You need to apologise
What was the problem down South?
I can’t keep walking into your intell set ups. It creeps me out.
We couldn’t have you sniffing around the sugar factories
It was a test. You didn’t go back.
It was a rekky. Besides, I made my point. If you are going to employ young men to do your dirty business, at least have them not treat the subject as a fool. Did you make me sick?
What is so interesting out there that makes you ensure a handler with me at all times?
I have no idea
The Chinese don’t care about what I write.
Yes. They do.
Dramatically Ooooh. That’s because it may not just involve the Chinese.
That would be a problem.
The problem is inaccuracy
There is nothing more beautiful than pulling the pieces together. What an interesting little place it is.
It was our opinion
And all I can think about this week is, who can forget a program about my relatives just as I was investigating big interests in Australia. And you know the strange thing? The story was given to me by intelligence. I mean these yarns don’t drop out of the sky, do they? Now why would Intelligence who gave me the story then want my relatives to be discredited on Australian TV? It could be a tussle you see, between British vs American interests. I mean, you guys post-war have given it to the old guard, now haven’t you? Murdoch meeting Kennedy wasn’t a mistake. The Greeks taking charge. Tally Ho! It could be a desire to make someone committed to public information more of a, let’s say, privacy advocate. In that Roman Catholic sort of way. Or you were just testing me. Most likely. But funnily enough, it didn’t touch me. It never occurred to me that I should be worried. That I would actually care. Laughs You poor bastards. Must have spent months on that one. Cackles, shaking head You never have fucking understood the Irish have you.
I have no
Not a great story for Australian intelligence is it. Australia’s premier investigative public program using government funds to go after an investigative reporter? How are you going to spin it?
And just as you are going after China for state propaganda.
Those are old
No. I think anyone who sees themselves as part of an administration that actually cares about the Fourth Estate, would without a doubt, support an investigation into intelligence being used against democratic citizens. I mean, ordinary citizens. In Australia. Not paid by any foreign government.
I think you need to think carefully about what you are
This is Australian sport. This is the first week of the cricket at the SCG. Howzaaaaat dickhead.
Backlit: Ethiopians covered in white shrouds off to Church.
Well fucking next time I will call a press conference
I step off the fucking plane and I have 20 million little idiots taking cell phone pictures every five minutes what the fuck is going on over there? I nearly decked the Chinese embassy witch that stood directly in my face and clicked away at that shitty little dive they throw us all into so they can intell profiles
We have to have everyone there
Can’t you see me on a fucking satellite? What the hell are you all doing? I mean fuck me have things not evolved?
How would you know. You don’t know anything except what we
I do a pretty good job of not knowing anything, it has served me
Pause You want me to discuss military operations in Africa. Why would I do that?
Because you love it.
There is no evidence!
None? That’s unlike you my little Girl Scout. And entirely unbelievable.
How could I possibly know anything without going to every other African state to really understand what is
You don’t have time. Pauses What about the local concerns?
That’s a stupid thing to say. Manipulative rubbish.They need not to be poisoned by fucking residue from dirty bombs.
Pause There is a large African Union building. And a large UN building.
What the hell does that mean?
It means you should think about it.
Oh thanks very fucking much. That’s extremely helpful. I am sure the Ethiopians are greatly thankful they have had the white honkies and now the Chinese to set them on the right path to Haile Selassie Greatness. I’ll fucking let you know when to bring in the swarm of bees right before they lose all their water and end up swimming in a trickle as big as the fucking Liffey
Wait. I think I see …wait no…yes! A person. She used to be…could be just an epiphany.
Oh go fuck your cheesy balls.
Goes to walk out, stops at door
And some think he was a traitor btw.
Really? Selassie? My Google is doing good research these days.
I got it from an ex-military cabbie
Oh eat my muff cocksucker.
I’m not using local translators
And how do you
They are big fat liars and they stuck me in a tent full of naked women who looked like they wanted to cook me
Well there are a few
Now I have a giant red pimple on my arse and I am pretty sure some bastard convinced a spider to sit on my greatest asset and
Probably wasn’t wise to start an argument with your guides ten minutes into the trip
They’re a bunch of fucking liars
It is called the State. They are your constituents.
