A TRAIL OF broken promises suggests it is beyond the hope of any man to make an honest woman of Julia Gillard, but if Tim Mathieson were to proffer a ring this instant there seems a chance our prime minister might grant him the opportunity to try. Royal weddings can have that effect on gal’s heart, even a small, flinty republican one. And what a touching scene it would make, certainly if captured by the same Women’s Weekly shutterbug who did such a wonderful job of misting all the lenses before Australia’s last election.
This time there would be reporterettes and anchor babes to take down all that delicious chatter of trousseaux, the hen party hijinx, and to record those girly giggles over racy gifts (“who knew they made these things with sustainable clockwork drives!”) from Penny, Jenny, Nicola, Tanya and Kate. The Werribee Romeo would be snaped on bended knee and Gillard above him, casting a Mills & Boone gaze at her suitor over the topsail swell of that formidable bosom. What romantic soul would not think of Foo made flesh at such a moment, that famous nose peering not over a mere fence but to shared lives beyond the altar, where the road of love transects the plains of passion?
And the ceremony, that would be lovely too, just like that other wedding taking place tonight in London. That would be the union the Chaser team was banned from lampooning, much to the astonishment of the ABC. It will not happen here, mind you, not if and when Australia’s leader is churched. She wouldn’t mind at all if the Chasers turned up, perhaps to hunt down Craig Emerson in the rearmost pew and capture his lovelorn tears at what almost was and might have been. Nor could she have objected if one of those comedic geniuses impersonated the groom’s grandfather and spouted a lot of anti-Semitic silliness -- just one of the witty, wonderful gags, according to last night’s Q&A, with which the ABC was planning to amuse the world from Westminster Abbey.
Such fun, and so much Chaser-style potential! A knee-slapping joke about Princess Di? Yes, please, lots of those, because that is the ABC’s style these days. (The humourous hope, perhaps, that the bridal carriage would not be guided by a French chauffeur?). And who would think this Chaser episode complete unless the altar boys were quizzed on priestly sodomy, at least one $10-an-hour security guard was not confronted by his smirking betters, and salty language, which denotes a comedian’s “edginess” and much of the ABC’s primetime viewing, was not scattered all about, random as a journalism professor’s punctuation.
Yes, Mark Scott would have deemed the ABC’s money well spent on a show like that. As it stands now, unless Julia says “yes” and saves the day, all that cash for general preparations, the Prince Philip makeup, flash costumes, oh-so-witty gags and advance footage will have been wasted. And it would have to be a significant sum indeed, if the makeup and production values of that Q&A clip were any indication.
So rather than see such a large chunk of the ABC budget squandered, Ms Gillard must help to balance the budget by inviting the Chasers to her own wedding and giving them free rein to run with at least some of that now-unusable London material. And being the sport she is, we can all be sure she would welcome the chance for cackling at the mother of the bride or the hiding of dead mice in her wedding cake.
It is, after all, exactly the sort of thing the ABC was planning to inject into somebody’s else’s wedding, so it would have to be both right and proper for our maybe-bride-to-be’s special day. Otherwise people might say our prime minister is, in addition being a liar, a hypocrite to boot.