Posts Tagged ‘John Howard’

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable.

“There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

So quoth the immortal Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (original radio series, you novel-toutin’ apologists) – but I’m rapidly becoming of the view that if a spry mad-libber were to replace the word ‘universe’ in the preceding paragraph with ‘NSW State Labor Party’, they wouldn’t be far wrong.   

Behold: John Watkins, NSW State Transport Minister, has stated his readiness to use WorkChoices to – wait for it – stop union action. He’s not unaware of the irony. And he doesn’t care.

It’s like the Damnation of Ruddock come to life, only instead of a besuited Nick Slick Minchin pulling the strings, it’s the ghostly hand of Howard, dripping with vile ectoplasm as it emerges from the cooling ashes of an unholy pyre. Morris Iemma has always resembled nothing so much as the failed punchline of a bad joke, but in light of Belinda Neal and John Della-Bosca – not to mention the repulsive Milton Orkopoulos – he’s started looking more and more like a real-world Cornelius Fudge.

I never thought I’d say this. Lordy, how I wish things could be otherwise, but right now, I’m really left with only one alternative. The NSW State Labor party will lose the next election, if there’s any justice in the world. The Liberals will get in.

And from the safety of Melbourne, I will smile.

Oh for the days of Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating or Bob Hawke! In the happy glow of memory and anecdote, one feels these were Labor Prime Ministers that the erstwhile citizen could not only vote for, but like.

Not so Kevin Rudd.

As pleased as I am to see El Blepheron* Howard removed from his decade-long foray into Australian leadership; as cheerfully as I voted for Labor; as riotous my applause when – grinning, bespectacled – Kevin Rudd ascended to the Prime Ministerial podium, the bloke is, nonetheless, a wowser, a killjoy and a philistine.

There’s no way around it. For my generation of left-wing voters, who have grown up with Howard and for whom Keating exists in just the dimmest corner of childhood recollection, it seems that the price of finally having a leader who signs Kyoto, apologises to the Aborigines, funds universities and brings the troops home is that he be the humanoid equivalent of a Vogon.

A clarification, for those unfamiliar with the late and very great Douglas Adams:

Vogons are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry to you.

“Vogon poetry is, of course, the third worst in the universe.”

Which description seems alarmingly apt of our new PM – at least as concerns the Federal Public Service and Bill Henson.

Still. No matter how distasteful one might find Young Kevin’s personality or methods, there is comfort in the knowledge that the Liberal Party candidates are immesurably worse, not only because they won’t achieve anything beneficial to offset their own officiousness, as Rudd has done, but because they’re a pack of scheming, greedy, ugly-minded liars, who, when it comes to accountability, Peter Reith and the AWB, have tended to collectively resemble the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, viz: “a creature so mind-bogglingly stupid it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you.”

Ah, politics.


*Blepheron: anyone with abnormally large eyebrows.