||Issue No. 319||11 August 2006|
Good Versus Evil
Interview: A Life And Death Matter
Unions: Fighting Back
Industrial: What Cowra Means
Environment: Scrambling for Energy Security
Politics: Page Turner
Economics: The State of Labour
International: Workers Blood For Oil
History: Liberty in Spain
Review: Go Roys, Make A Noise
The Locker Room
The Cruellest Cut
Mr 21 Percent
In news that is a cruel blow to the deputy Prime Minister, Jeanette Howard, Emperor John Howard has cancelled all non essential travel by government ministers in the lead up to next year's federal election.
Apparently he doesn't want them gallivanting around the planet doing "nothing".
Does that mean that is what they have been doing for the last ten years? Is Howard hinting that everyone, from His Holiness Pope Abbott I to goodtime charlotte Fran Bailey, has been swigging their way around the globe in a grand tour of the world's pleasure spots?
Is all that Alexander Downer has been up to? Rolling around the corner of some foreign field boosting his teddy bear collection?
It would make sense, especially given that this government seems to get it's foreign policy off the fax machine over at the Office Of National Assessments, fresh from Condaleeza - and it's economic policy off the fax at Treasury from the Business Council of Australia.
It's a shame that this new policy is not so thought through. Heaven knows, the country would benefit with the entire cabinet being shipped offshore, and kept there indefinitely.
Yep, old Johnny showed this week what a firm grip he had on the tiller of the good ship SS Australia by declaring WorkChoices such a success he was going to send a team of champions to the defence of his champion team.
Howard has showed that everything is fine by appointing a special taskforce to stop the stream of unconsciousness emanating from Kevin Andrews cakehole.
Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that WorkChoices was as popular and welcome as the Ebola Virus, or the fact that Kevin Andrews couldn't sell beer to a brickie during a bushfire, no.
No, Johnny was jumping up and down telling us all that, because he'd kicked so many people off the dole, WorkChoices was a success.
While changing the definition of unemployment and kneeing the nation's most vulnerable people in the groin may make the numbers go down, it wasn't immediately clear to people why we should be heading off to Argentina, economically speaking, during what is allegedly a boom.
Only in John Howard's Australia could Joe Hockey, the bloke who just tried to starve a kid with leukaemia back into the workforce, be seen as the more caring option.
Nonetheless, the good member for North Sydney was no doubt "promoted" because he did the diligent thing and was playing 'Whisky In the Jar' on the fiddle while HIH was burning down.
Which starts to bring us almost full circle in the life of John Winston Howard; the man who has been driving the four cylinder Australian economy flat out down the freeway while the oil light is glowing red.
A measure of Howard's political judgement is his uncanny ability to put self-interest ahead of the nation.
With the refugee wedge all but exhausted, to the point where even his own backbench refused to play Klu Klux Klan this week, and Phil "the Embalmer" Ruddock turning David Hicks into a hero, it was time for a new wedge.
So the government, inexplicably, tried to turn the recent rise in interest rates to its advantage, thus illustrating what a tenuous grip Dear Leader has on reality.
Rates were 17 percent under Labor crowed Howard in parliament last week, until it was pointed out they were 21 percent under him, back in the eighties, when he almost sent the country broke during a stint as national purchaser of votes for the Liberal Party.
Which brings us to the malfeasance of the HIH debacle.
The whole reason the HIH deck of cards came crashing down was because, when it received it's first license to trade as an insurer - in it's previous incarnation as FAI insurance - it was because the license was granted by one John Winston Howard, then Treasurer, against the advice of any prudential regulator drawing breath in this wide brown land.
And why did Howard do this? Because the father of the bloke whose doing chokey out at Bathurst these days, Adler senior, saved the Liberal Party from bankruptcy by depositing no small sum of cabbage into the Liberal party's dwindling bank accounts.
So the man who has allowed a skills crisis to emerge during an economic boom, not to mention happily watching the floor price of labour head southward faster than a tropical cyclone, while signing us up to a war that has seen the price of petrol go into orbit around Venus, is now passing himself off as the great manager.
And he thinks he can get away with it by putting on his constipated face and saying he feels your pain at the petrol pump, while his wife cries, "let them eat ethanol", and opens another bottle of vintage Mont Blanc to wash down the larks uvulas with.
The good news is this corrupt, crooked, fraudulent, degenerate, tumour of man has decided to put his neck into the guillotine and run as what laughably passes as leadership material at the next election.
Given that he won't emigrate, it's the next best option we have.
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