Not since Sen. Bob Brown referred, many years ago, to “a slowly unfolding kettle of fish” have we heard such a finer exponent of the tortured metaphor as that rug-selling carpetbagger, and sometime school-bully, Mr. Andrew Wilkie MHR. This week, on the ABC’s “4 Corners”, he opined that the Gillard Government’s implementing pre-commitment technologies on poker machines is:
one of the key issues upon which my support for the Government hinges.
From the same interview, the dippy but poetic parliamentarian explains vividly:
It wasn’t on the radar. No senior politician in the Government or the Coalition would go anywhere near an issue like this with a barge-pole. It’s an absolutely [sic] minefield for one of the big political parties because it is just so hard.* [...]The highly conductive member concludes:
The moment I opened my mouth publicly I became a lightning rod.
People will be helped but if for any reason the wheels fall off and these reforms are not realised, so long as I know I’ve given it my very, very best shot, then I’ll be able to live with myself afterwards.
* such language, seemingly, is contagious: the reporter, Matthew Carney, explains: “Julia Gillard was locked into Wilkie’s deal. If Gillard didn’t make the reforms law by Budget 2012, Andrew Wilkie would pull the pin.” The pin, no doubt, not of a grenade but of a lock’s hinge.