Toby got himself invited to the Business Council of Australia Dinner last Thursday, 15th. by flashing his electricity bill pretending it was a one-dollar shareholder certificate in Pilgarlic Green Solutions N/L. That's the outfit which is developing the hydro-electric powered car, and the Pilgarlic Great Sewage Pipe Scheme that empties all Australian dunnies into the Simpson Desert to make it bloom, and many other green solutions too humourous to mention.
His ears flapped like pigeons trapped in a cattery when he heard the PM tell the diners, "International carbon markets will cover billions of consumers this decade. Ask the bankers at your table whether they want Australia to clip that ticket. We’re going to help them get their share. So that’s the work of coming years, that’s what preoccupies my thoughts as I think through the agenda for this country."
I hastily bolted my dessert of Sultan’s Golden Cake; a shame, considering it is made with figs, quince, apricot and pears soaked in Jamaican Rum for 2 years with a topping of caramel, black truffles and a gold leaf, but I had to beat the bankers to have a natter with Ms Gillard. I spat out the figs and that helped.
I caught her just as she was stepping over a path of Turnbull & Asser, Kiton and Armani suit jackets laid earlier by the bankers.
- Madam PM, I wonder if you remember me?
- Why, of course, Mr.Toby. How is Mr. Pilgarlic's solar powered mousetrap coming on?
- Still developing, bit of a shortage of rare earths, but, Prime Minister, that statement about helping bankers to get their share of the Carbon Credit rac-sorry-enterprise?
- I didn't know that you were a banker, Mr. Toby.
- Oh, yes, well...been thinking of starting a bank, and calling it the Green Environmental Climate Change Global Warming Ethical Bank of The New World.
- Why, that is a brilliant idea. If you want start-up capital, it's there.
- Thanks. Look, in one of your early speeches I heard you say that Climate Change is the "greatest moral challenge of our time", how do you reconcile a moral challenge with ensuring that banksters - sorry - bankers get their share?
- Oh, you are so naive, Mr. Toby, a copy of Kevin Rudd almost. That's why I like you. Well, to answer your question, moral questions and making money are not incompatible, you know.
- Good heavens, no. We legalise gambling, prostitution, abortions, all the time. Then collect taxes on them. Marihuana soon. Legalising destructive carbon pollution is perfectly moral. Theologians agree on that.
-Which ones would they be?
- For a start, the ones subpoenaed for the Royal Commission.
- Then this was not just a slip of the tongue tonight? Like saying 'bankers' instead of 'wankers'? Like, "Ask the wankers at your table whether they want Australia to clip that ticket." ?
- (Laughs.) No. I've been on this for years. You might remember my Clean Energy Act last year? Well, in Part 4 Division 3, if I remember correctly, I permit wankers, now you've got me saying it, bankers, bankers, I permit bankers to create carbon emissions derivatives - instruments that are specifically unregulated by my government. Oh, yes. I have bankers close to my heart. Always have.
- Prime Minister, bankers can then create “new” money through fractional-reserve banking practices, loan it and cop the interest?
- Billions, if not trillions? And all without cutting out one single molecule of carbon dioxide? Leaving the carbon dioxide levels to just continue or increase?
- Now you're catching on.
- Breaking in there for a second - something else you said, "In just ten years, Apple’s market value has increased from US$6bn to around US$500bn. Nokia’s market value has declined from US$70bn to under US$10bn. I know which path I want us to be on." What did that mean?
- Did I say that? I have no idea. Oh, yes. I mean that, you know, the iPad is here to stay and all that.
- Prime Minister, your plan is brilliant - for we bankers of course. It doesn't matter a damn what nations sign for Kyoto2. Even if Australia is the only one in it, bankers will make money. Where did you learn all this?
- Oh, in my early days I watched banks moving union slush funds. The underlying principles are exactly the same Toby, it's just like borrowing candy from kids, except you don't give it back.