Mungo McCallum said "If you have any doubt that the election of a Rudd Labor government has changed the country, consider this: a year ago, did you imagine that the Prime Minister would be sending an openly gay woman of Chinese ancestry to Bali, to ratify the Kyoto protocol on Australia's behalf?"
Time to repair the damage Howard has done. From the Ministry of Mateship & Fair Dinkum Values:
...he caused great harm to Australia. He released the dogs of racism to political ends. He released the dogs of capital punishment (and whenever we see pictures of Janette smiling lovingly and sweetly, we remember that she is a death penalty radical and probably Howard�s inspiration in this).A friend of mine put it very succinctly:
He synthetically generated fear and then preyed on that fear in order to curtail people�s freedoms... In the process of achieving this debauching of political values he also dragged the politicisation of the public service to unheard of depths and with it jettisoned the entire notion of political accountability.
So let us not have to listen to any more praise for the man. He was profoundly anti-democratic and we are lucky that the Australian people understood that and removed him before he irretrievably destroyed everything of value in Australian civil society.
Feeling Sorry for Howard?In a way, we're coming out of an abusive relationship. As much care must be taken to avoid falling back into destructive patterns of behaviour, as should be taken to allow time and space and patience for healing.
Maybe it helps to remember that the person behind the icon is a racist and a homophobe, who believes that gay people shouldn't have the same rights as regular people, and that he has the right to decide that. That he's persoanlly responsible for the deaths of Australian soldiers in Iraq, as well as countless Iraqui civilians. That he's inflicted his personal views on the nation, at *our* expense, and made informed choices to destroy thousands of acreas of irreplaceable old-growth forest. Who believes climate change is less important than making money, who lied to the people who placed their trust in him, with no remorse, and whose IR laws have caused thousands to go in fear of their jobs and either accept impossible working conditions, or lose their jobs altogether. How about the people who find themselves in detention centres? A man did this, not an icon. That man. If he was your boyfriend, and he did the equivalent to you, you'd loathe him.
Frankly, public humiliation isn't bad enough. After everything he's done I'd like to see him spat on and beaten to death (ED: I don't agree with this sentiment, but I'm not about to edit away my friend's feelings, either). I have absolutely no time for maundering sentimentality about how it must have been really hard for him, after the Australian public finally got off its collective arse to show their disgust for his leadership. If you want to feel sorry for him, fine. I think the sort of person who makes the decisions that he did, deserves far worse than he got. His decisions were personal, and he is responsible for them. Everyone has to wear the responsibility for their decisions, and he got off easy. He'll be living on a six-figure salary for the rest of his life, for inflicting his bigoted, homophobic, warmongering, small- minded views on us all. Maybe that'll help you feel less maudlin about the poor little mite.