Former Prime Minister John Howard says he regrets not wearing his Wallabies tracksuit for a walk through the city, saying he could have “outpaced those CFMEU louts if I had my bloody walking gear”.

Mr Howard was set upon by union protesters who were rallying about penalty rates, when he happened to walk past.  The protesters changed tack to hurl abuse and insults at the former leader who was simply attending to some business in the city.

“I was just in town signing some reprints of Lazarus Rising for a few of my fans when this mob of hooligans start screaming at me.”

“At first I thought they were a group of young people who had seen John Oliver’s special and wanted to thank me for the gun laws but alas they turned out to be union thugs.”

“I just regret not wearing my tracksuit because I would have easily got away from them if I had.”

“But my decision to forgo the tracksuit was based on the best information available to me at the time when Jeanette laid out my clothes this morning.”

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