Home > Oz Politics > Oh frabjous day!

Oh frabjous day!

November 24th, 2007

A thousand times sweeter than 1993. Not much more to say until tomorrow. Have a great night, everyone!

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  1. Graham
    November 25th, 2007 at 01:35 | #1

    haha

    I second those sentiments and want to take the opportunity to thank you for your wonderful blogging throughout the campaign. insightful and interesting. much appreciated John.

  2. November 25th, 2007 at 01:59 | #2

    As the PM would say, John, “you know something”? That exact phrase occurred to me earlier tonight. Says it all!

  3. November 25th, 2007 at 02:37 | #3

    Coolah, coolay.

  4. snuh
    November 25th, 2007 at 02:42 | #4

    i can’t stop smiling.

  5. November 25th, 2007 at 02:48 | #5

    A great day indeed. Let’s hope the Ruddster turns out to be a social democrat we can be proud of.

  6. November 25th, 2007 at 05:08 | #6

    We’re celebrating over here in New Zealand too (well, I am).

  7. BilB
    November 25th, 2007 at 06:55 | #7

    Terence, you’re sitting where I was when this horror show started over here. No doubt your TVNZ coverage was every bit as good as the coverage here. Best seats in the house.

  8. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 07:18 | #8

    I am pleased for Kevin Rudd who will make a good PM. And I thank Pr Q for his relentlessly partisan and highly informative blogging during the campaign. Its all part of the contest.

    I am a little bit shocked at the degree of vindictive venom in this post. And apparently dittoed by mbahnisch. Perhaps the tradition of impartial academics, like impartial public servants, is going by the wayside?

    No doubt the eulogies, valedictories and vindictories are in the pipeline. Perhaps a bit of balance, accuracy and impartiality is indicated?

    There are two sides to his story.

    Howard made great contributions to good policy during his term in office: gun control, liberating Timor, liberating Afghanistan, implementing GST, waging war on drugs, securing borders, restoring public faith and policy integrity in the NESB immigration program, curbing the people-smuggling and drowning industry, consolidating the US alliance, .

    He also did some rank things and made bad policy: privatisng Telstra, imposing Work Choices, tax privileging residential property investment, tax privileging 55+ superannuation investment, playing Tampa race card, kids overboard lies, winking at AWB corruption, invading and lying about Iraq, weazling out of Kyoto,

    Its important in life to see the good in everyone. Not just focus on the bad bits to stoke up the fuming in defeat and gloating in victory.

  9. November 25th, 2007 at 07:46 | #9

    Vindictive venom?
    John’s just saying he’s happy; this is venomous?

    Liberating Timor?
    You mean waiting until it’s independence was a fait-accompli before finally reversing his shameful pro-Indonesian stance (which he subsequently reverted to with vigour in the case of West Papua).

    Liberating Afghanistan
    And has been going so well lately…

    Implementing GST?
    Yip – noting like a regressive tax to help the poor.

  10. November 25th, 2007 at 07:47 | #10

    BilB,

    Funnily enough, I didn’t think to check out TVNZ’s coverage. Radio National has been ok, but for the most part I’ve been watching Australian websites.

  11. BilB
    November 25th, 2007 at 07:50 | #11

    Hey Jack, Howard was handed a golden goose and he milked it for everything that it was worth.

    At the end of a party you remeber it for the mood of the occasion. The people, the conversation, the music, the food, the decour, and the general ambiance.

    We’ve just exited Howard’s eleven year party, and my feeling?…the decour was nice, the people were civil, the food was catered, the drinks were watered down, the conversation was strained. Overall the the party left me feeling deflated, unimpressed, and something less than I was at the beginning. I’m left wondering about how else the last eleven years might have been.

  12. Sinclair Davidson
    November 25th, 2007 at 07:57 | #12

    Jack – you’re being a spoil-sport. Winners should be allowed (even encouraged) to celebrate. Everybody gets a turn. On another note, we should commiserate with our online associate Andrew Bartlett who has lost his seat.

  13. Peter Wood
    November 25th, 2007 at 09:41 | #13

    woohoo!

  14. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 10:57 | #14

    terence Says: 25th, 2007 at 7:46 am

    John’s just saying he’s happy; this is venomous?

