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Turn of Phrase....

There has been a bit of a kerfuffle about the language used by Italian PM Berlusconi in the course of the current election-campaign. Maybe the words reflect a desperate man clinging to the hope the electorate will return him to office.

Probably not since Federal MP Jim Killen have there many Oz parliamentarians with the gift of the gab let alone the capacity [or intelligence?] to speak off the cuff.

So, it was with delight [and thanks to Crikey for publishing it - full text here on MP's web site] that one could read this pen-portrait of John Howard by Anthony Albanese [Lab] during a Grieveance Debate back in 1998:

"You can trim the eyebrows; you can cap the teeth; you can cut the hair; you can put on different glasses; you can give him a ewe's milk facial, for all I care; but, to paraphrase a gritty Australian saying, `Same stuff, different bucket.' In the pantheon of chinless blue bloods and suburban accountants that makes up the Australian Liberal Party, this bloke is truly one out of the box. You have to go back to Billy McMahon to find a Prime Minister who even approaches this one for petulance, pettiness and sheer grinding inadequacy ...

John Howard has always been proud to call himself a conservative. The problem I think is that he has confused this with preservative. He probably wishes good old Ming had dosed the country with formaldehyde when he had the chance. Because it all started going wrong in the late 1960s. Here is a man who lived at home until he was 32. You can imagine what he was like. Here were young Australians demonstrating against the Vietnam War, listening to the Doors, driving their tie-died kombi vans, and what was John Howard doing? He was at home with mum, wearing his shorts and long white socks, listening to Pat Boone albums and waiting for the Saturday night church dance".


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