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Howard and history

June 29th, 2007

Inevitably, after 11 years in office, Howard’s dramatic intervention in indigenous communities is going to be judged on his past history. The question is, which history. He has made a couple of moves, like introducing gun control after Port Arthur (over the objections of many of his own, or at least the Nationals’ supporters) and intervening in East Timor (against the will of a significant segment of the foreign policy establishment) that show him at his best, responding to an obvious need. Those are the precedents he’d like to draw on.

Against that, there’s children overboard, the $10 billion water plan earlier this year, the Iraq war and his long history, going back twenty years or more, of playing to racist sentiment when it seemed politically appealing. Until I see evidence that this proposal has serious planning behind it, and, equally importantly, serious money (unmet needs amounting to billions have already been pointed out) I’m putting the latest move in the latter category.

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  1. mugwump
    July 7th, 2007 at 01:37 | #1

    Ah yes, the guv’n'mint must be to blame.

    As for miserable lefties: look all around you wilful. Look in the mirror. Are you happy? Optimistic? If not, I suggest your anti-humanity, anti-progress, anti-wealth-creation, anti-capitalist politics have a lot to do with it.

  2. wilful
    July 7th, 2007 at 16:09 | #2

    Are you happy? Optimistic? If not, I suggest your anti-humanity, anti-progress, anti-wealth-creation, anti-capitalist politics have a lot to do with it.

    And if I am happy? And my friends, which you would describe as ‘lefties’, if they’re happy, what then? It’s such utter bulls**t that you’re spouting, I can’t believe you take yourself seriously.

  3. mugwump
    July 8th, 2007 at 00:17 | #3

    wilful, if you and your lefty friends are so happy and optimistic, why do you complain so much about the state of the world?

    I can accept that you may be an exception, but the vast majority of lefties I encounter actually believe the world is in a miserable state, and that capitalism is largely to blame.

    Of course on both counts they couldn’t be more wrong: the human race is better off than it has ever been, largely due to the wealth-creating effects of free trade and capitalism.

  4. jquiggin
    July 8th, 2007 at 18:44 | #4

    I can’t say, visiting the average RWDB site, or even reading rightwing commenters on this blog, that the general tone could be described as one of contentment. Even with their side in government in both Australia and the US, they seem to find an awful lot to whinge about.

  5. mugwump
    July 11th, 2007 at 23:36 | #5

    Maybe we’re not so far apart as it seems, since on your own “failure to criticize constitutes endorsement” theory of public discourse, you apparently agree that

    the human race is better off than it has ever been, largely due to the wealth-creating effects of free trade and capitalism.

    Acknowledgment of that fact from prominent lefties such as your self is real progress.

  6. jquiggin
    July 12th, 2007 at 08:24 | #6

    Enough with the snark, mugwump. It just makes you look silly.

  7. Andrew
    July 12th, 2007 at 11:31 | #7

    Jill,

    No – I’m very open to facts. As the saying goes, “when the facts change….. ”

    Can you show me some stats about child poverty that show more kids are in poverty today than 11 years ago?

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