The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 09, 2002  


Australian Prime Minister John Howard is a slob.

We learned this from a recent article in the Perth Sunday News by Adam Harvey entitled "Backyard Blitz at PM's Sorry Site."

A week or so ago, Harvey wrote, a reporter from News Ltd. made calls to Prime Minister's neighbors in Wollstonecraft, on Sydney's lower North Shore, after hearing from one nearby resident that the Prime Minister's home, worth as much as AUS $2 million, was "looking pretty scruffy," according to Harvey. "'He really is letting down the neighbourhood,' the resident said. 'Surely he could afford a gardener once a month,'" the reporter wrote.

Prime Minister Howard apparently caught wind of the complaints and quickly squashed a potential public relations disaster.

"Within hours of being told last Saturday afternoon that photographs had been taken of his unkempt garden, rickety fence and uncleaned pool, the garden at his Wollstonecraft house was spruced up," Harvey reported in the May 5 edition of the Sunday Times. "The fence is still a bit wobbly, but by Sunday morning the lawn had been trimmed and the hedges clipped....By Tuesday the pool -- which had turned a vibrant shade of green from mould -- had been cleaned."

A spokeswoman wouldn't confirm whether the Prime Minister himself spruced the place up, nor would she comment on whether the prospect of bad publicity was the proximate cause of the sudden transformation of the condition of his abode.

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