It has been confirmed.
Today, Saturday December 1, 2007, John Winston Howard is no longer the member for Bennelong, NSW.
He lost his seat, he can't find it, it was taken from him, he was told never to come back that, henceforth, it would be occupied by another.
The new owner of the seat is Maxine McKew, a former ABC journalist, who delighted in squeezing French phrases into interviews with people who seemed to enjoy them, for no apparent reason.
Most people think she will be good in the chair.
There is no doubt she will be better than the man who left it, often, for long periods of time and who now has no claim on it.
John Winston Howard will be remembered as a mean spirited man who walked with a jerk and smiled like one too.
For all that, he did send troops into East Timor when others before him had fainted and he did stand up and hug people when they cried because other people he had sent to Iraq died, or were killed.
And, to be fair, during the period of his Prime Prime Ministership, he did learn to hug, seemed to embrace the hug, almost require the hug and may well have hugged the incoming PM, The Man Who Looks Like a Fish.
Kevin "The Fish" Rudd may say sorry, he may not, he might offer an apology, he might use the word "regret", we don't know, nobody does, but he will decide.
Whatever happens, we must not loose our sense of the ridiculous, this is, after all Australia.
(For those of you not in Australia, it is useful to remember this number: 7.)