Monday, November 26, 2007

Australia Liberated!

Christmas has come early for the whining left as Australia's John Howard lost his bid for a fifth term. Howard was a superb Prime Minister who infuriated the sort of Australian who thought that Australian culture was something to be ashamed of, so naturally they are ecstatic even though the bloke who beat him won by positioning himself as John Howard 2 (from what I understand the Australian Labor Party can sometimes outflank the Liberals on the right). The Guardian leader column is naturally thrilled and after some national psychoanalysis of Australians, and their 'ungenerous national character'. Elsewhere in the paper an Australian novelist by the name of Richard Flanagan writes that:
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 state
As opposed to before when they were doing wonderfully.
its extraordinary environment was threatened on numerous fronts
None 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 many
Well 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 ever
No 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.

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