Oh yeah? What by editing as they translate and conveniently directing me away from the scene of interest? That’s called horseshit. Patronising horseshit.
They were helping you. As I said, the issue of Chinese sugar factories
Well what do you expect? You just carve out huge swathes of territory, leave the poor local bastards to just deal with it while claiming you are making sugar! If they are making sugar my arse is the Eiffel Tower
Remember when we explained that statecraft and diplomacy was about nuances. About how we say things.
You mean I’m not supposed to make a link between the shape of sugar factories and nuclear rod things
Nuclear rod things. Fuck me
You know what I mean. Those long things you have when you make a plant.
You didn’t go there. You cannot claim anything. The discussion is mute at this point.
You mean it is a moot point.
Don’t go developing an intellect it will kill me.
So let’s assume that through my policy deliberations I advocated the very thing that I am seeing
Oh glory! Could it be true! Reality has hit the tackled punk Echidna wearing dog hair in one of the wealthiest suburbs in
It isn’t the wealthiest
It isn’t the Bronx sweetie but besides that exactly our fucking point! You cannot be everything all at once like some deranged Liberace Kissinger offspring
Why not? Washington is blue and red now that the Democrats have taken control of the
Did you see things and what will you do about it?
I’m not going to bloody tell you, am I!
Seriously, I wouldn’t ask you to do anything, it would be like asking a pavlova to discuss Bitcoin
You are asking me to reveal security details in a country I just visited without all the evidence.
I’m not asking you at all!
Why would I reveal it?
I didn’t say you would reveal it. But surely you know, regarding the environment and things you have seen, contribute to an understanding of the larger picture
Listen. If you want me to discuss strategic decisions being made that facilitate naval power by any which power, just say so. I just don’t know that A + B = C in this situation
Well they may have a different take on things.
According to who? There is a big fucking US base inside the border. Just pull it together and give us a larger picture. Stop being cute. All that Christian crap got to your brain
Here you have an early Christian country. They’re still poor. They’ve been fighting Eritrea and now..peace. They’ve struck it strategically lucky and actually I think
If you want to be the benevolent woman at the centre of a Christian story you must decide that. Decide.
I thought I was Sabine.
You went there for a reason. We have a good idea why. Lose the cuteness and get your shit together.
No-one asked you.
No-one asked you. But we are dealing with it. Your highness.
Good. About fucking time.
Do you think she knows anything?
What can you glean from the pictures?
Nothing. She hasn’t got a clue and I don’t think we should follow this down the
Anyone can just have a look and discern for themselves. The stories of the relocations and
There’s no proof. Why is she focussing on this and not what we handed her on a silver platter?
Because if there is anything to her theory, it makes the whole security scenario a shit load more interesting.
What more than pipes and dams and railways and sugar factories? It’s infrastructure. It is exactly what she was always banging on about.
Why does it trump houses and northern security imperatives?
She’ll move West. Either connecting the energy, possibly South Sudan possibly Kenya.
She’s a pain in the arse. Just let me know what she saw in Djibouti.
Not much. Other than the new construction. She has nothing concrete. Ports. That’s it.
Did she get to Niger?
I think you are overplaying the downturn.
You can’t honestly tell me that there is real economic trouble. Who wants it?
No-one wants it.
Are you ready to tell a large swathe of the great unwashed that economic hardship is what you wish them as you sit pretty on good investments and a roof above your head. Are you? I’m not.
You sound like Pocahontas. We can’t control what happens.
Yes. You can. Don’t do it. Don’t create something that will have major global repercussions and destroy little dumpy countries coming out from under the parapet. Don’t do it.
I don’t know what you are talking about.
No. But I am confident in your abilities to not punish people just keeping their head above water. Pauses Give them what they need. Surprise them.
