2024, they know it was always going to be a momentous year. And not because of the arcane controversy about the attractiveness of the Australian Olympic Team’s opening ceremony uniform.
2024 will be remembered for being an election year across the globe. When democracy is put to the test. And fails. But dishonesty succeeds.
This week, Wry & Dry will have a slight election bias, pondering the US (in New York, he watched peak senility battle peak Pinocchio), UK (he now finds himself, under a brolly, to guard against the landslide), France (M Macron has oeuf all over his visage) and Iran (the voting first round had a turnout of 40% – the lowest since the 1979 revolution).

Wry & Dry #43-24 Julian who? Nuclear power poll. Frexit?

Saipan is an island in the western Pacific from where, in 1945, the Americans sent a B29 bomber to deliver to Japan an atomic bomb. That same island is from where this week the Americans sent a private jet to deliver to Australia a media atomic bomb. Julian who?

In preparation, Wry & Dry has battened down the hatches. Raised the drawbridge. Lowered the portcullis. And, in fact, has left the country (for a short time).

Wry & Dry #42-24 Dutton’s Rubicon. UK election: leaders last. Real estate opportunities.

It’s the biggest political move since Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC. And Readers know how that ended.

Uncle Fester Dutton cast the die with his announcement of seven sites for nuclear power plants. It has a sort of “built it and they will come” ring about it. Except his is: “announce it and they will vote for it.”

Err, perhaps some details are missing.

Wry & Dry #41-24 Dishonours. The Big Trip. Sins of the son.

Not since Roman Emperor Caligula appointed his horse Incitatus as a consul has a political appointment turned to such high farce.

It would not have escaped Readers’ attention that the former Chairman of the People’s Republic of Victoria has been appointed to the highest honour of Companion of the Order of Australia.

Wry & Dry #40-24 The lesser of two weevils. Al Capone. Bad dream.

With each passing hour, it is becoming clearer that voters in the US have an awful decision to make on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
A corrupt, narcissistic, megalomanial, neo-Fascist, vengeful, sociopathic populist felon; or
A creaky, well-meaning, stubborn, weak, peri-demential, ideologue.

WRY & DRY #34 FY-24. Invade, but not yet. Power. Local taxes.

Last week, Albo went back to the 1950s to build an Australian manufacturing sector to compete with… China. This week, Defence Minister Marles went forward to the 2030s with a massive re-armament programme to compete against… China.

Some $50 billion of new dosh over the next decade will be spent on new toys. But almost no new serious capability will be delivered for at least 10 years.

Albo has been on the phone to Emperor Eleven to ask if China will hold off invading until 2035.

Wry & Dry #32 FY-24. Bumper post-Easter issue.

Robert Kennedy is an American environmental lawyer who promotes anti-vaccination misinformation and public health conspiracies. With an energetic blend of left-wing idealism and right-wing conspiracy theories, in his own mind he is the perfect person to challenge Sleepy Joe and the Trumpster for leadership of the free world. Which he has done.

His many university degrees will not help him as much as his name. Insert a middle initial, add a post-nominal indulgence and plain Robert Kennedy becomes Robert F. Kennedy Junior. He is a (cue drum-roll)… ‘Kennedy’.

Wry & Dry #24 of FY-24. Brainless and invertebrate. “Keep it up-vibe…” Trusts’ tax.

It’s obvious. The Prime Minister doesn’t have a spine. And the Leader of the Opposition doesn’t have a brain.

If Readers hadn’t already drawn this conclusion before spending the summer swimming in the pristine waters of Port Phillip Bay or safely in Sydney Harbour, then the new year’s emissions of cant and idiocy from these two icons of incompetence will have settled any doubt.

Wry & Dry #23 FY-24. Bumper Christmas Issue

Wry & Dry needs to remind himself, and perhaps some Readers, of the major global events of 2023:

Jacinda Ardern, the Queen of Woke and Incompetence, gave herself the DCM

In an outcome that surprised the world, Emperor Eleven was unanimously re-elected as President of China

In a bullet fired into Tsar Vlad’s foot by Tsar Vlad, Finland became the 31st member of NATO.

