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Faith is a collective bargain

By Michael McGirr

You can’t call yourself a Catholic until you think that, whatever else happens, at least batsmen in the noble game of cricket should have recourse under unfair dismissal laws.

Whenever our local council says that something is about to be simplified, the residents of Inner Springs know that they are in for months of confusion. This has been true recently of the local council’s decision to bring not just industrial relations but all relations into a new, simplified framework.

The local mayor, Howard Winston, wants both industrial relations and sexual relations to be subject to the same by-laws. He believes that endless confusion has been caused by having a two-tiered system in which work and sex are treated differently.

“What we need is greater flexibility.”

Asked to explain, Mr Winston said that Mrs Winston has taken up yoga.  Under Mr Winston’s new system, there will no longer be any such thing as “the marriage union”. Instead, partners will be required to accept any position.

“We will be seeing greater freedom than ever before.”

Taking the public into his confidence, Mr Winston has said that he and Mrs Winston have been together for more than thirty years and have never felt the need for any union of any kind. The couple have no children. Mr Winston does feel a little sadness about this. He mourns the many lost photo opportunities. There have been many occasions on which he would have loved to have rounded off a speech by saying that he wanted to bequeath a better Inner Springs to his children. But his ideological objection to unionism has always been too strong.

”We need to take the baggage handlers as our model. They work on a case by case basis.”

Howard Winston may only be the mayor of a small shire but his vision is much broader. Many national leaders have started at the local level and Winston could be about to join their ranks.

Winston is getting a lot of coverage for his new sexual relations policy. He wants to put every relationship on an individual contract, known as an Australian Domestic Agreement (ADA). These will be supervised by a new body to be known as ASIO, the Australian Sexual Intercourse Office. ASIO will have sweeping new powers, including the right run all Melbourne Cup sweeps. It will also have coercive powers to ensure protection for the traditional rights of partners on anniversaries, birthdays and when there is nothing much on TV.

In an astute move, returned servicemen over the age of ninety will be guaranteed sex on Anzac Day. This is one of those popular vote winners which actually doesn’t cost very much. But tea breaks during sexual relations may be a thing of the past.

“Workers just want to get on with the job,” says Mr Winston.

He has refused to guarantee that no partner will be worse off. People who have questioned his record have been told to get with the times and start talking about his CD.

“This is an era of unparalleled economic prosperity. The whole concept of a record belongs to the age of vinyl, the seventies, long hair and long weekends. CD means Can Do. I am a CD man. In fact, I am now moving beyond that to yet another brave new world. This is about my tenth brave new world. Not bad for a conservative. I now want to be known as a POD man.”

POD means “Partners On Demand”, a new movement which is gathering momentum in the Sexual Relations arena.

Winston has always been sceptical about the forces of nature. He believes that green house gases are nothing compared to what Mrs Winston can unleash beneath the doona after a decent curry. But he believes strongly in the forces of the market. He wants sexual relations tied to interest rates.

“The higher the rate of interest the better it will be for our entire sexual relations system.”

Winston believes that the country has too long tolerated a structural inefficiency where business partnership and any other kind of partnership are regarded as somehow distinct. A moral conservative, Winston has said that this is a serious affront to the natural law ordained by God. He has been backed by Christian groups which have invested heavily in theological research in the area. They have shown how all the great marriages of scripture, such as between Adam and Eve and between Abraham and Sarah were in fact exemplary business mergers. They all lead to increased productivity.

If Winston’s scheme passes into law, couples will be required to charge each other for sex.

“This is a moral victory for the forces of conservative decency. It is the end of free love.”

After every act of sexual intercourse, each partner will have to present the other with a Sex Invoice. The Sex Invoice must itemise all the services that were provided. These will be examined by ASIO with a view to weeding out people who pose a threat to the Australian way of life. The criteria for these decisions will be worked out on the floor of parliament.

Winston says that the Sex Invoice is perfectly fair. He does not want to interfere with market forces but suspects that, in most cases, each member of a couple will charge the other the same amount - so neither will be out of pocket. If there is a difference, then either party may claim input credits. But the real winner is the government. It will be getting the GST we will all have to charge.

“Once I am in power, the libido of the country will rise. I believe we will be claiming enough in GST revenue to be able to provide free parking at all airports.”

Free airport parking is another of Winston’s moral imperatives.

“Every citizen has the right to a public place in a public carpark. I am prepared to close hospitals to provide basic human rights.”

The religious leaders of Inner Springs are divided over Howard Winston. Tuesday Mundy, pastor of the Big Bible Barn and Carpark Cathedral, can’t make up her mind. Free parking would take away her major source of revenue. On the other hand, she can envisage new demand for services as couples will want to Sexual Relations Contracts blessed in church. Instead of her congregation getting married, on average, every five or six years, they will now have to renew their contracts every year. This will be good for florists, good for car hire firms, good for dry cleaners and good for religion.

Our Anglican vicar, Pauline Grace, has been too preoccupied. She is looking for an organ donor. She wants her old harmonium replaced.

And my neighbour, Cardinal Shallots, is more reserved. He hasn’t been feeling well lately. His doctor says that he is at an age when he needs to have his prostate examined. The doctor calls this a pop smear.

“When you get older,” he says, “you realise there isn’t a contract in the world that can provide what you need. You’re just glad that people will hang around because they love you.”

 


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