PRIME Minister John Howard returned to Australia from the East Asian Summit with a plea for Australians to ignore text messages calling for more riots.
"Don't take any notice of them, be sensible, enjoy the sun, it's Christmas and have a good time and, for heaven's sake, remember you don't achieve any advances in this world through the use of violence, thank you," Mr Howard said.
[Brendan Nicholson, The Age]
"(Let's) celebrate the fact that this is still the greatest country in the world in which to live and let nobody tell us otherwise and let's not wallow in self-pity and self-flagellation and self-criticism."
And anyone who is the least bit unhappy, or has difficult personal problems, will be prosecuted, under the Happiness Act (1995 as amended).
"If there are some longer-term lessons to be learnt then the time to reflect on those is not right now," he said. "Maybe there were warning signs around that have been ignored and shouldn't have been ignored."
But with Christmas coming up, we'll ignore them a little longer. With luck we'll get through to the resumption of Parliament without another bucket of shit hitting the fan.
"Some of it is just incredibly bad behaviour fuelled by too much drink … We ought to calm everybody down, deal with the law breakers, support the police."
And the rest, let's be quite clear about this, has nothing to do with the R-word.
"I have a very simple view that this country should welcome people from all around the world, and benefit from that, providing when they come to this country they become Australians. That's my simple philosophy full stop."
What is mine and what it is too. If those foreigners aren't prepared to fit in, well what can they expect. It's the Australian way. Which, I remind you, is not at all racist.
With every man and his dog finding dire predictions from yesteryear on how things were going to go terribly wrong sooner or later, I can't see any good reason not to join in. Here's something some poms wrote 32 years ago:
Once upon a time, long long ago, there lay in a valley far, far away in the mountains, the most contented kingdom the world has ever known.
It was called Happy Valley, and it was ruled over by a wise old King called Otto, and all his subjects flourished and were happy, and there were no discontents or grumblers, because Wise King Otto had had them all put to death along with the Trade Union leaders many years before. and all the good happy folk of Happy Valley sang and danced all day long, and anyone who was for any reason miserable or unhappy or who had any difficult personal problems was prosecuted under the Happiness Act.
(from The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok, Palin et al London 1973)