"I will be at the Great Hall of Parliament House at 7.30 on Sunday night," Mr Howard said.
"I'm sure there will be at least 200 strong supporters of the coalition there to comprise our half of the audience.
"That's my offer, I'll be there and I'll be ready to debate."Even if he doesn't turn up, well I'll still talk for an hour and a half."
To which my mother replied: "Only Janette would be watching."
Plus, Howard insists: no worm.
Although he oh-so-wittily defends his position by saying, "No I'm not scared of the worm, I love worms, they're very, very valuable for your garden." (oh tee hee)
But his real reason is that the worm takes the attention off him - and we all know Howard needs to be the centre of attention!
Howard: "people look at the worm rather than actually listen to the arguments and that is the reason why a lot of people don't like it." I want them to look at MEEE!!!
As Catherine Deveny said yesterday: "I love the worm. We all love the worm. The only reason that anyone watches the televised debate is to watch the worm. Viewers don't listen to the debate, they watch the worm. Any person who watches a staged political debate to be informed is obviously a moron."
(She also - more wittily than Howard - said: When I read the headline "Howard will debate Rudd without the worm", I thought: "So what if Tony Abbott won't be there? That's not worth a headline. Maybe there's a Cold-Hearted Bastard meeting on that night and it's his turn to host." Then I realised that if there was a CHB meeting on, that would mean Philip Ruddock and Kevin Andrews wouldn't be around either. Which would mean Howard would be short three worms. At least he'd still have Peter Costello, and that would be a comfort to him. *titter*)
Labor's national secretary has pointed out the use of the worm is up to the TV networks anyway.
Poor little worm. What did it ever do to anyone? (Except make Howard look bad many a time when he opened his mouth - but really, what's new?)
As Rudd says: "Why punish the worm?"
"Everyone in Australia likes the worm. Let's be friends of the worm."
FREE THE WORM!!!