Posts Tagged ‘John Howard’

It is all too confusing

April 30, 2017
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It is all so confusing.
 Our Prime Minister Turnbull, while waving his hands up and down, waxes on the TV endlessly how on the world stage, we take prime position in being the  biggest and most successful MULTI Cultural nation in the world. We are a blend of many cultures, it seems. I knew when garlic made its entry into the Australian kitchen back in the late fifties and sixties,  Anglo-Australia would be in for an irreversible change if not doomed as well. Blame the Italians and Greeks for that.
Yet, at the same time but on a different day, Mr Turnbull is urging us to turn into a more nationalistic focussed citizen. A good and special type of Australian not found anywhere except perhaps in the bars of Kuta’s Bali… (Totally drunk and disorderly!) A unique Australian. We are urged to become aware and stand up for a more mono cultural identity.
In fact ‘Unique Australian Values’ is what we should be sticking up for. Migrants will have to do a test on those unique Australian values with a good knowledge and sound understanding of these.  There is no more mucking about with those that don’t want to blend in. I thought this new requirement was obliquely, but none the less pointedly aimed at the foreign Islamic migrants.
Mr Turnbull, our Prime minister is brutally resolute in trying to pick up those voters that have left the Liberal party and who have drifted into the warm bosom of Pauline Hanson’s  far right anti-Aboriginal, anti- Chinese and now anti- Muslim ‘One Nation Party.’ There is nothing wrong with Mr Turnbull also adding the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘Isis’ to his plea for us to become more Aussie.  It is not direct Muslim bashing, is it? It goes down well with some, who think that a bit of xenophobia thrown in this multi cultural soup, it can’t do any harm.
Turnbull talked about ‘respect for the law, tolerance, giving everybody a fair go.’ The aspiring migrant is given 4 years to brush up on Unique Australian Values in order to get permanent residency status. ‘It is something one has to ‘earn’, he said, looking a bit shifty. I am asking if there are many other countries that don’t have respect for the law or respect, treating people disrespectfully? Are we the sole owners of those traits? Is that what makes us so unique?
People that were first looking for their lost new paradigms are now herded into finding Unique Australian Values. I have taken up to shouting Oi,oi,oi late in the afternoon, and trying out my waltzing techniques listening to Waltzing Mathilda. I tell, you when it comes to waltzing around the joint, Helvi reckons I am a formidable maelstrom. Would smearing vegemite around this town help?  I have picked up a couple of good Australian traits from watching ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with that big knife many times. I would be most grateful if someone can show me other Australian Values that I can add.

A previous prime minister, John Howard felt that we should all be interested in cricket and a good intimate grounding in a famous race horse ‘Phar-Lap’, and learn English. While many managed to learn English and dutifully viewed Phar-lap’s pickled heart in a jar, it was the reverse with cricket. It is a game that for many remains a mystery. I must admit, I fall under that category and am surprised I haven’t been kicked out. Even so, during John Howards reign as a PM, it was all so simple and sweet. Thinking back it was much easier to become an Australian with Unique Values.

It is all so confusing now!

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A Brilliant political Orator

September 9, 2013

From Wikipedia;

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Mr ALBANESE (Member for Grayndler) said:

Today my grievance is against the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) for his failure to provide leadership. You can trim the eyebrows; you can cap the teeth; you can cut the hair; you can put on different glasses; you can give him a ewe’s milk facial, for all I care; but, to paraphrase a gritty Australian saying, ‘Same stuff, different bucket.’

In the pantheon of chinless blue bloods and suburban accountants that makes up the Australian Liberal Party,this bloke is truly one out of the box. You have to go back to Billy McMahon to find a Prime Minister who even approaches this one for petulance, pettiness and sheer grinding inadequacy. …

But the gulf, Mr Deputy Speaker, between the man in his mind – the phlegmatic, proud old English bulldog – the Winston of John Winston Howard – and the nervous, jerky, whiny apparition that we all see on the box every night. When he looks on the box he gets to see what we see – not the masterful orator of his mind but the whingey kid in his sandpit. Spare a thought for us, Mr Deputy Speaker, because we have to watch this performance every day – the chin and top lip jutting out in ‘full duck mode’. This prime ministership is not about the future of our nation. It is about John Winston Howard’s past. …

John Winston Howard grew up in the inner west of Sydney. His father owned a service station on the corner of the street where I now live. These were the halcyon days of little Winston’s life – when the working classes knew their place and when all migrants were British. Lucky John Winston Howard moved further north across the harbour. He certainly would not be comfortable living in the inner west of Sydney any more. A bit too much change for his lifetime.

