Courtesy Bill Leak and The Australian
The scariest thing about this election, and therefore about Australians in general, is that only the economy is being considered. The trashing of social values by the Howard Government is hardly given a mention. Nothing on the big lie of Children Overboard and the criminal treatment of refugees aboard the Tampa and Siev-X, nothing on the families who made it, only to languish behind razor wire for years, nothing on the umpteen corruption scandals fostered on Howard's watch, of which the funnelling of money to Saddam Hussein by the AWB, and the disgraced Regional Partnerships Program, are the most recent. Nothing about the wilful disregard for the lives of Australian citizens illegally deported, nothing about the Soviet-style treatment of Mohammad Haneef. And nothing about Iraq. Howard's obsequious me-tooism in joining this illegal war, the most costly and absurd in history, has resulted in the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Coalition troops.
Nope, it's all about the hip pocket. That a healthy economy is essential for our well-being is a no-brainer. But when the other foundations of a just society are ignored, or, in the case of the John Howard Party, actually despised, the national character is reduced to that of a grubby, brutal philistine.
Perhaps every Australian who has voted Labor in the Howard era understands this. Hopefully enough of the other lot are beginning to realise that a civilisation cannot flourish when greed replaces ethics. The selfish materialism promoted by John Howard inevitably leads to the yawning emptiness of life without meaning.