Jo-ho unleashed

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

John Howard, over a few beers with The Bulletin’s Tony Wright, discusses Iraq’s election:

As far as the election is concerned in Iraq, that’s a truly heroic event as far as the people are concerned. The vote – 60%, or whether it’s 65% or the high 50s, I don’t know exactly what the total is – for anyone to vote in those circumstances is quite extraordinary. I think it will change the debate on Iraq because you can’t really go behind the expression of the democratic will. What are the critics going to say? Are they going to say we shouldn’t have had a ballot? Are they going to say we should go back to Saddam Hussein? What are they going to say? I don’t think they’re going to say anything.

And mostly they didn’t. On Australian patriotism:

I think Australians have become, in expression of their patriotism, both more confident and less inhibited. It’s not that the earlier generations weren’t patriotic – they were. But I think we find our own level with those things. I have never believed for a moment this country should be ashamed of where it came from or what it stood for. In the past, it’s made mistakes – of course it has, like any nation. It did go through a period 10 or 15 years ago when we were basically being told by certain people to apologise for our past; that if you didn’t believe in overthrowing a lot of things from your past, we weren’t being good, modern international citizens and I think there’s a lot about the past and the tradition of this country that you can draw on as a national leader. I just believe in the pursuit of Australia’s national interests. I believe Australians are an overwhelmingly warm-hearted decent people; they’re very capable, very adaptable and they have a great capacity in emergencies and disasters to pull together in a practical way.

Howard’s concern for practical outcomes is one of his most powerful electoral weapons. And on lowering taxes:

Oh, everybody believes in lower tax. Nothing wrong with that. I think we all do. And if opportunities present themselves, we’ll reduce the tax burden. You’re preaching to the converted.

So make it happen, Mr Howard. The whole piece is valuable reading; at one point a Howard press flack tried to call things off, but the PM waved him away. Oh, and former PM Paul Keating has received a free Bulletin subscription. Enjoy!

Posted by Tim B. on 02/10/2005 at 09:10 AM
    1. Howard’s a class act. I hope he has the health and will to outlast Menzies.

      Posted by taspundit on 02/10 at 09:27 AM • #


    1. What, practical objectives?  Call that a progressive? A true progressive is all about the struggle, not about actually accomplishing anything…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 02/10 at 10:29 AM • #


    1. Mr. Howard is the man in Oz.  It’s as if your ABC pulled back the curtain and the Wizard turned out to be Gandalf.  Good times…

      Posted by Nightfly on 02/10 at 12:23 PM • #


    1. Hang on there!

      I’m emigrating (from Blairistan)…

      Posted by Rob Read on 02/10 at 12:55 PM • #


    1. Condi Rice and her boss should take some lessons from Howard on straight talk when it comes to dealing with Olde Europe. Howard, unlike our bunch, would make people listen to him.

      Posted by Gary from Jersey on 02/10 at 01:13 PM • #


    1. That’s the second letter of the week Keating has managed to score in The Bulletin.

      Keating is a bitter, bitter man, but now he can be bitter with a copy of The Bulletin every week.

      You’ll never stop getting letters from him now.

      Last time I think he got a bottle of plonk.

      Posted by Darlene Taylor on 02/10 at 01:49 PM • #


    1. Keating seems to be a “riveted on” media junkie. You have to curate your reputation/exhibition forever.
      On a PM’s super he can afford his own filing cabinet full of subscriptions.

      Posted by blogstrop on 02/10 at 03:24 PM • #


    1. Speaking of renewed patriotism in Oz, here is a sad tale of a man who never lost it in the first place, and is fighting for the right to display the Australian flag on his own property.

      someone help Mr. Garwood

      Posted by papertiger on 02/10 at 03:25 PM • #


    1. Keating won a year’s subscription to the Bulletin because of his letter which started with something like: “I don’t read the Bulletin. I find it rivetingly mediocre.”

      Sense of humour and one-upmanship:

      Bully 1 Keating 0

      Posted by underscore on 02/10 at 03:45 PM • #


    1. Keating has become a twisted old fart, hasn’t he.

      Rather like Malcolm Fraser in that respect.

