There’s a burning question facing this country as the resources boom tans and the world recession looms: who is Australia’s best Bond villain, in politics, business or media?

Professionals call this the “white cat rating”, as in “s/he’s only one white cat away from being a Bond villain …”. For years the unquestioned No. 1 Bond villain has been Michael Costa, former Trotskyist, former Laborist, now hard-core Hayekian, and, in five years, the guy in a saffron robe giving out free paperbacks in front of Gopal’s vegetarian restaurant:

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The only caveat on Costa’s hold on the title is that, with the waxed head, designer specs and comedy eyebrows, he juuuust overshoots the Bond settings all the way to Austin Powers. One million dollars …

Does make you wonder when you look at Costa, “what’s he thinking when he gets his head waxed?”: “Ah yes, people will really listen to me on utilities recapitalisation if I look like I’m going to blow up The Daily Planet with a mind ray.” Asking for a friend.

So Costa has overplayed it a little, and he has stiff competition in the white cat stakes from Senator David Leyonhjelm, on account of the good Senator acquiring an actual white cat.

Look at that snow-white creature, asocial, uncomprehending and struggling to be free. And it’s holding a white cat.

Those are strong contenders, though we think there are others. Glenn Lazarus, for example — the “brick with eyes” might not be a Bond head baddie, but he does a great evil henchman. Here he is:

Sorry, that’s Jaws, aka Richard Kiel. Here’s Lazarus:

We gave him a white cat for this shot, but he ate it.

Well that’s a start. We’re after other nominees. Clive “Boss Hogg” Palmer? Send ’em in. Free bits and bobs for the best new nominee.

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Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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