Australia is in the middle of a new resources boom; only it's a rather sticky resource that we don't know what to do with.We appear to have accidentally stockpiled way too many former Prime Ministers.
While we used to get through them at a normal rate of one every few years, those that have come off the shelf recently just seem to have worn out - or perhaps more accurately, worn thin - much more rapidly.Europe has had its wine lakes and butter mountains. Unfortunately, Amnesty International would probably get all whiney if Australia started storing its past political leaders within geographical features, even though we've got an awful lot of desert that's not currently being used, even for nuclear testing.
We've learned from bitter experience though, that ex-PMs have a half-life greater than plutonium with much more serious toxic effects, capable of inflicting collateral damage on a Government from a distance of well over 20 years. The concern is that if they're all left roaming around in Canberra there will be fallout on a scale that makes Chernobyl look like a dental x-ray.In these days of environmental responsibility, it seems like a wicked waste not to find some way of recycling them, especially as most of the recent ones were hardly used. Australia tried powering up the Rudd unit a second time but it didn't work for long as someone had stuck a screwdriver in its rear casing. At least we don't need to worry about a retinue of loyal supporters that would take up even more space!
In the US, former leaders get sent off on the speaking circuit, but the oratorical skills of our own recent batch weren’t that flash. One had all the easy-listening appeal of a cat descending a blackboard, another could patronise an unsuspecting audience into a coma, while the last would just shut down and play possum if it sensed danger. If the current leader of the Opposition joins their ranks, inflicting after-dinner speeches on innocent people will be declared a breach of human rights.It would be great if we could use Canberra's cast-offs to promote Australian industry and culture but finding the right causes is problematic. The wine industry has backed right away, understandably concerned to distance itself from sour grapes, while discussions with the organic fertiliser industry are looking promising. Export would be the favoured solution, but there is a world glut of disenfranchised Australians. Ecuador wouldn't even return our calls.
Luckily, Mattel has shown an interest in doing something with the Abbott as it'll give them a way of using up all the Lycra left over from 1980's Barbie. Then we'll just need to find a use for the 1950's policies. The entertainment industry is the only one that's reluctant to see such a rich vein of comedic material leave, but as long as we leave them Clive Palmer and Christopher Pine they'll settle down.
There are fears however, that it may be the wrong time to launch our local talent on the world stage. Even Australia's formidable force of farcical former leaders would struggle to compete with such natural comedy gold as Donald Trump and a population likely to be dumb enough to elect him.