Wry & Dry #22 FY-24. Emeritus Chairman Dan’s resume. Hamas: making money. GDP per capita falls.

It was feeding time at the media zoo on Wednesday. Hot on the heels of the PISA report showing that 26% of Victorian 15-year-olds’ educational proficiency was too low “to enable them to participate effectively and productively in life,” the long-awaited Ombudsman’s report into the Victorian public service under Emeritus Chairman Dan Andrews was fed to the salivating media mouths.

There was more than enough for indigestion. Victoria’s public service, the Ombudsman’s massive report said, is “ruled at the highest level by a culture of fear.” No subtlety there.

Wry & Dry #21 FY-24. Heaven: a busy week. Dubai: COP that. US: Haley’s comet.

It’s been a busy week at the Members’ Entrance to the pearly gates to heaven.

On Tuesday Charlie Munger arrived in a limmo longer than a bus. Charlie was Warren Buffett’s conservative investment alter ego. He arrived and immediately began arguing with St Peter about heaven’s recent investments (remembering that time doesn’t matter in heaven): “That St Peter’s Basilica property development in Rome was a waste of money.”

Wry & Dry #20 FY-24: Optus: J’Accuse …! Inflation. Netherlands.

It took an hour for Marie Antionette to be taken from her cell to the Place de la Révolution. On the way to the guillotine, she was jeered and abused by the Parisienne Mob. The Mob wanted a head on a platter. And it got it.

More recently, it took three days for Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin to go from appearing before a Senate Committee to self-decapitation.

Wry & Dry #19 FY-24: Albo: What. Me worry? UK: sinking ship. Israel: maths.

Political opinion polls published on Monday screamed gloom for Albo. His preferred PM rating had fallen to 40% from 47%.

In response, Albo gave the Alfred E Neuman comment. Well, he actually didn’t say it. He didn’t need to: the same poll showed the Coalition’s primary support falling to 30%. Albo will be soundly sleeping; albeit in the pointy end of a Qantas A380.

Wry & Dry #18 FY-24: China: Echo Wall. Epidemics: RDS. Iran.

The news last week that former PM Keating had lost it completely with a recurrence of RDS was only a modest surprise. The bad news this week is that RDS is spreading.

Readers will recall that former PM Scott Morrison hailed his 2019 election victory as a miracle, for which he himself was entirely responsible. Clearly hoping to repeat the miracle in the epicentre of miracles, Morrison flew into Israel over the weekend.

Wry & Dry #17 FY-24: China. Keating. Anti-Semitism.

Some weeks ago, Wry & Dry suggested that the incoming head of the Productivity Commission Ms. Michelle Wood might get the DCM before starting her job. Her then sin was proposing an inheritance tax.

Wry & Dry mused then that perhaps she suffered from RDS. Proposing an inheritance tax certainly got the headlines.

But then on Wednesday, she again put her head above the parapet.

Wry & Dry #16 FY-24: Trumpster: diary. Anti-Semitism mask. Albo’s straining belt buckle.

Saturday: Florida. Played golf with some champion golfers. An Irish fella called McIlroy, a chick from South Korea, Jin Young Ko and a bloke named Tiger something. I WON!

Sunday: New Hampshire. Spoke at a rally. Told them “I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela.” I am willing to GO TO JAIL to defend democracy. Mandela was a patriot, like me. India should be proud of him.


WRY & DRY #15 FY-24: Voice over. Sleepy Joe’s great speech. Never mess with a nun.

The Voice debacle gave rise to claims and counter claims that would make a lawyer richer than Croesus. The most risible was from journalists, newspaper-letter-writers and deniers who blamed the loss on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.

