Crikey readers will recall the nerve-racking shortage of Kevin07 t-shirts in the lead-up to November’s federal poll — a situation that threatened to derail the desire of loud-mouthed inner-urbanites to prance around with their Kev-fetish emblazoned across their bleeding hearts.

By October the shirts were going gangbusters — at one stage both Rudd’s office and the now defunct Kevin07 website ran clean out of stock. As the days ticked by and a decked-out Maxine danced to the din of the trade union band, those who had volunteered their credit card details became increasingly tetchy. The federal ALP was also in limbo, waiting for a fresh batch of sweatshop specials to stem the red tide champing at the bit to satiate their sycophancy.

Enter Victorian State Secretary Stephen Newnham and Assistant Secretary Kosmos Samaras. Reeling from The Oz’s revelations that the bargain $7 price tag was only possible through the exploitation of export processing zone labour — a fact initially hidden from the press pack through the savvy use of scissors — Newnham and Samaras decided to take matters into their own hands.

While the Feds dithered over an Australian-made alternative, Crikey understands King St decided to print up a batch of knock offs at Mr Happy T-Shirt, one of those dodgy DIY stands in suburban shopping centres that Kevin himself made a habit of visiting every other day during the campaign. It comes as no surprise that Mr Happy sources its threads from deep within Guangdong Province.

Newnham and Samaras passed the contraband off as the real thing and flogged it off to panicked Victorian punters at the same rate as the official Kevin07 merch. But what happened to the proceeds from this shonky stop-gap? Presumably the dosh was ploughed back into dubious state-based internal polling shenanigans.

As the ink begins to fade on Mr Happy and our emancipatory dreams recede into a Hayek-lite dystopia, the temporarily starstruck can sleep safe in the knowledge that their hard-earned is being used to prop-up a cabal of King St acolytes operating with almost zero grassroots support a long, long way from Canberra.