Political insults too often rely on inaccurate bodily references. With the revelations (strictly in the public interest) of Kevin Rudd's heart surgery, the language of the heart has re-entered Australian politics, admittedly through the back door. The media is awash with tickers, motors and other desperately lame metaphorical constructions involving matters of the heart. In letters to newspapers, readers remind the Prime Minister that a surgically tinkered-with heart is not such a bad thing after all. Better a patched-up broken heart than no heart at all, eh John? The PM, of course, has his own view of what hearts are for, especially if they happen to be beating in politicians' chests. His repeated questioning of Kim Beazley's ticker a few years ago and the focus on Rudd's surgery makes it clear that in John Howard's eyes hearts are measured in litres, like engines. And it goes without saying, that Australia's present and future leaders, the ones truly fit for the job, need to have the top-performing all-terrain models, the kinds that last.