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Posts Tagged ‘John Howard’

Thought for the day

It’s nearly a week since John Howard entered the political fray with two op-eds about the Howard legacy. Yet there’s barely been a stirt – from what I have seen, only Janet Albrechtsen has said much about it, and John Hewson’s writing has been getting more attention.

What is it with teh Left and not being rabid Howard-haters who react with rage and violent protest every time he opens his mouth? Why don’t we care about JWH any more?

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Non-running commentary

John Winston Howard: Australia’s most reserved former Prime Minister.

To his credit, he shows good academic nous – getting two publications out of the one set of ideas by writing one about the past and one about the present.

To his discredit, he’s left the legacy project a little later than one typically would – but I guess crushing electoral defeat made it hard to get started on it before now.

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No links; no pictures; just a few quick comments:

  • John Winston Howard – I’m glad you enjoyed the ceremony and the kind words your mate had for you. But when an unpopular lame duck gives a medal to a leader who lost his own seat, don’t be so foolish as to think it reflects the views of either the giver or receiver’s country;
  • Barnaby Joyce – Your mavericky high jinks can be good for a chuckle. But seriously, arguing against the weight of scientific evidence and economic modelling? and splitting with your coalition partner? while invoking Godwin’s Law? What the fuck, man?
  • George Walker Bush – If you are content to let history judge your actions in the decades to come, why are you taking literally every single opportunity you can to tell us what we should think of you?

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Queue-jumper

President-Elect Barack Obama had asked to have the use of Blair House, the official guest-house of the President, when his family moved to Washington this week so that his girls could start school. Unfortunately, the place had already booked through to 15th January – when it is made available for the incoming President to inhabit until his inauguration.

So who gazumped Obama with the booking of Blair House? The Washington Post looked into it, and now they have received the answer.

John Winston Howard. The guy whose upcoming receipt of the Medal of Freedom was only announced yesterday.

Tony Blair and Alvaro Uribe have opted for alternative accommodation. But I guess Howard wanted to do his best to make sure al Qaeda doesn’t get all its prayers answered.

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An expert panel made up of George Walker Bush has decided that John Winston Howard should be recognised for his “efforts to promote democracy, human rights and peace abroad.” Apparently, engaging in a military invasion counts as promoting peace abroad, and supporting another country’s use of torture enhanced interrogation techniques and long-term detention without charge, trial or right of habeas corpus is promoting human rights.

His prize is the Medal of Freedom – the same honour that was bestowed in recent years on departing Bush lackeys who had managed to screw up, such as George Tenet (CIA director through 9/11 and the Iraq WMD debacle) and Paul Bremer (post-invasion Iraq governor). Losing really does have its privileges.

In that same spirit, let’s make sure that Tim Blair and Jennifer Marohasy get the honours they so richly fail to deserve – I am throwing my full support behind these two ignoble hacks in the 2008 Weblog Awards, because if Howard deserves a pat on the head, then so must they.

ELSEWHERE: Over at GrodsCorp, Scott has started compiling a list of the achievements for which JWH has earned the medal.

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Obligatory anniversary post

It’s one year since Team Howard was extinguished. I’ve made it through the day without feeling the reflective urge. But I am sitting here watching The Howard Years and I have observed the one thing, above all others, that captures why I am glad they are no longer our Government. My observation, courtesy of Peter Hendy:

  • “Queue-jumpers”

The use of that term captures what was wrong with these people – a falsehood, an outright distortion of reality, constructed for the purpose of generating emotional reaction against a disadvantaged group to benefit their policy objectives.

That is the one thing they did better than anybody else. Bravo.

P.S. I don’t feel any great need to reflect on Rudd’s first year, since I have generally commented on the good and the bad as it has happened. But if I was to sum things up, I would copy Jeremy’s sentiments.

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John Winston Howard now associates himself with Hawke and Keating:

During the course of his speech last night (twenty minutes, with no notes – “He’s still got it in him! He’s still sharp! No notes!” breathed my neighbour, admiringly) Howard made much of the resilience of the Australian economy.

He credited it to the “twenty-five years of reform” this nation has experienced.

It seems that he is trying to avoid standing in the spotlight alone – on anything other than economic issues, his legacy is pitiful.

(On economic issues, it’s negligible.)

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