John Howard: epitomy of what it means to be Australian

The man who created an admirable set of standards
of ministerial propriety and then revised them downwards
rather than sack a mate.

“Some leaders inspire us with the noble idea that we might create a better society; Howard sets our sights on a lower, lesser target. Far from inspiring nobility of purpose, he encourages us to be comfortable with some of the baser aspects of our own ordinariness.

He reinforces our materialism. By conflating politics with economics and by placing emphasis on material prosperity, Howard has encouraged the idea that money is the key to happiness, that share-ownership is a symbol of success and that the rich should be praised and rewarded for being rich.

That, in turn, reinforces our moral laxity, partly because that’s the usual result of an over-emphasis on material values. Howard’s unwavering commitment to the strategy of “toughing it out” also encourages, by example, our thoroughly human tendency to be self-serving and, when it suits our purposes, dishonest.

He reinforces our prejudices. From the moment he appeared to align himself with Pauline Hanson’s sympathisers, Howard has been the master of so-called “dog-whistle” politics – giving people permission to indulge their prejudices without ever quite saying so. Under Howard, we have become less compassionate, less tolerant and more uninhibited in the expression of ethnic and religious prejudice. “Terrorist” has become a convenient new cloak for some very old prejudices.”

This is just an excerpt from an excellent article printed in The Age opinion section today.
Read the full text here

Lets us worship what is so lovable about honest Johnny. The Australian we all respect, the man who invented the terms core and non-core promises.


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