Turnbull may be standing in front of the…

Tony Abbott is being widely dismissed in the media as having little…

Emma Husar – Yet another institutional failure

By John TonsBy now most Australians will have moved on from the…

Beware of rabid zealots

By Ad astraLet’s remind ourselves of the meaning of ‘zealot’. Historically, it…

Great Barrier Reef Politics

Australia’s environment has been in precarious hands since European settlement found its…

Never allow racism to disguise itself in the…

Thursday 16 August 2018I don’t think there is a greater societal problem…

Let's Just Remember That Bloke In The Senate…

It's important to keep a sense of perspective here. I read somewhere…

Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne loses to…

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has gone about its annual business of…

Walk together in respect

We have a choice in Australia.We can succumb to the increasingly shrill…

«
»
Facebook

A State of Failure

When John Howard made the statement:

”Most famously, in 1996 Howard wanted Australians to be comfortable in their own skins. When pressed aggressively by Four Corners reporter Liz Jackson about his ambitions for Australia in the year 2000, Howard simply said he wanted Australians to be “comfortable and relaxed” about their past, present and future. As for himself, Howard said he was proud to be seen as “an average Australian bloke”.“ (Terry Barnes, “John Howard: the greatest PM of our time”, The Drum).

… Howard transferred the responsibility of the State to show civil respect and leadership onto the rag-tag shoulders of every bigot and racist hooligan with an axe to grind and a vulnerable victim to grind it upon. He had, in effect handed that section of the constitution that pledges protection and the shielding hand of civil respect, to the mob. Not the act of a Statesman, but rather that of a despot. For if the State is willing to relinquish the responsibility for civil obedience and respect onto what was even then a racist minority, then it is not a State of civil union, but rather; a failed State.

Mark well the warnings of Titus Livius:

“ … Here it is to be noted that many times actions that appear merciful, and which cannot be reasonably condemned, may become cruel, and very dangerous to a Republic if not corrected at the proper time. And to discuss this matter in more detail, I say that a Republic cannot exist without citizens of repute, nor govern itself well in any way. On the other hand, the reputation of such citizens is the cause of tyranny in Republics. And in order to regulate this thing, it [the Republic] needs to be so organized, that the reputation of citizens be based on the benefits it gives to the nation and not on any harm to it and its liberty. And, therefore, the methods with which they assume reputation ought to be examined, and these, in effect, are two, either public or private. The public methods are when one acquires reputation by counselling well and acting well for the common benefit. The way to such honours ought to be opened to every citizen, and rewards proposed for their good counsels and good works, so that they may obtain honours and be satisfied: and when such reputation is obtained through these pure and simple ways, it will never be dangerous: but when it is obtained through a private way (which is the other method mentioned) it is most dangerous and wholly harmful…” (Machiavelli; Discourses).

The current trend toward violent and vicious attacks upon vulnerable groups and individuals is, I accuse, precisely because of Howard’s and the current LNP administration giving too much voice and freedom of action to the far-right and fascist movements in Australia. Howard cunningly let slip those dogs of war to divide the community. The Murdoch press responded and upped the ante with its unrelenting howl of confected outrage against every single person that challenged their stereotype, that they could vilify or make victim or claim as an act of aggression against their blameless “Alt-right” movement.

The speechless mass-shootings we see on a regular basis in the USA reflect an act of insane desperation by some of those very people in that State given too much freedom to be “comfortable in their own skin”. We all know or at least realise by the time we reach adult-hood that one is compelled or expected to act in a civil manner to one’s fellow citizens or place at risk the social contract of our own respect. We learn these things in the playground of primary school, where we make a group of friends or when we play in a sport team in our teenage years … We learn to yield to the folly of deliberately hurting others while we frequent the taverns and clubs of our twenties, so that by the time we reach maturity, like the age when John Howard made the above comment, we ought to be more astute as to how freely we counsel our own children … Yes … truly, we ought to advise them that they ought to feel comfortable in their own skin. But! … and this is the part that the devious fool Howard left out: but we must respect those others of our society who, while their “skin colour” is of a different complexion and their “skin culture” may be of a different, more complex matrix, it is the duty of any citizen of the nation to allow space for all others to “feel comfortable” next to each other’s “skin”.

But Howard didn’t want this to happen. HIS intent was not to unite the nation under one social contract. There was instead intent and then deed to divide and rule with vicious impunity by the one ”skin” the one creed, the one political ideology … an ideology of Rule by fear. Rule by force. Rule by fascist intent! By his own words, we can see it is obviously NOT directed to those Indigenous or ethnic groups whose past was vandalised, whose present is tenuous and whose future is a thing of doubtful hope … No! … those he was wishing  such comfort upon were those of his own matrix … his own prejudices. His words were not merciful, not reasonable, not all-encompassing … those were the words of an ache for white supremacy, Anglo-centric, Christian-centric conservative governance with no place for radical dissent.

He, personally failed, being found out to be a devious, lying little rodent, but his creatures follow on, chivvied and guided by the Murdoch media and its imitators. There will have to be a Parliamentary Inquiry and perhaps a rolling tribunal to bring those media players before a panel to be judged for their actions against their fellow citizens. Let it be known as ”The Citizens Tribunal” … and there they will make their case and woe betide those who come up wanting!


6 comments

  1. babyjewels10

    “Howard transferred the responsibility of the State to show civil respect and leadership onto the rag-tag shoulders of every bigot and racist hooligan with an axe to grind and a vulnerable victim to grind it upon. He had, in effect handed that section of the constitution that pledges protection and the shielding hand of civil respect, to the mob. Not the act of a Statesman, but rather that of a despot. ” Thank you. You’ve put into words the reason I feel nothing but loathing for the man, including for Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

  2. Phil

    Indeed JC – I too saw Howard as a devious, nasty piece of flotsam that floated to the top of the foetid conservative pond, and who bobbed along on the yellow scum surface just long enough to exploit every crevice of inherent anglo-Australian prejudice.

    The idea of Citizens Tribunals has merit – so how should this worthy idea be carried forward?

  3. Joseph Carli

    Phil..your description of Howard is too kind!

    ” The idea of Citizens Tribunals has merit – so how should this worthy idea be carried forward?”…
    It would depend upon the Labor Party getting elected…social media would have to put enormous pressure on the Labor party to construct a tribunal committee as a side-bureaucracy of the court system and the committee would have access to emails and communications between those persons and parties being investigated..and the Tribunal proper would then compel those accused to attend for questioning about their actions.
    Because there have been so many Australian citizens and perhaps Ministers and bureaucrats alike themselves accepting wages and bonus payments from Murdoch’s media corp’ and other international corp’s, owned by foreign citizens, to act against the interests of Australian sovereignty, its governments and against individual Aust’ citizens, there could charges of treason to answer.

  4. etnorb

    Thoroughly agree with your thoughts & sentiments re this devious little rodent & what his time in power did for this country & the people!

  5. Big Bad John

    Not only that most/all of the bottomless pit financial problems that Australia is now plagued with are the direct result of policies put in place by Howard and Costello.

  6. David Bruce

    How fortunate for Howard the Port Arthur massacre occurred just after he had prepared the gun control legislation for Australia. Coincidence? I think not…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: