With just two days before we have to run the gauntlet of the queue of well meaning electoral assistants outside our voting station of choice, Kudelka, Australia’s best Howard caricaturist, has delved back into the past.
With a Prime Minister who keeps emphasising what has happened in the past this seems appropriate. Although the Battle of Troy may be a little further back than even Mr Howard is willing to go.
Legend has it that the great warrior Achilles was dipped by his mother, Thetis, into the river Styx when he was a baby. This led to him becoming invulnerable everywhere except for his heel where she was holding onto him, leading to his eventual downfall involving years of expensive physiotherapy.
As politicians are generally at least 99% heel, this form of invulnerability has been somewhat ineffective for them.
Polytetrafluoroethylene, or teflon to the layperson, is used extensively to coat cookware with the process now being adapted to become the political equivalent of a christening in Stygian waters.
At some point in his political career, possibly at the same time he had his teeth capped, John was dipped into a large vat of the stuff, giving him a slippery, invulnerable, non-stick coating and as he was held by the eyebrows during the process, there’s been none of that Achilles Heel mucking about.
Sadly, even the best non-stick coating starts to get a bit manky after constant and prolonged use and we all know, once it starts to go, everything starts to stick.
Once-devastating bon mots pertaining to the blackness of the kettle on the opposite bench become muffled by the sheer weight of crud welded to the previously pristine surface.The only thing that will get it clean is an overnight soak in boiling water followed by a vigorous scrubbing with a metal scourer, which is fine when you’re doing it for fun, but a bit of a drag in the daily grind of an election campaign.