I thought you thought we were all water barons out to steal the water of the people
Smiles You’re just going to have to find a way to give it back to them. Litigation in the courts over toxic residue. Imagine that global trend.
What I always liked about foreign fields is that they were foreign. And the foreigners who went there were reliable.
Brave New World. Must be frightening for the automobile club.
(Heads on grass, face up)
Do you think I am some sort of Wharton figure? A sort of Howard’s End thing, not understanding the change in climate?
I would never accuse you of not understanding a change in climate. I think you are confusing Remain’s of the Day with Howard’s End.
Well that depends on your reading.
Have you done anything lately? Like read the Congressional reports?
What would be the point of reading about how bad China is? If I’m not on the ground, it’s virtually pointless. When you’re on the ground, there are seventeen layers that suddenly come to you and soak into your skin and it becomes clear. Much clearer than say, looking at art in a book. You can see the brush and then you…and then you think about it until it becomes firm. I mean, if you were serious you’d be in Beijing anywhere just banging down business until you got the look in.
There are plenty of podcasts.
Yes, if you like the sound of your voice. It’s very self important isn’t it. I shall create a tableau of projects to add to my bow and thus remain eternally relevant.
You’d love it. Gets up
Are you off to Japan?
Well the skiing is going to be good.
Excellent. Promise me you won’t hurtle into exotic domains and frighten the locals
I promise to wear any interference lightly
I don’t believe you
Neither do I.
No more striking either.
No. No more facile lovers.
Deal. They hug
Get some new clothes. You’re malting.
Oh it is my camouflage prior to mating. I’m a hedgehog you see.
I don’t think you have a clue what you are talking about. I sat next to you in science in 7A.
Smiles, cycles off
The Lodge is not happy
That’s like Jabba the Hut de-friending you.
It is a tin humpy on a glorified piece of real estate. Prime Minister’s come and go.
Sorry are we talking about a message I got about Jackson Hole while staying in Jackson Street that has been coded to suggest that Canberra doesn’t think I will get a return on my services? Because that’s like using the term ‘climate change’. Or ‘global warming’. I got it the first time.
And what? That could change in a second. People run countries. Not Prime Minister’s.
I beg to
Ah, in defence of the advisor. Always the most paramount interest don’t you think?
Leader’s must be tested
Humiliating an individual is just humiliation. Stop protecting yourselves. Protect the population.
What? I’m not going to discuss the camouflage in the North. Puts book down. What do they want me to say? ‘I saw men in camouflage that clearly are being trained by someone in an area known for demanding independence.’ Too subtle I imagine.
Why do you want me to discuss it? I haven’t finished assessing the elements within the borders.
Then if you could kindly do so.
If you tell me the benefit to the local population, I’ll discuss it. Do they get more money? Is it proxy power play by stealth?
I thought you cared about lives.
Exactly. You know the Balkans was broken up. Tell me, who has benefited? Albanians for sure. Have Western interests prevailed? What about the coastline? Who cares about Islamic lives if they are always the props used for the next move into a heartland? Yes. You heard me.
Most journalists would kill for the knowledge you have.
No. I don’t have knowledge. I have a sequence of events and certain evidence that suggests a whole range of security scenarios that someone wants me to write about. Either, to end my career or prop it up. Neither particularly helpful if you are trying to make the right decision.
Perhaps they were trying to help you.
When I can discern whether or not there is an asset of incredible military value inside the borders of Tigray, I will tell you whether or not I wish to discuss the independence issue. Now please leave me alone. You’ll have to cool those military heels for a bit.
Is that it?
It’s a cracker. Moscow and Ethiopia working together within the borders of the darling US child with direct flights to Washington? Hell yeah. Bloody love it.
I mean, it is background.
Who cares. Now that my friend, that my friend, that is a taste of a brilliant story. I’m telling you. 8% growth on top of everything else going on?
I think you just caught your parents having sex. I am not sure everyone needs to know about it.
