John Howard: not, not… responsible

For those who missed some of my videos from last year, The Howard Years has prompted me to give them a re-run. Also if you missed Episode 1, Change the Government, Change the Country, you can watch a broadband version by clicking the link.

Kevin Rennie

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68 Responses

  1. Kevin

    That was just fantastic – I so love the “mmm” at the end… and the “mmm” when she thanks him for joining him is just perfect. Shows the true character of the man.

  2. Kevin, not sure you’re aware that Labor won the last election and Howard is now retired from politics.

    Not to mention that the implication in your little piece is to portray John Howard as “dishonest” yet your little piece is dishonest in its representations.

  3. Kevin, good satire always remains good satire.

    The background music does remind that our present Arts MInister is way out of his depth and that he should have stuck to what he did best…another case of being promoted to you Level of Incompetence…

    …and James, JWH was always a lying little sod, always will be and as long as he pokes his little twitching snout into anything to do with my life he is fair game – retired my arse – he’s still twiddling peopl’s knobs in the backgound…and probably in the foreground too…!

  4. James of NM

    This is “history”. The winners usually write it and we need some balance for the self-justifiers on The Howard Years. If some parts of the video are “dishonest” in your view, please feel free to criticise the specifics.

  5. The Arts seem to be as hazardous as the Environment for the embattled minister.

  6. Sorry James Howard thrust himself back into politics by firstly making comments on the current situation and government, and then having a heavily promoted four part documentary made on just him to show his term in office was all about him and not the party or government.

    At least the Labor documentary was called “Labor in Power”, not the Keating Years or the Hawke Years, and that was truly about the party unlike this current trash which is all about one egotistical, deceitful and manipulative man.

  7. Ha ha good to see all you bitter little lefties can’t get over the fact that Howard lost and move on with your lives ! I guess maybe it takes some focus off the train wreck that is Kevin747 (not that I’d ever say told you so). Still living off the taxpayer’s back Adrian ?

  8. Why would we want to get over the fact that Howard lost?

    Makes me smile and feel positive for my country everytime I think about it?

    And – please tell us how the current federal government is a “train wreck”?

  9. andy_j

    Whose bitter ?

  10. “please tell us how the current federal government is a “train wreck”?”

    For andy_j this government is a train wreck in the same way that George Clooney is my lover.

  11. Cool post kevin, lame trolling andy_j.

  12. Ha ha good to see all you bitter little lefties can’t get over the fact that Howard lost and move on with your lives ! (andy_j).

    On the contrary, I think we got over the fact that Howard lost sometime in November last year. His loss was such a wonderful, momentous event that we enjoy the memories.

    I’m reading a book about the Vietnam War at the moment. By your logic, one would argue that I’m not over the war yet.

  13. I liked the content of the video but the background music turned me right off – not the music as such but the feature artist, who is now the minister against the arts and the environment.

    Great comment Andy_j. I wish i could post a comment with as much intelligence and insight as that.

    James of North Melbourne, what was dishonest about Kevin Rennie’s video? I thought it was quite accurate.

  14. Living far less off the taxpayer than you are andy_j, that’s a fact. For you to be still so bitter and twisted about Howard’s loss means you must have skimmed in heaps of the massive amounts of middle class welfare Howard threw around. How much landed in your greedy little lap?

    Sorry for the personal but he made it personal.

  15. Kevin, when did John Howard ever say the occupation would last months, not years.
    Please identify the “mass extinctions” brought about by future climate change. How does climate change relate in a causal sense to bush fires and severe drought? Why is it such a bad thing, as implied by you, to be a climate change sceptic? Even more so, why is it such a bad thing, even if you accept the THEORY of human induced climate change, to be a carbon trading sceptic? I’ll give you interest rates, although it will be interesting to see what happens to interest rates when good old Kevin starts running deficit budgets.

