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A STRANGE ADMISSION September 13, 2007

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.

J W Howard is reported as saying that if re-elected he will retire during his next term. Here is a person who acted tenaciously to hold the position of prime minister during the last week in the face of consistent polling that suggest he has no chance of winning the next election, and may well lose his own seat. Is this a recognition, at last, he recognizes the next election is lost after eleven years of the Howard dark age – we can only hope.

Something is out of joint. Something does not ring true here. Whatever the qualities, some of which have been on display in his facing down his colleagues, there is a flaw in the man. Maybe it is as simple as failure to accept responsibility. As a leader he should have seen ahead, and acted for the best interest of his party, by for example by identifying and developing talent. J W Howard seems always to have put his ambitions first. He has left his party in a poor state, without time to make a proper decision about leadership, which as P Beattie said had led to renewal.

Let us remember the cruelty that this person visited upon refugees by forcing them behind barbwire and denying natural justice, and those described as “dole bludgers”, and other welfare recipients who were accused on not exercising the personal responsibility. People with assets, but not income, have been forced to sell their assets in the name of government frugality, as millions have been spent on what might well be regarded as corrupt government advertising.


The analogous situation seems to me to be the situation that prevailed after Blair, greatly assisted by Brown, won the most recent British Election. Should Howard win, he does not fully appreciate what a rod he has made for his own back, as well as ours. Two and a half years with Howard as prime minister will seem like an eternity, and he may not have the favourable situation in the Senate which he has had now. Frankly, I doubt whether this scheme of smoke and mirrors will get past the Australian electorate.

Mark,at Larvatus Prodeo, puts the choice electors face as “Rudd or complete chaos”, pointing out that P Costello is not guaranteed to get the job, and in any case will forced to wait and wait and wait. In this sense the situation is not analogous to the Blair/Brown case.



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