The gloves are coming off in the coverage of John Howard’s deafness. Today’s Herald Sun has chronicled the previously taboo subject of the PM’s mishearings in parliament:

In recent weeks Mr Howard, who wears a hearing aid, has made a few slips in Parliament…

Yesterday, he appeared to mishear a question about the views of media bosses on broadband, confusing Fairfax chairman Ron Walker with Fairfax CEO David Kirk.

The day before, Mr Howard was asked whether Australia had a contingency plan for an early withdrawal from Iraq, as the US did.

He said that such a plan was normal, apparently admitting Australia had one.

Later, Mr Howard said he thought the question was about the US contingency plan.

But Howard’s troubles are nothing compared to those faced by the BBC’s Mr Tumble.

According to The Sun, TV favourite Mr Tumble has been greeting toddlers by saying “I’m f***ing you” in sign language. 

The CBeebies character says the gestures mean “I’m happy to see you”, but angry parents have accused the BBC of jumbling up their signals due to the unfortunate placement of Tumble’s thumb:

But whatever Mr Tumble’s deficiencies in signing, he may hold to the secret to a clearer set of Prime Ministerial communications.

On agriculture policy:         


On transport policy:            


On global warming policy:    


On renewable energy policy:


On education policy:            


On environment policy: 


On the economy:       


On the US alliance:    


As for Mr Tumble, he had us at hello.