Saturday, May 05, 2007

A spot of Howard bashing

(... Just for a change. And because it’s so unfashionable.)

The kick-off is a throwaway line in the paper today:

Two months after he was unceremoniously dumped from the Howard ministry, Western Australian senator Ian Campbell announced yesterday he was retiring from politics...

We’re all sincerely very happy for Senator Campbell, of course, and who cares what colour his parachute is. The simile “like a rat off a sinking ship” couldn’t be further from our lips.

The report, however, is inaccurate. Campbell was in fact “dumped” with great ceremony, as befitting a sacrificial lamb on the Prime Minister’s altar of political expediency.

With Labor Opposition leader Kevin Rudd firmly in his sights, Mr Howard in early March staged a lavish valediction for Campbell:

“It is with regret that I accepted the resignation of Senator Ian Campbell and I’m extremely sorry that this event has occurred,” Mr Howard said.

“It’s important to note that the circumstances of Ian Campbell’s meeting with Brian Burke were entirely different from those surrounding Mr Rudd’s meetings with Brian Burke.

“The meeting occurred in the normal course of the operation of Senator Campbell’s then portfolio and the circumstances were entirely benign.

“Senator Campbell was not seeking any favour, support, preferment or patronage from Mr Burke.

“It was nonetheless an error of judgment, given all of the circumstances surrounding Mr Burke, that Senator Campbell should have met him.’’ ...

Mr Howard said by resigning, Senator Campbell had behaved with total honour and integrity and his reputation remained intact.

In about a hundred fewer words, the shorter version:

Campbell goooood. Rudd baaaad.

Ian resigned. Why not Kev?

Thus Campbell, blameless as a spring lamb, presented himself for ritual slaughter, and was lauded accordingly.

But, of course, the PM had to ‘let him go’ because his Treasurer, aiming for Rudd, had set the bar so high with the statement that, “Anyone who deals with Mr Brian Burke is morally and politically compromised.


Moving along, and almost entirely unrelatedly, the following opens an article, purporting to be ‘analysis’, by Dennis Shanahan:

When John Howard sees a hole in the fence, he doesn’t hesitate; he’s through it and away. ...

The phrase “like a thief in the night” might leap to mind, but Shanahan goes on to elaborate — approvingly, it seems — on how Mr Howard is just about the most diabolically, deviously clever politician around.

  • Memo Dennis: We know!!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Goat Friday

As will be recalled from last week, Clover, our patagonian pocket goat, has proved an exceptionally (and endearingly) docile creature.

Our efforts to coax Clover out of her shell have so far been unsuccessful; however, on advice from a patagonian pocket goat behavioural expert, we are currently attempting more ‘active’ methods.

No luck so far. Watch this space...

image by jarcob  —  click to enlarge

No goat was harmed in the making of this post.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Union wants cake and eat it too

As noted previously, Australia’s peak businessmens’ union, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, wants control of the nation’s education system for the enrichment of its own members, including massive increases in expenditure of $8-billion “aligned to industry needs”.

Now ACCI wants tax cuts as well!!!

There appear to be no limits to the unrepresentative demands of these neo-Stalinists.

Mettle fatigue

Australia’s Man of Steel, Prime Minister John Howard, apparently declined to fly with Pervez Musharraf on the Pakistani President’s helicopter during a visit to an earthquake zone in late-2005.

Citing “security concerns”, Mr Howard instead flew on a US Black Hawk helicopter.

Businessmens’ unions exposed as anti-democratic

Australia’s businessmens’ unions have exposed their Stalinist credentials with their open and vehement opposition to giving Australian voters the choice between the Howard Government’s WorkChoices regime, and the alternative policy recently unveiled by the Labor Opposition.

The Australian Industry Group’s chief, Heather Ridout, yesterday said companies that did not like Labor’s industrial relations policy should donate cash to the Liberal Party. ...

The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are considering teaming up to run a paid advertising campaign worth tens of millions of dollars to counter the union movement’s successful anti-WorkChoices campaign.

To be anti-choice is to be anti-democracy. As I said in my previous post: Scratch a unionist, and a Stalinist commissar is revealed just beneath the surface.