Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

Has Howard imploded? Not quite, but he's getting there

At a 30th birthday party in Melbourne recently, a Labor man reckoned Howard would implode in week 3 of the campaign. Being superstitious, and respectful of Howard's political skills, I replied that I didn't think so, but that if he did, it would be in week 6. If the polls hadn't given him a shot by then, he'd be staring at the fact that he'd trashed his own legacy.

So we had a bet that if he lost it in week 6 or week 3, the loser would shout lunch.

I reckon he came close yesterday. Real close.

Howard lied to win the 2004 election, as he lied to win the 2001 election. But in 2001, swingers didn't care about lying over children overboard. And since they didn't care, Howard didn't care. Indeed, he even told Geraldine Doogue during the 2004 election that he didn't need to apologise to the parents of the kids he'd demonised in 2001 , because "it was made at the time in good faith".

Now that is ethical bankruptcy - big time.  A wrongful accusation, however much the accuser believes it at the time, requires an apology as soon as the mistake is realised. Obviously.

In 2004, the swingers did care about his lie that he'd keep interest rates low. It was the killer message for Latham. It won Howard the election.

So what is Howard to do?

On Wednesday, he said he was sorry:  "I would say to the borrowers of Australia who are affected by this change that I’m sorry about that, and I regret the additional burden that will be put upon them as a result."

Yet when the headlines made the most of a rare sorry from the PM, he ran away from the clear implication from that sorry that he had, finally, taken responsibility for neglecting the infrastructure spending and skills training which would have eased the capacity constraints in our economy which are helping drive up inflation, and thus interest rates (see the Reserve Bank statement). Let alone completely ignored the looming crisis in oil supplies feeding oil prices by failing to promote and plan for more public transport and less reliance on oil through subsidies for LPG and renewables.  

Because if he did admit some responsibility, of course, his last argument against throwing him out - that he was a better economic manager - was gone.

So this is what he did  yesterday:

"I said I was sorry they occurred. I don't think I used the word apology. I think there is a difference between the two things. I think we've been through that debate before in the context of something ."

Indeed we have. Who can forget his insistence that he would not apologise to Aboriginal people as head of the Government because his generation, so he claimed, had not been responsible for the stolen generation. Thus  he could be sorry about it, but not apologise, personally or even on behalf of Australia's government, because He wasn't personally to blame and His government wasn't "personally to blame". Got that?

But that distinction doesn't wash here. He was directly responsible, the man in the middle, on interest rates. Unless, of course, he actually has no control over interest rates, in which case his 2004 promise was reprehensible, to say the least. And if that's true, then neither does Kevin Rudd and Labor.

It's a mess he can't escape from.

So much so that when Labor jumped on his nonsense semantic muddle, he rushed out last night to have himself filmed with this (no questions allowed):

"The Labor Party is playing a silly word game. I very much regret the interest rate rise. I’m sorry it’s happened. This word game about apologies and sorry has been invented by the Labor Party to divert attention from the fact they don’t have an economic policy to put downward pressure on inflation and interest rates. Instead of playing word games Mr Rudd should tell the Australian people how he intends to put downward pressure on inflation and interest rates. That’s the important issue. This is not a semantic word game. This is the future of the Australian economy and I say to Mr Rudd, stop playing your silly word games and tell us how you intend, if you become Prime Minister, to put downward pressure on interest rates and inflation. Thank you."

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

This morning, it got worse: now he won't explain his own distinction between saying sorry and apologising, because 'I'm a prime minister not an english teacher."

I've been worried that Howard would twist the interest rates issue to his own advantage by striking fear, yet again, into swingers, that Labor in office would get it wrong.  Now, I'm convinced that won't happen. Howard has nowhere to run, at last.

[ category: ]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

A word or two from Gawenda

Gawenda used to fawn all over Howard - this is what he sees now. An old, tired man out of his comfort zone with nothing to offer except a plea to be re-elected so he can resign.

