It is one of those moments all politicians dread — a lack of support that leads to a political fall from grace. This time it was Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who discovered she was not infallible when she her heel got stuck as she walked away from the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.
The prime minister, currently on a state visit to New Delhi, stepped from a footpath on to wet grass — and her heel snagged, sending her tumbling to a fall in a political blooper caught on camera.
The prime minister was left lying face-flat in the grass as her team hurried to help her back to her feet. The offending shoe could be seen behind her, innocently unaware of the trouble it had caused the PM by withdrawing its support.
Gillard later laughed off the incident, and gave men gathered at a press conference a quick lesson in the complexities of female footwear. “For men who get to wear flat shoes all day every day, if you wear a heel it can get embedded in soft grass,” she said. “And then when you pull your foot out, the shoe doesn’t come, and then the rest of it is as you saw.”
Gillard has had shoe moments in the past too. She slipped out of a high heel two months ago in Sydney while walking onstage to launch a cyber safety programme. Most famously, she lost a shoe while being shuffled away from Aboriginal protesters in Canberra on Australia Day in January.