Gentlemen. Start your engines

So Mr. Howard has this morning climbed into the back of the Prime Ministerial Comcar slid across the shiny leather seat and ordered Jeeves to the Governor Generals pile to officially name the date for the election. 

It would, I suppose, have been a surreal moment.  Sitting in the back of the car pondering his legacy, and like all memories itll be compressed into a blur of images that bleed into each other with only some standing out clearly, and all distorted by time as though through a wide angle lens.  Eleven and a half years compressed into a few seconds of silent reverie. And gone just like that.  And hell be asking Australians to make it fourteen.   Another three and a half years of whatever has gone before,  whatever that was. 

And surely thats the problem for the PM because youd think that in eleven and a half years thered be a substantial legacy, but for mine Im hard pressed to see what it actually is. 

Therell be endless babble about the economy of course, and interest rates and unemployment figures,  and paying down government debt, and Mr. Howard will be asking the people for the opportunity to babble on for another three years about that stuff, and hand over to Mr. Costello who will himself delight in babbling on about that stuff even more vigorously.  But the people are weary of that talk.  Its like the old line that says nobody on their death bed wishes that theyd spent more time at the office.  Mr. Howard is going to offer us three more years of office style drudgery.   For the straighteners and punishers and masochists amongst us itll be a no-brainer,  but for others  who are looking to a nobler vision, Mr. Howards deathbed confession as Paul Keating described it, is just way too little and way too late. 

Mr. Rudd of course has given no indication that he offers the vision that many crave, but we forgive him this,  because we hope,  once Mr. Howard is eliminated,  and the Liberal party enters its throes of self destruction,  and the vicious conservative commentariat are no longer sucking on the teat of the Government spin machine,  that there will be some free air for wider thinking and enlargement to take place without being shouted down.   

In the meantime there will be no compromise on how far these leaders are willing to compromise themselves.  We do understand that values will be jettisoned in the campaign, and that that is the price that must be paid. Because values were jettisoned long ago by Mr. Howard for the sake of self interest and marginal seat success, and fighting fire with fire seems to be working so far. 

Will Mr. Rudd ease up on his control freak style once he gains the keys to the Lodge?  Who knows?  For the next four or so weeks  however, many of us will be satisfied with supporting the removal of Mr. Howard. A noble quest indeed.

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23 Responses to Gentlemen. Start your engines

  1. Laura says:

    many of us will be satisfied with supporting the removal of Mr. Howard

    Greed and dangerous euphoria compels me to want more than this,namely: I would like Kevin Andrews to lose his seat as well. It’s not called Menzies for nothing, but stranger things have happened.

  2. Robert says:

    Old John’s voice could have done with a bit of tuning, as he faced media and approached the first turn. Hard what to make of the presser. Facing Latham – when the Libs apparently already knew Latho was unelectable – Howard left the grid with bundles of earnestness; forgive the swearing but today’s effort had a ‘fuck you’ element. Clearly, he wants to get into the thick of it where the heat can be put on Rudd, and no mind for a word otherwise.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that a hat must be passed around, in case of Lib defeat, to buy the bloke a lectern. This way he can put it on his backyard step and talk off heroically towards the grass, lest he go mad walking around the house with unspoken occasions of national limelight fantasy.

  3. zoot says:

    ..that there will be some free air for wider thinking and enlargement to take place without being shouted down.

    Amen to that.

  4. El Nino says:

    “Vision” is a difficult thing to quantify. It is only ever awarded in retrospect. Once you take the spin out of the respective spiels that we saw today, I have to say there are a couple of things that appeal. A few hours on I recall ‘full unemployment’ from J-HO but little else. From K-RUD, I recall ‘broadband’, relations with China and India , ‘education revolution’ and ‘climate change’. History will be the ultimate judge. If K-RUD doesn’t get elected then he will join Latham, Hewson, Peacock, et al in the bin of history. If he does get elected, then he gets a chance to turn promise into vision. Will J-HO be remembered for vision? I suspect he will be remembered for rear vision: the last vestige of 20C that could not take on 21C challenges (‘war on terror’ will largely be seen as a 20C issue).

  5. Graham Bell says:

    Rex R and All;

    Thank goodness the admissions barrier to the Circus has been pulled aside so that the herd can rush inside to watch all the acts.

    Hopefully, that will clear the decks on the internet over the next few weeks for interesting discussions of politics and social issues while all the noise-makers are away having their bit of fun in the election campaign..

  6. Rex says:

    Graham, The other aspect of “Vision” is having a good view, so I don’t mind admitting to pulling up a ringside seat at this circus. Bloodsports have been popular for millenia.

  7. Caroline says:

    I concur Laura, and even went so far as wondering where his seat was. Its in Melbourne, not sure where, but you’d think they’d know better. So here’s hoping they do now.

    British University tests have shown that the general populous tends towards depression under Conservative governments. I’m looking forward to a bit of an easing of the eleven year slough of despond we’ve had to endure. I don’t think however, that our Young Kev is ever going to set the world on fire, which is probably not such a bad thing. He is something of a breath of fresh air, but only just. He’s also in for a rough trot as the world slippery slides down the gurgler trying to save itself. No doubt things will get tough and he’ll be blamed, but one way or ‘tuther at the end of the day, these twats who call themselves leaders are neither here nor there. Is Rudd a post-neo-con I wonder? Can’t say amidst all the me-tooisms I’ve heard anything particularly visionary from the small c Mr Rudd. BUT AT LEAST HE’S NOT JOHN HOWARD and at this point in time that seems to be for the overwhelming majority of voters the main thing.