Non-stop hugs

Creep me out! Watch the Howards at work on a disabled kiddie (not one of those messy underprivileged ones, though, must keep the blouse nice) in PM's YouTube 11 November 2007.

Crikey! Isn't that Turnbull's turf? It's a good thing baboons aren't in danger.

Is there anything left in the barrel, other than simians?

Here's a warning to Huggin' Howard from Lawson: 

We'll make the tyrants feel the sting
O' those that they would throttle;
They needn't say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle!

Don't hold us too tightly, John, we don't want to go down with you. 


There's a full account of the funeral service for Peter Andren at the ABC website.

Yes but Trevor

What is the point of blaming Rudd for what Howard has done?  A pre-emptive blame game against Rudd is completely insane when Rudd is well aware that new style jobs and training are required.

Stop looking past a few words by George and read the comments.    The money George is actually talking about is .03% of the budget added from fixing the tax scales for bracket creep.

A bit of financial truth

Sometimes when I read the bleating of rusted on Liberals about the danger of the ALP being elected because we always go into debt or some such nonsense, I feel like I have walked into Alice's looking glass because the Reserve Bank statistics readily available for anyone to read show an entirely different story.
Let's take the debt to disposable household income from 1977 up to today and see how bad the labor party really is.
In 1977 the ratio was 34.8% and rose to 41.4% by 1982 with the interes on debt 5.5% rising to 6.8%.

During the 1989-90 recession the ratio was 47% with interest paid peaking at 8.2%.

In March 1996 when Howard became PM the ratio was 68.8% with interest at 7.2%, all up an increase of 34% debt to disposable income over 29 years or just over 1% per annum with interest on that debt changing about 2.7% over that time.
In the June quarter of 2007 the debt per household income is at an unsustainable 161% or more than 100% rise in just 11 years and interest has increased to 11.9% per household on that debt.
This makes John Howard the most profligate and wastrel PM this nation has ever seen and a drover's dog could do better, and if we add the excellent graph from the ABS on percentage of income to mortgage debt released on Thursday it looks even worse.  The mortgages that were only 24% of income in July 1997 are now over 43% so even if Gordon Firth is nice and comfortable in the home he paid off during the supposedly irresponsible Labor years, the kids of today cannot afford to buy a chook shed and that is a miserable disgrace.

The B word

George Megalogenis seems to have struck a chord with his Boom-time blues:

The paradox is Rudd, like Howard and Costello, needs to first consider what China means for the economy today. For the second time since federation, Australia’s quarry is feeding an Asian neighbour’s rise to the status of economic superpower. Australia failed the capture the true value of the Japan-led boom in the ‘50s and ‘60s because it used the cash to build a self-defeating tariff wall. The danger is that whoever wins on November 24 is already on course to repeat the error by pampering voters beyond the point of prudence. 

He seems to be saying the "wealth" created by digging stuff out of the ground has been spent on useless baubles and tragically inflated real estate prices. I guess we won't hear any of the partisan leadership opening up discussion of what will happen when the Bubble pops.

Ruddock vs Ludwig

Hi Paul, Tq. I missed this one. Will include it on my list. I suppose we have to call it a draw as it was like the Minchin vs Tanner debate, a non event.

Don't Get Your Knickers In A Knot

Calm down Alan Curran. We had 13 years of a Labor government before Howard's rise and life was pretty good under them although admitedly the TVs were smaller (and so was the percentage of my income I was paying on my mortgage despite the claptrap we hear about interest rates). 

Don't worry - the big scary unions aren't going to come crashing through your door in the middle of the night. Come to think of it, it was the Howard government that sent heavies in balaclavas with mean looking dogs to lock down the docks at midnight if memory serves me well.

And as for those frightening Builder's Union heavies in the Liberal party adverts, I wonder if they're the same ones who downed tools and refused to knock down The Rocks and helped preserve some of Australia's heritage ?.

P.S I do agree that NSW Labor are shockers but remember - this is a Federal election. Got it?

In a knot

Michael de Angelos"We had 13 years of a Labor government before Howard's rise and life was pretty good under them."

