Yesterday, I blogged re the 20th anniversary of Australia’s Port Arthur Massacre and how, in the 1996 aftermath, (then) Prime Minister John Howard had ushered in strong gun control laws… those efforts creating a dramatic reduction in mass shooting incidents.
Originally I had (naïvely) thought, “Wow… what a great man!” I mean what could be more dramatic than ZERO such incidents over the past two decades?
Well… long sigh… as it turns out… re Howard… there IS a lot of drama… and none of it good. More about that in a moment.
The first order of biz, this day, is my shout out to a fellow blogger who hails from Australia. His comment on yesterday’s posting alerted me to the fact that gun control is the ONLY good thing Howard ever accomplished during his tenure as P.M.
As for the second order of biz, I decided to dig deeper into Howard’s ideology. And, folks, unless you’re in the habit of inviting Big Brother over for a political cup of tea, I strongly recommend that you have an airsick bag within reach.
While you’re readying that receptacle… check out this video…
Political analyst Tony Kevin now adds his voice:
“I have a bleaker view of the Howard years. Only time will tell if my case is overstated. I see Howard as a disruptive and dangerous national leader. His rule is steadily degrading the values of our society and corrupting its political institutions. The longer he stays in power, the more the checks and balances of our society will crumble. We will continue our slow slide towards an Australian model of fascism.”
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is why checks and balances are crucial to the health of democratic systems. They are the grit in the gears of government machinery, preventing excessive concentration of power.”
The 10 Specific Lowlights to John Howard’s Dystopia…
1. Howard exploited the war on terror just like George W. Bush had… fear mongered his people into xenophobic paranoia. Since he kept these citizens in the dark and fed them a ton of BS, one Deputy Prime Minister referred to this as “Howard’s Mushroom Club”.
2. He deployed Australian troops to fight in W’s (provoked on flat out lies) Iraq War. Just like W, he posed in photo ops with soldiers for political gain.
3. Howard jailed innocent women and children refuges behind the barbed wire of Hell-hole concentration camps and deported Australians. His “One Australia” had been mere window-dressing for his vile white-supremacist movement. He enforced social and cultural conformism… denied Aboriginal people their universal land rights. Indeed… in his narrow vision… only those who did not clash with the bleak, homogenized Howard motif need “apply”.
4. He called all the shots… decided what issues would / would not be brought up for national debate. Dissenting Parliamentarians risked ending their carriers. He also stacked the court system with likeminded, mindless, spineless, political hack judges.
5. Howard dispatched thought police to quash the freethinking nature of universities and think tanks… marginalizing any and all voices of differing POVs.
6. He dominated the actual police forces and bestowed totalitarian powers upon them… with zero oversight they could not / could never be reined in by anyone. All department whistle blowers were vulnerable to punishment… naysayers escorted to the exit signs. Career advancement was based solely on being a good little toady.
7. Howard allowed only token dissenters to maintain the illusion of a fair and balanced MSM. With everyone else on board with tapping into Orwellian concepts, mendacity ruled.
8. He went on expensive overseas junkets while excluding the press corps from his aircraft.
9. Howard busted up labor unions and dismantled the eight-hour day, pensions and other benefits.
10. He implemented teach to the test and “values” lessons within public schools (an idiotic lesson he had also learned from mentor/moron W).
You can read more in depth about those above 10 items…
Now, to once more quote Kevin…
“Here is the real story of the Howard years. We no longer live in a healthy, self-correcting democratic system, but in an expanding, albeit still “soft-authoritarian”, system of corporate national power. While leading elites remain mostly quietly complicit, dissenters look on in horror as our national pride is devalued and our freedoms are dismantled.”
About all I can add to those sentiments…
That Howard put an end to mass shooting incidents is to be commended. True that has saved lives… but it can also be argued… and I might add convincingly so… that those who remained alive were not / are not really living. To quote Randy California’s song lyric…
“Just where will you be when your freedom is dead?”
To tap into that lyrical Spirit… hear out the rest of California’s sentiments…