Howard’s submissive body language

Photograph of John Howard with George W Bush

John Howard’s body language worries me. I want a leader, a statesmen to lead Australia, not a lapdog.

Some years ago, the ABC had vision of Howard greeting some visiting American dignitaries — I think Colin Powell was one of them. Anyway, as people got out of limos and approached each other the US visitors strode forward, calm and confident. Meanwhile Howard hunched down and cautiously extended his hand in a classic primate gesture of submission.

It was like a small-time shopkeeper receiving a visit from The Big City Bank Manager. It was embarrassing.

On the weekend, Howard was still behaving like a puppy-dog to George W Bush, as I think the photo (right) from the Sydney Morning Herald shows. OK, it’s only one frame, but I think it shows a nervous John Howard anxiously looking for approval from The Boss. What do you think?

But hey, have a look at the rest of the photos. At least Hyacinth is in her element. A shame Laura couldn’t make it, eh love?

Who’ll be PM on Wednesday?

Cover of John Winston Howard: The Biography

It’s a good thing John Howard’s very bestest of best friends George W Bush left APEC a day early. Howard could avoid talking about yet another fall in the opinion polls.

On the cover of the recent Howard biography (left), the Man of Steel looks stern and concerned. Apt. If those poll figures are repeated on election day, even with the usual minor swing back to stability, it won’t just be a Labor victory. It’ll be a complete rout of the Liberal/National Coalition.

APEC won’t be the poll boost Howard was looking for. John’s Bestest Best Friend stumbled through his speech like a village idiot — you choose good friends, John! Kevin Rudd looked like a 21st century statesman, cracking jokes in Mandarin with the Chinese president.

Pretty much everybody is saying it’s time for Howard to go — as Annabel Crabb’s witty poem makes clear. But the Man of Steel is in his bunker, fighting to the end.

I do intend to contest [the election], I intend to contest it as leader. That question was settled last year.

In the SMH today, Peter Hartcher says the Coalition would be mad to switch leaders now. I disagree.

Continue reading “Who’ll be PM on Wednesday?”