    Describing the 2007 defeat of the LN/P as “a thousand times sweeter” than “the sweetest victory of all” in 1993 is certainly Over The Top if not vindictive. It implies that a Howard victory, whose policies Rudd has copied word for word, would have been 10,000 times worse for the country than Hewson victory.

    Hewson’s economic policies were an order of magnitude more regressive than Howards. And his cultural policies were just as loony as Keatings. It is irrational to describe the ultimate “me-too” election as the most important choice in AUS political history.

    In a subsequent post Pr Q described the LN/P party structure as “toxic”. What word would Pr Q use to describe the ALP’s party machine, notorious for ethnic lobbies, union heavies, branch stacking, plants, apparatchiks, dynastic succession, ministerial felons and even political assassination?

    As I said, academics should strive to be unbiased and impartial. In our quaint old-fashioned way that is what we tax-payers hope for.

    terence says:

    waiting until it’s independence was a fait-accompli before finally reversing his shameful pro-Indonesian stance (which he subsequently reverted to with vigour in the case of West Papua).

    Timor independence was no “fait-accompli” with Kopassus-supported militias rampaging accross the country and the TNI waiting in the wings in Jakarta, looking for its chance for a coup.

    Howard got the ADF into gear in time to deal with the militias. He also twisted the US’s arm into sending a USMC amphibious assault carrier to Timor, just in case rogue TNI officers got any silly ideas.

    Howard’s greatest foreign policy success, completely uncredited by the Left, has been to normalise the AUS-INDON relationship and encourage democratic secular elements within the INDON political class. He is no creature of the Jakarta lobby, unlike Keating.

    This maturing relationship is about 1,000 times more important than any supposed puppetry practised by Bush on Howard. (In reality Howard uses US power-shifts as cover and aid ito suit his regional and national policies.)

    How the Left mendaciously re-writes History to suit narrow partisan purposes.

    terence says:

    has been going so well lately…

    We are prevailing in the SW Asia so long as the fundamentalists do not take over Pakistan and the Taliban does not take Kabul. But no doubt you will be hoping for further set-backs in that region. Better that fundamentalists enslave women and get the Bomb than give credit to Bush or Howard for partial military success.

    You are reinforcing the ideological stereotype that Left wingers care more about making Right wingers feel bad rather than doing good.

    terence says:

    Yip – noting like a regressive tax to help the poor.

    Food was excluded.

  15. James Farrell
    November 25th, 2007 at 11:05 | #15

    I second Graham’s appreciation of John’s blogging efforts. John also deserves a note of congratulation for his prescience in picking Rudd as Labor’s Moses. This was back in 2003 when the ructions against Crean were getting underway:

    In practice, I’d go for Rudd, McMullen or Tanner. Macklin has unfortunately done very little to impress since becoming deputy leader, Gillard is too new, and Faulkner is in the Senate. Of the three remaining, Rudd is probably the best choice, especially since he has the strongest chance to neutralise the defence and foreign affairs issue or even (if the Iraq story continues to unravel) turn it into a winner for Labor. McMullen is capable, but doesn’t seem strong enough in attack, while Tanner is in the Left faction (this shouldn’t matter but it does).

  16. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 11:07 | #16

    BilB Says: 25th, 2007 at 7:50 am

    We’ve just exited Howard’s eleven year party, and my feeling?…the decour was nice, the people were civil, the food was catered, the drinks were watered down, the conversation was strained. Overall the the party left me feeling deflated, unimpressed, and something less than I was at the beginning.

    Howard’s reign in office left AUS “richer, stronger and prouder” than we would otherwise have been. Typical households hold bulging asset portfolios, our armies prevail in the region and most of the trash left lying about our history by mendacious Left wing academics has been cleaned up.

    He deserved to go because his industrial relations and environmental policies were out of touch with mainstream values.

    BilB says:

    I’m left wondering about how else the last eleven years might have been.

    You have not missed much by avoiding a Beazley ALP govt. Just imagine crossing Tony Blair with Helen Clarke.

    Feel better now?

  17. November 25th, 2007 at 11:15 | #17

    JS:

    Describing the 2007 defeat of the LN/P as “a thousand times sweeter� than “the sweetest victory of all� in 1993 is certainly Over The Top if not vindictive.

    If you can find vindictiveness in the statement “a thousand times sweeter” then, truly, you are a sensitive man. The last few years must have been tough no?

    Timor
    All those years Timor looked destined to stay a part of Indonesia Howard did nothing. Finally, when the two options on the table were independence or complete social meltdown, Howard chose to act. He did so because meltdown was clearly not in Australia’s interests. He did not do so because cared one wit about the Timorese. Had he, he would have never played hardball in the subsequent oil negotiations.

    I’m certainly glad that Australia intervened; however, this sure didn’t stem from any admirable part of Howard’s personality.

    Afghanistan
    No – I would like to see the Taliban defeated and human rights respected in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the never ending blunders (not to mention complete lack of concern for the people of that country) of Howard’s best buddy have rendered this very unlikely.

    GST
    Fair point: In New Zealand it is levied on food. The absence of this in Australia makes it less regressive. I still fail to see the wonders of the tax though.

  18. Spiros
    November 25th, 2007 at 12:11 | #18

    The symbolic siginificance of this election cannot be overstated.

    We have Howard losing his own seat, hugely significant in itself. But wait, there’s more. It’s not just any seat, it’s a seat with one of the highest, if not the highest, proportion of Asian immigrants.

    Howard’s poisonous commentary in the 80s about Asian immigration have not been forgotten.

    And what tipped just enough votes in Bennelong to defeat Howard? The Lindsay Liberals Muslim hate pamphlet started it, but what sealed the deal was Jackie Kelly’s “ha ha it was just a Chaser style stunt” media routine on Thursday morning.

    Yes, Jackie Kelly – the very embodiment of Howard ’96ism – one of his favourites, who he promoted way beyond her level of ability, because she represented all that he held dear – suburban prejudice and ignorance.

    And she rewarded him by costing him his seat in an act of unbelievable stupidity. What a humilitiation. And the particular issue over which she cost him his seat was the very issue over which he dog whistled his way to victory in 2001.

    And who defeated Howard in Bennelong? Why, the very face of ABC News and Current Affairs luvviedom, against which Howard has been waging a cultural jihad during his entire time as PM.

    And, finally, what issue above all else defeated not just Howard but the government? Workchoices. Howard has made it his life’s work to try to destroy the Australian trade union movement. And now it’s cost him his government and his reputation. All that is left now to do is for history to unpick his contribution to Australian public life, stich by stitch.

    Vengeance really is a dish best served cold.

  19. melanie
    November 25th, 2007 at 12:17 | #19

    Rudd made a very interesting speech which indicates nothing like ‘me too’. He put Indigenous Australians right up front, instead of down the bottom of a long list of other things. He dragged his ethnically Asian son-in-law up on the stage. He referred to his wife as his partner. When he says “Family is the most important thing in our lives” you knew that he doesn’t mean what Howard meant by the term. He stressed that cultural diversity is the defining characteristic of Australia. If nothing else, this was a declaration of peace in the Culture Wars and I, for one, am immensely relieved.

  20. wilful
    November 25th, 2007 at 12:21 | #20

    Jack, Quiggin’s civility rules forbid me from saying too much, however Howard was a truly awful man whose place in history will be as a small minded, intolerant, backward looking but extremely lucky politician. He was all for big business, all for middle class welfare, he increased the divisions in society between the haves and have nots, he rode the back of australian racism, did nothing for aboriginal australia, sat on his hands quite conscientiously on climate change, was a habitual and frequent liar to the australian electorate (children overboard, AWB, WMD, commitment to Iraq, economic fundamentals like interest rates, debt), has done nothing to reform australian agriculture, has pissed our minerals boom up agaist the wall, disinvested in education, skills, infrastructure, research.

    I’ll give you Timor, Afghanistan, gun control and the GST. For eleven years, it’s not much of a record, and only one of them was unpopular with the electorate or an actual reform, rather than an appropriate response to circumstances.

    Mendacious rewriting of history is a recent right wing speciality. I understand you’re an older man so are still stuck in some very old debates, but if you look at what your fellow travellers are doing right now with rewriting history, I think you could update your cliches more than a little bit.

  21. Hal9000
    November 25th, 2007 at 13:08 | #21

    The Jackie Kelly/bigot sheet saga this week said everything you need to know about John Howard and his legacy.

    First, that a bunch of Howardistas thought it was a good idea to foment racial and religious bigotry in pursuit of electoral success.

    Second, that when caught their first recourse was to deny responsibility.

    The fact their analysis of the electors was wrong, and that they were humiliatingly defeated is the first bit of really good news about our nation in a generation.

    John Howard, your place in history is secure: a loser who in pursuit of his vision for this nation as a country with himself as Prime Minister jettisoned just about everything worth having in a community.

    A postscript: I reckon Rudd should invite Costello around to dinner at the Lodge as one of his first acts in the top job. Just to show how things have changed.

  22. November 25th, 2007 at 13:49 | #22

    i’ve watched libs and labs in action since billy bigears tried to win an election from behind his desk. the track record of both sides should cause a change a government to be greeted with humility, and a timorous expression of hope.

    considering the challenges riding over the horizon, labor supporters should not be celebrating, but rather gathering in their sports arenas to bargain with god: “if nothing big goes wrong in the next three years, we’ll sacrifice a thousand virgins”.(if they can’t be found, a carton of plonk)

  23. melanie
    November 25th, 2007 at 13:52 | #23

    We may have been missing Terje recently because he was busy running for the Senate. He got 6,750 primary votes in NSW. He ended up with 0.35% of the vote after distribution of various minor party preferences and then ended up, in the 16th count, giving about one third to the Fishing Party and another 3rd to the Climate Change Coalition.

  24. haiku
    November 25th, 2007 at 15:25 | #24

    Jack,
    take a deep breath, and think about a brief apology to John for accusing him of venom.

    There are better interpretations than yours for John’s joyous words of celebration. If 93 was a sweet victory due to its come-from-behind nature, 07 may have seemed even sweeter due to it being against a much tougher opponent, with a sizeable majority and who was running a relentlessly negative campaign.

    As a side note, one of the truly excellent aspects of the win was the fact that the negative campaigning (and basically nine months of smearing) came up short. Had Howard held on, I don’t think we would have seen a vaguely positive election advertisement any time in the next decade.

  25. Ian Gould
    November 25th, 2007 at 15:34 | #25

    http://vtr.aec.gov.au/SenateStateFirstPrefsByGroup-13745-NAT.htm

    The Liberty & Democracy Party, Australia’s very own libertarians, got slightly more than half as many Senate votes as the Shooter’s Party but less than half as many votes as the Fishing Party.

    The did beat the Socialist alliance though.

    Now, THIS is shadenfreude.

  26. Ian Gould
    November 25th, 2007 at 16:04 | #26

    On a similar note, let me point out that Australia has confirmed its long-running policy of electing dags as PM.

    Bob Hawke (before he got too wrinkly) and Paul (“Blakey”)Keating were just passable.

    In Kev Rudd, we’ve chosen a Sunday school teacher (or slightly suss scout master) to replace John Howard’s superannuated high school chemistry teacher.

    John Hewson and Andrew Peacock were probably undone as much by their looks and dress sense as by their policies or the machinations of their opponents.

    Malcolm Fraser wasn’t too bad for a man who looks like an Easter Island monolith but Gough looked like someone had squeezed a tube of toothpaste without remembering to remove the lid.

    And before him, of course, we had Billy McMahon.

  27. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 17:48 | #27

    terence Says: 25th, 2007 at 11:15 am

    If you can find vindictiveness in the statement “a thousand times sweeter� then, truly, you are a sensitive man. The last few years must have been tough no?

    The use of the absurd superlative implies schadenfreude, unless Pr Q actually does believe his over-heated rhetoric on the consequences of a Howard victory. In which case I suggest he takes a long nap in a darkened room.

    In a later post Pr Q described the LP structure as “toxic”. That was after suggesting that a Howard victory might lead to theEnd of the World and that a LP defeat signalled its consignment to the Dustbin of History.

    This will do for vindictiveness until Hell is properly raised. Call me old-fashioned but I still care about things like magnanimity in victory.

    terence says:

    did not do so because cared one wit about the Timorese. Had he, he would have never played hardball in the subsequent oil negotiations. I’m certainly glad that Australia intervened; however, this sure didn’t stem from any admirable part of Howard’s personality.

