WHEN WE WERE kids, my sisters and I weren’t allowed to watch TV during dinner. The risk of seeing John Howard was too much for my parents to bear. In the months after he became prime minister, Mum and Dad wore their opposition proudly, chortling of his imminent demise and slapping a ‘Don’t blame me I voted Labor’ sticker on our dusty family van.
But as the Howard months became the Howard years, their mood turned first to frustration – Dad would refer to him no longer as ‘the miserable little man’ but ‘the little shit’ or ‘the little dickhead’ – and eventually to enforced censorship. Should the PM slip through their low-fi parental block, unexpectedly cropping up on the 7.30 Report beside Kerry O’Brien, he could expect an incoming missile before having his feed cut. My mum was throwing shoes at Little Johnny long before it became fashionable on Q&A.