What follows is an early draft of a letter, leaked to satirist Ben Pobjie, written by Matt “the accidental Italian” Canavan to his associates in the Australian mining industry. Look closely and you’ll notice subtle clues that suggest Canavan isn’t quite so unItalian as he has tried to make out. For example, have you ever known an Anglo-Celtic Australian who could make such a difficult-to-refuse offer?

My dear Paesani Friends,

You have by now probably heard of my recent difficulties regarding citizenship, which have forced me to step down from my position as ministro minister — I would like to express my deep personal sorrow at the actions of my mamma, which have forced me to take this step. No matter what has happened, I am and remain a proud Australian, as Aussie as Vegemite, Crocodile Dundee and spaghetti alla puttanesca. However, I also want to reassure you that even though I may no longer be a membro del Consiglio in Cabinet, that does not mean I have ceased fighting for you, my compagno d’armi comrades in the mining industry.

The fact is that, like all Members of Parliament, I took an oath when taking office — an oath to represent, to the best of my abilities, the interests of Australia’s resources industry — and even in my current reduced circumstances, I have no intention of abandoning that oath. Today our industry is beset by all manner of pericolo danger, from climate activism to excessive red tape to the rising cost of spades. But when faced with such challenges, I pledge that as your representative, I will go to the mattresses for you against your enemies. Our vendetta against them will carry on as fiercely as ever, and I can assure you that even as a backbencher, the would-be destroyers of mining will find me a very spicy meatball indeed. Sooner or later, anyone in Australia who wishes to sabotage our prosperity will sleep with the fishes.

It is true that some of my fellow deputati MPs have been ambivalent on the issue of keeping our industry strong, and it is perhaps the Machiavellian Richardsonian machinations of these individuals that resulted in Mamma making me Italiano senza che io lo sapessi. But I am here to assure you that mi amore for the extractive industries remains as strong as ever. You have no greater amico del cuore in government than Matteo Canavaneo, and as long as there are rocks in the ground and people willing to dig them out, I will fight for their right to do so without let or hindrance. Thank you for your continuing support and Dio benedica l’Australia!

Distini saluti,

Il Duce.