Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Phil and Harold and Big Ted and JB
And finally, a note of comedy in this otherwise grim State Election Campaign.
Well, that's probably unfair. Truthfully, the leaders have done their best to make us laugh over the past four weeks. Ted Baillieu's plan to fix the Melbourne transport system by buying seven new trains was a great example of absurdest humour, while the Premier's policy of sending all the State's Year 9 students to camp was probably the most laughable big campaign launch announcement in the history of Australian politics. And the sight of both of them with shirt sleeves rolled up and ties tucked into pockets while they try and play cricket or weld doors or anything else that their advisors have told them that 'regular' folk do, never fails to make me laugh.
But Big Ted and JB have been outdone in the comedy stakes, by none other than Australia's favourite annoying busy body, Harold Bishop. Or, should I say, Australia's former favourite busy body (see below), AKA Logie winning actor Ian Smith.
Former independent MP Phil Cleary, a mate of Smiths, is having a tilt at reliving his glory days and running for the State seat of Brunswick. He's long odds to snatch the seat, which is seen as a two way contest between Labor and the Greens (with Labor favoured).
To try and drum up some media attention for his outsider campaign, Cleary asked his acting mate to come with him to a media event on Tuesday morning. Cleary would be talking about rural planning policy, the TV networks and major newspapers would be there, and having Harold Bishop alongside would add a little juice to the event.
Except the TV networks didn't show. Nor did the newspapers. At least, not at first. One newspaper photographer finally came, 40 minutes late, and started taking photos of Cleary (who is something of a minor Melbourne celebrity himself). After taking a few pics, the photographer was set to leave, without having photographed Harold at all. When Harold complained about this, in classic hissy fit fashion apparently, the photographer told him that:
'He hadn't recognised him.'
Even for someone who spent their whole career on 'Neighbours,' and so has to be something of an industry joke, that's gotta hurt! But Phil and his mate are undaunted. They'll be back again on Saturday, handing out how to vote cards at the Brunswick Town Hall. They'll be there all week folks, don't forget to tip your waitress.