A satire of this.
Followed shortly by this. And of course this.
HUGE BREAKING MASSIVE INSIDE SCOOP POLITICAL STORY By a political correspondent somewhere gunning for the Man Booker Literature Award.
It was 10.40pm on a mild, temperate evening. The harbour water sparkled with reflections of Sydney's capitalism. Kevin Rudd was entertaining guests at Kirribilli House. It was just like any other social gathering. The chink of wine glasses. Polite, erudite conversation. Occasional bursts of civilised laughter. Cate Blanchett would smile that illuminating smile as Rudd regaled them with stories of the gloriously successful 2020 summit only months earlier. Kevin would blush at her solictitude. It was just like any other gathering.
Only at this one, their quaffing was to be interrupted by an event which would shake Australian politics forever to their core.
Rudd's aide approached hesitantly, almost furtively, with the news. There was a phone call. It was George. The guests tried not to fuss, but the sudden hush gave away their tension. Kevin stood, erect. Purposeful. It was George. That George. "Excuse me" he said, with a knowing nod in the direction of Hugh Jackman. "I need to take this call". With a swift tug to uncrease his rented suit, he strode off in the direction of his study.
The most powerful man in the world was lost in the messages on hold. Kevin picked up, hit the speakerphone and fired a firm but polite instruction to his aide: "Take notes". He caught the POTUS halfway through humming the jingle.
Very, very informed sources very close to the real sources, smuggled out of Kirribilli against the wishes of a humble Rudd who clearly seeks no attention for himself, have confirmed it. This was the conversation which took place:
"Gud-day" said GWB, attempting the traditional Aussie greeting. Kevin winced. "I just rang to talk about this economic summit we got..."
"Damn it George" Kevin blasted, politely but firmly. "You know how I feel. G7 just won't cut it..."
"Don't 'but Kevin' me, George. You know damn well we need China. I love Europe as much as anyone, who doesn't. But they don't have the stones to deal with Asia Pacific financial matters. For starters, everything in Europe is really close together, so transport is cheaper than here. I know. I've been there. I was there last week".
He was right. He had. And the month before that. And the month before that, twice in July, and once in June with a stopover in Dubai where he met the Maktoums. He repeated. "We need China, and you know it." He was firm, but polite.
"Damn it George. We're in a dangerous new phase and all you want to do is pander to your Euro friends. We need China. We need South America, and the Middle East. Hell, if you don't want to talk to China, I will. I speak Mandarin, you know..." He was right. He did. GWB wouldn't hint at it, but Kevin knew he was impressed.
"...but Kevin..." again, and again the Prime Minister stood tall. "You know we have to go G20 George, it's the only way." He waited. The pause grew longer. Kevin, and his aides, could hear GWB's breathing labour on the other end of the phone. Slowly, Kevin was flooded by a shocking realisation, his countenance changed as it does when his polls drop.
"George....?" Kevin said politely but firmly. "George? Don't tell me...you don't even know what the G20 is, do you?" The response was silence. "Good God" said Kevin, glancing at his aides and shaking his head discreetly. There was fire in his eyes now.
There was a muffled response. Another realisation, almost as shocking. "George..." said Kevin, firmly but politely, as a parent counselling a guilty child "George...are you holding the phone the wrong way up?"
Shuffling and scratching sounds at the other end. "Of course not, Kevin. I know how to hold a dang phone". The Texan accent was beginning to irk Kevin. "Fool" he said under his breath so that only his aides could hear. He didn't care if Washington heard it too. He was past worrying. There was a worldwide economy to centralise and plan. The puppy love cravings of an outgoing American president were the least of his problems.
"I've spoken to them all, George. Get with it. Taro, Bambang, Ange. They all agree with me. What about you George? What's it gonna be?".
As one aide told me later "He was like a bull terrier- polite, but firm. He stood up to the most powerful man in the world, made him look deep inside himself and question his manhood. Kevin exposed this supposed world power broker for the bumbling, uneducated buffoon that he is and in doing so became a real, credible, world political player himself. It was inspirational. It was damn near sensual..."
It's history now that within two days GWB had caved, defeated, deflated, and called a G20 summit for Washington, just as Kevin had urged, politely but firmly.
But for now, it was all about K. Rudd. To the rapturous applause of his assembled aides, some in tears, Kevin Rudd, erect, proud, strode back to his guests on Kirribilli's slightly browning lawns. They too stood and applauded, barely able to quantify the realisation of being in the presence of sheer political will. Kevin smiled, raised his hand. "The Flirtinis are on me."
This time, it was Cate Blanchett who blushed.
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