Howard on top: Luck, Lies and Latham

Posted by Kevin Rennie

Watched Part 3 The Howard Years: Commander-in-Chief last night. Decided that my post yesterday should have been called: Luck, Lies and Latham.

Tony Blair and George W. Bush were his political referees for the Iraq war. Funny how the three of them are still sure that they were right about WMDs and Saddam Hussein’s support for Al Qaeda. Howard is still not prepared to accept any responsibility for the debacle.

The children overboard spin tested the government ministers’ memories again. Peter Reith, the Defence Minster in 2001, must have old timer’s disease. The blatant political misuse of the military was obvious. The removal of captions on the photos of refugees in the water was disgraceful. This attempt to make them appear to be throwing children into the sea speaks for itself.

Looking forward to Howard’s self-destruction next week. As Peter Costello might have suggested, the Prime Minister should have walked before he ran himself out.


34 Responses

  1. I updated reb on the weekend thread. Last week he said that Reith was Gonzo from the muppets. I updated that Reith is actually Gonzo from the muppets impersonating John Clarke.

    The resemblance is uncanny.

  2. Kevin,

    Did u watch the extended interviews on Howard still uses careful words to hide his lies. Words that later on he will rely on to try and wiggle out of the meaning that he tried to convey.

    He is still the lying rodent.

  3. Joni

    Did u watch the extended interviews on

    Jeez Joni, get a life man! From now on, any time I think I am a politics junky and need help, I think I’ll just return to this post and remind myself that there are others that have the addiction much worse than me. 😉

  4. Don’t Reith and Downer remind you of giggly schoolgirls way out of their depth – as for old mealy mouth Hockey you can just see him holding some little kid up against a wall for his lunch money…today!

    Question – would you want endorsement from George W? The USA’s worst President – ever!

    …and textor looks and sounds like he just got out of jail! (or should be going in)

    What a bunch of ratbags – few people make me cringe but JWH is certainly one of them – rodent alright, ugh!

    As for Ruddock the Undertaker…

  5. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

    We watched Bewoulf instead. An animated story about a conceited self-professed ‘warrior’ who falls victim to his own grandiose ego.

    Maybe there are similarities after all…

    I’ll probably watch next week, just to see how they manage to portray their momentous election as some kind of ‘victory’

  6. D55

    Have some sympathy for me… I am still stuck in a bloody hotel room after nearly one month of being away from home. SFA for me to do.

  7. Joni,

    Sorry – I couldn’t resist. I can’t even suggest something to ease the boredom because I’m pretty sure you’ve probably already exhausted the easy options.

  8. D55

    I for disclosure (and before reb jumps in) I am not a union official and have not made “that” type of phone call.


  9. joni

    LOL, I won’t ask what other types of phone calls you’ve made 😉

  10. Chis Barrie is proving to be master of the back-flip. He is now trying to rewrite history and certainly prepared to expose Reith and his lying ways.

    Have some sympathy for the offspring of Reith and Downer who will be looking desperately for places to hide. The show is comedy gold.

  11. Phone calls?

    Who needs to make phone calls, when you’ve got internet access??

    Anyway, I understand that those hotels in Manilla are equipped to offer guests a very hospitible and ‘accommodating’ “room service”.

    Not too mention some very interesting neighbourhood establishments with very unique forms of *cough* *cough* *ahem* “entertainment”.


    I don’t think so.

    Joni’s just trying to make us believe that he’s this sweet little innocent thing…


  12. joni

    Looks like your pre-emptive strike failed.

  13. Kevin: I seem to recall another photo. It was a man holding a small child over his head. Again utilized as ‘proof’ of children being/or about to be thrown overboard. Somewhat later translation of what the man was shouting was provided, and it was something along the lines of Don’t shoot we have women and children on board.

  14. I haven’t watched any of this show, and don’t intend to start now. But something always struck me about Howard right from the start and that was/is his inability to admit error, whether error in judgement or in action.

    For a man to go through his entire life convinced that he has always been right and justified in every decision he has made, even when that decision was later revealed to be so obviously wrong, even concocted for political purpose, is not the mark of a “strong” or “determined” individual.

    It’s the mark of a child. It’s a mark of retardation, infantilism and immaturity in its extremest form and very possibly some form of psychopathy.

    Take a look at the 20 traits of psycopathy from the Hare PCL (and realise that, when I talk of psycopathy, I’m not talking Hannibal Lecter/Hollywood stereotypes)-

    Here’s the ones that, as far as I’m concerned, sum up the little fella –

    grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
    pathological lying
    cunning and manipulativeness
    lack of remorse or guilt
    shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
    callousness and lack of empathy
    failure to accept responsibility for own actions

    Although I doubt very much whether he’d tick the box when it came to one of the other traits … “sexual promiscuity”. The mind boggles.

    If I ever hear his voice again in any context, it’ll be too goddamn soon.

  15. Joni, did you stop by to leave your comment in the guestbook? (mix of for and against shown – for balance I suppose, although the Howard Years is hardly balanced – Truth Overboard and the Liebral Party remain). Here’s what OnePerson thought of the show:

    Author OnePerson
    Date/Time 01 Dec 2008 9:59:16pm
    Subject Candid, Confessional, Controversial

    Sorry aunty, I have switched off this series.
    Your headline “Candid, Confessional, Controversial” is as false as the answers of the politicians in power in 2001. They lied then and they continue to lie now, and I cannot imagine the time when they will ever have the capability of telling the truth. These politicians were nasty and mean then and they still are.
    So I think, why do I want to see these blokes continuing to perpetuate, for the sake of little more than political power, the indignity and the humiliation suffered by so many?
    So I stitched off. Sorry aunty, I thought that you could do better than this.

