Australia Votes 2013 is now officially under way.
Over the next month, as Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott ‘rock around the country’ kissing children, posing in hard hats and snapping ‘selfies,’ journalists, political commentators, economic experts and Carrie Bickmore will examine and dissect the big issues.
Economic management, cost of living, the deficit, the boats, health, education and the NBN will dominate the national airwaves, newspapers and Malcolm Turnbull’s internet.
However, none of this really matters if Kevin Rudd cannot tackle the biggest issue of all, the shaking of the sauce bottle.
After sadly failing to rate a mention on the leaders debate, the issue was finally raised this week on an interview with the ABC’s resident head kicker, Leigh Sales.
LS: Mr Rudd, welcome to the program. I would like to begin by asking, just how important is this issue, the shaking of the sauce bottle, to Australians in 2013?
KR: Thank you for the opportunity to be here Leigh and to discuss this very important subject. The shaking of the sauce bottle is crucial to the Australian people and central to Australia’s national interest. Alongside demonising asylum seekers, whinging about the carbon tax and complaining about the cost of living, shaking the sauce bottle is one Australia’s great contemporary traditions. As leader of this great country I as Prime Minister, [looks to camera] intend to do my best for the Australian people on this vitally important front and shake the sauce bottle at every opportunity – on a national and international scale. Which is more than I can say for Mr Abbott and the Coalition, who would not know one end of the sauce bottle from the other.
LS: Mr Rudd, with which hand do you shake your sauce bottle?
KR: I often ask myself that Leigh, in fact, I often ask myself many questions – and then answer them, as I will surely do with this question. However, I would first like to make this point. The opposition leader, Mr Abbott, has come out today claiming that sauce will always be shaken better under a Coalition government. Now, while it is true that former Prime Minister John Howard did shake a lot of sauce during his time in office, I can offer a fair dinkum guarantee, that any sauce shaken from my bottle will be better than anything Mr Abbott can produce. In answer to your question, I shake with my right hand.
LS: Mr Rudd, there has been quiet a bit of contention about what brand of sauce you shake, could you enlighten us?
KR: Well Leigh, I am a man who has travelled the world, many times in fact and I have shaken many sauce bottles, in many different parts of the world. In fact earlier this year, I was shaking sauce with Hu Jintao. Who’s Hu you ask? He is the President of China. We had a jolly old time comparing our different sauces and shaking methods. But to be perfectly honest Leigh, it depends on which mood strikes and exactly to what I am shaking the sauce on to.
LS: Could you give an example?
KR: Well Leigh, if I’m sitting in the outer with a steaming hot forty and twenty pie, I like to shake some good ol’ aussie brand sauce on that. On a cold night at home with Therese, well, that might call for some thicker, chunkier sauce or even a bit of hot and spicy. But I would like to make this point if I could Leigh, Mr Abbott has in fact never stated on the public record exactly which kind of sauce he shakes – and that is one of the central characteristics of an Australia man and leader – and a serious flaw of Mr Abbott. Now that the election has been called he must come clean with the Australian people with on this issue.
LS: Mr Rudd, Greens leader Christine Milne announced today that she and her party prefer recycled plastic bottles to glass and they in fact squeeze their sauce bottles, could you comment on that?
KR: Look, can I just say this Leigh, we as a nation need to be fair dinkum, ridgey didge and dinky di about this issue. Australians want a leader who is prepared to take a tough stance on the hard issues and to do what is right in the national interest. Squeezing a sauce bottle is just not the Australian way. We really need to give the squeeze the old heave ho. Shaking the sauce bottle is a long and proud Australian tradition… this squeezing, I’m sorry, it is just un Australian [shakes head].
LS: So I take it from that you are not a fan of Cameron Ling’s new Big Red Sauce?
KR: Well now Leigh, Cameron was an excellent footballer and he was a great captain of the Geelong Football Club. His idea of transparency – which is much like our costed policies on sauce shaking and not, as I might mention, anything like the uncosted policies or Mr Abbott and the Coalition – has merit, but as for the squeeze, well, I have made my position clear on that. And if I can just add this point Leigh, we as Australians need to tread with considerable care in regards to redheads leading the way in Australia.
LS: Finally Mr Rudd, your critics, including some former Labour ministers, have condemned you for previous behaviour such as banging too hard on the bottom of the sauce bottle and impatience in wanting sauce to come out of the bottle, what do you say to that?
KR: Leigh, I will concede that in the past I may shaken the sauce bottle a little too hard at times, however I am a new man and am working for a ‘new way’ for all Australian on this vitally important issue. And if I can just make this point as well Leigh, Mr Abbott has not made his position clear on whether he shakes the sauce bottle or not, nor with which hand he would shake it, or if any Coalition member would even use sauce. So I ask you, I ask the Australian people and of course I will ask myself aloud – and then answer, is it better to shake the sauce bottle, albeit a bit too rigorously sometimes, or not to shake it all? I believe it is better to be a shaker than not.
LS: Mr Rudd, I’m afraid that’s all we have time for. Thank you.
KR: Thank you Leigh.