Really? Dutton would be pleased to claim he single-handedly defeated a campaign backed by the full forces of the government, the ACTU, an overwhelming casket of cash, the major churches, large companies, universities, the major sporting codes, major industry superannuation funds and… Alan Joyce. SuperDutton? Yeah. Nuh.

Wry & Dry #13 FY-24: Disaster: Chairman Dan’s DCM. Trumpster the fraudster. PwC.

In a DCM-move that surprised many, Chairman Dan gave himself the DCM on Tuesday. This is a disaster of great magnitude.

Cartoonists all over Australia have lost a subject that yielded the Everest of political satire and ridicule. They feasted on the opportunity provided by arguably the most hated politician since Julius Caesar, whose DCM, unlike Chairman Dan’s, was not self-inflicted and caused by 27 knife wounds from six grumpy conspirators.

Emboldened by his own outstanding oratory and aided by an Opposition as weak as the Wallabies and as divided as post-war Germany, a fawning media and an upper house cross bench that were easily bought, he bestrode the political world like a colossus.

WRY & DRY #11 FY-24: Inheritance tax? Q just won’t go away. Deja vu all over again.

In a media debut up there with Moses publishing the Ten Commandments, the incoming Productivity Commissioner on Monday called for the re-introduction of inheritance taxes. Ms. Danielle Wood got the gig only last week.

Ms. Wood could make history. Her role doesn’t commence until November, and she could get the DCM two months before starting her job. In fact, to give herself even more of the attention she clearly craves, she should give herself the DCM.

Wry & Dry #8 FY-24: 40 years in the desert. Photo of the Year. No Russian mushrooms.

Moses had 40 years of wandering around the Sinai desert. His budget had red ink as far as the Red Sea, as demands upon his goatskin purse became larger. An ageing population, shrinking revenue base from date and palm sales, the need for increased defence spending to counter Egypt, that nearby wannabe world power, and his ballooning NDIS costs all caused grief.

But, with the help of manna from heaven, after those 40 years he somehow led the Hebrews to the land of milk and honey.

Wry & Dry #7 FY-24. “No child will live in poverty.” Trumpster the mobster. VinFast what?

When the Indians are circling your wagon, the lessons of Politics 101 are clear. Divert attention away from the Indians until the cavalry arrives. What better diversion than a big, ‘nation building’ policy.

Former PM Bob Hawke was a master at this. Readers will remember either of “no Australian child will live in poverty” and/or “we will plant one billion trees.”

Wry & Dry #41: Russian rebellion. Irony. Upsetting the treasurer 101.

Today, there isn’t a person in the world who is not familiar with Russia’s highway M4. And that it starts on Rostov-on-Don (more-or-less) and finishes in Moscow, some 1,100 kilometres away to the north.

It was along this stretch of mostly wide and smooth asphalt that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army (Wagner Group) commenced its threat to Tsar Vlad’s restful night’s sleep. It left the difficult terrain and unfriendly people of Ukraine for the ease of a paved road and reasonable cafes.

Wry & Dry # 40: He quit. Banks’ win-win. Seek.kp.

A Senate report accused PwC of “obfuscation, intimidation and unwillingness to give full and frank explanations.”

Of course, Senators never obfuscate, never intimidate and are never unwilling to give full and frank explanations. Of course.

Wry & Dry #36: Ceiling restored. “I’d like to thank…”. Five more years.

Make no mistake, some individuals at PwC should end up either in the slammer or fiscally eviscerated. For either or both the original crime and then the cover up. Those bean-counters clearly didn’t spend their formative years studying history. How could they not have known that former US president Richard Nixon was shredded for the Watergate cover-up, not the crime?

Wry & Dry #34: Sleepy Joe’s real reason for not coming. How to paint a debt ceiling. Cane toads?

Sleepy Joe has decided to cancel his trip to have gumnut tea and a lamington with Albo. His acolytes speak of the need to negotiate the raising of America’s ‘debt ceiling’. Nuh.

The real reason is the worry that Sleepy Joe might fall victim of the food on the Jetstar flight to Sydney.  And return to the US in a more horizontal position than is usually found on Jetstar. Then Armageddon: Kamala Harris would get the gig in the White House, at which she has already been measuring up curtains. 

WRY & DRY #29: Dreadnoughts, Never x 5, Stadium envy.

The very earnest Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton still doesn’t get it. The Coalition will be on the wrong side of the House for at least the next election and probably the one after that. So, surely, he should not act like a Leader of the Opposition, but rather put down markers as the alternative Prime Minister.

WRY & DRY #28: Sorcerer. Besties. Millions.

Three and a half weeks ago, Apprentice Jim Chalmers presented to the world his pleasant sounding but really vague ‘objectives of superannuation’ paper. But as each new subsequent morning dawned, he found that he had become the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It started as a theoretical ‘shoot-the-breeze’ exercise that would lead to a rational way to increase taxes on some superannuation investors. It soon turned into a media circus, the RPM of which was daily increasing.

WRY & DRY #27: Tsar Vlad’s Butcher’s Bill. Sleepy Joe’s train ride. Grim Jim’s super Trojan horse.

Twelve months ago today, Tsar Vlad told his lads to park their tanks on a neighbour’s lawn.

The problem was that the neighbour got grumpy; showed spirit; had some powerful friends; and Tsar Vlad’s well-oiled military machine was found to be, well, an embarrassment.

A 56-kilometre single file of Russian tanks and trucks stuck in a traffic jam on the road to Kyiv would have comical if not for its deadly purpose.

Wry & Dry #21 Seeking privacy. Surrender. Price caps.

The current “something must be done” panic by Albo over energy prices shows that Albo is ill-prepared to manage ‘events’ over which he has little control.

His thought-bubble of energy price caps is now floating to the clouds, untroubled by process or clear thinking. Y’see, he has walked into a trap of his own making.

Wry & Dry #17. SMSF demonisation. COP-27 is in Asia. Peak crazy avoided.

Over the years, there have been many federal ministers who had no idea about their portfolio. Whether Liberal (Scott Morrison, Prime Minister), Labor (Jim Cairns, Treasurer) or National (Barnaby Joyce, any portfolio), the list is long.

But in these modern times, Readers would expect deeper talent, especially in matters fiscal. Err, no.

Wry & Dry #14: Bumper issue. Outlasting a lettuce. Budget? Smudge it. Back to the future.

The last two weeks have unarguably been the UK’s biggest unforced humiliation since Suez. After the UK gilt market and sterling collapsed, she dumped her ideological newbie Chancellor of the Exchequer; agreed to overturn polices she backed days earlier; and fired her Home Secretary (is there an Away Secretary?). It was only then that her parliamentary colleagues began to wake up from their afternoon snoozes at their St James’ clubs. And looked at the latest polls.

WRY & DRY #4: If you are under 45 you don’t know…

So the Trumpster returned this week to a hero’s welcome from an audience that sees him as only a little less than a saviour that came down from the cross. Which contrasts to his own view of that he is actually The Saviour.

Wry & Dry #3: Unemployment plummets, ATO happy

The folk at the ATO are depressed most of the time. Imagine that your sole purpose in life is to extract dosh from every worker and many non-workers. Nobody is going to invite you around for dinner. Or to meet the future parents-in-law.

But help is at hand. Thanks to the massive anti-pandemic and Allow-Me-To-Buy-Your-Vote fiscal stimuli, Australia’s unemployment rate has plummeted to a 48 year low of 3.5%.

WRY & DRY #2: Borisgonski

Borisconi was straight out of ancient Greek central casting. He was blessed by the gods with brilliance, breeding, ambition, (in his youth) good looks and easy charm. But the gods also gifted him flaws: arrogance, dishonesty, explosions of childishness and a wandering sexual appetite.
“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”