John Howard has always been proud to call himself a conservative. The problem I think is that he has confused this with preservative. … Because it all started going wrong in the late 1960s. Here is a man who lived at home until he was 32. You can imagine what he was like. Here were young Australians demonstrating against the Vietnam War, listening to the Doors, driving their tie-dyed kombi vans, and what was John Howard doing? He was at home with mum, wearing his shorts and long white socks, listening to Pat Boone albums and waiting for the Saturday night church dance. Yes, it all started to go wrong back in the 1960s. Radical and sinister notions of equality for women, world peace and, dare I say it, citizenship rights for indigenous Australians.

PART TWO

So what do we hear when we listen to John Winston Howard today? We hear the hatred and resentment in his voice – the sort of hatred and resentment we saw at the reconciliation conference last year – hatred and resentment from a man who was never part of the scene, who was not accepted, for whom a different life was too big a leap and who took refuge in a previous generation. You can see it in his instinctive hatred of any progression, and he sees it everywhere – policies of social inclusion, multiculturalism, women’s liberation, Aboriginal reconciliation. In all of them he only ever sees the jump he was too weak to make decades ago.

Now he wants the whole nation to stay back and keep him company. Punch `Howard’ and `multiculturalism’ into the Hansard database. You will find he has never mentioned the word. … This is the man we have leading the country – a man who is so instinctively petty and so bitterly obsessed that he could craft an entire parliamentary career without mentioning the word `multiculturalism’ and what that represents, because it is an idea he is opposed to. He is positive]y Orwellian in his pettiness. This is a smallness of mind, a meanness with breathtaking scope.

It is a small thing really but remember when the Spice Girls came to Australia at the beginning of the year? … What did he say? He said it would not be ‘appropriate’ to meet with them. That is vintage John Winston Howard. If he really did not want to meet them he could have just said he was on holiday at Hawks Nest. But he could not resist. He could not resist telling the youth of Australia that he thought they were infantile and stupid and therefore it would be inappropriate to meet these people. …

This is the man we have leading this country – yesterday’s man, a weak man, a little man, a man without courage and a man without vision. Billy McMahon in short pants. This is the man who has brought the full force of his personality to bear on Australia. Australia is now learning what it is like live life through John Howard’s eyes. This is the man whose only aim in the end – forgetting the prime ministership – was to pay back all those who had tried to stop him along the way.

Australia is a better country than that and Australians are better people than that. Australians are, if we are anything, a courageous people. So steeped in conservative values and fear of what is new is John Winston Howard that, if he were born before the Wright brothers, he would have organised a campaign against air travel of any description on the grounds that it was new and potentially dangerous. He is an antique, a remnant of the past that should be put on display, but not in government and certainly not in a leadership position, for anachronisms belong in museums and historical texts, not in parliament. Australians deserve a courageous leader; they do not deserve the kind of leader that used to dob on them in the schoolyard. They do not deserve John Winston Howard and in time they will put him out to pasture. Roll on that day, come the federal election.

Australia’s Dilemma with Boat-people baffling the World

July 22, 2013

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Australia’s Dilemma about Boat people.

The swap to process refugees to PNG (Papua New Guinea) instead of on Australian soil is dreadful. If we are concerned about our borders, fearing that an armada of refugees will be landing, clambering over our colour bonded zinc alumed fences & stealing our women and Billabong T-shirts from the Hill’s Hoist. Where is the concern for PNG’s borders?

Not a good thing with Australia already at the bottom of overseas estimation of care for refugees.
Yes, it does improve ALP’s chances at the next election, but at a dreadful cost.
Listen to this.
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/youve-been-misled-on-boat-people-here-are-the-facts-20130718-2q5rv.html

The problem is ‘us’ rather than the leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott or present Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Our previous PM J.Howard knew our tolerance for the foreign/ unknown was paper-thin and smartly capitalized on it, blowing it up. He sailed into government on the back of the anti-refugee vote.

Sure, we tolerated migrants but at first only those of good and sturdy Anglo stock. We loved the introduction of mutton and cold cabbage. Devon was about as far we dared to go in culinary delights…It took years to accept the ham pierced and wrapped around the gherkin.

Even though, the owners of this nation are black, we, the whites, were quick off the mark to make and paint it as white as possible. The White Australian Policy was introduced excluding 3/4 of the world’s population from living here. Ah well, we tolerated the original owners but they did not count, did they? The indigenous were not given a vote but were gladly accepted getting killed in wars.

