So apparently it’s poor manners for K07 to barge in unannounced on a group of spritely senior citizens making beautiful music, lest he bring forth a massive downer upon the room. Did anyone else cop a load of this on the telly?

There’s little I enjoy more than a lively campaign moment, and they don’t come more lively than pensioners in bow ties stomping up to the leader of the ALP mid-choir performance and calling him an ignorant bastard. The drama! Music may have charms to soothe the savage breast, but not if Prime Ministerial hopefuls make it their business to crash pre-prepared renditions of I Arise From Dreams Of Thee with some ill-timed balloon waving and genial nodding.

According to Labor sources K07 was ‘invited’ to attend the Devonport seniors’ club choral afternoon, but that didn’t stop two very red-faced biddies packing up their Jew’s harps and leaving in an offended huff.

“You wouldn’t catch John Howard doing something like this,” blustered one, well on the way to giving himself a colourfully intense angina attack.

I’m not sure he’s entirely correct in that assumption, given JWH’s current devotion to all things over 60 – an afternoon’s jive at a blue rinse brass band concert may be right up his alley – but the point was well and truly made. K07’s toe-tapping amongst the crowd was an entirely unwelcome distraction. Rumour has it even Mavis’s sponge fingers went untouched, which may be the biggest scandal of the entire campaign given her previous blue ribbons in pastry.

Actually, it’s been a week of random abuse from older Australians, with John Howard’s morning power-stroll interrupted by some genius in a rowboat shrieking out the words ‘bloody ar-ehole’, enlivening things considerably for all of three seconds. Not for these gents the highbrow wordplay of a well-considered political debate – in times of tumult and a sweaty race towards the finish line, there’s no better option than a well-placed bout of swearing.

Here’s hoping there’ll be a bit more of it over the next four weeks…if anything’s going to knock these smooth-talking professionals off their perch it’s a foul-mouthed grandparent or two. Kudos.

Peter Fray

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