  16. James at 15

    “…months, not years”: SMH
    On climate change and carbon trading : suggest reading Garnaut or watching A Taste of Garnaut: the Climate Challenge

  17. Kevin, I asked you when Howard said it, not when Phillip Coorey (mis)reported that he said it.

    Howard held his positions on Climate Change and Carbon Trading, if he ever actually held positions, “sceptic” suggests one simply doesn’t know, only until late 2007, in the Prime Ministerial sense. Garnaut produced his report in 2008. There’s no way he could have had the benefit of Garnaut’s “wisdom” as Prime Minister. Try again, or at least defend a little more what I asked, which was what was so bad about having positions of scepticism.

  18. Donald Rumsfeld’s words at the time which Howard fully supported.

    Any war with Iraq would be swift and not require a full US mobilisation, says US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    Mr Rumsfeld is in Europe to try to gain backing for possible military action against Iraq.

    “It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months,” he said, speaking at the American air base at Aviano, in northern Italy.

    March 28 2003

    Senior Pentagon officials believe the Iraq war could take months, not weeks, to win amid indications that the assault on Baghdad may have to be delayed.

    The United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said in a radio interview yesterday the war “may take a little bit longer, [we] don’t know how long”.

    But Mr Bush dropped a line that said the military plan “is ahead of schedule”, saying instead that he could not forecast the final day of the Iraqi regime, but “that day is drawing near”.

    Howard never disagreed with any of the Bush administrations statements that the war will be over in months, and I think if you go through Hansard’s you will find he openly agreed with the US assessment of the time.

    Then of course there were Downer’s outright lies in parliament for which he was never held to account.

  19. Oh good one James fall back on your pedantry and insist on exact words.

    Let’s put this another way. Before and during the initial invasion when did Howard say this is going to be a long war and we are in for a slog?

  20. Adrian, Kevin has quoted Howard in his video as saying the occupation would last “months, not years”. I am asking him to reference that quote, in relation to the “occupation” in order to rebut my accusation of dishonesty. He appears unable to do so, therefore the charge of dishonesty stands. Your extended quote of Cheney doesn’t change this.

  21. Well James, how about this direct quote from the 730 Report of 22nd Feb 2005:

    JOHN HOWARD (PRIME MINISTER): We’ll keep reviewing the length of time that they will stay. I should interpolate here that during our discussions yesterday, the President reiterated his clear understanding that all along we wouldn’t be providing a significant peacekeeping force.

    JOURNALIST: Do you see it as months or years before…

    JOHN HOWARD: Well, I certainly don’t see it’s years, no.

    As usual – Howard is careful to leave wiggleroom – which is exactly his MO.

  22. Or how about this from Hansard of the 4th Feb 2003:

    Mr Howard: …Whatever may be their role in the weeks
    and months ahead, we admire them, we support
    them and we wish them well.

    Did he says years?

  23. Not good enough, sorry, Joni. Kevin does this a bit, which is why I’ve picked him up on it last week and now today. He QUOTED howard as saying the occupation would last “months, not years” in his little video. I have called him on it. Now you and Adrian are scratching to come up with things similar, and in your case, from 2 years subsequent. I’m no massive Howard fan, more a Costello man as far as the Libs go, but I get heartily sick of these issues being hijacked by the likes of Rennie, who will start out on a false presumption. There’s plenty to debate as regards Iraq. The intelligence was clearly wrong. No doubt. And it fooled everyone. On the other side, the actions of France and Russia in particular undermined any hope of the UN’s objectives being achieved without war. That’s just 2 things. But to misrepresent the words and actions of various leaders only serves to write a false history, and consequently one from which we cannot possibly learn. And one which I hope as a teacher, Kevin Rennie didn’t teach.

  24. Sorry James – but I respectfully disagree.

    Howard has a standard MO of conveying a explicit idea without actually saying the words. Such as the interest rate comment where he tried to wiggle out by saying that he did not say the actual words.

    In the 730 report he clearly agreed with the assesment that it would be months and not years.

    And so Kevin I feel is quite OK in his clip.

    But be careful, because now you have set the precedent, we will be making sure that all your quotes are complete and totally accurate.