      Posted by Quentin George on 02/10 at 04:00 PM • #


    1. I notice he’s not living in Bankstown anymore.
      I met Mrs Keating and the kids once at a concert I was working on. Do you know how tempting it was to ask what it was like to live with that smarmy bastard? Bob Hawke started me off as a Liberal voter and Paul Keating made it permanent.

      Posted by Gibbo on 02/10 at 04:48 PM • #


    1. The left will continue to portray John Howard as an uncaring man devoid of compassion. Further, ‘devil’ comparisons have been done to death, so now they’re comparing him to Jesus.

      Posted by ilibcc on 02/10 at 05:19 PM • #


    1. After spraying the Bulletin as

      rivetingly mediocre

      and berating Laurie Oaks for some slight (I didn’t read the whole letter), Paul Keating, ex PM and Pig Farmer and remember the recession?, was awarded Letter of the Week.
      His prize?
      A one year subscription to the Bulletin, now THAT’S funny. It almost made me spit up my dinner.

      Posted by kae on 02/10 at 05:50 PM • #


    1. IOf howard believed in lower taxation then he would do something about it. He has had the opportunity.

      Unfortunately he is merely a smaller version of Whitlam without the disasters.

      I see the Bulletin has come up with a novel way of trying to combat their falling circulation.
      give copies away!

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 02/10 at 07:01 PM • #


    1. Mr. Garwood reminds me of the former US Marine in Florida who was ordered by his homeowners’ association to stop hoisting the flag in front of his house. Last I heard, the legal brouhaha had cost the poor man over $50,000.

      It seems one of Mr. Garwood’s neighbors complained – anonymously, of course – that his flag “flutters” and that he hadn’t obtained a council permit. You know it’s getting bad when professional busybodies attack unpermitted flagpole fluttering.

      Posted by Butch on 02/10 at 07:31 PM • #


    1. Australia under Howard has done very well indeed. And while domestically life has never been better, I think it’s on the foreign stage that Australia has truly excelled. For critics to continually accuse Australia of being “inward-looking” is quite simply ridiculous!

      Posted by Brian on 02/10 at 07:54 PM • #


    1. You’re all a bunch of recalcitrant scumbags.

      Posted by taspundit on 02/10 at 08:13 PM • #


    1. tas, try to stick to one personality.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/10 at 08:20 PM • #


    1. Andrea, you probably don’t get that joke.

      Google Mahathir Keating recalcitrant
      Also google Keating scumbag.

      Posted by taspundit on 02/10 at 08:25 PM • #


    1. Crikey, we’re well led. To quote a not-so-successful Australian: “I’m excited.”

      Posted by slatts on 02/10 at 08:53 PM • #


    1. What did the loser get?  A two year subscription?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 02/10 at 09:20 PM • #


    1. Is Tasmania that anti Austrslian ?
      Even The NZ patriots would surely not get harrassed for flying the flag would they?
      Considering Tasmania’s record for not leaving one original Aborigine standing on the Island, this intolerance is par for the course

      Posted by davo on 02/10 at 09:21 PM • #


    1. Andrea:

      Keating caused a minor international incident calling the Malaysian PM “recalcitrant” (he was quite justified actually).

      And his favourite term of abuse is scumbag.

      And abuse from Keating was frequent. There’s even a book devoted to it.

      That’s where tas is coming from.

      Posted by underscore on 02/10 at 09:32 PM • #


    1. Mediocrity is only rivetting to other mediocrities.

      Posted by roxylady on 02/10 at 09:48 PM • #


    1. Inside jokes will be banned! Just kidding.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/10 at 09:54 PM • #


    1. Banned ? How are we going to covertly take the piss out of Americans then ?

      Posted by FusterCluck on 02/10 at 10:11 PM • #


    1. Keating was a very rude man, perhaps even ruder than Latham.
      Although he had excellent academic quals, he suffered from a heap of complexes.
      his approach to the asian neighbours (Islamic Indonesia and Malaysia) was one of grovelling appeasement, as if Australians were some kind of white racist nation in need of “atonement”.
      Compare this with the wonderful dignified approach of John Howard (equal amongst equals). John Howard is a GREAT STATESMAN who has given Australia a kudos that it never had internationally. We should never forget that.

