I don’t claim legal ownership of Channel 7’s groundbreaking “Tower of Power” graphic last night, or the cartoon cartwheeling Kevin Rudd, or Jeff Kennett’s moustache. Do I feel a certain moral responsibility for these things? Perhaps I do. But more importantly, for you at least, is just how much I contributed to Mr Rudd’s landslide win.
The term “Ruddslide”? One of mine. I put it to the ALP campaigners way back, noting that it connoted both an overwhelming victory and a potential Wobbies-World-style adventure ride. The perfect combination.
And when I vetoed Rudd’s planned “nerny nerny” speech in favour of a gracious address to the country, I think I pricked up a few ears.
But the real kicker came when I told Rudd to accept his inevitable victory to the sounds of a rockin’ tune with a 70s bassline and some mad wailing licks. As per my decree, this tune will now be heard any time our new Prime Minister appears in any public or televised situation. As it should be. I was minorly disappointed that my further suggestion – Solid Gold dancers introducing the track, feathered arms windmilling to suddenly reveal Rudd in gold-lame hotpants windmilling wildly before dropping into a “whatever!” frozen pose – was dismissed like a Whitlam government, but I guess that’s democracy for you.
In any case, when Kev hit the stand it was done to a tune that would have done Hendrix proud (or at least Cat Empire) and if he wasn’t exactly air-guitaring, at least the rest of Australia was.
Here’s some bonus inside goss: if you’re wondering why it took so long for Howard to show up and concede the big boot-print his behind had just acquired, it’s simple. 11 years in The Lodge and not once – NOT ONCE – had he done any cleaning. If you thought the mad scramble to fix up your crappy student rental property when an inspection was announced was kinda manic, you should have seen John when he saw the election results sitting on his torn, crusty Kirribilli house couch. He looked around at the remnants of Downer’s regular keg-parties, the deep furrows Costello had left in the parquetry every time he dragged his coffin full of maggots down the hall, and Jeanette’s jelly bath, and uttered a deep sigh. And then, of course, remembered the toilet. 11 years without a simple wipe-down or swish of the Toilet Duck ™ is bad enough, but do you know what an exclusive diet of ham milkshakes and human baby jaffles does to a PM’s digestive system?
Oh, you do? Well there you go.
Howard hadn’t really expected to lose. He’d spent most of election night sitting on his crusty couch drawing a picture of Rudd on his clenched fist in a way that made the gap between his thumb and curled forefinger appear to be a mouth, a biro-penned set of glasses at the first knuckle completing the impression. This allowed him to feel very cultural (and was in fact the only element of the Libs 2007 arts policy) as well as providing him the opportunity to engage in imaginary debates with the then-opposition leader. He would scrunch up his nose as he made “Fist-Rudd” squeak out placating phrases like:
“My glasses are smaller than yours!”
“Gillard is a big girl, it’s true!”
“I love you Lenin I want to have your babies!”
There was a tense moment when Jeanette walked in to find her husband gently, absent-mindedly running the soft, talcumed hand along the length of his cheek and whispering, as if to himself, “but I really DO acknowledge your superiority, esteemed leader” but Howard quickly defused the situation by tearing the fleshy face from his hand with the teeth he had cautiously sharpened earlier in the evening using a small nail-file and spitting the bloody pulp onto the floor. Whew! (When cartoon Kevin choose to do a cartwheel across his plasma screen at just that moment, well, it was weird, sure.)
And when Jeanette came in and told him that the nation was waiting on his admission of defeat, and that the pike-mounted goats’ heads and virgin-blood pentacles in the bedroom weren’t going to clean themselves up, and that after the good times they’d had it really was their responsibility to leave in a dignified fashion, all he could do was blurt “Screw my ‘responsibility’! Screw my ‘nation’! Screw everything!”
Poor Jeanette. In her quiet, understated way, it was heartening to hear her mutter “You’ve spent 11 years doing that, John. It’s time to go. Our people await us.”
And so they set about stuffing their pockets with stationery and free toiletries.