[LINK] OT: Howards anti-terrorist mailout

Bob Bain bobb@soxkat.com
Mon, 10 Feb 2003 07:53:08 +1100


On Sun, 09 Feb 2003 22:30:24 +1100, brd wrote:

>Here's my bitterly cynical view of the anti-terrorist mail-out.

>John Howard comes across to me as only interested in power for its own
>sake. I do not remember him espousing any sort of future that would bring
>benefits to the average Australian.

 ================================

 Although some of the topics raised here are more political than
Internet related I note that this is a fact of life of most mailing
lists devoted to specific topics.  Whatever the "topic" there's always
a sense of community that over-rides the topic of the list, sometimes
to the point where anything posted "on topic" is considered "off
topic".  This appears to be a feature of mailing lists devoted to
everything from "adult topics" to "astrology".  When the shuttle thing
happened postings were made in numerous newsgroups and mailing lists.

 ===================================

 That noted and noting that while the issue is perhaps "off-topic" but
something that people like to talk about I must say that I'm no way in
agreement that John Howard is a person interested in power for its own
sake.  He comes across as an "average sort of decent bloke", which is
why he is popular, and there is no doubting his popularity.  He's not
an arrogant politician like Paul Keating or Bob Hawke, and seemingly
wishes to serve the interests of the entire Australian Community
(expressed many times) rather than a select few.  Because he is in
power doesn't mean he's a person who seeks power solely for it's own
sake.

  I believe I can recognise the power hungry.  John Howard isn't one
of them.  Whatever failings the Liberal government may have, it has
shown itself to be flexible and has on occassion turned it's tack on
policy that isn't working.  This ability to do a "turn face" when
policy isn't working, or isn't in the social interest is perhaps
something I admire about the current government. 

 Those "waiting in the wings" for Howard to retire are more
problematic.

 There's a few points that can be made.  Firstly the US can and has
been reputed to interfere in the internal affairs of Australia, and
I'm referring in part fo the allegations that the CIA had a hand in
the downfall of the Whitlam government,  partly related to the Pine
Gap installation and it's alleged ability to intercept and monitor
domestic telephone calls and communications, and a subsequent
statement of rebuttal from the US that they would "never interefere in
Australia's internal affairs again" (reported in this weekend's
press). 

 Does the United States interfere in the internal affairs of other
nations ?   I leave that for your judgement :-)
 
 I believe subtle forms of diplomatic pressure are exerted on any
Australian government.  It takes a brave government to "break ties".

 Secondly John Howard was in the United States and close to the
"action" on "September 11th" which possibly influences his personal
thinking...

 And as for fridge magnets.  If these things had magical properties I
have no doubt the British government would have issued them en masse
to the inhabitants of Ulster and London where I narrowly missed
several bombs planted by the IRA..

 If fridge magnets were effective tools I have no doubt there would be
lasting peace in Northern Ireland - no memories of the Bader-Meinhoff
gang and that the problems of the middle east would have been
eliminated years ago......

 All it takes is a magnet with a pentacle and faith and possibly a
pyramid or two.  And pigs might fly !


----------------
Bob Bain
Sydney Australia
bobb@soxkat.com
www.bobboz.da.ru
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