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If Australia is to move forward, we must dump the Howard legacy

The fact that the Liberal Party consider John Howard some sort of elder statesman with great knowledge to impart, the fact that they wheel him out every election like he has some relevance to the contemporary electorate, shows just how bereft of ideas they are.

The blame for pretty much every problem we have can be sheeted squarely at the feet of the Howard era, exacerbated by his disciple, Tony Abbott.

They squandered a once in a lifetime windfall.  They sold off our assets.  They privatised essential services and utilities.  They introduced unsustainable tax concessions that skewed investment away from productive enterprises.  They gave huge tax cuts to corporations and high-income earners.

They used refugees as political pawns.  They changed the marriage act.  They insisted on religious chaplains in state schools.  They instigated the Northern Territory Intervention and refused to apologise for the Stolen Generation.  They sent us to war in Iraq based on a lie.

Despite a pre-election promise to match Keating’s increases to the Superannuation Guarantee, Howard immediately reneged.

They introduced Workchoices which undermined job security, workplace entitlements and wages growth.

Between 1999 and 2005, federal funding for public schools increased by $261 per student compared to an increase of $1584 for each private school student.

Howard’s government corroded Medicare by misdirecting money into tax deductions for inefficient private health insurance.

Infrastructure spending was arbitrary, reduced to porkbarrelling in Coalition and marginal seats.

The public service was politicised and the independence of the ABC attacked.

They torpedoed the referendum on finally getting an Australian head of state.

After negotiating to be one of only three countries permitted to increase emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, they refused to ratify it.  Ever since his defeat in 2007, Howard has spent his time pouring scorn on the “alarmist” scientific consensus on global warming, comparing those calling for action on climate change to religious zealots – a line often repeated by Abbott and Pell.

The Howard legacy was to suck the country into a vortex of power, privilege and greed where ambition, self-aggrandisement and the pursuit of wealth have replaced integrity, public service and acting in the best interests of the nation.

In 1996, Keating said “When you change the government, you change the country.”

How right he was.  But undoing the Howard legacy will be a huge mountain to climb for any government.

47 comments

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  1. Ken

    Totally agree with all the points you make Kaye

  2. Aortic

    Well done again Kaye. This mendacious little bastard also manipulated a referendum on the Republic making it so convoluted it became impossible for people to make a considered vote. He and Costello wasted enormous opportunities to make a real long lasting difference to the country choosing instead populism favouring the big end of town meaning as you say requiring long term fixing if at all in some instances.

  3. AJ O'Grady

    Everything that is rotten, criminal and corrupt in Australia is a Howard legacy. Howard is a war criminal who has spawned this cabal of god fearing,science loathing, criminally corrupt inbreeds comically called the a government. They all should be in jail but that would lower the decency, dignity and honesty paradigm of jail inmates.

  4. Alcibiades

    Howard: “I Only Give Character References To Respectable Paedophiles”

    Former Prime Minister John Howard has clarified his decision to give a character reference to George Pell, saying he only provides testimonials for the most respected, upstanding child rapists in our community.

    Responding to criticism of his decision, Mr Howard explained that he was very choosy with the sex offenders he endorsed, saying he wouldn’t write a glowing reference like this for any old paedophile…

  5. Rhonda

    Agreed. When the rot set in…and here we are

  6. Lesley Houston

    Damage has been done ‘ how can anyone put John Howard or and other LNP politition on a peddle stool when you see former PM provide support to George Pell, and you see the LNP totally ignoring ordinary Australians’ and too busy looking after the very wealthy.

  7. Diannaart

    Are we confident, if/when Labor wins office they will make significant efforts to repair some of the damage done? Some damage which, it must be said, has been endorsed by Labor in opposition.

    Julia Gillard did some great work, but did allow life to be that bit harder for single parents.

    Rudd also has work to be proud of, in his first term, not so much in the second. Neither Rudd nor Gillard did anything to raise NewStart. Wages which began to stagnate under Howard, continued to fall behind CPI increases under Rudd/Gillard.

