|A Squiz at Australia's||Melbourne, Australia|
SCUM AT THE TOP
|14 May 1999|
|Editor: Harold Hark||Volume 1 Number 13|
HARK'S BARKS by Harold Hark
John Howard's first response to the prospect of bringing Kosovars to Australia was to refuse them refugee status. He made this decision based on his highly touted instinct. Unfortunately, his instinct is xenophobic. A few quick polls showed that most Australians have a heart, and he quickly reversed his decision, as he has reversed so many in the past. When the refugees arrived in Sydney, he was shown on national TV hugging them as if they were family.
What drives this shell of a man, this spreadsheet Dracula, who, for a score and more of years has assiduously tried to drain the lifeblood of the Australian fair go?
At his first election, John Howard eloquently upheld former Liberal Pauline Hanson's right to voice her opinions while finding himself unable to condemn them. There are many theories circulating as to why this was so, from a cynical reading of polls favourable to the Coalition, to his being a racist. It is quite likely, however, that John Howard himself did not, does not, and will never know.
During that election he was all about putting an end to political correctness and the vested interests of minority groups. But his concept of political correctness meant removing the veneer of mature behaviour towards difference. We do not refer to "abos, fags, retards and crips" as such to their faces or in social conversation because we realise that the colour of skin, sexual preferences, and physical or mental disabilities are not the basis on which to judge the worth of people. John has repeatedly confused this civilised awareness with political correctness.
Likewise, he condemned the political influence of minority groups because they did not represent the will of the majority. In reality they did not meet with his personal approval or political agenda. He had "zero tolerance" for them. Yet there is currently a very real threat to freedom of speech (which he equates with the right to provoke hatred) by a minority group of ten per cent who want to censor the Internet. This is a minority group which meets with John Howard's approval.
The list of incompetent, dishonest, visionless and ungenerous acts John Howard has committed "for all of us" since becoming Prime Minister is alarming. What indeed drives this man?
The problem is, John Howard may be the first man in history to be driven by the will to be inert. His ever-present sluggishness presents a man whose incapability, hence reticence to engage, makes him appear to be always on the verge of sleep. Will he finish the sentence before his head slumps to his chest? Because he is aware of his incapability, he is often on the periphery of events, sometimes unheard of for days at a time.
In truth, an essential human quality is missing in John Howard: he has no character. He is a cold, miserly, larval man, untouched by the bittersweet realities of life. In much the same way that sun-faded posters in barber shop windows once depicted authorised hair styles for the inauthentic, John Howard has chosen the safe persona of a watery-eyed, suburban retiree whose facade of harmless honesty belies an unforgiving meanness. He has compensated for this life of inauthenticity with the only relief available to him, the rigid manipulation of numbers and dollars. In an effort to bring to heel the vital signs of life all around him, an Úlan which disgusts the barrens occupying his heart, John Howard has tried to impose a flaccid return to yesteryear. He wants to make sure that Australians are nourished by his relaxed and comforting nostalgia, embalmed in the brittle bonhomie of a time when freckle-faced boys grew up to be first class cricketers in a world in which those outside this narrow frame were kept in their place, patronised and voiceless. He wants his fellow Australians to bask, like him, in the uterine warmth of an asexual existence bounded by a Calvinist white picket fence, to once again be moved by the reassuring icons brought by the Anglo-Celtic migration, icons of mateship, racism, and dominance over women.
If only John Howard were that faceless suburban retiree, the neighbour down the street whom you rarely see and know nothing about. As a leader, he is the very worst of men, void of principles or vision. He represents the darkest heart of humanity. HH
WHERE'S ME TABLETS!
Actually, the old desiccate has never been far from the scene. It's just that, like a cockroach, he stays hidden for long periods of time, until he smells a morsel of uppity poor power about to threaten the small change big business uses to pop into those peep show slots. Yes, the director of the Institute for Private Enterprise has come out swinging on behalf of the strong arm of the law. He starts fretting when democracy gets out of hand and protesters show up at reputable business establishments, such as uranium mining company North. He wants the cops to come down hard on protesters, just like they did at Richmond Secondary in Kennett's early days, when the state-owned thugs got to play storm troopers with batons and primeval chants. To show how upset this highly regarded right wing extremist is, Des sez, "Four days before the North protest, Premier Jeff Kennett rightly said he expected police to 'do anything necessary to ensure that citizens of this State have the right to go about their business'. Unfortunately, his Government seems to be doing little to ensure this happens and the Victorian 'disease' appears to be spreading to other States." For "citizens" read the masters of business, and for "disease" read democracy. GS
is the Coalition's elitist message. Young people, for whom health insurance is about as pertinent as planning for retirement, are being goaded into supporting an American style health system, with severe financial penalties later on if they don't. The well off and the wearers of sensible brown shoes will no doubt jump at the chance. The rest will have to lump it. You may recall Michael Wooldridge saying that his dear grandmother lived to a ripe old age because she had private health insurance. His contemptuous inference was obvious. We know a few Liberals and they all have consultancy or management jobs or wish they did, and they all have private health insurance. But what they really like about Private are those rooms all to themselves. No dorms or wards for them, no hoi polloi with their low class accents and poverty-stricken diseases. Beyond privacy they are paying for a nursing staff that may or may not be up to the standards of public care, and doctors who are cutting them open for bucks. The point is that Private is not necessarily better but it is more expensive. Especially when the heinous gap is factored in. The solution, which the Coalition will never attempt, and Labor only half-heartedly, is to let the Private Health Insurers lift their own game, and to properly fund the Public Health system. But that is not the American Way. GS
Oh, how happy we are to take back everything we said about Brian 'We Love Ya' Harridine. That the old Mick held to his religion's much obscured belief in compassion first, business second, begs the question: would a Proddy have done the same? But never mind, the deed is done. The Geckos, are put on hold, although John Howard is determined to fight on "with all the vigour (!?) at my disposal." If the Democrats don't cave in (and, God forbid, Brian doesn't do a Harridine and change his mind), a double dissolution might rid this country of the worst government it has ever had, and allow Kim Beazley to fashion a tax package truly for all of us. Don't weaken, "Mud"! "Aux barricades, Meg! GS
After a Hard Day of
Gibbsland's Attorney General loves to apply Oil of Old Lady to her corrugated runkles as she watches B-Grade movies from the fifties. Her fave is Socialist Girls Behind Bars . Jan knows the girls deserve to be in political prison and she loves to watch the guards being tough and surly to them. But for her most exciting scene is where the guards talk the warden in to changing prison rules so that their names are automatically deleted from official inmate complaints of random beatings. Jan's bureaucratic heart throbs at the possibility of doing the same to her own inmates. Indeed, thanks to her, Gibbsland's laws have become B-Grade too! GS
THUS SPAKE SARA THURSTER
CURDLED (1996 US): A peppy soundtrack with that certain Latin Something is the backdrop for the workaday adventures of an eager young woman employed by the Post Forensic Cleaning Service.
THE BUTTONERS (1997 Czech Republic): Fun loving Tories will be forming conga lines to participate in this newest trend setting game. All they have to do is clamp their dentures between the cheeks of their buttocks to see who'll be first to snip the buttons off couches and chairs!
THE DARK BACKWARD (1991 US): An accordionist picks jewellery off corpses in the local tip while his offsider grows a third arm in the middle of his back.
SALO (1975 Italy): They'll have to use Government credit cards to fly to Holland for this charming tale of how to deal with the ennui that is sure to set in once they've finally shut down civilisation.
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Published and distributed by the Political Prisoners of the Future.