    As a Machiavellian I am indifferent to the connection b/w personal and political, at least in foreign policy. I leave that stuff for the two-bob preachers, clairvoyants and other denizens of the intellectual slums.

    As far as the facts of Howards role in the liberation of ETimor are concerned these are not in doubt to competent historians or the players themselves. Howard got the USMC off-shore to deter the TNI and the ADF in-country to deal with the militias. As Ramos Horta said:

    Horta] said it was thanks to Prime Minister John Howard that the United Nations intervention had succeeded, saving thousands of lives.

    Its just too bad for the Left if these facts do not fit into their pre-fab ideological model of Howard. Who are we going to believe, the participants or Left wing historians with an ideological axe to grind and a capacious memory hole to flush away inconvenient facts?

    terence says:

    No – I would like to see the Taliban defeated and human rights respected in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the never ending blunders (not to mention complete lack of concern for the people of that country) of Howard’s best buddy have rendered this very unlikely.

    The Afghan war has been a partial success, especially when judged by other punitive expeditions to that God-saken land. Human rights are better observed, Al Qaeda no longer roams free and the Taliban are on the defensive. More importantly the fundamentalists have not overthrown Pakistans govt.

    Your rote declarations of good intentions precede every knee-jerk Left-wing condemnation of Howard. It reeks of bad faith, “the summer soldier and sunshine patriot”. You people already have the guilty verdict on Howard in your pocket. The only thing that changes is the charge.

    Your comment is also an interesting case study for diagnosticians of the Left’s revisionist view of Howard. He is supposed to take the blame for the US’s military mistakes but gets no credit for AUS’s military successes.

    This is demonology, not sociology.

  28. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 18:24 | #28

    wilful Says: November 25th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Jack, [long list of Howard's woes, Blah x 3]

    Yes, enough already. I am usually the first to find fault with Howard when it is warranted. I am more concerned to give credit where it is due. I see no evidence of this anywhere throughout the Left blogosphere.

    wilful says:

    Mendacious rewriting of history is a recent right wing speciality.

    Yes, before that the black arm-band view of AUS history as one long trail of desolation and tragedy was right on the money. That explains why Hollywood film directors flock to Australia to make films about our strife-torn history.

    “People”, as Graham Greene once mordantly observed, “just want to believe the worst”. So Left wing revisionists peddling a dim view will always find a ready market for their frightful wares.

    I understand you’re an older man so are still stuck in some very old debates, but if you look at what your fellow travellers are doing right now with rewriting history, I think you could update your cliches more than a little bit.

    You dont understand much about my history or intellectual history. Although you seem to have got cliches down pat. I have a part-time job monitoring media coverage of genetics, “cytotics” and robotics. Is that novel enough?

    This “very old debate I am stuck in” – the evolution and relation of human nature, social structure and cultural scripture – goes back to Plato. But it is still as live as an electrified fence. Just have a look at the response Watson got when he crossed the line.

    You might also want to bring yourself up to speed on recent developments in the theoretical analysis of cultural diversity, at least on one front. Here is one example of a former-liberal who has thrown in the towel, intellectually if not ideologically.

    And this debate will only get politically hotter as globalisation (the conflux of multicultural households, multinational firms and multilateral states) proceeds. Uncontrolled diversity is not always a bed of roses, as any resident of Baghdad will tell you.

    You are kidding yourself if you think that the election of Rudd (a self-proclaimed “cultural conservative”) signals the end of the Culture War. You are living in a fools paradise if you think that getting rid of Howard will make the lion lie down with the lamb.

  29. jquiggin
    November 25th, 2007 at 18:28 | #29

    Jack, I’ll have my say on Howard in due course, and it will include credit as well as blame. For the moment, as lots of other people have said, why don’t you put a sock in it and take my happiness at face value.

  30. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 18:54 | #30

    John,

    I am very pleased that you are enjoying the fruits of victory. I am mildly pleased that Rudd won. And I have already congratulated you on your superb display of partisan, provocative and informative blogging.

    But I wonder what state of mind is it that proclaims the election of the Liberal party will help lead to the End of the World on one day, and the next day proclaims that the defeat of that party will lead to its oblivion?

    Gigantic mood swings like that are not conducive to long term happiness.