    Refugees continued to be locked up on island gulags.

    Any progress on climate change action was scuppered by a vengeful Abbott, action which really wasn’t enough to begin with.

    Bill Shorten, you had better be ready. We need solid investment; both financial and political into our public schools, technology, science research and manufacturing. There is no good reason for Australia to continue down the path of servility, not everyone wants to be a barista, nor should they; each to their own ability, no more corporate straitjacket stifling.

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/australia-has-reached-the-point-of-no-return-its-time-to-forget-about-making-stuff/news-story/a9be2733741e638f1aff3addaf436242

  8. Phil

    ” Responding to criticism of his decision, Mr Howard explained that he was very choosy with the sex offenders he endorsed, saying he wouldn’t write a glowing reference like this for any old paedophile :

    Mr Howard went on further to say ” Look the charges against George are very tenuous. I think George was actually giving the young boys music lessons in the vestibule. He told me his organ was of exceptional quality and was very easy to play. He went on to tell after the boys tuned it up it played with an amazing clarity in fact it seemed to have a clarity very HARD to find. I told George that I had heard that a very fine tune could be played on an old Stradivarius. George looked at me and said you silly old fool John a violin is useless, you need a large organ to make the music I like.

  9. Henry Rodrigues

    The worst misfortune that has ever befallen Australia has been the existence of that little slimy sob Howard. He set about changing everything that was good and progressive in our society and with the help of his accomplice, that other bastard Murdoch, he has manged to screw up the perceptions and expectations of ordinary citizens and instill in a vast number of once nice people, greed and avarice as a goal to be chased above all else. And so we have those people who aspire to become property millionaires, tax minimisers, practitioners of creative accounting, shoddy developers who have the ear of weak corrupt state governments like this one in NSW, by persuading them to splurge money on unnecessary construction projects and rake in vast sums of money. Yes the lying rodent is probably the root cause of almost all the nasty aspects of society today. Can’t wait for the bastard to settle into his hole in the ground so he can be pissed upon.

  10. Zathras

    A perfect summary Kaye.

    Now if we could get the ALP back on its own course and not keep trying to “shadow” the coalition in their repressive policies maybe we could get our country back to where it should have been.

    People are hopefully less scared of refugees, terrorists, falling house prices, tax rises, Medevac, recession and African gangs than they are scared of 3 more years of this government.

    Howard’s humiliating electoral defeat should have been a metaphorical stake through his heart but the old zombie keeps crawling back out of his grave. If the government thinks his mere presence will make us remember how “good” it was during his reign, what are they saying about how much worse it must be now?

    Even between right-wing zealots, the late Bob Santamaria admitted that at his age, he thought he no longer had the capacity to hate but he really hated what Howard was doing to Australia.

  11. totaram

    Zathras: “Even between right-wing zealots, the late Bob Santamaria admitted that at his age, he thought he no longer had the capacity to hate but he really hated what Howard was doing to Australia.”

    Really? I would love to find the evidence for that. I always thought Howard and Abbott after him were following the line set out by Santamaria. To think they actually went beyond anything he wanted should be truly revealing.

    Doesn’t that create huge problems for the likes of Tony Abbott? I know, he is immune to the lesser problems of cognitive dissonance, but might not this be too large even for him?

  12. Alcibiades

    Zathras

    Even between right-wing zealots, the late Bob Santamaria admitted that at his age, he thought he no longer had the capacity to hate but he really hated what Howard was doing to Australia.

    You cannot be serious ? Both Abbott & convicted paedophile Pell were & still are acknowledged devotees/disciples of the distilled evil that was Santamaria ’til his last breath, let alone Howard …

    Howard methodically & systematically purged any actual small l or moderate Libs long, long ago … the so called current ‘moderates’ are only slightly left of Atilla the Hun, IMV.

    Howards Liberal party considers Malcolm Fraser(deceased) a rogue leftist … Malcolm Fraser ?!

