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The Insular Conservative: John Winston Howard

by barr Monday, May. 07, 2007 at 2:17 AM

The Federal Minister of Employment and Workplace Relations (big) Joe Hockey was forced this week to draw his leader’s attention to the oppressive reality facing average working Australians. Crushing debt, loss of penalty rates and other entitlements have forced many Australian families to the wall. Mortgagee sales in working class areas throughout the nation have increased at an alarming rate. John Howard, the darling of big business and the Corporate sector wondered why the common people were not eating cake!

If the conservatives hope to have any showing whatsoever at the forthcoming elections then harsh IR laws would need to be redressed, explained Joe Hockey. Enter the now infamous Aussie backflip, made famous by the once green Labor MP Peter Garrett on the occasion he capitulated to the demands of the coal industry’s Labor Party representative, Kevin Rudd [leadership at ANY cost, ay Kev!] The media and prime minister Howard took some delight in Garrett’s loss of integrity. Garrett’s decision to acquiesce over THE major issue of our time effectively gained him the status of political eunuch and a credibility rating in the minuses -- especially in consideration of the recent UN report on global warming and the associated (real) economic costs. Garrett may now decide to introduce the ‘reverse backflip’ into Oz politics but to return to the latest Aussie backflipper, the Prime Minister no less.

Joe Hockey seems to have prevailed against the little rodent as Howard’s latest statements to the media are in stark contrast to his previous position – but what is a politician if not a species characterised by ZERO INTEGRITY, especially at election time?

Howard’s uncharacteristically revealing remarks have not received the attention they deserve. Howard inadvertently admitted he had no “personal knowledge” of anyone experiencing IR related hardships, nevertheless, he conceded that a certain class of Australian may find survival under his new laws ‘difficult’! "If you have built into your mortgage commitments 0 a week for penalty rates and overtime you don't want that at risk and I understand that," he said. Suddenly HE UNDERSTANDS! The revealing aspect is not whether Howard understood the ramifications of his harsh IR ‘reforms’ at the time of implementation or today -- it is obvious that forces acting to depress real incomes would disadvantage those affected – it is the fact that Howard admitted that neither he nor anyone from his social circle knows personally any working class Australians experiencing hardship – let them eat cake indeed!

The Australian prime minister loves to portray himself as the only viable option for working Australians, however, it has taken Howard one full year to understand what housewife economists have understood from day one – that the average worker is disadvantaged by the new IR laws.

“Who do you trust to keep interest rates low and manage the economy”, won Howard the last election. It was average working Australians who restored Howard to office with a clear majority in both houses of Parliament. Howard immediately set to work to repay those who restored him to power! Interest rates increased soon after the election and to add further pressure on already faltering families Howard introduced IR reforms that effectively depressed real incomes – the result is drastically lower living standards and intolerable hardship for many working Australians. This is Howard’s gift to the people who voted him back into office! Joe Hockey reminded his leader that his corporate friends only represent a tiny minority at election time

The people have finally realised they have been betrayed by Howard who now openly advertises his distance from average Australians. The beneficiaries of Howard’s policies are and have always been foreign Transnational Corporations not local citizens whom Howard treats with contempt. Corporations continue to rape/reap huge profits from the nation while minimising their tax obligations. Little (if any) benefit flows back to the people or to essential services; the neglect of our environment and precious water resource is highlighted by a mining company tapping millions of litres of high quality water on a daily basis without charge! BHP (wastefully) utilises high quality water for industrial purposes while our major river systems and food producing areas suffer drought! Howard’s mismanagement borders on criminal negligence – “who do you trust indeed?”

After 33 years in parliament it is little wonder Howard has lost touch with the needs of everyday people. John Winston Howard is a professional career politician, a profession that considers deception, manipulation and outright LIES, tools of the trade! But there comes a time when even the best of liars ‘loses it.’ Few ‘successful’ politicians know when it’s time to bow out and Howard is probably one of the worst offenders in that regard.

Regardless of anything this now failing liar may say, his legacy of crushing personal debt, environmental degradation and gross economic mismanagement in boom times cannot be ignored – anyone can manage ‘a hole in the ground economy’. Howard’s corporate servitude at the expense of the people and the environment is undeniable.

Today national leaders are abandoning the internationalist transnational model of globalisation for national projects and the nationalisation of assets – who better to benefit from the wealth of a nation than its citizens? Where is the logic in allowing foreigners to plunder, pollute and abuse a nation and then take the profits offshore?

Who do you trust?


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