Shoe-thrower targets former Australian PM Howard

An anti-Iraq War activist dramatically hurled shoes at former Australian prime minister John Howard on live national TV on Monday, mimicking the famous protest directed at former US leader George Bush.

The protester stood up and threw two shoes, which missed Howard, while shouting slogans during public broadcaster ABC’s town hall-style Q&A debating show. He was quickly escorted away.

Howard smiled and appeared unfazed by the stunt, which followed a surprise recorded question from former Australian Guantánamo Bay inmate David Hicks and preceded a series of tough questions about his time in power.

“I had a great time in politics, the Australian people were very forbearing,” he quipped during the show.

The conservative Howard, whose 11-year rule ended in 2007, sent Australian troops for the US-led invasion of Iraq as a staunch supporter of then-US president Bush.

Last November a protester threw a shoe at Howard during a speech at Britain’s Cambridge University. In 2008, an Iraqi journalist hurled shoes at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad and was later jailed for nine months. — AFP

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