Prime Minister John Howard has pleaded for Australians to haveI think this is Howard's suicide note writ large across the country as he tries to engineer a position even more arrogant than Bush's. Even his Iraq visit this month was a stunt that backfired badly as instead of promoting any solidarity vibes he was supposed to foster for the troops, was sabotaged by the impact of images of him rushing from the crippled plane in a bullet proof vest escorted by armed soldiers with alarmed expressions.
patience over the war in Iraq and warned that US plans to restore
security to the country must be given time to work.
Our PM looked like he was shitting himself.
So it's dead in the water now that Britain has signaled a major withdrawal. The scary thing is that an attack on Iran -- never mentioned by the 'stalwart' critics on the ALP cross benches -- places Australia as the keenest and most loyal lap dog for George Bush's failed stretegy.
And if you think Iraq presented problems , just wait until the war is escalated via Tehran with an engaged Israel.
But the most disgusting feature of the present nexus is how tardy Labor is on the issue. In an attempt to shadow the US Democrat position on Iraq the ALP has been very conservative in articulating its apparent commitment to an exit strategy... and will no doubt be extremely pragmatic on the question even if it wins government until the US presidential race throws up a winner.
They are not running on this issue because they are so committed to the US alliance. The way they talk -- Afghanistan is a crusading exercise blessed by the almighty Christian god and Iraq is a historical footnote best forgotten about.(Stiff bickies for those dead Iraqies, though. But hey! It was a mistake which we'll put to right in Afghanistan. )*
So I think Howard has made a major mistake in crowing as he has done today about the need to stay the course .. and I think we'll find that next week's polls are going to punish him even more for his arrogance.
Where's the flag and Waltzing Matilda when you need them the most?
And thanks to Santo Santoro -- the keenest dry the Qld parliament ever gave birth to -- another version of John Winston H -- this government is really beginning to stink. It has run its course... and if it were by some stretch of the imagination to win again, it would be dead in the water, a mere caretaker administration , and the ONLY reason why it would warrant support --say relative to Rudd's team for a section of the bourgeoisie -- relates to Work Choices. If Howard had bought in the IR changes earlier then the political landscape would be a lot different today. As it is, the ALP is sure to resurrect the ACCESS CARD as soon as it settles into government in the same way it championed the Australia Card back in the eighties.
But I'm sure that won't stop Rudd trying to wind policy back to appeal to that section of the electorate that has been dosed up on Howardism these last 10 years. Thats' surely to be the ALP's primary electoral pitch isn't it? Like this announcement about private schooling this week.
They know their demographics -- the Howard "battlers"who did so well under Howard until the interest rate hikes kicked in big time.
By the time we get to the poll date-- Rudd is going to make Latham look like a Bolshevik. Thats' gonna be the reality: New Labour --and the true believers will be absolutely cuckolded...but they will have no choice in the matter but to vote ALP to get rid of Howard.
It just goes to prove what Labor does has a lot to do with what it is forced to do and as Bill Hayden once remarked about Bob Hawke's 1983 success, "a drover's dog" could win this upcoming election.
A media release from the MUA today also tells us the sorry tale that is unfolding in the trade unions as Your Rights At Work -- WORTH VOTING FOR extends like a dead hand over the organised working class:Election fever
And of course the CPSU has delivered its ransk to the ALP coffers... by affiliating to the party earlier this month.
The plus is of course that a lot of hope , even if it is over one platform item , is being invested in Labor, but when your main man -- Greg Corbett -- publicly muses about taking up a seat in parliament , I'm sure there were a few cynical remarks aired across the country's lunchrooms this last week as Labor's actual record was counterposed to this ready fusion between the trade union tops and the ALP front bench --all gorging themselves from the same trough.
What a succinct message: Your Rights At Works -- Worth voting for Greg Combett! So who needs the damn unions, eh?
The irony is that I cannot see a ready shift to supporting alternative parties -- like the Greens or the SA or even Hansen --at this coming federal poll. The Greens will surely pick up from the collapse of the Democrat vote(eg: in Qld),but if the election is supposed to be about Work Choices or Iraq withdrawal I cannot see a margin that they can make up except on the environment. But there we are all hampered by this sorry consensus that exists in regard to issues like "green " coal and in effect it will be Labor who picks up credits on the issue of Nuclear Power.(Another topic where arrogance got the better of the Howard government.-- but the reward will be, of course, the end of the ALP 3 mines policy. Thats' a sure'in. Labor will seek to form a consensus around the issue and the last gasp of the party 'lefts' before the federal poll will be a whimper... if we're lucky. )
And the Garrett manoevre is going to work at least for this next 12 months.
So, by by Johnny...close the door as you go. And we'll be sentenced to HARD labor
* On Afghanistan it remains to be seen what position the Greens are going to offer us as historically they have been supportive of the Afghanistan involvement. I hope they don't hold that line, though as it would be a disastrous consequences fro the peace movement here.