FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Howard’s End

by BRIAN McKINLAY

John Howard is gone. A mean-spirited little toady and lickspittle to the Monster Bush, Howard’s end when it came was more like watching a blood sport,than an election result.

Picture the scene.

In Australia’s capital, Canberra, a huge crowd had gathered on Saturday night in the National Tally Room to see the posting on an electronic scoreboard of the results for the all important 150 House of Representative seats.

When the votes began to flood in after 7.00 pm on Saturday it was soon apparent that not only was there a gathering swing across Australia against Howard conservative coalition,but in Howard’s own Sydney seat of Bennelong,he was in desperate trouble.

His Labor opponent, a charismatic journalist, Maxine McHugh, urged the voters to reject Howard’s reactionary policies, and to make that emphatic by throwing him out of the seat he had held since 1974.

As Howard,in the Sydney residence of the Prime Minister.watched his Ministers and others being swept away, he himself was gathered up in the flood and swept away too.

Not since 1929 had an Australia Prime Minister lost his own seat at an election.

When Maxine McHugh made an appearance on the Tally Room screens the audience erupted,many shouting “Howard Out, Howard Out”

In the Tally Room the clamour grew so marked was it that the panel of journalists broadcasting the results were silenced by the tumult!

Howard was seen to be losing his own seat,just as the results showed his colleagues being decimated,with some Ministers among the fallen.

It soon became apparent that Labor had won the 75 seats needed for a Majority in the 150-member chamber. The swing continued and Labor will have a majority of about 20 in the new House,and in the Senate with it’s allies .the Greens (.who will have 5 seats in the new Senate, )it will have a majority too.

The new Labor Prime Minister ,Kevin Rudd,is an impressive intellectual,who amongst other talents is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese,a rare talent amongst Australian politicians,but a talent that clearly won many votes for Labor amongst the burgeoning Asian communities in Melbourne and Sydney.

Top of the list for the new Australian Government will be striking down Howard’s anti-union laws which contributed to his defeat.

Labor also had made the problems of climate change a major issue,aided by their Green party allies. Howard a long time sceptic on that issue had a deathbed conversion,but too late.

Polls showed that amongst young voters,his party secured only about 30% of the vote.

Another key issue was a promise by Labor to withdraw the Australian force from Iraq. George Bush had no more slavish adherent on the issue of the war in Iraq than Howard , His closeness to Bush had become a matter of national embarrassment,and must have helped in generating the mood which has swept him away.

Some time ago an American friend suggested that there was some sort of curse on those allied to Bush in his criminal endeavours in the Middle East. and elsehere.

We have seen Aznar in Spain, Berlusconi in Italy. Blair in the U.K, and now today John Howard. all toppled from power by angry electorates….The Curse of the House of Bush. indeed!…..like something by Edgar Allen Poe.

In their public and private meetings Bush and Howard always engaged in a mutual love fest,pouring compliments on to each other.

Bush even once called Howard, “The Man of Steel”.

One is reminded of the final unmasking of the Wizard of Oz,in which see the Wizard as a rather sad little man,once the curtain is pulled away.

The Australian people have finally pulled away the curtain from Bush’s Deputy Sheriff. The game is over,and one of the last warriors of the Coalition of the Willing has fallen!

BRIAN McKINLAY is a former Teacher and a Historian of the Australian Labor Movement, and has written a number of books on Australian History and Politics.

 

 

More articles by:
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
Andrew Levine
Why Not Hillary?
Paul Street
Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé
Chris Floyd
Twilight of the Grifter: Bill Clinton’s Fading Powers
Eric Mann
How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools
Jason Hirthler
The West’s Needless Aggression
Dan Arel
Why Hillary Clinton’s Camp Should Be Scared
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Flunks Decontamination
David Rosen
The Privatization of the Public Sphere
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy
Chris Gilbert
Corruption in Latin American Governments
Pete Dolack
We Can Dream, or We Can Organize
Dan Kovalik
Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation
Jeffrey St. Clair
Fat Man Earrings: a Nuclear Parable
Medea Benjamin
Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail