Local, Opinion/Comment

Acts 1 and 2 from the Coffs Council ‘democracy theatre.’

So, Councillor Townley wants to give us the benefit of an independent assessment to pacify the community unrest! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  It makes one feel so secure to be immersed in a democratic society where truth will be heard.

Satire by Tom Strickland

TONIGHT TONY JONES OF ABC TV’s Q & A (BELOW) WILL EXPLORE THIS PROPOSAL WITH THE MAYOR OF COFFS HARBOUR:

Tony Jones

Act 1.

“Good evening Madam Mayor.” … “Good evening, Tony.”

Q: Who will select this brave chairperson to conduct this independent inquiry? A: The General Manager.

Q: Who will interpret the agenda/goals of this ‘independent inquiry’? A: The General Manager.

Q: The umpire’s whistle is held by whom?  A: Oh! The General Manager, of course!

Q Who will provide a balanced, unbiased account of community concerns? The General Manager.

Q: Whose province will it be to furnish information to the independent inquiry? A: The General Manager.

Q: To whom can the ratepayers direct their opinions/questions in this independent inquiry? A: The General Manager.

Q: Who will approve the remuneration payment for conducting this independent inquiry? A: The General Manager.

Q: To whom will the independent inquiry report be submitted on completion? A: The General Manager.

Q: Who will oversee the preparation of a synopsis of the independent inquiry for the media? A: The General Manager.

Q: I suppose the General Manager will march triumphantly into the Council Chamber as a vindicated hero?  A: How did you possibly guess? And with his “big-boy” pants on too!  This independent inquiry will calm the waters.

NOW IMAGINE WE ARE COMFORTABLY SEATED IN THE NEW PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE THAT WE ARE NEVER GOING TO HAVE:

Act 2.

It’s the opening night of the very first performance in our new auditorium. The lights dim, the audience is hushed. As a tribute to Coffs Harbour’s thirst for cultural edification, the Director sourced inspiration from one of the world’s oldest cultures. A beautiful glossy programme announced the presentation of Gilbert and Sullivans famous production of ” THE MIKADO”.

Three little maids……..

The inside cover synopsis read:

“Japan’s 19th Century city of Titipu is harshly ruled by a tyrannical government. Led by the fearsome Mikado, the government functioned through – Nanki-Poo, Ko-Ko, Poo-Bah, Pish-Tush, Go-To, Katisha and three little maids, Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo and Pitti-Singh. As Lord High Executioner (Our Great Mikado, virtuous man) he ruled with an iron fist. Under a regime of fear, the Mikado held absolute power over the city. His terrorising threats included:

” His teeth, I’ve enacted    Shall all be extracted   By terrified amateurs”. His most notorious act was the public beheading of miscreants for almost any misdemeanour. All beheadings must be carried out as quickly as possible to prevent any uprising that may threaten his omnipotent authority. The statutory stay of the execution period was one month. Terrified citizens fell on their faces in homage when he approached. The Mikado would stare down his frightened citizens with threats of future retribution. “I’ve got them on my list, There’ll none of them be missed. There’ll none of them be missed”. Their fearful hymn of praise and adoration:

“Behold, Behold, The Lord High Executioner!” This hymn of sublimation repeats regularly throughout the story, for fear that the wrath of their Lord High Executioner may lead to the severance of their head”.

Opening night was a roaring success.

Old favourites like “Three Little Maids From School”. “A Wandering Minstrel I” and “I’m So Proud”, titillated their cultural pallets. Repeatedly, the theme music lauded their much loved “Behold the Lord High Executioner”.

In the Finale, the Chorus Line did the company proud. A Magnificient demonstration of choral excellence brought the audience to a rapturous level of enjoyment.

It was at this moment that the Director took licence to depart from the script. As the volume rose on the final lines, they sang the reprise: “Behold, Behold The Lord High Executioner! (Again) Defer, Defer THE LORD HIGH GENERAL MANAGER!

The Audience offered up a standing ovation. Brave men wept, as nothing has changed in 200 years!

2 Comments

  1. Many a true word spoken in jest!!!

  2. John Christie

    Great satire Tom and an accurate description of what is actually going on today in Coffs Harbour.
    How did our town get lumbered with McGrath having such a dubious working history? Pity those CHCC staff that work in this GM’s regime.
    Why has our, once a nice person, mayor turned against her subjects?
    Comical but sad satire for all Coffs Harbour residents.
    If this money wasting project isn’t stopped and we don’t sack the GM, Coffs Harbour will become the country’s laughing stock.
    We don’t deserve this!

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