Howard and history

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.

59 thoughts on “Howard and history

  1. Wilful: as the US ranks ahead of Oz in that study, it would seem to support my observations. Particularly given that I am comparing Americans as a whole with the average “inner-city Aussie lefty” – a particularly miserable representative of an otherwise sunny and optimistic nation.

    Jill: whatever you want to call them, in Australia most of them beg because they don’t want to work. That’s fine – their choice. But I don’t give them any money; I prefer to save that for more worthy causes.

  2. My god your use of facts is dazzling.

    Can I ask what exactly defines an ‘inner city lefty? From Melbourne experience, is Footscray inner? How about Thurnbury? I mean, I would just like a bit more precision here. And how left do you have to be to left in your classification?

    As for miserableness, well I’ll accept that you’re talking pure crap there, since it’s difficult to measure.

    As for beggars, in inner Melbourne 15 years ago all the deros were old men with mental illnesses and alcohol problems, the number of street kids asking for money was insignificant. The situation now is very different – a lot more of them and they’re a lot lot younger. Of course, the heroin problems of the late 90s didn’t help, but it is still much higher than 15 years ago. Something has happened to make this change, and the Federal and State governments have to cop some of the blame. Unless it’s just the fact that kids these days are lazy bastards who wouldn’t know an honest days work if it hit them (a caricature of your beliefs).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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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