  25. There are several media articles about Howard clarifying his remarks, for example Iraq will not last decades, says Howard. None that I can find include a denial that he said them. Relying on these sources and my own memory of events is hardly dishonesty.

  26. Our good friend Tim Dunlop covered this very well in <a href=”http://blogs.news.com.au/news/blogocracy/index.php/news/comments/john_howards_iraq_policies_plural/” Blogocracy on Monday, October 22, 2007 – with all the links James is insisting on too….

    Lateline – 28/03/2003
    REPORTER: Some senior people in the Pentagon are suggesting this war could last months.

    Does that match with whatever you’re hearing?

    JOHN HOWARD: Well, I have never … can’t recall ever putting time on it.
    That sounds stretched to me.

    Howard interview: Hour of reckoning
    The Bulletin
    February 11, 2003
    B: So our forces would be in and out fairly quickly?

    PM: Oh, yes, very much so. If there is a final Australian military commitment, it will be of a scale that I’ve mentioned, and we would see it being of a quite short, specific, duration. I don’t see any increase. I don’t see any peacekeeping. We have resisted blandishments to provide peacekeepers in Afghanistan. Given our commitment in East Timor, and the possibility that in our own region you may need people for other peacekeeping, it’s not an area of the world where peacekeepers are really for Australia.

    B: What time frame do you have in mind?

    PM: A very short period of commitment. But I won’t try to put weeks and months on it. It will be short.

  27. Last try:
    Blogocracy

  28. 20. James of North Melbourne | November 19, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Your extended quote of Cheney doesn’t change this.

    I quoted excerpts from interviews and speeches made by Rumsfeld, Powel and George Bush not Cheney.

    Thankyou blogocrats for being so adept at finding the times I knew Howard had stated the war would be short and wouldn’t go on for years. This was not the only major stuff up or deliberate malfeasance he or his government was to make on the Iraq war.

    Like the statement he made Iraq would be a disaster if Rudd pulled out our troops and this would hand the terrorists a great victory. Still waiting John.

  29. Oh Grandfinali…a victim of “Black Dog Fever”…do any of you guys remember him and Wolf Rayet???

    Thanks for that link, bacchus.

  30. Oh Grandfinali…a victim of “Black Dog Fever”…do any of you guys remember him and Wolf Rayet???

    Thanks for that link, bacchus.

  31. How did that happen?

  32. Prime Minister John Howard on how very successful the war on Iraq was and how all the naysayers were so very wrong.

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=8R9eZ8c1EDo

  33. Classic Caney.

    “There aren’t millions of Iraqi refugees.”

    That is of course if you don’t count the two million who fled to neighbouring Arab states or the millions displaced internally,

    “This was a swift and decisive victory, there is no drawn out bloody door to door fighting.”

    OK John you were great at dishing it out to the opposition during that speech how about being a man and apologising for history has proven them right and you wrong, not the other way round as you said.

  34. I have one comment to make. i hope you hold the ALP to account. You people seem to hang on every word JH says.

    O.K. -Labor is now in power everywhere except in WA. How about holding the people who are in power now to the same standards you hold JH.

    When i first heard you people mentioning IRAQ,AWB,Haneef, Workchoices etc etc etc my first impression was that you lefties do not care about the truth.

    You just spend your miserable lives trying to find out some mistake John Howard has made and then throw some mud. You do not care about the TRUTH. You only care about alleged Liberal party lies.

    The ALP can tell as many lies as possible and you people do not care.

    Education revolution- where is it?? Broadband plan- perhaps Dudd lost his internet plans at the Strip club/Brothel he likes to visit.

    You people need to find a reason to exist other than to throw mud against the Liberal party.

    I do not believe that you people care about AWB, Iraq, haneef etc. You just get sexual pleasure making fun of John Howard.

  35. LOL Neil – you funny!

  36. “…You just get sexual pleasure making fun of John Howard…”

    Yeah, Howard is who I think of when sexual pleasure comes to mind. Sorry, but the very thought of Howard makes me gag and retch, hardly a turn on!