  16. RS,

    “sexual promiscuity”? Not if the rumours from within the public service are true.

  17. Joni – Really? Pray, do tell!

    I take it the public service did a sexy line in pasta sauce jars and octopusses?

    Actually, the thought of little Johnny pumpin’ hisself away in a green and gold tracksuit on top of a tub of pesto …

    It shrivels me. It really does.

  18. Did someone mention octopus?

    I had abalone last night.

    I think the abalone got something out of it. And I got something out of it too..

  19. ross
    are you calling janette…a tub of pesto?

    Am watching pt 3 now, Downer says getting rid of Saddam was good ‘policy’ no mention or care about the hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens affected by the ‘good policy’ of war with Iraq and Saddam’s WMD’s.

    Downer “everyone assumed saddam had WMD’s” Howard “we didn’t take the country to war based on a lie, we didn’t invent the intelligence”.

    But, they could have let the weapons Inspector Hans Blix finish his investigation though couldn’t they? You know, check out whether the intelligence is right about all those ‘possibilities’.

    Reith is a barefaced and pathological liar, still has no decency, morality or ethics. Disgusting man.

  20. But it was good to see that Disney’s animatronics are still working for Ruddock. I thought he had broken down beyond repair.

  21. To add a little to kittylitter…Reith was but doing his master’s bidding. However he was always an enthusiastic participant as evidenced by his support of the Patrick Corporation while Minister for Workplace Relations.

    One of my ‘worst’ is that the Howard years meant politicisation of the armed services, politicisation of the christian churches, just once example being the appointment of an Anglican archbishop Peter Hollingworth as Governor General. And why Hollingworth took up this appointment is beyond belief given that the church is supposed to be separate from politics. But that’s another story.

  22. kittylitter | December 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Er, no, I was being more literal, but hey, your suggestion works for me as long as i don’t have to watch the clip.

    “Everyone assumed that Sadam had W.M.D’s” … Y’see, I never assumed that and I’m just a bloke in an office. Everytime they trotted that out, all I could think was, “Well, why doesn’t he use a few if he’s got them?”

    I just never bought it. I thought, “Okay – Bin Laden, Taliban, Afghanistan … I get that. Blow them up, go for your lives.” Then they bring Iraq into it, and I just couldn’t see the connection. Never could. Silly me.

  23. RS

    And what about the “mob – to use the vernacular” who protested around the world? They did not believe the intelligence (sic).

  24. Joni –

    I was at the Hyde Park protest in Sydney. I don’t “do” protests, and this was only the second I’d been to (the other was back in the 80’s when Reagan and Russia were making nasty noises at each other).

    Myself and the 3 flatmates turned up, stood around for a few hours and watched people, then we left and went to the pub. For us, it was just about making a big crowd bigger, not placards and stuff.

    But (I recall), Downer or Howard said something to the effect that by being there we were (1) supporters of terrorism (2) encouraging danger to and the death of Australian troops.

    Number 1 is patently retarded but, as far as number 2 is concerned, if they had said that to my face, I would of happily taken the opportunity to relieve the little ***ts of their teeth.

    Jesus, that really made me see red, that malarkey.

  25. Indeed RS… I did the London and Sydney one. Never made it to the speeches in either as the crowds were so big.

    And I still proudly wear my “Don’t attack Iraq” badge on my cap.

  26. Then again, RS, someone did refer to me on blogocracy as being part of the “rent a mob” who go to all protests.

  27. On the subject of protests, my only turn-up was Springbok Melbourne 1971.

  28. I’ve been real active protestor. In the late 60s early 70s I joined a Moratorium march against the Vietnam War, and about 10 years ago I hid in a crowd demanding that something be done to provide a better deal for Aborigines.

    That’s two in 40 years. Hardly a serial pest.

  29. Miglo..I wouldn’t have thought that you wouldn’t have been let out that late at night in the 60’s and 70’s. I know that I wasn’t.

  30. Min, I had the wool pulled over mum and dad’s eyes. They thought I was a little angel.

  31. And what about the “mob – to use the vernacular” who protested around the world? They did not believe the intelligence (sic).

    Yes, but now when he’s been kindly allowed to re-write his own history uncriticised and unchallenged and use the ABC as his propaganda machine, its:

    JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER 1996-2007: This was to me a classic example that from time to time if you believed something is right you have to go against public opinion. And this was certainly the case with Iraq. (from program transcript The Howard years, pt 3 ABC).

    The mob is for him to use to his own political advantage eg the ‘support the troops’ emotional blackmail. Then if they still won’t be turned by the ‘message’ and the spin, well, you just have to ignore them. The whole western capitalist supremacy way of life is at stake.

  32. Peter Reith, the Defence Minster in 2001, must have old timer’s disease. . .

    Or as David Marr and Marian Wilkinson put it, in their book Dark Victory: “Peter Reith demonstrated his extraordinary ability to deny the obvious.”

    I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to know the absolute truth about the Tampa and the children overboard affair (or as the authors called ‘truth overboard’).

    The removal of captions on the photos of refugees in the water was disgraceful. . .

    Ironically, Howard and Reith were spitting chips that these photos existed as there was always the danger that they could show the human side of the refugees. Until of course, the captions could be removed for deceitful purposes.

    If anybody has any doubt about Howard being a liar, then read the book.

  33. […] a fun comments thread on the Howard Years at Lavartus Prodeo. And another one at Blogocrats. Watch the wild femo-nazis slug it out with the neo-con Daleks of the Sydney Institute as they […]

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