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Ante eulogy for a political pornographer

By Paul Smith

In anticipation of the day when John Howard shuffles off this mortal coil and clichés and platitudes rain down like an apocalypse.

Johnny who?

What a pathetic coward. John Howard waits until he’s out of the country before he makes any comment about current affairs in Australia, and when he does, (in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Thursday 6/3/08) he pretends that he wasn’t given the most humiliating thrashing any political leader in Australia, and possibly the world, has ever had. Howard slams the Rudd government for abandoning WorkChoices as though it wasn’t the single most significant issue on which Labor won the 2007 election. Oh, and he makes no reference to the fact that the party he lead to utter ignominy abandoned every last link to WorkChoices after being thrashed yet again by public opinion when Julie Bishop foreshadowed opposing the abolition of AWAs in the Senate. This is not mere denial: it’s outright contempt. And it gets worse. Howard’s Washington speech was entitled “Sharing our common values.” Our common values?

Yes, that’s right, the man who lost the right to speak for the nation in the most excoriating repudiation of the values he embodied for eleven and a half years still presumes to know what Australian values are, and pretends to have the right to speak on our behalf, as if we didn’t know what we were doing when we sacked him and his fawning cling-ons at the last election. The fact that he was not prepared to say to Australians in Australia what he said to his mates in a foreign country really says it all. He’s a gutless wonder. No that’s giving him too much credit. He’s just plain gutless – the most damning proof of which is actually something else he failed to do in this country. Who was conspicuous by his absence when Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations?

Little Johnny has never embodied the values that underpin this country – doesn’t hold a candle to the Anzacs, for example, whom he was so fond of cuddling up to when in office, because he hasn’t learned anything from defeat, behaving more like Saddam Hussein claiming a great victory after the first Gulf War.

Howard hasn’t actually claimed a victory. He’s just refused to accept that he and what he actually stood for has been repudiated. Yet in his speech he said:

“… a number of the more conservative social policies of my government have been endorsed by the new Australian government… The sincerity of its conversion will be tested by experience of office.”

The man is utterly shameless. Not to mention narcissistic. He implies that the policies he refers to are his gift to the nation, and that only he could pull them off, when the truth is that they were opportunistic caricatures of what is actually needed: the NT intervention being the prime case in point. His brazen claim to be the better economic manager is another one. And the appalling state of our defence equipment is its own comment on his claim to be the bulwark of the nation’s security. Name any policy that Howard claimed to be the best at and you’ll find a white-anted reality behind a façade of political machismo.

The measure of Howard the coward is that he can’t admit that he was wrong. Worse still, he hasn’t got the guts to say in his own country that he still believes that his policies are the right ones for Australia. He has to skulk off to Imperial Capital to be feted by the powerful effete (sic).

Two further observations in closing.

Firstly, everyone in Australia is aware of the fact that the only other Prime Minister to lose his seat at an election lost it over industrial relations. What most people probably aren’t aware of is that the only other political leader who clung to government beyond his parliamentary term, as Howard did in 2007, also lost the election. There’s probably a lesson in that. Anyone want to write an opera about it?

Secondly, remember “Aspirational Nationalism”? Remember all those discussions about what it could possibly mean? Well, here’s another one from when Howard was treasurer: “Incentivation”. Remember that one? Remember the bagging he got for it? My point is, he didn’t learn anything from that episode. He continued to live in a world of his own out of which he thought he could gift the nation with words and phrases that didn’t even have what it takes to become clichés. John Howard is not just a coward. He’s a empty vessel. In the end it really was appropriate that he did not attend the Apology. He isn’t worthy of it.

Let him have his day in the land of the brave and the home of the free, by all means. Let him wallow in the fantasy that he is the suffering servant rejected by his own household. But please, let’s not have a blow-by-blow account of it in the media. Not because as left-Liberals, which he so contemptuously labels anyone who recognises him for what he is, we don’t want to hear “good news”, but because we’ve had a gut full of political pornography.

Note: I originally penned most of this in 2008. My opinions of the man have not changed since then.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    A skinful of excremental revulsion, always scheming, plotting ambitiously, egofixated, desperate for attention, charmless, isolated, over rated, unable to grasp essentials in areas including maths, economics, history, that’s the lad Jack Howard. The abrupt stirrer, the poseur of future greatness, he boasted and he plotted and somehow, has got into the books, “famous”, but for what? Reptilian soullessness? Intellectual aridity? Howard has learned from advisors, patrons, donors, support, that one must grandiose out and up, avoid truth, embrace dishonesty and remember to boast pompously. A great fake, fraud, failure…

  2. Ross

    So you want to be a politician in today’s Liberal Party? It’s the party John Howard built.

    Here is a list of the requirements for the prospective candidate.

    A dodgy, nasty, mean and tricky, tone deaf, white and winy misogynous Anglo Saxon male with low moral fortitude and no redeeming attributes, anti-tax, anti-government, anti-climate, anti-union, anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-ABC, anti-public everything hard right wing bath plug.
    Profoundly neo-liberal austerity driven with zero knowledge of economics.
    Ready and willing to stick the boot into the poor and oppress the sick, the young, the old, the homeless and the needy. A man stuck in the 1950’s. A narrow bigoted extreme right wing Christian fundamentalist religious nut bag with a born to rule attitude is deemed mandatory.

    Must have attended prestigious top tier private schools, preferably the stricter Christian religious variety, academic proficiency is frowned upon.