  37. Sorry, but the very thought of Howard makes me gag and retch, hardly a turn on!
    38. kittylitter | November 19, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I know it sounds perverted but thats what you people are. And Kittypoo you are a candidate for the most perverted of all.

    Speaking about promises how about this

    http://www.nsw.gov.au/docs/NW_Rail_Link_FastTrack.pdf

    Some excerpts
    “NSW Premier, Morris Iemma today announced a staged, accelerated delivery of the North
    West Rail Link that will introduce train services to The Hills two years ahead of schedule. ”

    etc etc etc.

    NSW Labor also promised no desalinisation plant until the dam levels fell below 30%. I just looked outside my window and it is pissing down and dam levels are at 65%.

    Promises, promises, promises

  38. I have one comment to make. i hope you hold the ALP to account. You people seem to hang on every word JH says.

    Neil there are plenty of us criticising the ALP on this site, on various threads. I have noticed your absence in the discussions, especially given your comment above which you have made here before.

    Why have you not joined in any of those? Is it because you agree with the policies being discussed? If so, why not give credit where you think it is due. Or can you not bring yourself to say anything positive about them?

  39. Neil the broadband plan was discussed on the ABC last night and the final tenders are about to go in. Please keep up with what’s happening. I know it’s hard because unlike the previous government who rammed things through with little or no oversight and mostly on Howard’s say so, this government is doing things in a measured and consultative way, which is a foreign concept to you.

    I also like how you always want to bring it back to the states because they are Labor states that are failing, neatly avoiding why Labor have been in power in these states for so long, which was because of previously failed Liberal governments.

    How about this Neil, you hold the Liberal state governments like the one in WA, which is starting to make excuses for not meeting its promises, and the next NSW Liberal government (I can’t see how they can lose the next election I for one am voting for them) plus any others to the same harsh criticism and attack as you have the Labor states. I won’t hold my breath because it won’t happen, in fact I predict you will make lots of excuses for their failures.

    There’s another difference Neil. I have voted for Kennett in Victoria, Joanna Gash federally and will vote for O’Farrell in the next NSW state election. You will never vote Labor out of blind ideology no matter how bad the Liberal government is.

  40. Neil

    Many of us would be swinging voters from what I can gather. You talk about promises. John Howard created the saying ” Non Core”. All politicians break promises. Wake up and criticise both sides of politics. John Howard was in power for 12 yes 12 years. Rudd has been in power for not even 1 . It is logical to find more faults with a government in power over 12 years than 1 year.

  41. Thank you, Bacchus, and you are quite correct. It was an interview in The Bulletin, no longer available online, where this “misquote” originated. John Howard was speaking of the Australian commitment, hypothetically, as the war hadn’t yet started. He was speaking in the context of the provision of peacekeeping troops from memory. And any reasonable analysis could only take the time frame as a “best guess”. In terms of context, no-one in the world really had any idea of the eventual scale of what was to happen. Maybe they should have.

    Kevin Rennie has “quoted” John Howard in an attack on his integrity. Using quotation marks indicates that you are quoting directly and accurately. Kevin Rennie is a retired teacher and would well know this. If Kevin Rennie wants to make a public attack on the former PM as regards his honesty and integrity, then it’s fair that Kevin Rennie’s own standards are explored in this regard. It would appear that those standards are not very high.

  42. “Kevin Rennie has “quoted” John Howard in an attack on his integrity”james

    John Howard has “integrity”?
    If he does I contend that it is/was slippery & flexible to suit his agenda.
    Of course the current lot are prone to self-servive also but Howard’s history of calculated deceit is especially cynical.

    Kevin Rennie isn’t a current or former PM.

  43. Well James what of Howard’s promise not once but twice not to increase troop numbers in Iraq only to do exactly that? Before an election he says one thing but after it he doubles the number of troops then defends the increase. This was so typical of Howard’s SOP across the board, making election promises he knew full well he had no intention of honouring.

    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2005/s1308902.htm

    Integrity is a totally foreign concept for Howard except insofar as he manipulates the impression of it for self gain, which is what Howard really is, a carefully manipulated and groomed public impression hiding the real unpalatable persona.

  44. Adrian, you can spend all day, as you have spent the last couple of years, trying to justify the often false accusations of dishonesty that you and others make against the former government. Kevin’s quote was specific, and it was false. No amount of “well what about this?” type argument (now that is NOT a direct quote, it’s a use of quotation marks intended to categorize a type of argument) will change that Kevin was dishonest in his accusation, which, ironically, was an accusation of dishonesty. I mean, really, are you suggesting that in a time of war, a Government should not adapt its strategy to suit the situation on the ground because it hadn’t said that it would prior to the previous election? Are you also suggesting that Australia should not be part of the rebuilding process in Iraq? You yourself have been dishonest here, by failing to identify that those extra troops were not combat troops as such, but placed there for the protection of Japanese engineers. The other dishonesty is a far broader one. To continue to narrow the Iraq debate down to “oil grabs” or “Bush/Howard/Blair warmongering” is to really completely miss the point in terms of the lessons that can be learned from what is far from the debacle that you and Kevin like to make it out to be. Regardless of the invasion of the Coalition, many thousands were going to be killed in Iraq. At some point, for instance, Saddam was going to die, and it’s difficult to see how there would not have been some sort of civil conflict at that point. Now that is not a justification for the invasion, it’s simply an observation that I think should be acknowledged. The real failures were 1. the failures of intelligence (and I acknowledge that the US administration played a part here, but not the only or even the major part) and 2. the failure (for the umpteenth time) of the United Nations to force an outcome through diplomacy. How many times has the UN, and its predecessor, the League of Nations, failed to effect a diplomatic resolution to a crisis only to watch the crisis spiral out of control with the result being the slaughter of millions? At some point, the UN had to actually act.

  45. Some of us have the ability to think beyond the nationalistic symbolism, the fear and smear campaigns, the dog whistles and the spoon fed spin which was designed to cover up the unpalatable man’s divisive agenda.

    Neil @ 38 …I know it sounds perverted but thats what you people are…

    Well Neil, in all my “perversions” I could never come up with thinking of Howard as sexual pleasure – I doubt that Janette even thinks of him in that way!

    The only perverted thinking here appears to have been yours.

  46. James, It is clear that Howard said many things that strongly suggested that he was taking us to a very brief war – lasting months not years. If Kevin Rennie removed the quotation marks you wouldn’t have any argument. The only argument you possibly have is, in my view, the incorrect use of quotation marks. And if anyone produces a quote of those remarks consider this miniscule and highly irrelevant criticsm retracted.

  47. “The only perverted thinking here appears to have been yours.”

    Well said. I couldn’t imagine anyone thinking of Howard in that way. It appears only Neil has been doing that.

  48. James, the last half of your most recent comment is some mighty fine softening of the opportunism of the COW invasion & almost seems as though you are trying to absolve the COW of the tragic mess they DIRECTLY caused through naked, ILLEGAL agression.
    I am surprised that you seem to support, or excuse perhaps, what in actuality was a willingness to allow “he who has the biggest stick” to adopt the law of the jungle in international affairs.

    “I acknowledge that the US administration played a part here, but not the only or even the major part”

    That in particular is really letting the neo-cons off of the hook far too easily.

    Do you also think that the end (always) justifies the means?
    Do you consider that Iraq now has “true democracy” & not a puppet admin?
    Let’s face it, if the Iraqis got to elect who they really wanted, & were actually completely in charge of their own country, it is very unlikely that the Islamic nation resulting would suit the narrow agenda that the US has for the region. To me that is what “democracy” means, the will of the people. Not the imposed, confected or filtered will of a superpower on the other side of the globe.

    Do you consider that the war is now won?

  49. No way James was Howard adapting to the situation in twice increasing the number of troops after he “promised” not to in election campaigns.

    How convenient for him. He makes the promise during an election campaign because the polls are telling him the opinions on the war and support for it are bad, so he promises not to increase involvement despite the US asking him to do exactly that. As soon as he wins the election the situation conveniently changes (as did the Australians role which also conveniently kept changing allowing Howard to keep troops in Iraq and increase their numbers whenever the US asked).

    You James, like Howard often did, treat the Australian people as idiots.

  50. HD, I’m not trying to absolve anyone of anything because neither I, nor you, know the extent of the crimes committed by the various parties in this entire mess. I do know that as it stands at the moment, Iraq as a nation appears to have a reasonable prospect of peace and prosperity, something that is certainly underreported. Further I acknowledge the historical reality that the one with the biggest stick has always been the one to (I think you meant) apply the law of the jungle in international affairs and the US has done this far more benevolently than any of its predecessors.

    I don’t think the end always justifies the means, although I do think that it needs to be taken into account.
    I think Iraq has the prospects of a far better form of democracy than it did prior to 2003.
    Your point as regards democracy is well taken, and I suspect that true democracy, the sort that doesn’t result in actual dictatorship, is some way off in Iraq, but I’d be interested in your thoughts now that Iraq may be a “puppet admin for an Obama US govt”.
    I think the major conflict in Iraq is over. I think that the war against Islamic extremism is far from over. I believe that even if that war is eventually won, another threat will take its place, as it took the place of Communism, and I fear that the US, for many reasons not excluding the actual and perceived failures in relation to Iraq and for that matter Afghanistan and Pakistan, is not as well placed to help us to defend ourselves as they were previously and we are certainly not able to defend ourselves alone.

    And I still think Kevin was dishonest in his misquoting of John Howard.

  51. James

    Good to come across someone as pedantic as me. John Howard had the opportunity to deny making the statement in parliament on 7 August 2007 when asked, “Does the Prime Minister now regret breaking his promises to keep interest rates at record lows, to protect workers’ entitlements and to keep Australian troops in Iraq for months, not years, or were there other specific broken promises?”. Check Hansard page 42.

    He chose not to do so. Unlike him not to dissemble and hide behind words.

    Enough said.

  52. “I’d be interested in your thoughts now that Iraq may be a “puppet admin for an Obama US govt”.”james

    I am not a Democrat or Obama supporter per se.
    He inherits a great mess on this front, not created by him but at the very least given tacit approval & support by his party in the past.
    I am not one who sees Obama as a saviour of any kind & recognise that the status quo will likely tie his hands much more than most like to think. In essence, whichever way he turns on Iraq, & at the moment it remains to be seen, he faces almost insurmountable difficulties.
    Currently the global community is quite enamoured of Bush’s successor but I wonder how quickly this will change as he is most likely proven to be a different take on the same kind of arrogant US exclusivity & foreign policy hypocrisy.
    Good luck to him, & I note that at face value he speaks in far more “aware” language than the verbally challenged, & prior to his election as POTUS, globally ignorant GWB.
    He would be hard pressed to do more to offend the world than Bush/Cheney but faces more, larger challenges ahead than Bush did when he took office. Bush/Cheney have shit in the bed which Obama is soon to lay.

    Basically, I see US global domination as an affront & I seriously doubt that much will change in that area; however, the protracted conflicts in Iraq & elsewhere, coupled with their financial meltdown, must be compromising their ability to project force effectively on a global scale as they have been want to do in decades past.
    So yes, in reality I think Iraq will be little more than a “puppet admin for an Obama US govt”.
    The president may change but the national apparatus will likely not change in a meaningful way.

    I hope to be wrong about this.

  53. Kevin, he did actually deny the quote in Parliament some years later, with words to the effect of “I think I was talking about the initial activity regarding special forces”. I can’t find the reference, but will supply it when I can.

  54. and notice the words “I think”… giving him wiggle room.

