A shoe-drama has been playing out in Australia over the last few weeks, which may not have been picked up by the World's press!
Following the Australia Day celebrations we attended, there was a bit of a fracas which led to Prime Minister Julia Gillard losing her right shoe as she was dragged into her car by a bodyguard.
The relinquished shoe was then 'captured' by the Aboriginal tent embassy. Who (somewhat amusingly I thought) cried "Gingerella come get your shoe" (yes we have a ginger-haired Prime Minister). Unfortunately she didn't take up the option of collecting it personally.
The shoe was held to ransom for a while, before briefly (and somewhat dubiously) appearing on Ebay (bids reached $2,500 for the single shoe!). Spoil-sports Ebay withdrew the listing as they said because the shoe belonged to Julia Gillard, she was the only one legally able to sell it.
A rather more dignified Julia Gillard appeared the following day and when quizzed about the missing shoe, carefully chose her words by saying that she was in the privileged position to own several pairs of shoes.
During the exile of the shoe fashion editors gleefully took the opportunity to say what the shoe said about the Prime Minister's style, cartoonists took delight in the Cinderella/Gingerella references, as well as the fact that it was a 'blue-suede shoe' (ala Elvis), while headline editors dined out on "Putting the Boot in", "Well Heeled" etc headline-puns.
Two days later the shoe was returned to a security guard at Parliament House.
Winners of the whole affair were a small (Australian) shoe maker called Midas who were the proud makers of the original shoe. Their stores sold out of the shoe and they ran a very smart competition to design an alternative 'Gillard mk2' shoe.
Here it is, complete with 'Mary-Jane' strap - to prevent it falling off in future conflicts! (production due to start shortly!)