      Posted by davo on 02/10 at 10:12 PM • #


    1. Davo,

      Keating had no academic qualifications however you are right in that he was rude however always done in a rhetorical flourish.

      There has been no more grovelling appeasement than the speech Howard made when he first went to Indonesia as PM as Gerry Henderson has repeatedly shown

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 02/10 at 10:30 PM • #


    1. Keating may not have any academic qualifications, but his gutter language ought to win him the Mark Latham Memorial Cup from the English Teachers Association.

      Posted by roxylady on 02/10 at 10:45 PM • #


    1. Either of them are way more entertaining than the snivelling of Crean or Beazley.

      I’ll miss the “conga line of suckholes”.

      Posted by taspundit on 02/10 at 10:50 PM • #


    1. yes, homer, the first indonseasian trip was pretty woeful.  But you would also have to say he took the lesson to heart and has more than made up for it since.

      As to Keating’s quals (or lack therof) I just assumed davo was referring to keating’s academic qualities.  No one could argue that he is not a very bright cuss, and he certainly appeals to the self prescribed intellegencia, ie his qualities appeal to academics.

      Posted by entropy on 02/10 at 10:51 PM • #


    1. From the link I posted earlier:

      In conversation with Whitlam:
      Whitlam: “That was a good speech. You should go back comrade, and get yourself an honours degree.”

      Keating: “What for ?  Then I’d be like you.”

      On Former Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam:
      “In terms of the Labor agenda this government has left every other Labor government bare arsed. No other government even gets within cooee of it. We have a cabinet which has a degree of economic sophistication which puts the Whitlam government into the cavemen class in economic terms.”

      Posted by taspundit on 02/10 at 10:54 PM • #


    1. What are the critics going to say?

      We’ll criticise him for daring to claim credit for a decline in violence which he helped create.

      I don’t think they’re going to say anything.

      He also thought there were weapons of mass destruction.

      This paragraph about patriotism ( which lists no practical outcomes ) is evidence of another of Howard’s electoral weapons. Pandering has always worked on conservatives.

      Just tell them how clever they are and they’ll agree with you forever. Reassure them that nothing bad ever happenned, because they’re all so good, and then promise them some more money.

      ( A non-core promise, of course. They’ll never ask. )

      Posted by Tom Wopat on 02/11 at 12:58 AM • #


    1. Two shots at J-Ho, Homer, and you scored with neither.

      Why not just refer to him sneeringly as Little Johnny as do seething lefties and save your energy?

      Posted by ilibcc on 02/11 at 01:53 AM • #


    1. Davo said

      Considering Tasmania’s record for not leaving one original Aborigine standing on the Island, this intolerance is par for the course

      Clearly Davo hasn’t heard the latest, 3 year old news. Davo, listen up. What you said is a lefty fabrication that has been foisted on an unsuspecting public for at least 50 years (I got an earful of these lies in the 60s at Scotch College, Swanbourne). Does the name Keith Windschuttle mean anything to you? Obviously not.

      Posted by walterplinge on 02/11 at 04:08 AM • #


    1. although Keating did swear I didn’t find his language any worse than most others and I was on the end of his tongue both publically and privately.
      He didn’t appreciate me telling him that a man of his vocabularly shouln’t swear!

      He certainly didn’t swear at women in Parliament house merely because he saw them Like Costello did to Susan Ryan when she was head of ASFA.

      Also He only used scumbag once in parliament.

      He was the only person who was able to get queues up for attending question time.

      the private Keating was very different to the public Keating.

      A very good treasurer but soso PM.

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 02/11 at 04:48 AM • #


    1. Wopat

      He also thought there were weapons of mass destruction

      And YOU didn’t?  C’mon tell us all about how YOU knew what EVERY SINGLE intelligence agency didn’t.  Wanker.

