Ever wondered why a succession of Liberal Ministers keep referring to Beazley’s policy flip flops? It’s because he is fat. And finally Beazley has responded on The Great Debate.

Prime Minister John Howard was doing it in his electorate when unveiling a large photo of himself on the first day of the campaign.

Picking on his favourite and most divisive topic of refugees, Howard said the government would hold the tough line whereas Kim Beazley “would flip and then flop and then flip back again”.

Well all of you out there should know this is part of a deliberate strategy by the Libs to send subliminal messages about Beazley being overweight. And I’ve heard this directly from the inside.

It was heartening to see Kim Beazley confront this tactic head-on during The Great Debate on Sunday night when the PM trotted it out again and the Opposition leader referred to his “insulting language”.

If you go back to the last election you’ll notice one of the catch-cries then was “lazy” Beazley. Same strategy. Reinforce the fatness as people don’t like that.

Now given the names we call people, Crikey stands accused of hypocrisy in describing this Liberal tactic as childish, petty and mean but the pollies should behave better than whacko web sites which call leaders of political parties “Rodent”, “Fart Boy” and “Satan”.

Maybe Labor should consistently refer to Howard’s stubbornness as “policy deafness” because Little Johnny has a hearing problem and wears micro hearing aids.

Or maybe Labor should start making subtle parallels between the Mad Monk’s meanness and abandoned children – given that earlier this year Abbott confessed to having a child out of wedlock in his over-exuberant youth and quickly adopted him out.

Rupert columnist Terry McCrann did a similar thing a few years back by constantly referring to Beazley as “hippo”. It was meant to be short for “hypocrite” but you couldn’t avoid the obesity message and McCrann only stopped when Beazley went on radio and described him as offensive or insulting.

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Peter Fray

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