John Howard famously said the times were his, and for more than a decade it seemed they were. Australia experienced the greatest and most sustained boom in its history. Yet at its end Australia's indigenous population was in a ruinous stateAs opposed to before when they were doing wonderfully.
its extraordinary environment was threatened on numerous frontsNone of which you seem to want to name.
, and its people were beginning to ask where the wealth had gone: public schools and public health were in crisis, social welfare was straitened, housing was unaffordable for manyWell I'll take you're word for it Richard, but aren't Australia's schools run primarily by the state governments (mostly Labor for the last few years)? So Howard did his job well but his opponents failed in their tasks.
and wages and conditions were being cut under Howard's industrial reforms.I'm willing to bet that Australian wages are rising steadily, andcutting back regulation will make them grow faster.
Howard had promised that Australia would be relaxed and comfortable under his rule, yet this year Australians had become more fearful and suspicious of each other than everNo evidence is offered for this assertion. I'm guessing he means that he and fellow members of the chattering classes are sullen and resentful about their fellow citizens for not following the lead of their cultural betters. Whenever a conservative leader is fairly popular the left like to pretend that the nation is in a state of fear.
Yet while he often seemed little interested in Asia, over the past decade Australia became far more closely tied in terms of trade to China, India, Japan and Indonesia, and its destiny ever more deeply enmeshed with the coming Asian century.The Australian left has an obsession with becoming Asian, something which I suspect derives from their sense of shame at Australia's actual culture essentially being an off shoot of British culture. This supposed interest in Asia amounts to little more than the most idolised Labor leaders sucking up disgustingly to some of the most brutal tyrannies on Earth, as with Paul Keating's sycophancy to the Suharto regime in Indonesia or Gough Whitlam prostrating himself before Mao's China. The rest of Flanagan's article goes on a bit and I can't be bothered to Fisk all of it, but there are several straightforwardly bogus claims throughout as well as yet more allusions to a national mood which is fearful, mean and selfish except when Labor wins when it becomes comfortable and optimistic.