The Potemkin Museum of Antique Humour
Recent Acquisition: Clarke, J (aka Fred Dagg), Australia
An Honest Man (circa 1979)
Ah, yeah g'day. Now I'd like to have a few words with you concerning the very interesting remarks made during the year by that nice little Mr Howard who is employed as a reader by Malcolm. And now that the dust has paid settlement tax a couple of things do seem to demand analysis.
The first of course is that Small John has been making a courageous attempt to redefine the concept of the honest man. Now you, or I and certain other head-in-the-cloud no-hopers I can think of might cling to the antediluvian view that an honest man is a man who is honest. And, on a purely superficial level, this would appear to be not totally unreasonable. But apparently, on close and heavily subsidised inspection, this transpires to be unsatisfactory thereby failing to incur satisfaction tax as laid out in Schedule 6E of the annual map of the buried treasury.
An honest man is not a man who is honest; an honest man is a man who is dishonest but is quite honest about it. A man who hides his dishonesty, now he'd be a dishonest man. But disarming honesty about previous dishonesty is apparently OK. Of course the dishonesty in the first instance is annulled by the subsequent honesty and any reference back to it would be the act of a dishonest political point scorer.
If a man decides to be honest about his dishonesty, not only is he an honest man but, if he does it consistently, he can be said to be a man of principle. Although having to be dishonest in the first place, in order to be honest about it later might worry some of you older people who foolishly accept that being a man of principle is something akin to being a man of principle.
A good example of all this, is the way Malcolm and the Gang of Plus Fours have turned the country upside down in order to get inflation down. And now they say this time next year, inflation won't have come down. And unemployment won't have come down either and the CPI won't have come down and the only thing that will come down is the honest and highly principled August Budget and with any luck, it'll go down with all hands. I'll get out of your way now, I'll see you later.
Acknowledgements: Thanks are due to Chris Sheil at Back Pages for linking to this report in the SMH and to Zeppo Bakunin, who turned up the cassette tape from which this transcription was made. Any errors of spelling punctuation etc are of course down to the curatorial staff and not the original artist.