Which of these John Howard statements is more believable?:
JOHN HOWARD: There’s no way that GST will ever be part of our policy.
REPORTER 1: Never ever?
JOHN HOWARD: Never ever. It’s dead. It was killed by the voters in the last election.
Or this one?:
“The changes that went through last year were significant,” Mr Howard said.
“They weren’t unreasonable, they weren’t radical.
“We won’t be taking further major proposals in that area to the next election.”
Subsidiary questions: Does “We won’t be taking further major proposals in that area to the next election” mean that further major industrial relations proposals definitely won’t be introduced and passed in the next term of Parliament if they haven’t been taken to the next election?
Were the IR reforms enacted just prior to Christmas taken to the last election in any meaningful sense (i.e. actually mentioned in any Coalition advertising during the election campaign)?
Did the label “mean and tricky” cease to apply to John Howard in early 2001, or is Shane Stone still correct?