After delivering the budget

The Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has just delivered the annual budget, and straightaway he sat down and wrote this poem:

From these high walls I look at the town below

Where the natives of Pa cluster like a swarm of flies.

How can I govern these people and lead them aright?

I cannot even understand what they say

But at least I am glad, now that the taxes are in,

To learn that in my province there is no discontent.

I fear its prosperity is not due to me

And was only caused by last year’s abundant crops.

The papers I have to deal with are simple and few;

My arbour by the lake is leisurely and still.

In the autumn rain the berries fall from the eaves;

At the evening bell the birds return to the wood.

A broken sunlight quavers over the southern porch

Where I lie on my couch abandoned to idleness.

11 thoughts on “After delivering the budget

  1. You certainly do your homework, Teri. I particularly liked this:

    “If you are new to budget night, a quick translation – one of the government’s favourite party tricks is to unveil eleventy billion for infrastructure on budget night that doesn’t seem to get spent by the time the final budget outcome rolls around.”

    1. I don’t know of a single other one, and especially with this poem, which made me think immediately on Cincinnatus, except for the idleness. Are there any other similarities, besides retiring to the farm? Doesn’t sound like it.

      1. As far as I know Josh Frydenberg doesn’t spend much time ploughing.

        Rather modest of him to hide his light under a bushel by adopting the name Po-Chu-i as you’ll see in the tags

        1. So he’s being a humble Chinese wise man rather than an esteemed Roman?

          Also, I really liked some of the detail in the address. I don’t think that the average American politician describes exactly which diseases they plan to eradicate.

              1. The govt was hoping AZ would do most of the work because it’s being produced here (and is a lot cheaper and easier to handle) but because of the warning against it for under-50s they have had to scramble to get more Pfizer, which is now happening. Novavax is supposed to be coming later in the year. We have had our first AZ shot. Unfortunately the fuss over AZ has made some people wary of any vaccine at all, so the uptake hasn’t been what was hoped. People have got complacent because we haven’t had any local cases for a long time, just a few coming in from overseas and quarantining.

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