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Voters run scared from the Heffalump

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What do A.A. Milne's characters Winnie the Pooh ("a bear of very little brain") and his timid little pal Piglet have in common with so many of those Australians who on Saturday voted for the return of a Scott Morrison government?

It is that the way in which so many Australians came to believe in and to be spine-chilled by the Coalition's fictitious trumped-up spectre of a Labor "retirees' tax" is eerily reminiscent of Chapter Five of Milne's children's book Winnie The Pooh.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrive to speak with department secretaries around the cabinet table at Parliament House on May 23. Picture: Alex Ellinghausen

In that chapter, Piglet Meets A Heffalump, Pooh and Piglet become convinced that there is suddenly a huge, fierce, scary, elephant-sized brute, a Heffalump, at large in their hitherto idyllic Hundred Acre Wood.

There is no Heffalump. But for Pooh and Piglet (and especially for terrified little Piglet, who imagines he may be just the thing a fierce Heffalump loves to eat), the balances of their tiny minds disturbed, the Heffalump is absolutely real.

Piglet eventually sees something he imagines is a Heffalump (we find out later it's only Pooh with his head stuck in a honey jar) and he runs away, crying, and (inarticulate with terror) screaming "Help! Help! A horrible Heffalump! A horrible Hoffalump! A Hellible........

© Canberra Times