04 September 2007

A PECuliar lockdown in Sydney

"all leaders will be given Speedos (budgie smugglers) and thongs....seeing John or George in a taffeta dress and high heels certainly won't do much for the economy"

This week Sydney is in 'lockdown' mode. It is one of those nowadays terms which simply means 'restrictions of movement'. It's quite interesting really as in the past few years buzzwords like 'lockdown' and 'collateral damage' have entered mainstream vocabulary. I am sure there are many more but at present these two seem to be the most common.

The reason that Sydney is in 'lockdown' is because the Australian Government, led by John Howard, are hosting the APEC forum. I am not going to go into what APEC stands for, but in layman's terms it is a bunch of world leaders from a number of Pacific nations who come to a host country for a junket, eat lots of food, drink lots of alcohol, get spoilt and are gifted a ridiculous local outfit to wear! Aside from the Junket I believe they also discuss economic matters that affect all the citizens of the 21 countries that are in attendance. Leaders from world super powers such as USA, China, Russia, Papua New Guinea(!) and Japan etc will be in Australia's number one city. Hence the main reason for the tightened security is that George W Bush is coming Down Under!

Sydneysiders are not keen on the APEC forum being in their city. Simply, we do not like having metal barricades built to keep any protesters at bay and thereby restricting our daily movents. Also, the rites of passage that the dignitaries are getting at the expense of the locals leaves a bitter taste in our mouths.

However, despite this there are a few pressing issues that are really worrying the locals. The most important being what item of clothing will John Howard be presenting to all the other APEC leaders. The idea is that it has to be based on a local theme.

A common train of thought is that all leaders will be given speedos (budgie smugglers) and thongs (flip flops, or jandals for my Kiwi readers). If they apply a bit of zinc cream to their noses they will certainly look 'fair dinkum'. Somehow the thought of seeing John Howard (age 68) and George W Bush (age 61) showing off their speedos might put tourism to Australia back 50 years! Mind you some women might like to see Vladimir Putin in speedos as I believe he makes Russian women hot and flustered. Or it could be the Stoli vodka they have been drinking!

Another suggestion is to give them a blue singlet (vest), blue stubbies (shorts) and thongs. With a fake beer gut and a corked hat they should start to feel at home. Some wag has suggested that the item of clothing should have a 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' theme. Again, seeing John or George in a taffeta dress and high heels certainly won't do much for the economy or help the environment. Mind you, if it meant that John Howard had to wax his eyebrows then it may be a good thing!

I suppose time will tell. Given the limited photo opportunities that the press are going to have the secret item of clothing will be revealed later this week.

There is another interesting issue that has come to light recently. That is that no press will be allowed into any of the conventions or seminars that are being held. Official statements will be issued by APEC on a regular basis. What this means is that there is no way of knowing what the leaders will be discussing!

Well I got to think about this and came up with two possible suggestions. The first one would certainly appeal to George W Bush.

I have this vision of John Howard going up to George and saying, in his best monotonic drawl, "how about a game of poker, George, with the rest of us lads and lasses" "We can play strip poker if you like" George would probably respond and say "okay, but not strip poker as I don't want to see 20 other world leaders naked!" John would then come back and say"rightio George, I am the dealer though - this is MY country after all!" Then the APEC leaders would settle down to a game of Texas Holdem Poker while their staff work on a statement that would be circulated to the press stating that discussions were 'fruitful' and 'ongoing'.

The other suggestion relates to a craze that is really taking off on a global basis. Given our PM's belated entry into the modern world via technology (i.e. internet), they could all create Facebook profiles. Once this has happened they could add each other as friends and then play scrabulous against each other via the wonder of Facebook! The winner would then decide what economic policy to adopt. Naturally, given the poor grammar displayed by the White House recently (Sidney for Sydney) a panel of wordsmiths will have to be on hand to verify all words!

So there it is my take on the true events that will be happening during the APEC forum!

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