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Leave John Howard Alone Or Character References Throughout History…

Poor John Howard is copping a lot of flak this week for his decision to write a character reference for convicted pedophile George Pell. Like a number of Pell’s referees, Howard suggested that Pell was a completely different man in private compared with his public image. Actually, I thought that’s exactly what the trial had just decided.

While some are suggesting that this doesn’t really count because he may appeal, the fact is that Pell has been convicted in a court of law; he no longer has the presumption of innocence, many criminals have been convicted and don’t appeal. We don’t say, well, they’ve got the right to the presumption of innocence until they decide whether or not they’re going to appeal. In reality, jails are full of people who pleaded not guilty but were convicted. We don’t say that prisoner X has been there ten years, but we shouldn’t judge him in case he appeals and gets off thanks to his lawyer working as police informant.

It should also be noted that John Howard is showing remarkable consistency here. I don’t mean by supporting Pell in his hour of need. I mean that John Howard has never been one to place much store in legal processes. If one remembers he asserted that we didn’t need to worry about David Hicks being held indefinitely without charge, because, well, we know he’s guilty so there’s no need for a trial to determine exactly what he’s guilty of. In fact, Howard told us that Hicks hadn’t actually done anything that was a crime when he did whatever it was that led to his incarceration so we had to hold him without charge because we had nothing to charge him with.

Of course, telling us that Pell’s conviction didn’t alter his opinion of the Cardinal seemed a rather ambiguous statement. I’ve spoken to plenty of people who say exactly the same thing, but they didn’t seem to mean it in quite the same way. And I fail to see why Howard thought that Pell being a “lively conversationalist” was something that should be taken in to account as part of the sentencing. “Your honour, Don Corleonne has been convicted of murder, drug trafficking, corruption and theft, but before you sentence him, please be aware that he frequently has us in stitches with his dinner repartee and he makes a great lasagne…”

Howard is not the first person to write a character reference for someone whose conduct was less than perfect. I’ve been trawling through famous people throughout history and I’ve discovered the following:

Character references for historic figures

Judas: “I have known Judas Iscariot for a number of years. He’s been meticulous in looking after the finances of the disciples and he recently acquired thirty pieces of silver which he spread around.”

Jim Jones (Jonestown) “Jim mixes up a mighty mean Kool-Aid. It’s a drink to die for.”

Osama Bin Laden: “When it comes to games, Osama is the bomb. He almost became the World Hide-and-seek champion but unfortunately, thanks to a vaccination program (see they are dangerous!), he was discovered the week before he set a new world record. He still holds the title for the Saudi terrorists over six foot.”

Nero: “Not only is Nero a great ruler but when he fiddles the whole room lights up. In fact, the whole city.”

Charles Manson: “Charlie is a real family man, and inspires great loyalty.”

Adolf HItler: “Adolf is a great prankster and the way he tricked Neville Chamberlain with his assertion that once he was handed control of the Sudetenland, there’d be no more terrotitorial claims was genius. When Adolf called out April Fool and invaded Poland, he gave his generals amusement for weeks. For the rest of the year, one only had to say, ‘Peace in our time’ and they’d roll on the floor laughing. Not only that, but he has very shiny shoes and keeps his moustache trim and tidy.”

See, I told you that they wouldn’t be able to keep boats on the front page till the election. Speaking of which, I must say there’s quite a few Liberals I’m sorry to see go. When writing about Australian politics and I was short of something humourous, I could always rely on Chrissy Pyne. Just saying Christopher Pyne was enough to send some people into fits of laughter and now I’ll have to actually wait until Abbott or Barnaby or ScoMo says something before I’ve got a good punch line…

Still, I can be sure I won’t have to wait long.

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9 comments

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  1. RomeoCharlie29

    Ha ha ha. Well said. I thought that Howard’s reference was rather less than fulsome, damning with faint praise springs to mind. The line about him being a good conversationalist surely smacks of scraping the bottom of a very shallow barrel.

