In the wake of his crushing electoral defeat, and personal inability to continue on as the leader of the Australian Labor Party, the husband of Chloe Shorten (also known as ‘Bill’) has engaged in some serious soul-searching these past two days.
The swing that was promised, the swing that would deliver Labor a parliamentary majority, and would deliver Bill the famed Prime Ministership, failed to eventuate, and in fact, a number of key electorates swung away from the Labor Party. They swung toward the Liberal Party, in a way many commentators are describing as ‘unorthodox,’ ‘atypical,’ or even ‘reverse.’
On Monday morning, grappling with this so-called political concept of ‘reverse swing,’ the husband of Chloe Shorten called the foremost expert in the field.
Steven Peter Devereux Smith.
Once Australia’s beloved Test cricket captain, Smith had disgraced his reputation in Cape Town, 2018, as he oversaw a team policy of using sandpaper on one side of the ball to generate ‘reverse swing.’ Reverse swing, in the cricket context, comes about when one side of the ball is so rough that air flows faster over the smooth side, causing the ball to ‘swing’ in the direction of the smooth side.
This is in contrast to conventional swing, which tends to both a) deliver the ALP the Federal Election, and b) swing away from the shiny side, and is more dependent on wrist and seam position.
‘Billy, how can I help?’ said Steven, answering the call of the Opposition Leader.
‘I told you, Steve, it’s Chloe Shorten’s Husband. That’s the legal name on my passport now. Anyway, I had to ask - is there any way to predict reverse swing? If I see reverse swing coming again, is there anyway to reverse the reverse?’
‘Unfortunately, Shorten, there isn’t,’ replied Steven, much to Chloe Shorten’s husband’s annoyance. ‘You can take an off-stump guard and try to cover your stumps the best you can, to prevent the inswinger, but then you’re a real risk of edging to the keeper or the cordon.’
‘Well then, how about conditions? What makes reverse swing happen?’ pressed Shorten.
‘The ball needs to be roughed up, so reverse swing tends to happen in hotter, drier climates, like country Queensland,’ said Steven, confirming Shorten’s worst fears.
Muttering something about ‘fucking Queensland,’ Chloe Shorten’s husband hung up, and poured himself a tall glass of Mountain Blast Powerade. It was going to be a long Monday.
No more to come.