  55. http://www.openaustralia.org/debates/?id=2007-03-20.30.1#g30.3

    The link. Even he now thinks he used the expression when he didn’t, shows that if you are misquoted often enough, it can become, as Kevin would describe, “history”. So he didn’t say it, as shown by the Tim Dunlop link above, and he certainly didn’t say it in relation to the occupation as a whole.

  56. To me that is what “democracy” means, the will of the people. Not the imposed, confected or filtered will of a superpower on the other side of the globe.

    Going by that, I guess it is fair to say we haven’t been a democracy in Australia for many, many years (if ever).

    That things will be too different under Rudd are yet to be proven. I must say I am apprehensive so far.

  57. Do you really want democracy in that sense, Tracie? That would mean the the wishes of the Hansonites, the Exclusive Brethren, the Hillsong mob, the Catholics, the wingnuts, the monarchists, the pro-lifers, those rich executives, that racist mob over at Bolt’s blog etc would all have to be respected and considered.

  58. “I know it’s hard because unlike the previous government who rammed things through with little or no oversight and mostly on Howard’s say so, this government is doing things in a measured and consultative way, which is a foreign concept to you.
    39. adrianofnowra | November 20, 2008 at 7:08 am”

    Well i hope you are right. However it does seem crazy to me that an elected government spends the first 12 months having inquiries. Perhaps oppositions should be given access to the Public Service so they can cost and investigate their policies before being elected. It does seem a complete waste of 12 months just to have committee after committee.

    So far the great achievements of the ALP are Fuelwatch and Grocerychoice.

  59. “However it does seem crazy to me that an elected government spends the first 12 months having inquiries”

    Yeah, why dont they just get in there, make decisions and do things, whether they are the best and most appropriate things to do or not. Who cares if they stuff it up and have to amend legislation and/or reverse decisions later as long as they do something.

    “So far the great achievements of the ALP are Fuelwatch and Grocerychoice”

    And even then we will whinge and whine that they do nothing while totally ignoring what they have done but that we’d prefer to pretend they haven’t, cos, how else could we complain that they do nothing.

  60. Neil trolling again, not worth a retort Polly.

  61. “So far the great achievements of the ALP are Fuelwatch and Grocerychoice”

    I think you forgot one minor omission. They got rid of the Howard government.

    🙂

  62. Adrien,

    Like the new avatar. Is it a real snake and if so what sort?

  63. Gecko standing upright. I’ve always liked lizards and snakes, and have some blue tongues in my yard which I encourage to stay. I think they have laid some eggs under the heavy sugar cane mulch I recently laid down.

    I changed the avatar because the old one kept coming up with a black square and I had to go back into my profile to reset it. This one’s a jpeg which WordPress seems to like better.

  64. I agree, the gecko is nice.

    I have a nice silk shirt with some gecko’s embroidered on it.

    I’ll wear it one day to the blog so you can all admire it…

  65. I always thought that the blogocrats came to the party naked as the day they were born? At least I do.

  66. Actually you sparked a feeble neuron (not many left). Good time for a name change as well. Adrian’s my real first name but I like Gecko.

  67. Do you really want democracy in that sense, Tracie? That would mean the the wishes of the Hansonites, the Exclusive Brethren, the Hillsong mob, the Catholics, the wingnuts, the monarchists, the pro-lifers, those rich executives, that racist mob over at Bolt’s blog etc would all have to be respected and considered.

    James you think the prejuidices and bigotry of these groups has not been ‘respected, considered’ and IMO exploited by the Howard Govt to create division in our society.

    I would lilke to live in a country where the Govt puts the real interest of the citizens BEFORE the profits of big companies, and religious dogma of fundamentalists who don’t really deserve to call themselves Christians.

    So much of our foreign and economic policy is directly imported from the USA and implemented without question or real public debate.

    Not so suprisingly, the outcomes of these policies have not always (seldom) been in our best interests. So yes I would like to see Australia become a democracy as described by HD, rather than the US client state it currently is.

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