Five Things We Learnt at the G20


1.    Tony Abbott is terrible. 

Some of us knew this. Some of us had a niggling fear at the back of our minds. It’s like…living in a tiny country town. There were, like, three boys in town to choose from and, no, none of them were ideal. Clive Palmer is confirmed cray, even though he’s loaded. Kevin Rudd is soooo annoying. Like you dated him ages ago and it started off cool but then got lame real fast. And then this new kid moved to town and like…he looks like a lizard’s foot and seems a bit weird but all your friends are like GO WITH HIM TO THE DISCO OMG, HE’S SHINY AND NEW AND WHO ELSE WOULD YOU GO WITH ANYWAY?? So now you’re going steady with the coolest, newest boy in town. Squee.

But then one weekend you and Tony pile into his pickup and go to the big city for something to do and suddenly your eyes are opened. Omg. Boys everywhere. Cute boys, well-dressed boys, boys who aren’t misogynistic lizards. It’s a smorgasbord. And suddenly you look over at Tony who has awkwardly got himself into a three-way handshake with Barack and Shinzo Abe and is yelling at Vladimir from across the room and you feel humiliated.

Your boyfriend is a small-town hick and super lame. Then he gets up on a barstool and addresses the crowd with an unenlightened, awkward speech that’s incredibly out of place amongst the sophisticated, cosmopolitan city dwellers. And you just want the earth to open up and swallow you because the shame is so great. 

2.    The patriarchy is real. 

The G20 cohort itself evidences the need for more women in the workforce and for more women in positions of power. Of the 27 G20 leaders and invited guests, only 3 are women. That’s 9%. Thankfully that particular elephant in the room was addressed and now we’ll wait to see if anyone makes good on their promises.

3.    Tony Abbott is a dibber dobber.

Did anyone else feel like TA’s opening address was, as Bill Shorten put it, "weird and graceless”? It also felt like he was dobbing to teacher about how the mean kids on the playground wouldn’t accept his co-payment idea while playing doctors and nurses, thus making it “massively difficult” for him to ruin lunchtime for everyone. Or that his swell idea to privatise Australian universities and hike fees is being opposed because students are just soooo tight and want to spend the vast fortunes they all possess on booze and videogames which is sooo selfish. All Tony wants is for teacher to give everyone else detention so that he and Joe can tear up the playground unhindered.

4.    Australia is not on board with climate change. At all. Not even a little. 

There’s no denying it. TA is determined to sit back and do nothing about climate change. He won’t change his mind. There will be no midnight visits from the ghosts of climates past, present and future to miraculously alter his view. If the cumulative anger of the Australian people won’t convince him, and the charm and good looks of Barack Obama won’t convince him, then let’s just all give up, buy some coal and ride this train straight to hell.

5.    Public holidays are just the best

Despite the terrifying and over-active police presence, the general air of tension, the massive disruptions to all services and the public underscoring of Australia’s backwards trajectory, it was all worth it for that sweet, steamy 3-day-weekend. God bless the weekend and long may it reign.