    The Howard ministry was a moderate Centre-Right govt which enjoyed historically high levels of public support. Its successor is, as I predicted way back in 2004, in almost every way a mirror image.

    Get. Some. Perspective.

    “Never get married to a position.”

    Traders lore.

  31. Ian Gould
    November 25th, 2007 at 19:35 | #31

    Jack S.: “That explains why Hollywood film directors flock to Australia to make films about our strife-torn history.”

    They do?

    ” I’d assume you were being ironic if not for the following para:

    “Peopleâ€?, as Graham Greene once mordantly observed, “just want to believe the worstâ€?. So Left wing revisionists peddling a dim view will always find a ready market for their frightful wares.”

  32. Alphonse
    November 25th, 2007 at 20:02 | #32

    Strocchi, you could only call the Howard ministry emboldened by Senate majority “a moderate Centre-Right govt” on the basis that a little further immoderately right lies the Bush regime (with which John Howard arranged an apprenticeship for son Richard).

    It didn’t take brains to figure out that cornering the nation’s bigots could contribute to “historically high levels of public support”, but it took a Howard to embark on the task with relish.

  33. jack Strocchi
    November 25th, 2007 at 20:35 | #33

    Ian Gould Says: November 25th, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Jack S.: “That explains why Hollywood film directors flock to Australia to make films about our strife-torn history.�They do?

    I’d assume you were being ironic if not for the following para:

    Your initial assumption was correct. It is the pleasurable absence of a strife-torn history in this country (democracy cooked up by an executive committee of the bourgeoisie!) that has turned so many Left wing revisionist historians into black-arm banders, bad-seed-ers or fabulists.

    Gotta get some bums on seats somehow. Horror shows sell.

  34. CK
    November 25th, 2007 at 21:07 | #34

    From the Famous Eccles Jack Strocchi:

    “I am pleased for Kevin Rudd who will make a good PM. And I thank Pr Q for his relentlessly partisan and highly informative blogging during the campaign. Its all part of the contest.

    “I am a little bit shocked at the degree of vindictive venom in this post. And apparently dittoed by mbahnisch. Perhaps the tradition of impartial academics, like impartial public servants, is going by the wayside?”

    Jack, if you want venom, all you have to do is view the response from Julie Bishop’s Lib Trolls over at Sunday Times.

    http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/comments/0,21590,22813731-948,00.html

    Democracy is for tools, apparently.

  35. CK
    November 25th, 2007 at 21:13 | #35

    Spiros@18:

    You’ve summed it up totally. This poisonous toad’s entire career has come back to have him being run over by an aspirational Holden.

  36. jquiggin
    November 25th, 2007 at 21:35 | #36

    Jack, you apparently don’t understand the role of a subeditor in picking headlines, even though I explained it in my post. Anyway, I’m still very happy, so go ahead and say what you want.

  37. Katz
    November 25th, 2007 at 22:07 | #37

    Even supporters of Howard would be hard-pressed to come up with a list of useful things his government did since his victory in 2004.

    Some low lights:

    1. WorkChoices. A purblind provocation of hubris. And a dirigiste, bureaucratic maze which was sure to provoke what it purported to attempt to quell. And based on a corrupted reading of the constitution.

    2. The superannuation giveaway. Blows a hole in public financing. A hugely expensive, and politically unsuccessful, bribe to boomers.

    3. Still more draconian anti-terror legislation designed to provoke.

    4. Commitment of further troops to Iraq, after lying that it would not be done.

    5. Disastrous intervention into the lives of some Aboriginals, not based on need but on where they live, supported by emergency legislation legalising the fiat of a minister. And a naked land grab.

    6. Kevin Andrews. Minister for pandering to racists.

    7. Howard’s duarchy. Designed to save his political skin at the expense of the Party he claimed to love.

    And what did he promise if elected in 2007? Still more bribes, and some empty sentiments concerning Aborigines appended to the constitution.

    Howard wanted apotheosis into a part of the Liberal pantheon inhabited only by Menzies.

    Instead he has bequeathed his party a legacy of ashes.

  38. gerard
    November 26th, 2007 at 00:59 | #38

    There was one drawback to the whole occasion, which as many others have pointed out was the utterly lacklustre acceptance speech given by Kevin Rudd. Never has a speech so totally failed to meet the emotional requirements of so momentous an event. The only time there was any passion in his voice was when he was planting a big kiss on America’s @rse.

