I’m in the same mind set as a net friend who recently said that he just wanted the electioneering to be over and to be able to cast his vote with grim determination. So I’m trying to let most of it pass me by. But the appearence of protestors in body suits added a couple of brief moments of levity this last week.
At the Perth campaign launch Howard was hugged by a large sheep, protesting the live sheep export trade. A few days later a large rat pestered Howard while he was electioneering on the streets in his home electorate of Bennelong, while other protestors called ‘Lying Rodent for PM’ from across the street.
The ‘lying rodent’ tag stems from a sworn statement a few weeks ago by a Queensland Liberal Party branch official, Russell Galt, that Liberal Senator Brandis said of Mr Howard in relation to the Children Overboard senate enquiry: “He is a lying rodent” and “we’ve got to go off and cover his arse again on this”. Senator Brandis denied the allegation on oath, but went on to explain with a barristor’s distinction:
‘He would only ever call Howard the rodent; never a rodent, because the former is a nickname, whereas the latter would be a pejorative term.’
According to the same article,
‘… the PM has been descriptively tagged as the rodent almost as long as he’s been ironically tagged as Honest John. The nickname dates from the long internecine war between Howard and Andrew Peacock some 15 years ago.’
It began as a reference to the way Howard ceaselessly gnawed at Peacock’s leadership, and was adopted by John Hewson supporters for much the same reason.
“We would have to say that it’s quite funny that it’s not technically correct,”
“Unfortunately, most rodents, we have around 30 at our place, actually have a little more integrity than prime ministers and politicians.”