Copyright © 2007, Maurie Gee
Australians in the street, when questioned about politics, have always feigned imbecility. -- Peter Wear, The nation cries out for a dictator.
In my experience you would have to add "cowardly obeisance to authority" to imbecility. I could go on, but let the following articles in today's newspapers give you the chills as you regard your fellow Australians who may still vote for John Howard.
The Howard Government has won a bid to suppress secret Work Choices documents, after a legal finding that the release of the papers would lead to speculation the Coalition planned a new wave of workplace changes. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal yesterday ruled the Work Choices documents be kept secret, prompting Labor and the ACTU to claim the Coalition had a hidden agenda to take workplace reforms further.
Here's what Brad Norington, Ruling in secrecy is not democracy, has to say:
Most disturbing about yesterday's suppression of information is that it follows a trend of government administration in secret. In a democracy the voting public has a right to know about matters that directly affect them. Yet the Administrative Appeals Tribunal accepted the Government's argument that releasing information may have led to speculation, in other words fear, about what lay ahead.
Howard has made an art form of secrecy. He doesn't want us to know how we are governed.
Moving right along, on the subject of education, Rudd throws atlas at Howard:
Kevin Rudd has savaged the federal Government's level of education spending, revealing it is less than that of Tunisia, Cyprus, Estonia, Mexico and Croatia.
That's right, John Howard wants us to become a nation of ute-driving tradesmen, to hell with higher learning and the future.
Bob Hawke is having a great time on the campaign trail. Here's what he said yesterday in Western Australia (Coalition resources claims 'a joke', says Hawke):
Labor's longest-serving prime minister rejected recent Coalition claims a federal Labor government would spell the end of the West Australian-led resources boom.
"This business that the demand of China for iron ore and coal and other resources depends upon who's in power in Canberra is just a joke," he said.
"It's an insult to the intelligence of every voter. They say (the boom) will be over because ... Labor is not capable of economic management. But who was in charge of the economic management of this economy for over five years before I became prime minister in 1983?
"John Winston Howard was the treasurer of this country. He wrecked the economy.
"What he handed to me was the worst legacy handed to any prime minister in our history - 11 per cent inflation, 11 per cent unemployment and the worst deficit in history."
On the subjects of taxpayer-funded government propaganda, Kevin Rudd offered an "absolute, 100 per cent guarantee" that Labor Government would not waste public money on advertisements trumpeting its own achievements (Auditor will rule on ads, vows ALP):
Mr Rudd said the Howard Government could have funded nearly one million dental consultations or 20,000 hip replacements from its advertising outlay in 2006-07, which equated to about $770,000 a day. What we see here is short-term political interest ultimately strangling the interests of the nation, including the health of our democracy," he said.
Now here is something we've all known (forget suspected): Downer 'knew' about AWB kickbacks:
Australia's former top Middle East trade official has broken his silence on AWB's kickbacks to Iraq, saying the Howard Government's claim it was unaware of key elements of the scandal is unbelievable.
Almost a year after Terence Cole, QC, handed down his report clearing the Government of culpability in the AWB scandal, former Austrade director John Finnin has spoken out for the first time, telling of his failure to understand how the Government could maintain it had never heard of trucking firm Alia until April 2004 when he and another Austrade official had discussed wheat contracts with its owners eight months earlier.
Read the article to find the tally on John Howard Party profligacy.
Finally, Phillip Adams (PM's porkies are a true indicator) details "Honest John's long trail of deception" by citing five books written during his reign which deal with his psychopathic deception. There was Howard reneging on Peter Costello's accession to the crown, or recently refusing to go when everyone wanted him to, because Janette said he should stay. Then "to the more substantial stuff":
beginning with the great refugee stunt detailed in Marr and Wilkinson's Dark Victory: Howard's breathtaking manipulation of the truth (and our national boundaries) in response to a few thousand poor bastards fleeing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. All became blood sacrifices in Howard's determination to win the November 2001 election."
Adams continues on the subject of Howard's appalling treatment of refugees, then to Iraq, AWB, the mercenaries trained in Dubai for the attack on wharfies, and his stance on climate change at the service of the mining industry. He concludes:
Falsehoods, fibs, fictions and frauds have been the fabric of the Howard years. A plethora of porkies had the pollies blaming flawed advice from the armed services or the bureaucrats or relying on the implausibility of plausible deniability.
Whether it was the AWB or WMDs or kids overboard, Howard has never hesitated to look Australia in the eye and lie.
But don't expect the many imbecilic voters out there to either understand or care about any of this.