Tag Archives: John Howard

Interest rates rise to 6.75 per cent

The Reserve Bank of Australia has lifted interest rates to an 11-year high of 6.75 per cent.

My question is: if the economy is going so well and both parties are suggesting that they are experts at managing the economy and keeping interest rates low, why are they both making huge election promises?

Answer: it wins votes.

But surely the Labor party could gain some ground on the question of their ability to run the economy, by ‘spending’ less on tax cuts and suggesting that the Liberal party’s sweeteners are economically irresponsible. Dah!

Meanwhile, I saw the interview John Howard did on 9am with David and Kim last week. This discussion was more influential than any other thing I have seen in the past year – even more so than a couple of Lateline interviews I’ve seen and the debate. If you like Howard, I would be spreading this one around!

It’s on!

Well the election has been called and I’m excited!

John Howard today announced that the Federal election will be held on November 24, 2007. The electoral role closes on Wednesday, so for those hundreds of thousands of Australians who aren’t enrolled, or are enrolled incorrectly, update your details now.

When making the announcement Mr Howard said that “… this country does not need new leadership; it does not need old leadership. It needs the right leadership.” He also said, that “… love me or loathe me, the Australian people know where I stand on all the major issues of importance to their future.”

What are the major issues that you are thinking about in the lead up to the election? What will influence your vote? Labor governments across the country, the War in Iraq, the environment, Aboriginal affairs, Work Choices?

Links to more electoral goodness: google.com.au/election2007/ and abc.net.au/news/tag/federal-election-2007/

Hicks decision – Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth…

[audio:everyonesawinner.mp3]

The Hicks case has finally been resolved and everyone is a winner!

“It was a good result for Hicks because he finally has a date for release and a chance to be close to his family, although he will not earn a cent from selling his story to the media.

“The plea deal bans him from “any profits or proceeds”. He has agreed to give any money received for the rights to his story to the Australian government.

“The US military and government can proclaim themselves winners because they have their first scalp of a Guantanamo Bay detainee under the controversial Military Commission Act. They also have a signed confession.

“Guantanamo Bay, which has been compared to a concentration camp, comes out clean, as Hicks – who has complained about his treatment – said in his plea deal he was “never illegally treated” while in US custody.

“Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his government, suffering in the polls months out from an election, can boast they brought Hicks home.

“Mr Howard is also protected from embarrassing comments from Hicks because under the plea agreement Hicks is banned from speaking to the media until March 31, 2008, a convenient date because it falls past the election.

“Under the plea deal, Hicks must co-operate fully with US and Australian law enforcement and intelligence authorities to reveal secrets about al-Qaeda or testify against the terror group’s operatives at other court proceedings.” (SBS World News Australia)

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Hicks guilty of fighting for two hours and never firing his gun…

What he did…

“… Hicks acknowledged that he trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and fought with its forces against US allies in Afghanistan in late 2001 for two hours and then sold his gun to raise cab fare and tried to flee to Pakistan.” (ABC article)

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“Hicks admitted he had trained with al-Qaeda, fought with the Taliban and that a friend of his believed he had approved of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. ” (BT Article)

How he gets punished…

Five years of Hell on Earth

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Seven years in jail (in Australia)

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“Hicks’s plea agreement bars him from speaking to the media for one year and says if he ever sells the rights to his story, the Australian Government will get the money.” He was also banned from taking legal action against the United States. Hicks had previously said he was abused by the US military but said in his plea agreement he had “never been illegally treated while in US custody”.” (ABC article)

Sounds fair to me…

And who can we thank for ending this madness – JOHN HOWARD who is pissing his pants about the next FEDERAL ELECTION. Rudd has already achieved so much…

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What the Prime Minister could and should say next Australia Day…

The Honourable John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, 26 January 2008:

Australia Day has always been an occasion when all Australian celebrate the amazing country we live in. We gather together to celebrate the prosperity and the freedom of our country.

“However, we forget that the land we now stand on has always been the land of Australia’s aboriginal people. These people have a deep emotional and spiritual association with this land and it is time that we reflected on the feelings of these aboriginal people.

“From this day forward, part of every Australia Day celebration around the country, will also include a short moment of silence to remember that since white settlement, the local inhabitants of this land have been disadvantaged. They have been locked away, forced into slavery and treated as second class citizens. So while the rest of us celebrate, these locals have been mourning the loss of their culture; their heritage.

“So let us now pause and reflect on this fact…”

Now that wasn’t so hard was it?

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The rights of homosexual citizens…

Earlier this week the Prime Minister’s office revealed they were preparing a submission to review the rights of homosexual couples (ABC). Conveniently revealed during Syndey’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (the PM is a clever little fella), the laws would give citizens in same-sex relationships equal rights as people in heterosexual unions, in areas such as superannuation, tax and welfare.

However, the Prime Minister has twice rejected ACT legislation which would have recognised civil unions. This state legislation would have given homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples and would have recognised their relationship as a legal union (Your Guide: Canberra, IBN News). It seems the Prime Minister, while recognising that homosexuals shouldn’t be financial disadvantaged, doesn’t believe he has any obligation to correct social inequality.

In the Prime Ministers words:

Well I don’t criticise gay people for that lifestyle, that’s their choice. What I do say, and I don’t apologise for saying, is that there are certain benchmark institutions in our society that ought to be defended and promoted and marriage is one of them and the reason I don’t support gay marriage is that I think it in different ways reduces the status of marriage as so commonly understood in our society, that is partly influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition of our society, it’s also influenced by other things as well, it’s not only people of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is obviously the dominant one in our country, who hold that view, others hold it as well, but there has to be a point at which you stand up for certain benchmark institutions. I don’t think that’s intolerant, I think it’s common sense because they contribute to the continuity and the stability of society. (emphasis added: Radio Interview: 891)

Lifestyle choice? Defend Marriage from what? Benchmark institutions? That gays would corrupt, corrode? Reduce the status of marriage?

The Prime Minister believes that the institution of marriage is far more important than the rights set out by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He thinks that because we are influenced by Judeo-Christian tradition, people are allowed to be discriminated against for the stability of society (which happens to be exactly the same argument Mr Bush uses).

Why does the Prime Minister believe that if 5-10% of the population married within their gender the whole institution of marriage and society at large would crumble to its knees? Heterosexuals have done a pretty good job of recking the institution of marriage on their own – Hollywood stars stay married for about the same time it takes to tie my shoelaces.

The Prime Minister’s reason for defending marriage is also a dangerous one. He cannot say that because our society was based on a religion which had certain values, that we can forsake the rights of citizens which don’t fit with that religion. The Christian religion didn’t value women, yet society hasn’t crumbled because women are allowed to vote or have the freedom to choose a career. Many Muslim countries restrict women’s rights. Does that mean because the Muslim religion allows this discrimination we shouldn’t be concerned?

Would society really crumble because gays and lesbians were allowed to marry?

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Read my essay on the rights of homosexuals in Australia.