I live in a quiet residential pocket of inner Melbourne, Australia, and every night I go for a walk along the banks of the Yarra River. Last night, about 10:30, just as I was walking back up the otherwise deserted street to my apartment, I saw a band of people on the sidewalk ahead coming in my direction. I was startled by the extremely hostile and suspicious look of the first man I passed. (This is normally a very friendly neighbourhood.)
Then I passed a man and a woman in expensive tracksuits walking together, the woman talking non-stop. The man I brushed past was the Prime Minister, the automaton-like Kevin Rudd. Then a few burly bodyguards, and, at the rear, two pretty young women, no doubt with guns.
The little bubble of unreality had passed. Soon the PM would be programed for today's events.
The current Labor Party government, by its recently announced resources tax, has done great damage to Australia's reputation as an investment destination, but I didn't think last night an opportune time to raise this issue with the man at the top.