  13. paul walter

    The legacy of Howard’s Islamophobia needs not to be ignored after today’s terror attacks on mosques in Christchurch, NZ.

    Litle doubt his inflammatory comments also figured in the decision to bomb at Bali last decade also.

  14. Wayne Turner

    Spot on article. I wish Labor would point out what a joke Howard always was.The original wrecker.

  15. helvityni

    Paul W, I wonder how Scomo et Howard are going to white-wash this one, no more good character references for crims and sinners…

  16. paul walter

    Forty dead Helvi. The guy responsible is someone called Brendan Tarrant, who may be an Aussie. More to come.

    Morrisons *Islamophobia? we don’t know yet.

  17. paul walter

    More. He left a “manifesto”.

    An Islamophobe.

  18. Alcibiades

    40 Killed. 20 wounded TBC. Three in custody. Multiple vehicle IEDs defused/detonated. Additional IED safely detonated at a major train terminus.

    At least one shooter wore ballistic body armour & helmet, with multiple automatic rifles heavy ammo loadout … live streamed first person footage from kitting out, leaving vehicle, entering one mosque, the killings, reloading, numerous repeated coup de grace, pursuing and shooting those fleeing, returning to vehicle, driving away.

    One detainee confirmed Australian born & citizen.

    ~73 page White Supremist in-depth ‘Manifesto’ concurrently uploaded to web.

    Murdoch, Howard, Morrison, Dutton, Abbott & Co., Hanson, Anning nurtured & enabled everything that has lead to this …. no bloody question.

    Peace. Salaam. Shalom.

  19. Kaye Lee

    paul,

    “Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy

    THE opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.

    Mr Morrison’s suggestion was made at a meeting in December [2010] at which shadow ministers were asked to bring three ideas for issues on which the Coalition should concentrate its political attack during this parliamentary term.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-sees-votes-in-anti-muslim-strategy-20110216-1awmo.html

    When will politicians learn that in their cynical hunt for votes, the words they say have consequences.

    Morrison is as low as they get. He has never cared about the hatred and violence his words may provoke.

    I know, says Scott, let’s move the embassy to Jerusalem.

  20. paul walter

    The ABC mentions it at mo but denies the manifesto they found.

    Lying scum.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Has anybody seen Fraser Anning’s tweets about the Christchurch incident?

    They are absolutely disgusting.

    It was the fault of the Muslim fanatics for migrating to NZ.

    What a low-life piece of excrement he is.

  22. Michael Taylor

    Great find, Kaye.

    This needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

  23. paul walter

    Trying but Oz media wont run it. All over the pages on NZ press and media.

    Why the cowardice?

  24. paul walter

    Michael, that is yet another bombshell, but it condemns hard right politics beyond retrieval.

  25. Alcibiades

    In the days after that incident, Mr Morrison described “radical, violent, extremist Islam” as the greatest threat to Australia’s national security. Nov 18

    Milo Yiannopoulos is set to visit Australia again, with the Immigration Minister overriding Department of Home Affairs Ban 5 days earlier & ignoring advice that the controversial right-wing speaker should be banned. 7 Mar 19

    Morrison chastises ‘do-gooders’ who let Muslim children not sing anthem

    Treasurer says teachers taking students at Victorian primary school out of school assembly during holy month of Muharram win his ‘muppet of the year award’. 28 Oct 2015

  26. paul walter

    Ha, how fortuitous, the “Dear Tony” posting.

    “Your only achievements have been ones of destruction and wreckage…”

    Begins to take on a whole new meaning, yes?

  27. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    He disgusts me. What sort of a lowlife wants to stoke community division?

    It was an Aussie guy that did the shooting. It will be very interesting to learn about his connections. A photo with Pauline perhaps? Listening to George Christensen at a Reclaim Australia rally? An Anning follower? I am sure they will be investigating his social media closely but I have no faith they will tell us the truth. We will have to watch the NZ media.

  28. paul walter

    Alcibiades, begins to explain why oz media have been so tardy reporting Tarrant, on a Friday afternoon?

  29. Phil

    Hate begets more hate.

    Now we’ll all sit and wait for the payback. And payback will come. All of the pseudo psychologists can now start on cue, to tell us and our Muslim brothers to calm down and love each other. Revenge not being in their vocabulary. Oh no revenge is so primitive. The fact it took millions of years of evolution most exclusively to homo sapiens, is lost on these wankers.

    I watched a news piece on CNN it was an Iraq man loading his dead children on to the back of a truck. Two toddlers the female had blond hair irrelevant I know, her bowls were clearly seen hanging down her legs the colours of red and dark yellow stained in my mind forever. Not that dead bodies worry me that much, I’ve seen plenty in another life.. The father was a gibbering mess, but according to our educated leaders thoughts of revenge swirling around in the mans mind would soon pass and he would learn to love us in time.

    We are going to lose this war and make no mistake the Pandora’s box opened by Bush, Blair, Howard and the other leaders of mass delusion, are responsible for it all. I would imagine Morrison is inconsolable, not because people are dead but the perpetrators of this affront to decent human being’s every where weren’t Muslim. Btw ASIO when you read this as I know you do, as per all my comments , go FY’s.

  30. paul walter

    The next question is, will this provoke a retaliation from militants off shore?

    Thanks, Morrison, Murdoch Dutton etc and your stupid, irresponsible hate games.

  31. paul walter

    Btw, Alciabiades, ” page not available, does not exist”

  32. Kronomex

    I saw Stan & Ollie today (Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly did an amazing job with the roles) and not even seeing the photo of Caterpillar Eyebrows and Gormless the Blunder PM can affect my good mood.

  33. Alcibiades

    paul walter

    The Corporate MSM has been complicit, as has the AFP & BorderFarce for years re inciting supremists & racists..

    Murdoch & the rest will probably take 24 hours plus to devise a media strategy/narrative that does not instantly loop back upon their own decades past conduct & facilitation. In the interim they will seek to suppress much detail/attribution’, IMV.

    It has been officially declared a terrorist attack by NZ, that’s why Morrisons first and second ‘tweets’ were separated by ~4 hours, his entire phraseology radically changed from the second tweet & public address onwards. PR direction & managed spin, wholly unable to downplay or de-emphasise the NZ categorisation & obvious consequences.

    As DG ASIO testified in estimates, our greatest security threat is from right wing extremists.

  34. Alcibiades

    PW

    That was quick … targeted takedowns are occurring worldwide. All known & reposted links as they arise to any documents/footage are being blocked by NZ ISPs, probably AUS now too, in the interim. Septics are being … uncooperative/unresponsive … so far.

  35. Kronomex

    Will Il Duttonuci use what happened in New Zealand as a scare campaign against Labor? Maybe, maybe not. All of the attackers, it appears, are white maniac extremists with one the men being an Australian male that helped commit this atrocity. It will be interesting to see what spin he puts on it.

  36. Alcibiades

    FYI

    NZ shooter feared displacement of white majority – Financial Review (~1 hour prior to this post)

    One of the primary justifications cited for the attack is an 11-year Swedish girl named Ebba Akerland, who was one of four people killed in …

    AFR obviously has a full copy of the ‘manifesto’. A reasonably accurate summation, IMV.

  37. Kaye Lee

    July 2015: Federal Coalition MP George Christensen has told a crowd of anti-Muslim protesters Australia is “at war with radical Islam”.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-19/george-christensen-addresses-extreme-islam-at-mackay-rally/6632006

    December 2015: In an opinion piece for News Corp, Mr Abbott writes that societies “can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/tony-abbott-societies-cant-remain-in-denial-about-the-massive-problem-within-islam-20151209-gliupg.html

    December 2015: “Director general of Asio, Duncan Lewis, has contacted a number of Coalition politicians to warn robust comments risk becoming a danger to national security”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/17/mps-question-asio-chiefs-request-to-moderate-language-on-islam

    August 2016: “Federal police commissioner warns MPs ‘words matter’ in debate on Islam.

    Asked about One Nation MPs calling for ban on Muslim immigration, Andrew Colvin says police rely on having a good relationship with Muslim community”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/22/federal-police-commissioner-warns-mps-words-matter-in-debate-on-islam

    January 2017: Two of the Coalition’s leading conservatives have been named as “special guests” at $150-per-head dinner being held by anti-Islamic group, the Q Society of Australia.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/cory-bernardi-and-george-christensen-to-attend-dinner-for-antiislam-group-20170102-gtkyrq.html

    Will these people accept some responsibility for radicalising this man?

  38. andy56

    I too consider Howard to be a bottom of the barrel human. He always played the day and had no interest in making things better in this country, it was good enough for his little mind. Now he thinks he’s a statesman. Giving us his wisdom. Surely at his age he should be self aware, no? Obviously not or totally in denial that he fucked up.

    Terrorist? No , call him what he is, a MURDERER. He wants fame, fuck him, dont even post his name. I dont want to know his sob /life story. Just end it asap. He forfeits all rights to life.

  39. Zathras

    totaram and Alcibiades,

    From memory, the Santamaria remarks were made during an ABC TV interview with him and Jim McClelland (by Maxine McKew?) a number of years ago.
    They went to the same school together and their lives followed very different paths but they ended up in agreement about most things decades later. I’ll try to find more detail but I remember it quite well.

    It may have been Bob Ellis who remarked about the irony of Howard visiting Santamaria during his last days, considering how much it was known Santamaria despised him. That visit was more about promoting Howard’s alleged compassion than about Santamaria and his policies.

    Abbott was once called “Santa’s Little Helper” when he was one of his acolytes but he strayed very far from what Santamaria wanted. For example, the National Civic Council (at the time) didn’t want to shut down the Union Movement, they just wanted to control it, preferably via the Catholic Church.

    Otherwise, I’ve read that so-called Manifesto and much of it reads like the commentary that’s been run by politicians and the media over the last decades and still being trumpetted by many today.
    There are always consequences.

    No response from One Nation.

  40. Zathras

    totaram and Alcibiades,,

    Here’s one example –

    https://www.crikey.com.au/2015/08/21/rundle-how-b-a-santamaria-shaped-post-war-australia/

    “…because the truth was that B.A. Santamaria loathed John Howard, seeing in the “new right” Anglican/Methodist suburban solicitor the embodiment of a certain type he had come into politics fighting: the business class, the representative of the Chamber of Commerce, a sycophant by nature, who substituted the Crown and cricket for a belief of any depth…”

    Santamaria was also bitterly against the Howard privatisation agenda.

  41. paul walter

    Alcibiades has made a priceless contribution for those of us struggling to break through the web of deceit and censorship in play in this so-called democracy.

    I wonder at the sort of people who conduct these sorts of cover ups.

  42. Alcibiades

    Paul Walter

    You are most welcome.

    Please see further posts in “Fraser Island: Senator Anning” thread. There is also a sanitised description of events & some relevant analysis.

    Touched on matters that will not likely become public for some time due the prime suspect has been arrested & charged, and will appear in court tomorrow.

    Served the State, wasted the best years of my life in blind faithful service … until one day, you realise you haven’t been blazing a trail through the jungle, but merely following a well worn path … wholly deceived.

    Peace.

    Zathras

    Know of Abbott & Pells devotion without question, perhaps Howard only took on Santamarias beliefs and ideas where he thought they would serve his demonstrated Machiavellian objectives all through his political career, even now. All three led the IPA on behalf of Murdoch & the foreign owned Corpses.

    Not fully formed notion, but strongly suspect Abbott and co. form an internal B A Santamaria cancer hidden in plain sight of the broad church of the so called Liberals.

  43. Michael Taylor

    Paul, Alcibiades is good value. Me thinks he has a wise head sitting up there.

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