    Majoring in extreme right wing shenanigans at one of our better universities that daddy bought your place in will be viewed with approval.

    Must be capable of using public funds to vastly increase your private property portfolio while shovelling huge wads of public cash to mates, cronies and donors at the same time cutting taxes for the wealthiest 0.05% and defunding public utilities then selling said public utilities to mates, cronies and donors for a song. (Thus ensuring cushy well paid board positions on retirement).

    Men of Australia, do you have the right stuff to be a Liberal Party Politician?
    If you are a far right wing arsehole then don’t delay, post your application to any mainland state office or if you are a super massive far right wing arsehole, post it to the federal office.
    (If you are too far gone for even the Howard Liberals don’t despair the gNats will gleefully accept you).

  3. Steve Davis

    My fondest memory of JH was him lecturing Labor for not learning from the lessons of history, then losing his seat over industrial relations.

  4. TwainandHume

    Well put … the only thing I can credit Howard with is getting through Parliament the sensible firearm laws. His legacy has nothing else in it that is of benefit to the vast majority of Australians.

    Ross: “A bathplug”? But, but a bathplug is very useful!

  5. Kerri

    I used to call him “Little Johnny Wayward” and my biggest criticism of him was that he always thought he and Jeanette represented all Australians. Like all of us were just like him and all of us held the same beliefs as him. But when he decided, after 911. To try to put Australia on the world map. Under a bloody big target. Sam Neill summed up the damage in an interview that I thought was with Andrew Denton but I can’t seem to find online, when he said words to the effect of; I was fine living in this quiet peaceful part of the earth until (not sure if he actually named the above but we all knew who he meant) brought us to the attention of terrorists and political forces world wide. Yes Howard was the mouse that roared and Australia the country that got punished for it.
    Valid point! It was the only useful thing he did but so destructive were the bulk of his actions that he is more the turd that needs to be forced down the plughole than the plug that does the dirty work.

  6. Jim McIntosh

    I note with some amusement that the Liberal Party – or what remains of it – habitually wheels this frizzled prune out whenever it looks like the going might get tough at election time. As though the sight of this slobbering cadaver might inspire others to abandon their own principles and vote for a party that holds none whatever. It’s a profound sign that the Liberal Party appeals to hardly anyone outside of an instinctually brittle and intellectually bereft cohort of ageing Boomers who resent their place at the top of the privilege heap being challenged by younger, emerging and (dare I say) more progressive groups.

    Thank you for the eulogy.

  7. Andrew Smith

    Like Abbott who still visits the US Heritage Foundation plus related in UK and Hungary, Howard’s visit to AEI says much of how Australia and especially the LNP, went wrong.

    Both think tanks, like the IPA, CIS, Taxpayers’ Alliance and AIP locally, they are in the Koch ‘Atlas Network’ with DeSmog (sourcing Guardian article) describing AEI as:

    ‘The AEI was sixth on a list of organizations that received the highest climate skeptic funding between 2011 and 2013, reaching $5.7 million in total, The Guardian reports in their article titled “Secretive donors gave US climate denial groups $125m over three years” that examines money flows from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund’ (latter two are Koch)

  8. Brian Meynell

    And, who will ever forget his appalling attempt to bowl a cricket ball….?

  9. george theodoridis

    Everything in this page is entertainment of the highest orer, deserving of the WOrld’s Prize for Mirth. Accurate but highly entertaining!

  10. GL

    Every time time I hear caterpillar eyesbrows name all I can think of is Little Johnny Arthur falling through his floaties in Kerry Thwacker’s swimming pool and having to be rescued several times, courtesy of How Green was my Cactus years nay, some decades, ago.

  11. Michael

    An exemplar of a hollow man…

  12. Max Gross

    John Howard is the source of all the overt and covert racism, bigotry and divisiveness that has plagued Australia now for decades

  13. andy56

    i had a lot to say but scrubbed it all. Howard is a ^&*T. A self centered piece of shit. He has no eternal wisdom, just eternal self rigteousness. He has a lot of blood on his hands and i hope he chokes on it. When he keels over, it will be a time of celeration. He will be joining his friend Reif in eternal self rimming.

  14. leefe

    During his tenure as PM, I had nothing but contempt for LJH. That feeling has grown into something like hatred, which is not an emotion to which I am accustomed. He did one good thing in his entire career – one – but that one thing has been overshadowed by the liies, the arrogance, the deafness and blindness and bigotry and all the other negatives.

    If he and Janette are typical Aussies, count me out as one.

  15. Paul Smith

    Phil Pryor, you put it so eloquently – “A great fake, fraud, failure…”
    Ross, a comprehensive check list for aspiring vampires
    Steve Davis, and the second PM to lose an election after exceeding his term of office
    TwainandHume, the other useful legacy is the foil he provides for Keating in Keating the Musical
    Kerri, worse than thinking we are all like him and his missus, he thinks we ought to be if we’re not
    Jim McIntosh, you’re welcome, but please note, it’s an ante-eulogy – a preemptive strike
    Andrew Smith, as a dog rolls in shit so Howard swallows koch drops
    Brian Meynell, not Trevor Chappell, for one
    george theodoridis, the gifts of the three wise men: gold, frankincense and mirth…
    GL, gee I missed that one – do you think he might oblige us with a reenactment… without the floaties
    Michael, a good name for a TV series
    Max Gross, if not the source, certainly the enabler
    Andy56, your final image has me gagging – please God! Let me unsse it!
    leefe, they’re typical Aussies in their home grown legend

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