Our Victorian political editor Terry Maher delivers the brightest analysis of the state election you will read anywhere.

They won’t know what hit them, said Little Johnny Brumby, the Colt from Old Regret, punching the air with his fists, I didn’t. Bambi sprung to his side. Those Toffs, they did dreadful things to you and Jim Kennan when they ran this treehouse, I bet, said Bambi.

There were others who were treated much worse, opined svelte Sherryl Garbutt. I refer of course to Comrades Cain, Kirner, Lawrence and Kernot. That lot were really nasty to our heroes and called them horrid names, she said between clenched teeth. Just then, Andre Haermeyer sprung to his feet and shouted out in German (the jetlag meant he didnt realise he was back from his junket yet) that he knew where they all the Toffs lived and they would be punished. I will build new jails to house them, he said this time in English. You will need new laws to put them away, said Rob Hulls. And new roads to take them there, said Peter Batchelor.

I will build safe injecting rooms for their treatment, said Thwaities, but I will require some more nurses. Lynne Kosky suggested that more nurses would require more teachers. Haermeyer said more nurses and teachers would require more policemen and then, more firemen to put them all out when they caught on fire.

BYE-BYE INDEPENDENTS

It was a jolly good show and everyone thought it was a jolly good idea so Bambi took the limo to see the English Queen’s representative in the big house to get the show on the road. As usual, Monica Gould, Marsha Thomson and Christine Campbell were left behind to clean up the big mess in the treehouse after the big secret party. Why can’t the independents do the dirty work? they said. Because they won’t be needed anymore, maybe.

Bambi got rather excited after more cupcakes and cordial with the English Queen’s representative and said a really silly thing at his press conference at a child care centre in Burwood where there was even more cupcakes and cordial.

First a little background. The ladies and gentlemen of the Press Gallery do not like cupcakes and cordial and they do not like to go all the way out to kindergartens in Ashburton to hear a silly speech and silly answers to questions they had been asking in Spring Street for the last month. They were not happy chappies and their questions had a churlish edge to them.

BAMBI vs SIDESHOW BOB
Why are you going a year early? Are the wheels about to fall off? Will you debate Sideshow Bob? Bambi responded: Because I want to. No. And yes!

You could hear a pin drop. Bambi’s minders choked on their cordial. Was the boss mad? Was he beginning to believe his own bullsh*t? Had he swallowed a mirror with the polls?
Bambi is a very pretty boy and very good at reading a script to camera but his minders know that he tends to get a little bit flustered and say some really silly things when you put him under pressure.

Sideshow Bob, leader of the Toffs, is the exact opposite. He might look like the back of a Toorak tram on a Friday night but he is street smart, loves a scrap and is quick on his feet.

Why would you give exposure to the unexposed? Why would you give a sucker an even break? Why would you get into a fight that you can not win? What to do?

Bambi’s minders came up with the Claytons Debate. The debate you are having when you are not having a debate. It is on ABC TV tonight at 7.30 pm so no one will see it. It is on tonight because if you waited another week you would actually have Budget projections to talk about and nominations would be closed so you would know exactly who is standing and for what.

Among the 18 conditions set down by Bambi’s minders are that Bambi both open the batting and bowl the last ball. May the best man spin. I bite my worm at them!

I am sure there are some very good teachers in the world but Crikey hasn’t had the pleasure yet. Bambi and Sideshow Bob are both teachers and both Geelong supporters. Bambi’s other claim to fame is that he was once a financial adviser to the fiscally-challenged Guilty Party Premiers Cain and Kirner. Maybe it was a case of the blind leading the blind. Maybe it was teaching by negative example. Whatever, both sides are claiming to be good economic managers and good at adding up.

ELECTIONS AS KABUKI THEATRE

One of the most bizarre examples of the government/opposition good financial management mating ritual happens immediately before and after each election. Before an election, it is the government’s role to say there is plenty in the larder for a rainy day and the opposition’s role to say the cupboard is bare because it has been wasted by bad management and pork barrelling.

After an election the roles are reversed. It is now the government’s role to say the cupboard is bare and the oppositions to say they are lying and hiding the stuff in hollow logs so they don’t have to spend it on their promises.

Bambi has gone to great lengths to get rid of the Guilty Party stigmata and even made himself the Treasurer when elected in 1999 because he didn’t trust anyone elses fingers near the till. This proved to be a very wise decision as, for some inexplicable reason, Jeff left the Socialist spendthrifts more than $1 billion in the kitty that he hadn’t got round to spending before he got kicked out.

For the last two years Beancounter Brumby has had charge of the purse strings and seems to have done a reasonably good job at being parsimonious and keeping the Budget in surplus. But how hard can that task be when you have the lowest level of unemployment and the highest level of payroll tax, a three-year-long property boom with resultant stamp duty bonanza and an annual $1.4 billion windfall take from gambling.

Why then does Sideshow Bob say the wheels are falling off, the cupboard is bare and the surplus is dodgy?

Basically because the Auditor-General says those boomtime revenue streams are vulnerable, we’ve already lost $515 million gaming on foreign equity markets and because spending is up 30 per cent under Bambi and revenue is up only 20 per cent. The building industry is also about to be blown out of the water on December 6 when Terry Cole hands down his report.

Here comes the deficit, says Sideshow Bob. Here comes the Guilty Party back to gorge themselves at the trough, he says.

Bambi says that spending is up because he has to replace all the public servants, teachers, nurses and policemen that Jeff sacked. But how many has he employed?

Sideshow Bob says ABS figures show there has been a rise 17,000 public servants over the period of the Bracksward Government. This figure is said not to include increases in nurses, teachers and police.

Bambi says the real figure is only 466. Somebody is not telling the truth. There might only be lies, damn lies and statistics but then there are also claims by political parties at election time.

MTC no doubt.

Peter Fray

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