Val Ockert      songs of love & fatalism 

John Howard toilet paper is a smash hit in the outhouses of Parliament

Aussie POST, December 16, 2000
   A pair of Byron Bay entrepreneurs have given “electoral roll” new meaning with the launch of a toilet tissue

that features a cartoon of John Howard. “We really wanted to wipe the smile off his face,” says Val Ockert,

co-creator of the Johnny dunny rolls. “And we figured a lot of people out there would feel the same.”
   Apparently, they figured right. The cheeky bum fodder is being snapped up by ALP members, trade unionists

and Aboriginal activists. Even Liberal voters are buying it … and it’s already found its way into Parliament

   Well-known social commentator Phillip Adams suggested they send some to Mr Howard himself. 
And while they’re

at it, they could consider some of the other MPs who may need some after a long session on their parliamentary seats. 
   It seems it wasn’t quite the gentlest tissue as far as politically sensitive local toilet-roll makers were concerned.

“Manufacturers here didn’t want to know about it at all,” says Val. “We had to take it to Hong Kong.”
   Then their first shipment was impounded for a week, and they were forced to sign a declaration that they wouldn’t

order any more.  “Luckily there are some brave independent retailers stocking it, and we’re doing market stalls, where

it is proving popular,” says Val.

Postscript: Tracey met Bill Leak when he was working at a recent trade show she attended as a vendor.  Bill drew a caricature of her and pressed his phone number upon on her, asking her to tell Val, fellow cartoonist, to contact him for a cartoony chat.  In reading the attached article about Bill Leak, it said that after his fall, his cartoons changed in character, including no longer using his overflowing ink blots, his longstanding trademark.  At the time of the article in the Post, Val didn’t know about the trademark, but the Post obviously did, and you can see a portion of the ink blots leading into the photo they took. What a nice connection to a nice man.  Vale, Bill Leak.