Every so often an idea comes to one with a blinding flash of the kind that makes you want to say to Saul Tarsus “call that a blinding flash, THIS is a blinding flash”. And so it was today.
You see today our glorious leader announced that Australia is to buy JSF, purchase some 5000 of the new F35 fighter jets. Maybe it was 500. Or 58 rising to 100. Whatever, $12 billion worth for the first lost.
Immediately the nitpicking started, as you just knew it would. People pointing out that the plane was nowhere near ready, all sorts of problems, yada yada yada, you know what they are like.
And others asking “where is the money coming from?” (obviously forgetting that only the Liberal Party is allowed to ask the Labor Party that question when those Socialists want to spend money on hospitals, schools, disabled people, the elderly, those sort of namby pamby things they should know there is never enough money for). Anyway, they babbled about the budget crisis that the Liberals said Labor had caused and they were fixing, so how could we afford $12 billion on planes that weren’t built yet. How silly, Mr Abbott explained so nicely that previous governments had “put the money aside”. Sitting in a flying piggy bank I think he said, and I didn’t even know the Budget had one of those.
But still the naysayers kept up their silly chorus. Why couldn’t this money be spent to make the country a place worth living for instead of one that wanted to kill people? Oh, I get so cross with these people.
Anyway, I saw this photo of Tony Abbott, wearing suit and tie and big cheesy grin, thumb in air, sitting in cockpit of a pretend mock-up of one of these big toys, and suddenly it hit me. Remember the story of the Emperor’s new clothes? Well, why wouldn’t it work for defence? I will never see the actual planes, destined to arrive over the next 35 years or so, nor will most people in Australia. Nor will I ever see the credit card receipt for $12 billion. All I have seen is Abbott in a fake plane SAYING he is going to buy real ones. Everybody will just assume he has. As will our potential future enemies, whoever they are (since our PM has been wandering the globe assuring every country they were our new BFF).
SO – we don’t need to actually go ahead with the purchase. Do you see? We pretend we have invisible planes that can be seen only by the truly patriotic Australian, and we will all see them. As will our future Best Enemies Forever. I mean, who is going to dare invade a country that says it has 500 (pick any number you like under this strategy) of the best fighter jets in the world eh?
And better still, the plan would work for the whole defence area. Collins class submarines? Sure, dozens of them, patrolling our waters, running silently and deeply. Sea Sprite helicopters? How many do you think? Oh, and aren’t they amazingly quiet, and doesn’t that invisible paint work well? See what I mean? Need spend no actual money at all on this stuff (unless you wanted to get the equally invisible Green Army to build some tanks out of wood and canvas like the Americans did in England before D-Day to fool the Germans into thinking the Emperor of India was indeed clothed in tanks), would really be a little quiet mouse of a country, but one everyone was afraid of.
And the beauty is, Mr Abbott, two birds with one stone, magic pudding, you can spend the same money on health and education and old people etcetera. Good thing it was put aside eh?
What’s that Mr Abbott? You don’t want to spend it on those things?