Victoria Gives Its Rival A Run...But Not Without A Backlash At Home

When Australia's stuffy Prime Minister, John Howard, announced he had no intention of breaking his Christmas vacation to grant the touring Spice Girls an audience, no one was surprised. Nor did anyone lift an eyebrow when, days later, Victoria State Premier Jeff Kennett was pictured in every newspaper in the country flirting with them. He doesn't particularly like their music, he said. But there he was telling the world that Posh Spice is his favorite because her real name is Victoria--so she's named after his state.

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