When the Poms decided Australia wasn’t so crash hot after all, Continental Europeans were invited (grudgingly). Reffos (refugees) were preferred to swarthy Dagos; at least they were whiter and did not eat stinking garlic and strange looking sweaty gnarled sausages.

They were expected to wholehearted embrace the ‘new country’ from the minute they arrived no matter if this arrival was being housed in corrugated sheds miles away from work, transport or populations. There were riots then as well as suicides. Did it ever cross our minds that brutalizing migrants never works?

http://www.nfsa.gov.au/digitallearning/heritage/bonegilla.html

I am just giving a short version of migrant/refugee history and this includes that ‘foreigners’ were always viewed with suspicion. They were often seen, as is still today, of raping our virtuous sheilas, stealing our jobs and watering down our Anglo yeoman culture. It was J.Howard who thought all migrants should have the basics of Cricket playing knowledge well grounded. It’s amazing they still wanted to come after that ordeal!

Today, sadly it is often the settled migrant’s siblings who are most vehemently opposed to ‘boat people’ and use the same old and tired arguments of ‘border protection’ etc, conveniently forgetting their fathers or grandmothers arrived by boats as well.

If we keep blaming the politicians we will never overcome this fear of the foreign.

Australia is one of the least populated continents in the world. The Northern Federal seat of Kennedy is twice as big as the UK and larger than Spain; it is fertile and could hold, ah well 80 million people. At present there are about a 100.000 living there. The state of Victoria is about the size of UK as well, fertile and green, could also hold 80 million. At present Victoria holds 5.3 million. So, no nation or country is better equipped to handle asylum seekers, yet no country is so vehemently opposed to welcoming refugees that come here on rickety boats.
Why?

Utopia

June 28, 2013

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The Chain and Ball baseness of Politics.
Now, please don’t run away (yet), just a few words about the recent drama leading to a change of our Prime Minister. Her name is Julia Gillard. We had for the first time a PM that was and still is a female, but not anymore our country’s leader. Six years ago she was lauded as a future Prime Minister.

We had Kevin Rudd for three years first, after which fate decided a time was right for a female prime minister. We were so happy to get a change from an 11 year long stifling conservative government doing its best to keep us within the set of boundaries that ensured a solid maintenance of the status quo and cups-o-tea.

Of course, some now say, “The conservative government between 1996 and 2007 were our best years.” Sorry, but I am vague what the achievements during those years were. Was it the involvement of Australia in the Iraqi war or keeping refugees away from our shores? Was it the fondness of the PM John Howard in his love of a foreign Queen and cricket while wearing raglan sleeved pullovers…?

I remember his way of assuaging latent or not so latent xenophobia with his rant about how ‘we will decide who comes to this country and the method whereby they come’ followed up with ‘the children overboard’ lie. The slogans were received like honky-tonk to the ears of the red necks. “Let the boat people drown, they deserve it,” was his real message. “Teach them a lesson,” while rocking back authoritatively on his immoral heels. He knew it all.

As his tenure unfolded over the years, history, as it always does, spewed him out with his unpopularity resulting in only the second time around of a PM losing his own seat. Can you imagine? Yes I can. Nothing lowers everything to a level of baseness than politics.

My idea of a Utopia would be no politics and no Government. Go back to yeomen, carpenters and roof thatchers, jesters and clowns deciding issues with a fair exchange of goods for labour, a bartering for books on papyrus, wheel barrows or axes and with families around the communal fire or water-well. Poetry reading on Friday conversationally aided by the lubricant of an honest ale and strong coffee with snacks of calamari soaked in butter milk with some pepper.

There will be discourse on the weeks’ comings with fireworks and building giant slippery dips contemplation with dancing and hop scotching by others. Hurts would be heeled and soothed made better with hugs and kisses. Almonds, char-grilled and coated with chocolate would be currency and goats would give us cheese and much joyful bleating. Barking dogs and purring cats bouncing at the feet of leaping children, skipping using flaxen ropes and slapping rounded twiggy hoops round and around.

Music and singing for the just and last alive lingering up to a heaven still imagined during the final moment of a joyful departure. Incense burning to a loving memory never to fade or forgotten by kins and friends. Fresh daisies with five leaf clover on our dear beloved, so still now, yet buried below warm embracing sands.

That’s a Utopia that may one day find itself on the shores of our salt encrusted shores, smooth worn by pounding waves on rocks.
It is so much better than the present chain and ball politics.

