May 16, 2003


PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD has welcomed troops returning to Australia from the Middle East. The ABC provides a transcript of the Prime Minister chatting - slightly awkwardly, a little embarrassed at the emotion expressed - with relatives of those who served:

[ABC reporter] ANNE BARKER: ... It was an emotional Prime Minister John Howard who took the initial applause, when he arrived on his own Air Force jet with a roll call of dignitaries to welcome the troops home.
JOHN HOWARD: Are you waiting on your dad to come home?
WOMAN: I'm waiting on my son.
JOHN HOWARD: How long's he been away? How long's your son been away?
WOMAN: February.
JOHN HOWARD: February! That's good. There, there. He'll be back and he's safe.
[Sound of woman sobbing]
JOHN HOWARD: It's wonderful and he did a fantastic job and it's just going to be nice to welcome them all home and they're all in one piece, which is very important.
CHILD: I've waited all my life for you.
[John Howard laughs]

Posted by Tim Blair at May 16, 2003 04:40 AM