PORT Macquarie is a lovely spot, the tranquility disturbed only by the crackle of support hosiery hardening in the sun and the crash of Zimmer frames as Rob Oakeshott shoulders aside any senior citizens silly enough to have placed themselves between their local member and the nearest microphone. A public address system was operating yesterday in the town and Oakeshott was, as usual, behind it. These days the Member for Lyne is a bit more subdued, as are his poll numbers, so the audience was spared yet another of those copyright sermons about integrity and independence that accompanied his post-election decision to represent a conservative electorate by throwing in his lot with Bob Brown’s kept woman and her crew. But the ego was not entirely absent, as Port Mack’s long, thin streak of self-importance made clear while discussing why he may, or may not, back the Prime Minister’s carbon tax on everything.
It will all depend on the evidence, Oakeshott told an audience consisting largely of constituents who believe the planet to be melting. You cannot fault him for that. Facts are good things to weigh when making important decisions, although one might quibble about the evidentiary standards Oakeshott and his sort believe to be sufficient, emotion and preconception all too often figuring as Exhibits A and B. But let us give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that belief and faith are powerful analytic tools. Indeed, let us put theory to the test with the week’s most important question: Which AFL teams will triumph in Round Six’s remaining games? A hard-edged punter will make those calls on the strength of stats and form, but the Oakeshott method, as with the carbon tax, puts purity of motive at the fore.
Swans vs. Blues
Swans are gentle and graceful creatures while the Blues are actually, as the club song states, the Navy Blues, coloured by a heritage of seaborne militarism and ironsided imperialism. It is clear Sydney is the more moral team and deserving winner.
Kangaroos vs The Power
No-brainer, really. A native animal trumps a carbon-spewing electricity generator every time.
Tigers vs Lions.
Now this is a tough one, as both are large and endangered cats, so the moral advantage is difficult at a glance to discern. Tigers, however, kill more humans, which makes them planet-friendly activists for a better world.
Crows vs. Saints
This one is counterintuitive. Yes, all members of the corvid family live in tune with Gaia’s moods and seasons, while any invocation of the holy and haloed can only bring to mind Tony Abbott’s much-detested Catholicism.
But there is a kink in that logic. As a series of stolen photos recently brought to public attention, at least one of St Kilda’s stars is a devotee of all-body waxing. This suggests a yearning to reclaim the innocence of childhood, to reject all those wispy notions of adult responsibility and the electric-powered razors that go with them. From croup to nuts, the naked Saints quite clearly deserve to take this one.
Bombers vs Suns
The Suns, of course.
Magpies vs. Bulldogs
Another trap for the ideologically unaware. Yes, magpies are natural and organic creatures, but consider the poor bulldog, which was developed for fighting and oppressed by men from the moment of the breed’s conception. Magpies swoop on golfers for the sheer devilment of the exercise, but a bulldog has a real motive for yearning to throw off the collar of servitude, rise up and savage its oppressors.
Plus, the Bulldogs are dedicated re-cyclers – the reason they picked up the discarded Rodney Eade, who was unable to secure a flag for Sydney and is staying true to that form at Whitten Oval.
So, gentlemen, place your green bets and watch as Gaia nobbles the unworthy: Come Sunday night it will be Swans, Roos, Tigers, Saints, Suns and Bulldogs at a sprout-fuelled canter.