OLD Hec is quite fond of Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, with whom he has shared an ephemeral level of contact ever since the said gent was on his upwardly mobile track - he was then running the show for the premier of the state of Queensland - towards becoming the mandarin of mandarins.
In those far-off days, Hector was scribbling for filthy lucre in the yellow press (well, his contract to play the piano at that nice upmarket bordello had unaccountably not been renewed, you see) and his modest success at the written word led him on occasions through the carefully quarantined door of the office of K Rudd, for lessons in the existential beauty of pure policy.
It came as a surprise to him, therefore, when a few days ago the Aussie PM, the people's hero who knocked John Winston Howard (another ancient cockatoo) off his perch in the national elections last November, got amusingly entangled in his own rhetoric.
Kev's a globalist, you see. A Gaia man. A multilateralist. Someone who thinks that Australia is an integrated part of Planet Earth and who would like his countrymen to think of themselves as even more integrated than ever. As well as to vote for him again next time.
Thus, explaining some complex nanoparticle of his policy to the assembled media last week, and wishing no doubt to reinforce his theory that Australia is inextricably linked with the world - a concept most of his country's people appear to continue to resolutely reject - he offered his opinion that Australia was not an island...
The best bit was immediately thereafter, when he comprehended the complex double pratfall with reverse pike that he had just performed. Ever seen a rabbit in a spotlight?