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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail