I’ve been watching a documentary series on SBS (see link above) about the Liberal Party focussing mainly on, what I have dubbed, The Decade Of Terror which was lead by the Liberal leader, Mr John Howard. Being reminded that Mr Howard wanted to make Australia into a mini America made me very angry, again. Don’t get me wrong, Dear Reader, I don’t have a problem with the American people. I detest their version capitalism. I believe that is a cruel regime. I don’t mind (generally speaking) the government regulating banking and corporations. I don’t have a problem with the government telling them that they cannot abuse the system (or the people) and think that they can get away with it. I don’t mind paying tax (honestly) and I certainly don’t mind paying the medicare levy. What I don’t want, is capitalism the way the American’s have it. I believe in a welfare state. I believe that all people, not just the white middle class, but all people have the right to access health care, education, a reasonable minimum wage, and the right to feel safe from persecution or harm on the basis of race, religion (or lack of religion), gender, or sexual orientation. I want to live in a country that really holds at it’s core these principles.
Mr Howard’s wilful blindness of how deeply entrenched racism in this country is, that he failed see the the Nazi swastika spray-painted on people’s homes. Refugee’s homes. But Australian’s aren’t racist. Pauline Hanson wasn’t (isn’t??) racist. No heaven forbid. You’re words echo in my mind as an example of your own racial bias.
“We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come!”
Nice. Now, I figure that these people don’t have access to the kind of “manner in which they come” you would approve of. You know, being persecuted and everything and I don’t know, running for their lives may have prohibited that experience. So, unless we stop the war’s in their countries, we have no say in how they come here. We do, however, have a say in the way in which we treat them when they risk their lives and arrive on our shores.
Insert: The Pacific Solution
Mr Howard, do you have any compassion and/or empathy? How could you believe Nauru is a solution to anything? To what? Lack of Empathy and compassion is a real deficit in your character. This character flaw combine with power of The Prime Ministership (with control in both houses) was a dangerous combination and you proved yourself unworthy.
The fact that you still wont concede to any wrong doing, despite sending us to war, even when it was clear that the majority were against it, despite the crimes against humanity, and despite work choices and cuts to medicare (changes to bulk billing being a major shift. Thanks for that FYI). Unless you were white and middle class, you didn’t count.
Mr Howard, you were the representitive of the people of Australia. Not a representative of Mr Bush. You were not put into the Prime Ministership to create your ideal. I don’t know when you forgot the part where, we (the public) tell you what we want and then (within reason) you, kinda have to do that? For example, when you believe that we as a nation should go to war. I figure that’s really not up for you to decide on your own. You should have called a referendum.
Don’t EVEN get me started on that farce of a Republic Referendum. That was a dirty trick Mr Howard. Dirty and against the foundations of democracy. It’s just not cricket, Mr Howard.
Apart from the international humiliation we suffered during the Decade Of Terror for those of us born here enough, were doing it tough. Especially working, single parents. I was one of those. Thanks for punishing me for working when my youngest child started school. I was trying to do the right thing. I lost all the health care benefits of my pension card (bulk billing at the doctor’s and medication concessions). I couldn’t get my medication as I couldn’t always stretch the budget to pay full price for them. I was paying more in child care than I was in rent and I was paying a lot of my pay in rent. How is that ethical? Who does it actually help? how is even rational? Let alone something to be proud of? I have never voted for Liberal’s and you’re reason why. You won the Lib’s the election in the very first election I voted in. I voted against you. Even as a relative noob at “Polly Spotting”, I knew that things would would take a down turn for those on the “not so middle class as we look” population, I just could never have foreseen how much of down turn.
Your speeches would make me so angry. Particularly when you said things like;
“I speak for the Australian people…”
I would yell,
“You don’t speak for me, Sir!” (I’m heaps posh when I’m angry)
Take a look at what you created in that decade. Mr Tony Abbott & co. They were junior ministers back then. No doubt kissing your arse in the Young Libs and bullying people on campus at St John’s, then further arse kissing as young ministers. We have all been witness to Mr Abbott’s brand of Liberal ethics. Possibly evolved from your own. You must be disappointed that Mr Abbott, isn’t as smart as you nor does he have your political cunning. Are you proud of this man? Don’t answer that. You couldn’t even say sorry to people, whose lives we destroyed. I think I know the answer.
So, My Dearest Reader, you can understand when someone says to me “I miss Howard as PM” my blood run’s cold. I’d be screwed…again. I have promised myself that one day I will get a t-shirt that says “I survived the Howard Years”. It’s good to have dreams.