February 22, 2008

Australia’s Muldoon?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:07 pm by Chris

I normally try to avoid talking about politics on this blog, and there
are other people who do it better. But I thought I might kick John
Howard in the head one more time, just to keep the joy fresh. I’d like
to share with you, dear readers, a thought that has occurred to me
lately.

John Howard is Australia’s Rob Muldoon. This only struck me when
listening to the long-overdue “sorry” speech back-to-back with David
Lange at the Oxford Union, but there’s more to it an them both being
ousted by fast-talking public-school boys who overshadowed them
almost immediately. I’m not prepared to defend the resemblance between
Rudd and Lange in any great length, but I think the Howard-Muldoon
contrast has legs. Both small-minded, short-statured, xenophobic
control freaks who won’t be kindly remembered by history. They lived
in different worlds, of course; Howard would have wet himself if he
could have exercised the kind of power Muldoon had over the
nation. But, like Muldoon, the attraction Howard held for the
electorate is hard to explain in hindsight.

There a still a few of Muldoon’s fanatical fanboys around, albeit
diminished in numbers, but it’s getting hard to find anyone prepared
to admit to supporting the Springbok tour. Or who can remember what
they thought, John Keys, you lying coward. It may be too soon to tell
what’ll happen to the memory of Howard, but Brendan Nelson’s pitiful
attempt to adopt a Howardesque stance on Aboriginal reconciliation
certainly went down like a lead balloon. The man himself was
conspicuously nowhere to be seen to defend his long-held position. And
while his sycophantic toadies in the publication that we Sydneysiders
laughingly refer to as our daily newspaper continue to toe the
faltering party line, I think someone should tell them that they’re
rapidly becoming unfashionable. Miranda Devine, I am looking at you.

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