  2. AJ O'Grady

    Grubs protecting grubs.Who would have thought!

  3. Peter Coom

    How good is a reference.
    I remember many years ago a good mate of mine was up on a Drink Driving charge.
    He produced 3 references attesting to his good character, 1 from a minister in the Federal government, another from the deputy Premier of Queensland and a third from the Lord Mayor of Brisbane.
    The beak read all three and peering over the top of his glasses remarked Mr D haven’t you let these people down.
    So much for a glowing reference.

  4. Alcibiades

    Senior Liberals are disputing George Pells paedophilia conviction Tens ‘The Project’ ~8Mins

    Craig Kelly gets slammed down, and resolutely fails to comment on the effects of his vocal public ‘opinions’ on the victims & survivors of child sexual abuse.

    Could anything be lower than a Rock Spider ?

    A politician who publicly defends and falsely argues in defence of a convicted paedophile & registered serious sex offender, whilst declaring their repugnance of paedophilia, demonstrating contempt for & ignorance of the facts & the Law, the unanimous jury conviction, and showing no interest in the victims & survivors of a paedophile such as George Pell.

    Scum, absolute scum.

  5. andy56

    Sorry if i dont rate howard. He was the master tactitian who had all the luck. lets see, Adolf, mussolini, Napoleon……… sorry if i missed anyone but there are lots of examples. And when reality bites, we see them for what they trully are. Insecure little monsters.
    All’s fair in love , war and politics. I bet he has a plaque at home with this inscription.
    How this grub of a human ever got to the top for so long is an indictment on all of us. So when he writes a glowing reference for Pell, we see him for who he really is. He now thinks he is a statesman and we all brown nose to his opinions. Fuck you, i know who you are ! I have no sympathy for this devil. Mic and Keith , i now have more respect, lol. “please allow me to introduce myself, i’m a man , aware of what it takes”

  6. Kronomex

    Leave Little Johnnie alone. All he wants to do is breed hairy caterpillars in his spare time to glue over his eyebrows to replace them as they fall off.

    All I really think about when I hear the little creeps name is a segement from How Green Was My Cactus from years ago (not word for word but you can get the gist) –

    Kerry Packers swimming pool surrounded by LNP sycophants.
    Kerry speaks.
    Little Johny Arthur starts to talk and, “…Blub, blub,blub.”
    “Oh for heaven’s sake,” says Kerry. “Somebody pull him up, he’s fallen through his floaty again.”

  7. helvityni

    Big LOL for this one….

    My favourite foods are Lasagne and Risotto, so I’m almost willing to give Corleone a job as my cook….

    In my younger days my boyfriends were not always good-looking or they didn’t have money, but making me laugh was always a big asset…Chrissie could be a little bit amusing, but didn’t quite make the grade….

  8. New England Cocky

    Re the despicable inaction of the Howard misgovernment in the David Hicks matter: We must remember that Little Johnnie “Flakjacket” Howard was a suburban solicitor before he entered politics, I am advised under the wing of his father-in-law who was influential in the Liarbral Party.

    Thus Howard knew that: holding any person in Australia without charge was wrong.

    Also remember that it took three attempts for Howard to become Prim Monster, so the Liarbrals must have been desperate at that time ….. as now.

    @andy56: Napoleon was a credible man and an excellent soldier. He gave the world a model for efficient government and the Napoleonic legal system. Notice the complete opposite among the present NLP misgovernment.

  9. Bronte ALLAN

    Another great article Rossleigh! The “credibility” (?) of Hogwart has slipped, yet again! As for Prissy Pyne, good riddance you plummy mouthed, probably private school educated, would be “liberal” so-called politician. Yes just another in the now long line of these inept, lying mob of liberal/country party people, to desert the sinking ship-& the sooner this bloody ship sinks the better off ALL Australians will be.

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