Wednesday, April 16

The wit of John Howard

Those who know me will not be surprised to know that I'd expect The Wit and Wisdom of John Howard to be a very slim book indeed, right up there with the Reforms and Vision of the Howard Government and The Italian Book of War Heroes.

But credit where it's due. Our former Leader does show some promising skills as a standup comedian.

In a self-deprecating address to the Liberal Party faithful in Brisbane the other night, his first speech in Australia since his defeat on November 24, and immediately following his lap of honour through cheering throngs of neo-cons in the US, he said that despite his many years in office, he'd realised his diplomatic skills need honing.

Part of being in Texas was to go down to College Station which is where the library of the 41st President of the United States, George Henry Walker Bush, is located.

We had a very pleasant occasion and a gathering of supporters and friends turned up and I was invited to make a few remarks and one of the questioners got up and said would you name three things that, you know, you are really proud of about what you did as Prime Minister?

And I said, well yes. Chronologically, the first thing I'll start with is gun control.

The Brisbane audience laughs. John Howard pauses, then with the timing of a professional comic, looks around and says:
That wasn't their reaction.

I have to thank the AM show on ABC Local Radio for this snippet, reported by the ABC's Donna Field. I would have posted this item yesterday, but like many others trying to use ABC Online's redesigned website, I found myself blundering through a maze of impenetrable navigations links and pages which refused to open.

ABC forums now carry many protests from users who say the new ABC Online Local Radio pages have been changed for the worse. And it may be true. I've never had so much trouble following up an item I've heard on the radio.

Still, if you want the AM report, here it is.

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