This seems very relevant, given the news of this morning, but it's something I have been considering for some time. If you are Deputy Prime Minister, and the PM is on holiday, at a summit, or stuck in a lift for a few days, you become Acting Prime Minister.
It's great all round - it gives everyone a chance to see how you would do the job, and gives you a chance to sit in the big chair, wear the special Cardigan of State and visit the secret cryogenic chamber where they keep John Laws.
But when you are Acting why aren't you required to actually do the PM of the day? Pop on a wig, pillow up the jumper, do the funny walk, stage-prop glasses, whatever. I always thought when Kev was away Julia should have gone the blond mop, glasses, blue tie and suit, and said "Fair suck of the sauce bottle" really awkwardly like Kev. She did say "working families" in every sentence like the main man does. What I am calling for is a Method Acting Prime Minister.
Now plucky Wayne Swan is Dep to Julia, so when she is off at GATT or the G11 or the Jogjakarta Zinc Summit, Wayne will have to swap the glasses for contacts, pop on the auburn wig, get a bit of pointy putty on the end of his nose, fl-a-a-atten the voice, and slip into a tidy little power suit with some kind of neck-jewellery thingy. And waddle - look, sorry, but she DOES. She really does. She's a waddler from way back. A western suburbs waddler, God love her.