      Posted by murph on 02/11 at 06:06 AM • #


    1. Homer

      A very good treasurer but soso PM.

      I guess interest rates at 18%, massive budget deficits, huge public debt, around 10% unemployment and a recession is a good record for a labor treasurer.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 02/11 at 07:32 AM • #


    1. Wopat’s ‘practical outcomes’?

      All the left has left is its bureaucratic, irrelevant jargon.

      Practical outcomes.

      What the fuck?

      And Homer, your will-I-won’t-I, am-I-left or am-I-centre attitude is agonising! So Keating only used scumbag once in Parliament – that is so not the point. The point is Paul Keating was a nasty piece of work, which even you seem to admit, agreeing that he fucked you over publically and privately.

      The very idea of a foul-mouthed, bitter shadow of a man like Paul Keating being Prime Minister of today’s Australia is absolutely abhorrent.

      I’d rather have Gough Whitlam. At least he had something of a sense of humour.

      Which helped as he sent the country down screaming.

      Posted by ilibcc on 02/11 at 08:34 AM • #


    1. It is sad someone going through life believing they have a personal relationship with high profile people like Keating built on form letter reply and a chance meeting at a convention. But a disgrace that he suckered so many professionally on the mer insinuation of ‘insider knowledge’ building a career doing so. Lucky thats been rectified Hay!Homer?

      Posted by Gary on 02/11 at 04:43 PM • #


    1. Howard is a really great man.  He’s conservative, knows what he believes, tells it how it is and then lets people judge him accordingly.  The difference between him and our sorry, lying excuse for a Prime Minister is the difference between chocolate cake and that piece of dog excrement I trod in earlier today.

      Posted by PJ on 02/11 at 04:45 PM • #


    1. OK Walterplunge please be so good as to point me in the direction of an Aboriginal Tasmananian settlement. You know, the sort of place of which their are thousands of here in Australia.
      what, can’t find any? Oh dear, well perhaps they all sailed off to Madacascar with Hitler’s missing Jews ?
      Is Windschuttle an associate of David Irving by any cahnce?

      Posted by davo on 02/11 at 04:53 PM • #


    1. Or maybe they died of newly introduced diseases, Davo? You know, like so many other native peoples on contact with Europeans. No, Windschuttle is very much not an associate of David Irving. Rather he is in the business of exposing “historians” like David Irving who misrepresent their sources in order to rewrite history so as to match their totalitarian ideologies.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 02/12 at 04:11 AM • #


    1. Te difference between Keating and his predecessor as Treasurer was that although bill rates hit 18% they rose above 23% previously.Only this time inflation was conquered.
      That is why you had the greatest fall in interest rates under him.
      You are forgetting all the major reforms that were also enacted the lowering of tariffs probably the most important.

      He left a deficit and was rightly criticzed for it , I was one of his most severe critics, however it was much smaller than in 82 and as Ted Evans told the ABE the forward estimates showedthe budget getting inot balance roughly when it did.

      This is further shown by the fact the present government hasn’t really done much more reform since they came in.

      A person can be the best treasurer but still make mistakes.

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 02/12 at 04:18 AM • #


    1. Indeed, Homer, conservative governments screw with taxpayers’ money as much as do those of leftwing persuasion.

      Just not as much. Although you could argue otherwise.

      The Howard government hasn’t done any reform because they didn’t have the Senate.

      Anyone can be the best anything and still make mistakes. That’s not the point. Paul Keating was a nasty, horrible person, and Australia rejected him because of that.

      Posted by ilibcc on 02/13 at 05:51 AM • #


  1. Indeed however he certainly didn’t possess the vilest mouth in Parliament nor in politics.

    howard exceeds him as a hater.

    It ssems to me the most bitter opponents of Keating as a person ,like howard, are people who have not met him and go on unreliable reports.

    for the record Neville Wran had the most vilest mouth of anyone I have ever met.

    although Keating swore he didn’t do it on a large scale and was able to deliver a ‘hit’ by his use of an very large vocabularly.

    I never understood given that why he ever swore.

    Posted by Homer Paxton on 02/13 at 06:32 PM • #