You’ve got Chinese factories, sugar, an independence yarn, railway strait to the port, ‘energy pipeline’ to the coast. Popular PM, relocations, a massive new dam, a dead head engineer – shot in broad daylight – new African Union HQ, the UN, young population, Rasta heartland, Christian devotees and divine landscape. The shots would be spectacular. It doesn’t hurt that there are some fine photogenic individuals also around the joint.
Get your tongue off the floor.
But if ever there was an opportunity for the Holy child and Rasta
I thought you were ushering in Marcus for Uncle.
Multi-talented. Under renumerated. But multi-talented.
I hear you bled like the Red Sea. Missed your opportunity it would seem.
Oh not at all. Actually the politics of the Red Sea play into
No. N-O. One at a time. Alright. Dig around. Present something coherent.
Moi? Cogent agent 99 at your service.
Everyone just shoulder bump her this week. She’ll think you are African and our lives will be made infinitely more pleasurable.
Do you think the women are going to make a difference?
He’s building a bastard wall. have to.
Is there some security issue I am missing? Is anyone using it for any other reason other than…..fleeing poverty.
Not that I know of.
Well there has to be be something going on. You don’t build a wall because you want to. teenage boys have been detained and let go.
Imagine those now dependent on the good graces of a new government. How many are we talking worldwide?
Keep you on the straight and narrow.
And the tentacles formidable. We’ll be a minority soon.
Nah. Nothing more pleasurable than keeping the bastards honest. People love it. Keeps them alive.
Yes but unless it changes policy and this heat is unbearable there is no bloody point. I’d say policy vacuum but I am allergic to it.
No, a vacuum.
Take it back
Did anyone hear anything? I swear I heard
You don’t know anything about Rome or Marcus, we are the tea bag. Not the sugar. Not the honey. The tea bag.
You know I wonder about a society that likens it women to teabags. Don’t you?
Cut it out.
Nothing like a few historical references while you’ve got the British and the Yanks sailing their Perry dingy’s around the joint. Aren’t the Canadians railing against the Huawei bizzo oh quick while i am thinking of it, nice new episode of Pine Gap don’t you think?
Moi? Nothing. Zeroooooo.
You’ve said zero about Huawei.
What is there to say? Are we to be surprised that Canadian home owners like selling their houses to foreigners and opening their doors and then wait yes, try to reverse the policy once the power play is in. Funny. It reminds of another country. Somewhere.
Oh. My apologies. I wouldn’t dare point out that we are like most, financial mercenaries that enjoy the money but you know, on our terms.
Look at the onerous loans that most of the world deal with when dealing with the other player. You can’t seriously compare it. It is not going to end well. You are protecting a power that
That story isn’t finished yet so I am assuming a few more plot developments. I am assuming with the Islamic prisons in the West you have gone with a ‘the Chinese are the Germans’ scenario? Sorry, I seem to think about it in strategic terms. How silly of me. Fancy the Africans dealing with the Chinese. Must be disheartening after all you’ve done for them.
I am just about sick of your little witticisms
And I thought I was the tea bag. Are you running the human rights charge against the Chinese arrest?
Naturally we are and you are the prime individual to benefit you pimply arsed moron because if we don’t fight it any discussion of what they are doing in Africa is going to be bloody difficult for you. Can you even conceive of how normal people have to operate in this landscape?
I am extremely aware of all that has been done for me. The sex has been exhilarating.
You don’t seem to understand
I understand very well. Nothing like legal definitions when debating whether or not to endanger the lovely little folk of Asia. You know, one would have to ask what the Catholics believe in. Filipinos and Mexicans. You know, first they are bastardised by the Spanish, then the Americans, then they exit post haste for wealthy countries so they can actually survive. And then, they await deliberations from lawyers about whether or not they might survive geo-political competition.
You know you are in no position to judge.
Precisely. But let’s think about it for a moment this week while we’ve parade around with our ‘capability’. Everyone hates Duterte. But I hear him talk a lot of sense. If they stuff it up, like Taiwan, they might have a bit to lose. Something other countries in the region with more favourable geography might think about.
Being a contrarian serves no purpose.
I have to disagree.