Australian Federal politician John Chambers Eldridge at his Underwood 5 typewriter in his electoral office during the last year of his term as the Labor Party Member for Martin. Eldridge (1872-1954), represented Martin from October 12, 1929, to December 19, 1931. In 1916, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.Some Australians took delight last week in sharing on Facebook the Mother of Sarcasm meme, "America and Britain are having a competition on who can f*** themselves up the most. Britain [following Brexit] is in the lead, but America has a Trump card." Those same Australians might now be feeling just a little bit silly themselves, given this country did a pretty good job of stuffing itself up in the Federal elections held last Saturday. Silly, that is, if they have any comprehension at all of the ungovernable nation they're created for the foreseeable future. And that in itself is very doubtful. Indeed, if they're still feeling smug, they're more stupid than even I could have imagined.
What's also still doubtful is who will attempt to govern and how. As of this morning, the Liberal-National Coalition has 74 seats of the required 76 to hold a majority (having gained 42 per cent of first preference votes), and the Labor Party 71 (35.25 per cent). The counting and re-counting goes on. Can the ALP cobble together a coalition of its own in order to put little Billy Shorten in charge of our floundering country? If so, he will become the first Australian Prime Minister who has had no experience whatsoever of using a typewriter. This fine tradition includes little Billy Hughes, PM from 1915-23, who was the first of our leaders to use a portable, a Corona 3 (and the only one to ban Remington typewriters). Yes, both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott also used them.
The incumbent Prime Minister, for the time being, is Malcolm Turnbull, who as a child used a Mercedes portable, and later as a Bulletin and London Sunday Times journalist a Nakajima Chevron. Turnbull, who seems likely to remain in power, albeit with a very slender majority, pulled the double dissolution trigger back in early May and during one of the longest election campaigns in Australian history (a tortuous eight weeks) he used this logo to try to get himself re-elected. Please note how close it is in design to the logo for the Early Typewriter Collectors' Association (ETCetera). The upshot, sadly, was that the vast majority of Australian voters interpreted ETCetera as meaning: