By Tony Dewberry
How is it newsworthy that a retired politician was heckled in the street? Is ours a society where deference is demanded by the rulers from the ruled?
John Howard represents, for me, everything that is hateful, cruel and stupid about Australia. He hardened the hearts of many Australians against the legitimate rights of asylum seekers.
He ordered Australian troops on to the Norwegian vessel the Tampa to kidnap and imprison those fleeing persecution. He sent troops into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. Howard committed us to wars in the Middle East that have turned into endless bloodbaths. He tried to break our union movement.
This shows that with power you can command many things, but power cannot command respect, which must always be given freely.
Should I outlive Howard I will be part of the opposition to giving him a state funeral and, I promise, no matter how old I am I will be part of the protest should such a state funeral go ahead.
He was such a key player in so many of the changes that make me grieve for the country I grew up in.
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