    No ’93 True Believers’ speech that was. Krudd, stop writing your own speeches and hire Keating.

  39. jack Strocchi
    November 26th, 2007 at 05:16 | #39

    jquiggin Says: 25th, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Jack, you apparently don’t understand the role of a subeditor in picking headlines, even though I explained it in my post. Anyway, I’m still very happy, so go ahead and say what you want.

    Okay, I feel suitably churlish and sheepish now. I dont begrudge your happiness…any more.

    Just venting because I made a bad call on Howard’s electorate. I don’t think he deserved it.

    Deserves got nuthin’ to do with it…We all got it coming, kid.

    Bill Munny

  40. gerard
    November 26th, 2007 at 09:47 | #40

    LOL Jack, were you the guy who howled “Nooooooo!!!” when Howard conceded Bennelong in his acceptance speech? That cry of pain was the highlight of election night for me ROFLMAO.

  41. November 26th, 2007 at 11:30 | #41

    Get. Some. Perspective.

    “Never get married to a position.�

    Why don’t you take your own advice?

    (Also, the singular of alumni is alumnus (cf. previous thread.) Nitpicking is my vice and I’m working on it.

  42. jack Strocchi
    November 26th, 2007 at 11:52 | #42

    Helen Says: November 26th, 2007 at 11:30 am

    Why don’t you take your own advice?

    I liked Howard the man, although I would draw the line on marrying him. He showed considerable courage in defying the modish cultural fashions of the day.

    His stance has been vindicated by both cutting edge life and mind scientists and the “me-tooism” of his opposite number.

    I support those cultural policies for the time being. If the time was the Inquisition I might be of a more liberal persuasion.

    But I have no interest in political parties. In fact, I have no corporate loyalties to anything beyond my nation, parish and marriage.

    Is that foot-loose and free enough?

  43. November 26th, 2007 at 15:58 | #43

    #38 & 40. Rudd’s speech was a nicely prepared one, a more or less wooden delivery and full of some plastic cliches.

    Howards concession speech can’t be faulted. The part where he (more or less) conceded Bennelong didn’t seem to me to be a cry of pain, but one of relief. He couldn’t give a stuff. The shedding of pressure was visible. He looking the happiest he has for ages.

    Though nowhere near as happy as Kevin Rudd, who was almost bursting.

    If you want to ruin John Howard’s day, you couldn’t do much better now than inform him he has held the seat of Bennelong.

  44. gerard
    November 26th, 2007 at 16:19 | #44

    I didn’t mean a cry of pain from Howard, but from one very distraught member of the audience, who howled “Noooooo!!!” when Howard all but conceded Bennelong.

    I’m overseas and the best I could manage was choppy abc radio online, but that was hilarious. The Liberals have become little more than a hollowed-out Personality Cult over the past several years so seeing their invincible god being cut down at the knees must be well shocking for them. I actually thought Howard’s speech was quite dignified, whereas Rudd’s speech was almost as uninspiring as a speech could be.

  45. John Bignucolo
    November 26th, 2007 at 16:42 | #45

    I didn’t mean a cry of pain from Howard, but from one very distraught member of the audience, who howled “Noooooo!!!� when Howard all but conceded Bennelong.

    The guy howled out several times. He was starting to irritate everyone to the point that I suspect John Howard wouldn’t have minded seeing him tasered just to shut him up. :-)

    While he wouldn’t have enjoyed losing, Mr Howard’s parliamentary pension will, according to the SMH, soften the blow:

    Mr Howard will receive a taxpayer-funded pension of $345,000 a year in retirement, about $15,000 a year more than he earned as prime minister. Or he could elect to take a $1.5 million payout, and still claim a yearly payment of about $170,000.

    Peter Costello won’t do too badly either. He’s only 49 and will have immediate access on his resignation to a parliamentary pension of $210,000 a year:

    But Mr Costello faces a dip in income, at least until he finds a lucrative corporate position. On $240,000 a year as treasurer, Mr Costello will receive a parliamentary pension of $210,000 a year.

    The defeated minister for indigenous affairs, Mal Brough, elected at the 1996 poll, will be eligible for a pension worth $103,000.

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