Of the many, many things I didn't like about John Howard, one was the perception that he was always snarling and scowling but moreso always 'on' as Prime Minister. Well, the story was that he'd wanted to be PM since he was ten years old, so you can imagine that once he was PM, he didn't want to miss a minute.
Anyway with today's Queen's Birthday honours there he was again and the networks obliged by showing him power walking and scowling, haranguing and snarling and generally looking quite dislikeable.
Whereas with PM Rudd you get plenty of the technocrat but you also get pictures of him genuinely relaxed, even in the company of the people noticeably different to him (and us).
It's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?
Unless he gets the wheels back on pdq he's shaping up as a bit of a disappointment, but he's certainly better than the current or recently deposed alternatives. And it's nice to see a PM who is multidimensional, who can adapt to his environment and those around him and be himself. We never saw that in Howard except when he was putting the fear of god into the country about one thing or another.
He needs to get a rocket under his Cabinet, although I doubt they'll ever reach the capacity of the first Hawke ministry whom the old man dubbed "the best Liberal cabinet ever."
Those were the days.