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Friday, March 03, 2006


One has to wonder sometimes about the Australian people. I mean, why do a people who know that their government is blatantly dishonest, and even corrupt, continue to support it both in public opinion polls and the Big Poll that comes around every few years?

The answer lies within many of the comments from the Howard supporters. Almost all of them have commented about how well off we are now under Howard. The ‘we’ve never had it so good’ cry that is often heard from Howard huggers reflects a typical modern Australian ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude. No matter that Howard has lied and schemed his way into ten years of government, no matter that tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of innocent people have died as a result of his lies, no matter that thousands who have wanted to seek refuge here in our country have had to spend years locked up just so that Howard could demonstrate to other like-minded refugees that they shouldn’t really be trying to come here, no matter that our rights have been slowly eroded away in exchange for protection from an all but non-existent threat to our security, no matter that the rights of ordinary workers to collectively negotiate work agreements have nigh on disappeared; all this matters not an iota provided, it seems, our hip pocket continues to be full and the value of our homes continues to increase so that we can continue to be able afford to indebt ourselves beyond anything most Australians have in the past been able to indebt themselves.

Is this what Australians have become? Being ‘laid back’, which seems to have evolved into complacency, is one thing but supporting a blatantly dishonest, lying and corrupt government in order to pursue personal wealth and to turn a blind eye to the suffering of other peoples who seem alien to us while Howard pursues his own agenda of creating his New Fascist Australia is verging on criminal!

Time to do something?!!


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your perspective of national events. Saun Carney in The Age has an article in a similar vein to yours.
My thoughts are that Howard is a street fighter, while Beasley is a gentleman. The gentleman only wins against the streetfighter in fiction.

Think of Hawke who sacked his best friend over a stuffed toy. Fraser who sacked two Ministers over duty on a color TV. Contrast those with Howard's low standards.

As far as the people, this the baby boomer generation, is the selfish generation. Carney points out that probity does not rate. Only money.

Consider the lack of outcry when Howard passed a few million of public funds to his brother's company. Without any public outcry. Look at the incompetence over the AWB schmozzle. The public says ho hum.

Damian Lataan said...


Thanks for your thoughts. Politics, I guess, is tough which is why the likes of Hawke and Fraser and, indeed, Howard as you suggest, are able to do what they do – I couldn’t do that sort of stuff; I’m not sure I’m that tough, which is why I’m not in politics. But I wonder if there is not room, at least from those of us that vote these people in and out of power, to be able to make moral decisions about our government yet still be able to involve ourselves in the practise of capitalism.

As one of the baby boomers you refer to (and I take no offence to your suggestion that many of us have been selfish – I have to confess to having taken advantage of certain financial benefits that have from time to time been made available by various governments over the years) I feel that lying in order to make war and to deny people their rights based on their race, culture and religion is not one of the essential ingredients required in order to build an economically successful nation. There is no reason at all that I can see why egalitarianism, multiculturalism and honest capitalism can’t exist side by side in any modern society.

Being Left-wing these days does not necessarily have to include being anti-capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Damian,

I too have enjoyed your posts on Webdiary and here. You and Roger Fedyk are the two posters at Webdiary I enjoyed the most and it's a pity you have decided to stop posting there. Always well argued and plenty of insights.

Sometimes you can get a bit tiresome with the anti Howard and war criminal comments and I think it can turn some undecideds off.

Not that I disagree with you about Howard, I would be most pleased to see him prosecuted for his role in Iraq, I just don't think it will achieve anything, except possibly ill health, by contantly regurgitating the bile that this PM instills.

Are you aware of any efforts to refer Howards role in Iraq to the ICC after he retires or will he be somehow immune from prosection?

Damian Lataan said...

Steve C,

Thanks for your support. As it was I was spending far too much time at Webdiary when I should have been getting on with writing up my thesis. I also found that I was often just repeating myself over and over again as I tried to counter arguments that had also been repeated over and over again. I was simply going around in circles as the same old right-wing commentators regurgitated the same old garbage.

This, in turn, led to me becoming repetitive with my rhetoric style; ‘Lying Tyrants’, ‘New Australian Fascists’, ‘the war criminals’, etc., as you note. Much of this was deliberate; repetition does reinforce, but over-use can, as you say, get a bit tiresome. So, I thought enough was enough, especially when the editors began to enforce their ridiculous ideas about what could and couldn’t be talked about on Webdiary.

It always seemed to me that Webdiary were pandering to the right-wing realising that they were their bread and butter in terms of keeping argument going. The problem was that the right-wing was jumping up and down making noises about leaving Webdiary if certain things were talked about like Holocaust denial and so-called conspiracy theories. Clearly, the powerful Australian Jewish lobby had got to Margo and frightened her off from Holocaust denial discussion and some right-wing Webdiarists had threatened to leave if ‘conspiracy theories’ were discussed. The result now is that Webdiary has become a successful but mediocre political chat room with the same old right-wingers strutting their stuff and the same old stuff getting churned over again and again. Pity really.

I’m not sure if there are any efforts being made to refer Howard to the ICC after he retires. He is immune at the moment but will not be immune once he returns to private life; he can be prosecuted then.

As a one man show at this blog I’m afraid the pace isn’t quite as brisk as Webdiary, however, it’s good to know that at least a few people have an interest in what few words that I do get around to writing that isn’t part of my thesis!