    May the Government of JWH, get what they so fully deserve and be utterly annihilated on November 24th. In the meantime its probably best to take anything either side say with a grain of salt. Gird your loins for bullshit overload from both camps.

  8. cs says:

    I’m getting real sick of this apologist attitude toward Kevin Rudd. Kevin is from the very top shelf as a person and a leader. And if that is not enough, he’s standing against the most contemptible prime minister in the history of this nation, and who has taken all the stick the state can muster to it’s working people. Get a grip. There’s nothing to apologise for. There’s not even anything to discuss. All that’s left to do is wait for 24 November, and vote.

  9. Jc says:

    “Im getting real sick of this apologist attitude toward Kevin Rudd.”

    Who’s apologizing, CS. I’m not.
    —————————–

    “Kevin is from the very top shelf as a person and a leader”

    Turn it off. Please show the requisite disrespect that needs to be afforded to any politician. He isn’t Jesus Christ, Buddha or the UN general secretary, dude.

    ————————–

    “And if that is not enough, hes standing against the most contemptible prime minister in the history of this nation,”

    Really? There’s Fraser, Keating, Blackjack, the dirty little digger, Whitlam. You’re pretty big on hyperbole here :-)
    ————————-
    Get a grip.

    Of what?

    ———————-

    “Theres nothing to apologize for.”

    You ought to, for this remarkably inferior hyperbole, Mr. Angry Anderson
    .
    ———————

    “Theres not even anything to discuss”

    Exactly. You should have checked with me first.
    ——————–

    “All thats left to do is wait for 24 November, and vote.”

    Says you. I got better things to do like attending my father-in-laws 93 birthday who’s and ex-rat of Tabruk. Can I trust you to vote for me if I leave you with the task? Informal please! It’s my Buddhist monk way of protesting compulsary voting. It sucks.

    Ease up, CS. It’s just an election that won’t see the Libertarin party gain a majority in both houses , which to all intents and purpses is a tragedy in itself.

  10. Rex says:

    Chris, The very fact that you perceive an ‘apologist attitude’ is a good thing. It says that the latte lefties are feeling unconfortable with the contortions that Rudd is making to please the battlers. If word of this gets around then Rudd is home and hosed.

  11. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    cs is understandably worried. As a long-time Rudd booster, his peer group credibility stands to take a serious beating. How will he be perceived if the Filthy Liberal does, as anticipated for some time by the most observant of onlookers, prove to be Howard-lite, the Diet Howard, etc?

    BBB

  12. jacques – some weird error is happening in comments.

  13. Robert says:

    With “team” being a hallmark of this campaign, fwiw I think it’s good reading to check this out (it may require a case of putting aside prejudices towards the author). Three things arise from the points made there – it points to a fissure in the Liberals which may bring them down as pressure applies and results aren’t satisfactory (not that it’s imaginable, yet it’s the stuff of implosion); it is undeveloped ground for public rejection of the Liberal’s “team”; and it highlights yet again Howard’s urgent mania for political power to provide him his personal liferaft.

    This is shaping up to be a very different election in many ways. We’ve not had such a political maniac heaving agasint a politically and personally annihilistic fear, lacking crucial support from his own party.

    How might it seem for the poor, poor bastard? Howard against the world. Imaginably, not for the first time, possibly including a very long time. It suggests a genuine concern for the bloke if he loses. Those morning walks as Prime Minister in his trackies as he pondered the daily actions to get him to that destiny would seem very sad indeed.

  14. cs,
    Rudd is a politician. Deal with it.

  15. Niall says:

    The Howardian legacy…..lies, damn lies and shirking of responsibilities. Roll on Nov 24

  16. cs says:

    cs,
    Rudd is a politician. Deal with it.

    Stretch. Yawn. ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  17. Jacques Chester says:

    FXH: what sort of error?

  18. Jc says:

    CS

    Stop yawning. I had to warn some else about this. If it s habit stop it right as it is bad manners in public. If it’s not it could be something wrong with you cardio/pulmonary system that you need to get looked at. Hope it goes well at rt the check up.

  19. Caroline says:

    A weird error. I got it too. Write a comment, hit submit than a page load of gobbledy gook then another page with message from wordpress saying your’e double posting. Thought it was just happening to me.

  20. Caroline says:

    Looks like this:

    Regex ID: 29598 ([email protected](.*)) appears to be an invalid regex string! Please fix it in the Blacklist control panel.
    Regex ID: 29597 ([email protected](.*)) appears to be an invalid regex string! Please fix it in the Blacklist control panel.

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  21. Florence Howarth says:

    “And surely thats the problem for the PM because youd think that in eleven and a half years thered be a substantial legacy, but for mine Im hard pressed to see what it actually is. ”

    Had the same problem idetifying Menzies legacy when he retired. Only substantial thing was that he served a long time and left the Liberals in disarray for a number of years. I find the two events have many things in common. Both used scare tactics to stay in power. Surely it is time that we see though and reject these tactics.

    According to the Government, only they have the ability to rule us as no one else has any experience. This logic would leave them in power forever more. After all as Mr Howard said today, only he knows what is good for us. (IR) He has extended the election as far as he can, so us lowly idiots have time to wake up to the fact how stupid we are. My fear is that he is right.

  22. hip says:

    Rex said:

    Chris, The very fact that you perceive an apologist attitude is a good thing. It says that the latte lefties are feeling unconfortable with the contortions that Rudd is making to please the battlers. If word of this gets around then Rudd is home and hosed.

    Latte? We’re ALL taking Rudd on faith at this stage and as we quaver the coach rips into our spineless wrigglings — cs, ever the footy baller.

  23. Hey Hip, good to see you ’round ol’ buddy. Forgive me my poetic licence won’t you?

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