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:
So if Labor wins this year's election and Australia goes to hell in an esky, don't say you weren't warned.
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.