In a remarkably brief period of time, the independent MPs who decided Australia’s political future have achieved more for rural Australia than many advocates and politicians have in their entire careers. One of them, Bob "your force from the North" Katter -- the man with the big mouth and the silver hair and the shiny white Akubra -- very quickly and very loudly began an awareness campaign that would have pleased previous colleagues and associates of mine no end.

Some of these former associates have dedicated their professional lives to "getting the word out there". Then here came Bob, with his trademark straight-shooting style, thundering from the mountain, the Australian press eating out of his weather-beaten hands.