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(Image via magixl.com)

Former PM, television star, and music and coffee expert John Howard discusses his latest projects with Gerard Henderson — Rocky Dabscheck style.

FOLLOWING the runaway success of former PM John Howard’s look at the Menzies era, it was a no-brainer for Michelle Guthrie, the ABC’s new head honcho, to commission more works from the great man.

Being blissfully free of Parliamentary commitments, the former PM is happy to oblige. Here he is being interviewed by Gerard Henderson of The Sydney Institute.

Gerard Henderson   

Prime Minister. Err, I mean Mr Howard. Sorry. Old habits die hard.

John Howard

It’s been quite some time since I was PM, Gerard.

Gerard Henderson   

Yes. Long enough for you to become a successful author, TV producer, writer, presenter.

John Howard

My word. When you put it like that it really does sound impressive. I like to think of myself as a humble, hardworking, retired suburban solicitor.

Gerard Henderson

With your current career. What’s next?

John Howard

My love of music is well documented, Gerard. I was at a Young Liberals barbecue many years ago. The entertainer was a wonderful Sri Lankan singer, Kamahl. He did a scintillating version of that blues classic, ‘Stormy Monday’. Since then I have regarded him as the father, or King, of the Blues in Australia. I seriously doubt the Blues would be as popular as it is today without Kamahl’s influence and popularity.

I am presenting a two-part series, documenting the uncanny parallels Kamahl’s life enjoys with BB King.

Gerard Henderson

I do believe I met my future wife, Anne, at that very barbecue. I am sure Kamahl’s smooth vocals helped me win her heart. Any other projects in the pipeline?

Doron Chester as John Howard in Keating! The Musical

John Howard

Oh yes. I will show how Gilbert Toyne, the creator of – and Lance Hill the marketer – of what today is known as the Hills Hoist, have done more for renewable energy than all the climate scientists, Al Gores, and greenies, put together. Their superb harnessing of wind power is literally sublime.

I go as far as to say the Hills Hoist is the most substantial scientific invention of the 20th Century.

Gerard Henderson

Sounds fabulous, John. When will we be able to see them?

John Howard

Kamahl and B B — Kings of the Blues — sometime in March 2017. Gilbert and Lance, July 2017. And my third show, sometime in October.

Gerard Henderson

A third show. Goodness, gracious. What’s this one about?

John Howard

This one fascinates me the most. I chart the degrading of our moral standards and show the correlation it shares with the demise of the 43 beans in every cup of instant coffee.

The rise of the chattering classes and the pernicious spread of their moral turpitude, directly mirrors the profligate consumption of lattes. Cappuccinos, espressos, macchiatos, at the expense of the humble cup of instant coffee.

My cabinet was fuelled by instant coffee and lamingtons. Nothing better, Gerard.

Just have a look at what’s happening in Australia today!

Which state has the strongest café coffee culture?

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Gerard Henderson

Well, you’d have to say, Victoria.

John Howard

Correct. And look at what’s going on down there. Legislation for euthanasia. No lock-out laws. Criminals slapped on the wrist for major crimes. Very mild anti-bikie laws. They vote Greens into the House of Reps. And, they turfed out a Baillieu as Premier! Disgraceful.

Gerard Henderson

John, our side of politics did that.

John Howard

Speaking of our side Gerard. I’ve heard lattes, cappuccinos, escargot and croissants rule the day at cabinet meetings. Turnbull should have stayed with the Labor Party, where he belongs.

Gerard Henderson

Yes. A very good point. What are you calling this one?

John Howard

43: The Meaning of Life.

Gerard Henderson

What can I say, other than a great big thank you. If only our current leaders were men of vision like you, John.

Rocky Dabscheck is a musician/songwriter and front person for Rocky and The Two Bob Millionaires. He is also author of Stoney Broke and The Hi-Spenders.

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