Reverence for Phar Lap’s Heart ,what about Patrick White?

April 6, 2012

Last week-end’s Australian Review featured a double paged article about a new book being published, almost two decades after the writer’s death, written by our national icon and Noble Prize Winner, Patrick White. It’s called ‘The Hanging Garden’. Its timely rescue from possible oblivion due to David Marr’s boundless admiration for Paddy whom he quoted as the ”most prodigious literary imagination in the history of this nation.”

Hang on; national icons, I thought they were Donald Bradman or Phar Lap. It is strange that our sport heroes continue to have a greater place in our admiration than our much more enduring artists. We can still read Patrick White or listen to our Joan Sutherland but somehow dead sport heroes seem to have priority over our artists. (Do people really watch old footage of Bradman swinging out with his bat?)Perhaps this is because there is very little public exposure of our deceased artists. We don’t easily bump into them, especially not in bronzed sculptures scattered around our public parks.

We all know that people in Russia are well provided with larger than life size bronze statues scattered around most of their public parks and open spaces. Those sculptures usually depict the heroic male farm worker holding a scythe or a stout busty female pointing a sheaf of wheat skywards with a clutch of children at her feet. It’s hard to take a seat anywhere in public and not be overlooked by the revolutionaries of Russia. Enormous Lenin’s also made those eating pirozhki at Gorki Central park of Culture and Leisure a rather noble and humbling experience.

Fortunately, the bronzed sculptures are not all heroes of revolution or political mayhem. Many are also of their writers, poets and other artistic giants. While I was there I saw many very pensive and good looking Pushkins about. The bearded Tolstoys seemed to feature much less in number. This might well be for technical reasons. It is not easy to cast a figure with large flowing beard and seated in a cane chair into a bronze statue. What do you think the pigeons would do perched on the cane chair?

We don’t revere our mayhem causing revolutionaries and political   wreckers to that degree. We would be very chagrined stepping out of the train at Wynyard being greeted by a life size Beazley on horseback. Can we imagine for one moment, after a big night out at the Bankstown RSL, bumping into a John Howard with cricket bat?

We do have a stern looking Queen Victoria at the entrance to the Queen Victoria Building near Sydney’s Town-hall. She hails from such a historical distance away that we accept her as easy as we do a park-bench. She served our calm Anglo history very well. The kids just love her too.

Captain Cook is peering beyond distant horizons. He just needs an occasional dusting of his binoculars. Not much further is a mysterious bronze pig whose snout gets polished together with coins being donated for the hospital just behind it.  I am not sure if the pig polishing and coin throwing is still connected to making a wish as well! The relentless march of history has a habit of finally blurring out the edges.

Another animal cast in heavy metal is the Gundagai drover’s dog. I could not see him at the spot he was supposed to be last time. Perhaps dogs roam around even after cast in bronze.  Maybe the drover’s tucker box was getting empty.

A weird and rather spooky relic of the past is the sad and somewhat forlorn sight of a large heart kept in a jar of alcohol. It is Phar Lap’s ticker. For those outside Australian territories and our horse ignorant young; Phar Lap was one of the fastest horses to run around a race course. It was a phenomenal winner, making lots of money for the punters. I can’t imagine the horse being too impressed if it knew its heart ended up being pickled inside a jar.

The omission of our well known artists cast in bronze seems to stick out somewhat. Mind you, not far from my place we do have that famous icon, a cricketer in tarnished bronze. His name is Donald Bradman. He is famous and certainly an artist with the bat & ball. People queue up to get their picture taken standing next to him. They arrive from all parts of the world, even Fiji and Pakistan.

Are we ready to grace our parks and public open spaces with sculptures celebrating our best in the arts. Why can’t we have our greatest writer, Patrick White being honored with a life size sculpture or even a statue? I know he would be horrified but he won’t see it. His ashes were scattered around Centennial Park.  He was always a bit grumpy when it came to bestowing recognition and fame on him. He would rather stay home than face the media or the hungry crowds.

He was a modest man. Even so, we do need to give greater recognition to our creative artists…For posterity.  For our children. They need to know and see our artists as well as the sporting heroes.

What about a Joan Sutherland in bronze, a corrugated zinc alume armored Sydney Nolan? Perhaps a Brett Whitely in shimmering stainless steel next?

Just let’s start first with Patrick White though. I can see him already, jutted jaw, his mouth firmly set, looking straight at us. A bit miffed but pleased about ‘The Hanging Garden’ also been published.