Huzzah from Oz!


I desperately needed some reassurance that not EVERY Western nation had gone stark raving mad, and my emergency back-up country has provided it. Intrepid correspondent Brett McS says former PM John Howard gets a lot of credit. 

This is John Howard’s legacy in action.  Twelve years of balanced budgets and paying off of the former (Labor) government’s debt to the point where the Australian Government’s books were in the black.  Rudd (Labor) came in promising to keep this legacy going – only to immediately blow it, of course.  But, Global Financial Crisis!  So, OK, Labor sort of get a pass and sneak in the next election as a minority Government (now under Gillard, because, basically, Rudd is some kind of sociopath who can’t work with other people), promising all the while to bring the finances back into the black, and failing year after year to do so (of course) despite the mining boom.   Big Black Mark.

The other big issue was “the boats”: Border Security.  Howard’s Pacific Solution had stopped them coming.  Rudd dismantled the scheme so of course the boats started up again – and an untold number of people died as a result.  Then, after coming back in at the last minute to lead Labor - after challenging Gillard – he, rather cynically one might say, implemented his own version of the Pacific Solution.  But, all that did was concede the point to Abbott, who was by now the more trusted leader.

So, the Labor government, despite presiding over a robust economy where the unemployment rate never even went as high as 6% (in spite of their best efforts) get ousted because they couldn’t balance their budget even in good times, and were lax on border security.  That, to me, says that the Australian electorate has absorbed the John Howard legacy.  Hopefully Abbott will carry that on and reinforce it going forward.  John Howard (bless him!) did make a brief return to the public spotlight to offer his endorsement of Abbott.
Sounds reasonable. Brett adds: 
Looking forward to Walker/Cruz 2016