So many questions remain unanswered about the deal cut between the various independents, the Greens and the ALP to return the government to the treasury benches, but none more pressing than who dropped the F-bomb at Windsor and Oakeshott's presser the other day. Two days into the new government, which promised to let the sunlight in, and still we remain in the dark about the identity of the potty mouthed F-bomber.
A good deal of speculation, OK, a couple of comments in a thread over at Crikey, posited Lenore Taylor as the most likely, with Fran Kelly in second place. Nobody thought it was any chance that such nasty language could pass the rose petal lips of Miss Annabel Crabb, demonstrating that most people don't know her very well. Myself, I'd like to imagine that Michelle Grattan dropped the bomb, simply because I find the prospect very, very exciting.
Which brings us, I suppose, to the actual point. Defusing the F-bomb itself. This whole episode has given me to wonder whether the destructive power of the bomb has waned over the years. From overuse, from the deployment of other more powerful weapons of verbal destruction.
I myself am an enthusiastic and veteran bomber, a carpet bomber of explosive profanity when the mood takes me, and opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately I do feel constrained by the presence of young children and old ladies, and I wish that I didn't, but what is one to do? Why, just last Sunday I was very much enjoying delivering a talk at the Brisbane Writer's Festival and felt my juices rising with every risqué bon mot and outre anecdote. But before I could launch into a veritable climax of blue tongued filth, I spied one young boy in the audience, apparently dragged into the event by his dad on Father's Day. What a terribly inconsiderate thing to do to a foulmouthed writer in full flow. I felt suddenly constrained and somewhat choked by the presence of a duckling on the pond, as the saying goes.
But should I have? I know that when I attend a Writer's Festival I expect my ears to burn with the effing and the blinding and the obscene rain of ‘C’ words, especially if Ms. Crabb is attending.
We are all Australians here, a people renowned around the world for the ugliness and vulgarity of our discourse, and yet when someone drops a perfectly ordinary F-bomb at a parliamentary press conference, do you think we can find out who that someone was?
I think some ground rules are in order. Under what circumstances should the bomb be dropped. And, as a corollary, when should the F-bomb stay under wraps?
I await your guidance.