"I, Errr...Ahhh...Had A Dream"

24 April 2007

Feeling a bit directionless lately? Never fear, our inestimable leader, John W. Howard, has presented his vision for the future of Australia in a speech to the Queensland Press Club. Titled "Australia Rising" (faster than the levels of the seas our land is girt by, we hope) , it's Howard's "sketch" of the world in 2020 - but only, of course, if Australia keeps on voting Liberal. You could read the full transcript, but let me save you some time with the general gist of the thing:

  • As with just about everything for Howard, putting the economy first is a "moral argument". Those morals including a promise to dismantle the welfare state as we know it. According to Howard, "One side – we in the Coalition – aims to build on what’s been achieved over the last decade... The other side wants to tear down this achievement...[which] will see Australia fall behind in the global economy, reducing our capacity to create jobs, to innovate, to care for the sick and the aged and to help those who need a leg up in today’s competitive world".
    So if Labor wins this year's election and Australia goes to hell in an esky, don't say you weren't warned.

  • "Climate change is a serious policy challenge and a major priority of the Government. At the same time, we know independent action by Australia will not materially affect our climate". Unlike the situation in Iraq, where a withdrawal of Australian troops would embolden the terrorists. I guess we should be flattered that they think so highly of us. Howard also says, "to say that climate change is the overwhelming moral challenge for this generation of Australians is misguided at best; misleading at worst." Well, I thought the overwhelming moral challenge for our generation was the threat of terrorism. But apparently now it's the Australian economy. Evidently a new generation has sprung up in the past few years, which is terrible news; I'm getting old even faster than I thought!

  • "I worry about the consequences for Australian families of Mr Rudd’s policy of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent from 1990 levels. I worry about the impact on jobs in places like Moranbah, Mackay and Gladstone." It's very sweet of Howard to put the jobs of miners ahead of the future of the planet. If only we'd had a Prime Minister of such compassion in the early Twentieth Century, then all those jobs in the Australian whaling industry could have been saved.

  • And as befits a politician facing terrible numbers in the polls, Howard has managed to throw in plenty of swipes at the Opposition: "the industrial relations system that Mr Rudd has promised to give us will bring back the worst excesses of centralised wage fixation"; "Mr Rudd has made his work choice. He has put union power ahead of workers’ jobs"; "Mr Rudd made much of discovering the link between education and the economy earlier this year...Yet he fails the basic test of economic literacy"; "Mr Rudd panders to the gesture politics of anti-capitalism..."

    If you follow Australian politics at all closely - and you probably haven't read this far if you don't, I know I'm starting to drift off - you've probably noticed that Kevin Rudd has largely refused to return John Howard's attacks. This is, I feel, a mistake, not to mention pretty disappointing. I can only imagine Rudd is afraid of offending the Howard battlers, not to mention the so-called "South Park Conservatives", the supposedly Howard-loving young adults who were the subject of a chapter in the book
    The Howard Factor. But in reality, neither group exists. The "battlers" have little personal affection for Howard; they are simply concerned with their own mortgages. (And HahHah! to them I say).

    As for the South Park Conservatives, I don't know who these people are. According to The Howard Factor, more than 50% of males aged 25-29 voted for the Coalition in the 2004 federal election. But I'm aged 25-29, and discuss politics with just about everyone, and the only male I know who voted Liberal in the 2004 election is a somewhat naive individual who believes every word Alan Jones says. Anyway, Rudd could safely start to call Howard a long-handled, flat-surfaced digging implement without losing any votes - he may even win some - and it would certainly make the lead up to the election a lot more interesting.

    For now though, I'll leave the last word to Howard:
    "As a Government, we’ve made decisions in the last 11 years that impact directly on the lives of Australians. No doubt we’ve made our mistakes. All governments do."

    But only a weak government says they're sorry.

    1. John Howard...so misguided...so out of touch...he truly is a global embarrassment.

    2. Please, please, please, his reign of stupour is coming to an end.

    3. I think as long as good old KEV tread these political minefields carefully, we shall see HOWARD's END pretty soon ....no, not that Anthony Hopkins movie.
      Anyways the reason I post here after a long 'sabbatical leave' was I think I saw you in person on a early Monday morning train from Sydney to Newcastle. We were on the same carriage from Strathfield, in fact I only sat like 1 or seats in front of you but I fell asleep most of the trip. I thought u look familiar but I couldn't put the face to any name.....until yesterday!......so I hope I was right, no?

    4. Um, I don't think so...if it was Monday morning, I would have been travelling to Sydney, not returning to Newcastle.

      I don't live in Newcastle anymore and haven't caught that train in weeks.

    5. oops, mistaken identity..hah, perhaps she was your evil-twin-from-the-parallel-universe...
      yeah, i noticed only just now your location is now inner west Sydney. Weird cuz I now have a place in Lewisham but only there for the weekend. So much has happened...I have have a 15-month old baby girl and probably you might see me pushing the pram around Leichhardt on weekends, hee-hee...


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