Today my daughter was playing with her pink superball while my son was asleep (it’s small, so she’s only allowed to get it out while he’s sleeping). I heard her mutter to her toys while brandishing the pink superball, “This is the Prime Minister, and if you do something he doesn’t like, he will bounce in your eye.” My husband has pointed out that she may have learned the concept from a book entitled Blossom Possum (beautifully illustrated by Rafe Champion’s late wife, as it happens). I have also tried to explain to her what a Prime Minister does, but given the actions of the superball, I’m not sure if she quite “got it”.
Anyway, after I posted this incident on my Facebook page, the post started off a string of reminiscences about people’s childhood political memories. It transpires that an amazing number of my friends just loved Bob Hawke when they were kids. I don’t know if that means my friends’ families were generally Labor-leaning, or that Bob had a special appeal which made him loved by kids? When my sister was a little girl, she loved Bob. One general election, she asked Dad who he voted for, and Dad teasingly said he voted for Andrew Peacock because the Liberals gave him a shortbread round (actually he’d bought it at the school stall at the voting booth). My sister sobbed and sobbed, and said, “Now the forests will die because you haven’t voted for Bob!”
Mark Bahnisch commented that when he was in Grade 2, he wrote a poem about Gough Whitlam. Then Mark and I decided that we should write a joint post about what everyone’s earliest political memories are. I remember that I never liked Joh Bjelke-Petersen as a child. In addition, with a child’s merciless observation, I noted his head was shaped like a peanut, and thus I thought it was extraordinary that he was an ex-peanut farmer. Like my sister, I also loved Bob Hawke when I was little.
Do you remember whether you liked particular politicians when you were young? Or did you dislike particular politicians?