Tag Archives: fear

The Dark Legacy of John Winston Howard

In 2001, desperately behind in the polls, John Howard turned to the dark side.

Howard appealed to fear. He vilified an innocent group of people. He did it to placate a growing group of xenophobes, and as a distraction from boosting immigration rates.

In August Howard attempted to block the delivery of rescued refugees to Christmas Island by the Norwegian vessel Tampa. He portrayed the refugees as unwelcome and dangerous aliens. Soon after, I wrote

Prime Minister John Howard has set Australia on a slippery slope … he has promoted a dynamic in Australian society that, left unchecked, will deliver us into fascism.

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Choose Your Love

[Published on Independent Australia 21 Dec 16.]

Many Americans and Brits are struggling to come to terms with the votes for Trump and Brexit. We haven’t had the same shock in Oz, but we have a creeping version of the same disease.

potterfriendsChip Giller, the founder of Grist magazine, which insists on humour in the face of general insanity, tells how recently he was moved to tears by Harry Potter. Yes, the fictional boy wizard. It’s a powerful story, that’s why it’s so popular. Harry chose to stand for what’s right, against impossible odds. Then a lot of Harry’s friends chose to stand with him, validating the love among them, and perhaps creating a glimmer of hope.

Giller was reminded that if enough Americans of good heart and good will stand together they might resist the forces of fear being marshalled by Donald Trump.

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Lost Labor – from 2003

I have been well ahead of the pack on a number of important issues, political leadership among them.

Here is the opening sentence from a comment by Don Watson on political leadership, from the current issue of The Monthly.

“It is now all but universally agreed that the Australian Labor party is a near-ruin, ruled body and soul by factional bosses and opinion pollsters.”

Below is a post from my old website www.geoffdavies.com, dated 7 June 1993.  You can also find more recent comments of mine here in the category “Political commentary”.

After two months abroad I find little has changed on the Australian political scene.  John Howard has finally confirmed he will stay on, the obsessively one-eyed Government is still attacking the ABC for alleged bias, and the Labor Party is still clueless.

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