Saddamned if you do, Saddamned if you don't

Not content with suppling some Australian military personnel to bolster America's chances in yet another attempt to do something about Saddam Hussein, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is keen to see his popularity ratings soar to new levels, and is embarking on a strategy emulating the American President's sexual prowess.

In an attempt to boost the appeal of the Prime Minister, John Howard, his staffers are keen to convey the impression that he is, in fact, having numerous affairs. Not only that, but they are actively encouraging young women with incredibly big teeth and large hair-dos to join the PM's Department. It is believed however, that at this stage drag queens are being discouraged from applying for any of the advertised jobs.

Following the recent Cabinet decision, crack employment agencies around Australia have been mobilised and put on full alert, and an elite force of highly trained, eligible young women is expected to be flown to Canberra in a massive buildup that should be completed within the next few days.

Although no woman has yet come forward with any details of the Prime Minister's indiscretions, the Head of the Office of the Status of Women, Pru Goward is clearly not amused. "Every time the Prime Minister's phone rings, members of his staff bundle me into a secret office," she said.

"When Bill Clinton rang the Prime Minister to talk about Australian support in the Iraqi conflict, I was thrown into a cupboard in the PM's office. What do they think? That I am going to come out on national television and say I was hiding in John Howard's office, waiting to give him the low-down on behalf of all the women of Australia, while he was talking to the American President!"

Bronwyn Bishop, the woman with something responsible to do with the defence force, and whose hairdresser is in the process of patenting the secret recipe he uses to hold her hair in place, has also come out in support of John Howard. "He is a big man," she said to anyone within shouting distance. "He is a fine Prime Minister, the best I have ever seen. I have been with him through his ups and downs, and it has been an honour serving him. He is very firm on this issue and will not shift his position. Australian leaders have always responded quickly to American influence, and he has my full support."

Democrats' Deputy Leader, Natasha Scott-Despoja, said that although she was unsure of the outcome, she had always "admired the Prime Minister's resolve" and was willing to support anything that helped lower unemployment levels and brought more women into government. "After all," she said, "one of these young women could go on to become President of an Australian republic."

Janette Howard is following Hillary Clinton's example and insisting that the Prime Minister deny everything, while keeping quiet on the issue herself.

Meanwhile, Kate Fisher is reportedly furious at having been left out and is said to be secretly recording all her conversations, in the hopes that she may have a story to sell to the local paper or Channel 9.

Opposition leader Kim Beazley said his party would support the Government's proposal in principle, provided there were assurances tax-payer's money would not be lost in protracted legal battles and compensation claims.

President Bill Clinton is said to be deeply touched by Australia's show of support.