It might have been for you because you had a job, but there were 100s of thousands that did not. Howard got the docks moving again, or would you rather go back to the days when business could not get containers off the wharves? With Rudd in power, you are kidding yourself if you don't think it will be pay back time for the union thugs. The ETU will be at the forefront.

100, not out

At my 100th birthday party in Wee Jasper recetly, I hade a bet that the total cost of Howard's private office, "government" ads, AEC kickbacks, and ancilliaries, such as his accommodation at Kirribilli House, servants, daily private jet, constant khaki wallpaper, his mad APEC partying nonsense with the Chaser, etc, etc, would exceed 12 billion.

Roughly equal to the damage an inert, Billy McMahon-like Howard did to the Australian economy while treasurer in the late 70s, early 80s.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, Economix Instructress to Tanya Costello, what never has tea at Kirribilli, there's a slight saving.


EARLY AGA : "...when business could not get containers off the wharves."

CRIKEY! Those must have been the bad old days, Aga. No imports, noe exports, no Corrigan, no attack dawgs, no Gulf mercenaries, no corrupt Reithian measures.

How did we get stuff in and out? It must have been hell in those days under the nil-trade Hawke Keating jackboot. Do tell us more, Akkamanto. Don't leave out the pilots' strike.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, fully containerised and ready to ship

An 'own goal'

David Davis: "Why can't you understand the simplicity of the English language?  When my best mate told me he had cancer I said I was sorry.  I did not apologise.  It was not my fault. Why can't you get this?"

You've just demolished Howard's excuse for not saying "Sorry" to the Aborigines of this country.

Nice work.

Eat toys for fantasy

You guys are eating toys.  Apparently you can do so and it metabolises to become fantasy.  Toy, indeed.

Have fun with your fantasies re Howard.  Tomorrow I will leave Australia and shan't return until election day.  The times will suit me. I will tour Asia and see Australia from afar.  I love my country best from afar.

While you ingest toys, I will look on with deep wisdom from afar. Enjoy your fantasy but heed my wisdom.

Why can't you understand the simplicity of the English language?  When my best mate told me he had cancer I said I was sorry.  I did not apologise.  It was not my fault. Why can't you get this?

If you toy ingesting ninnies don't get these basics then just enjoy your fantasy and ignore me.

Thank you and enjoy! Ingest the toy and enjoy the unexpected fantasy!

Tee hee.


Look David, they had the power of final say-so over rate increases, but handballed to the Reserve whilst on an ideology binge.

They encourage the housing bubble with every pork-barrel policy they could think of, then abdicated their responsibility, deserting their victims at the psychological moment. Yet they demand loyalty from the very same people they kicked in the guts and continue to insult up to this very moment. They created a bloody mess, than got up and walked away like true pathologs, leaving their victims to stew.

For further explication, refer Cloud's comment!

Football, Meatpies, Kangaroos and ... More Howard Fearmongering

Did anybody else notice this in the Oz on Friday?:

Car Firms Plead for PM's Help

THE Australian motor industry has warned the Government that the viability of "two, or even three" of the nation's four car-makers is in doubt, threatening the long-term jobs of at least 7000 workers in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi and GM Holden warned the Government last month that head offices in Tokyo and Detroit were under financial pressures and reluctant to commit more investment to Australia.

They wrote to the Government demanding a "serious review" of the $3 billion car assistance plan, the freezing of tariff cuts and "real assistance", including a rebate to develop hybrid "green" cars.

A confidential submission on the car industry to John Howard from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, dated October 3, warns that the reaction of "stressed global parents" of Australian operations "could see the exit of Mitsubishi (in Adelaide) some time in 2008 with serious question marks on Ford being able to survive (as a producer) in Geelong and Broadmeadows (in Melbourne)".

However, despite Labor's pre-election promise to review the pace of tariff cuts, the car-makers said they feared conditions for the industry could deteriorate under a Rudd government. The companies said they were deeply nervous about the possibility of pattern wage bargaining and more militant unions emerging if Labor rolled back the Government's industrial relations laws.

Australian car executives told the Government the prospect "of 'union trouble' or higher wage costs would be a 'poison arrow' for a regional Australian operation ...".

"It is clear there is a deep nervousness about the possibility of pattern bargaining, despite public assurances by the alternative government to the contrary," the PM&C submission says.

"The proposed abolition of AWAs is not really an issue for the industry as few employees are covered on the shop floor, but the possibility of wage outcomes being set without regard to the economic capacity of the individual enterprise to absorb is a real concern," the report says.

Accompanied by this:

Rudd a Job Killer: Howard

JOHN Howard has recrafted his economic pitch as an appeal to battlers, warning that a Labor government would destroy 400,000 jobs as the cost of a restoration of power for trade union bosses.

Pleading to voters to allow him to complete his transformation of Australia "from a welfare state into an opportunity society", the Prime Minister has also mauled Kevin Rudd's "new collectivism" as a job killer and inflation driver.

The full-blooded Coalition attack came as the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed unemployment was 4.3 per cent in October - up from 4.2 per cent in September but still near 33-year lows. The figure came with jobs and the economy already running hot as a campaign issue in the wake of Wednesday's 25-basis-point rise in interest rates to 6.75 per cent - the first increase made by the Reserve Bank during an election campaign.

While the Government believes the renewed focus on the economy has finally given the Coalition a point of attack against the popular Mr Rudd, Mr Howard said economist Richard Blandy had estimated Labor's plan to abolish Work Choices would destroy between 200,000 and 400,000 jobs.

"Labor is the anti-jobs party in this election campaign," Mr Howard said at a Melbourne press conference. "They are prepared to give away jobs to bring back union power."

And then this from The Age:

Car Industry Pulls Rug Under Report

The Australian motor industry's peak body has categorically denied a report which Coalition heavyweights have used to cast doubts about its future under a Rudd government.

The report, on the front page of a News Ltd. newspaper, stated that the viability of "two, or even three" car makers was in doubt, threatening the jobs of up to 7000 workers.

The Federal Treasurer, Mr Costello, told reporters today: "This should strike a chill into all Australians because business is starting to worry about union militancy under a Rudd government."

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer says Labor's industrial relations policy would be "a poison arrow" for Australia's car industry

Mr Downer said the ALP returning more power to unions would increase industrial action in the motor vehicle industry and result in productivity declines.

"The motor vehicle industry in Australia are saying the prospects of union trouble or higher wage costs would be a poison arrow for regional Australian operations trying to convince a parent company to invest hundreds of millions of dollars of capital in new car models," Mr Downer told reporters in Adelaide today.

However, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries refuted the claims in a statement from its chief executive, Andrew McKellar.

"These claims and other claims made in the article about the industry' s representations to Government are wrong," he said.

"No such letter exists, nor has there been any industry discussion on industrial relations matters as suggested in The Australian's story," he said.

Margo: hmm, Dennis Shanahan, eh? Anything in the Oz today standing by the story or correcting? If the denial is true, there's a smell of dirty deeds like the Liberal Party scam on Labor in the last week of the 1996 camapign. Remember that? Starring Ralph Willis. Watch carefully for Liberal Party dirty tactics from now on.

Sorry the interest rate red herring doesn't work any more

I have a letter from Howard to the voters in the Wentworth electorate that I received in the last week of the 2004 election campaign.

In it, Howard says that he will keep interest rates stable

The only thing Howard is sorry about is that the interest rate red herring doesn't work any more.

Some Mothers do have them

Some of our politicians can do with this for some "election stress".

Seeking gorilla, Mum sends son a stripper - Teenage boys at an English high school were shocked when a stripper was sent to their drama class by accident and spanked a 16-year-old boy in front of stunned students and a teacher........The stripper apparently walked the boy around the classroom on all fours, gyrated to a Britney Spears song and spanked him before stripping down to her bra and knickers and insisting the "naughty" schoolboy rub cream all over her body, according to the paper.

Moral Bankruptcy

Margo wrote:

Indeed, he even told Geraldine Doogue during the 2004 election that he didn't need to apologise to the parents of the kids he'd demonised in 2001 , because "it was made at the time in good faith". Now that is ethical bankruptcy - big time.

No Margo, that's moral bankruptcy.

Forgetting the real lie

Last election the real lie was not about the rates of interest but about Howard's real ability to control them.

This is forgotten by most pundits bored out of their brains with his phoney election campaign.

In South Australia the Advertiser actually posted a list of the so-called me-too policies and couldn't find any but they did notice that people are now paying 45% of their income on the average mortgage.


Mary j Shepherd, today we learn that over 100 children die in NSW because of the incompetence of DOCS and NSW Labor. Do I hear you ranting and raving about it, NO. Today we learn that the T-Card has been cancelled in NSW and has cost the taxpayers $64 million, more incompetence from Labor. This week Reba Meagher spent goodness knows how much money cleaning up the grounds of the North Shore Hospital prior to the enquiry, but hospital waiting lists are still long.

This sort of thing is going on in every State, and will give you some idea of what will happen if Labor wins on 24th November. The working families are in for a tough ride and I feel sorry for them. Rudd has promised a technical school in every school in the country. How long do you think it will be before that is achieved? Where is he going to get the teachers from? He has promised to cut waiting lists in hospitals: how long before that is achieved? Carr promised to do it in NSW and nothing happened. All that will happen is that the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, but you will have a Labor government. Anybody care to predict which union pull the first really big strike as they flex their muscles – the building unions perhaps.

I really have no idea how you are going survive three years of Labor, Mary j.

First poll since rates rose

Roy Morgan:

The first Morgan Poll since this week’s interest rate rise (interviewing conducted November 7/8) finds the ALP has a 12% lead on a two-party preferred basis: ALP 56% (up 1.5% since the last telephone Morgan Poll on October 24/25), L-NP 44% (down 1.5%).

The ALP would win in a landslide if the Federal election were to be held now, the latest telephone Morgan Poll finds...

Beds are burning

Trevor Kerr says: "Beds are burning over the FM is always electrifying."

Say, whatever happened to the tall, skinny, bald guy that used to sing that?

Lobby Loyde

I guess he got older, Eliot.

Besides, 'Get off oil addiction': Greens.

and his coloured nuts

"Oh, let me go home..."

Trevor Kerr, am transported. Am standing outside the Octagon, full of half a "d" of longnecks and perving on the passing microminis whilst blowing an eight-paper with a select representation of the local squirearchy, at intermission for the local ultimate bash featuring Thorpy, La-de-das, Chain and the Coloured Nuts.

Lobby Loyde, within twenty-four hours of an excerpt from The Adventures of Barry Mackenzie during an ABC doco on Australian accent and diction AND Mark Latham's first uplifting comments on the election!


Beds 2000

I'm glad John Howard put himself in the Sorry frame, again. It brings on instant flashback to Sydney 2000 and the Oils on stage. Beds are burning over the FM is always electrifying. It must be the bass line, and it goes straight to the lachrymals. Perhaps someone with knowledge of music could explain why that 'E(no 3rd) G A' signature riff is so powerful and recognisable.

May be too early to suggest, but I wonder if a friendly radio station could start pumping out Beds at a predetermined time, every day right up to and including November 25.

On the contrary, Bill A, if Howard is such a reactionary that he cannot help himself, Labor and the media should keep nagging him about his use of Sorry, and keep exposing his vile pedantry.

Oooh the Pain

Trevor, it pains me to say it but, on the issue under discussion, Howard is right and his detractors are wrong. Expressing sorrow is not the same as apologising. Getting bogged down in a (losing) semantic argument does the opposition no credit. Let them and the commentators take him to task on failing to apologise when he should, if they want to; let them stop wasting time on this nonsensical debate on whether or not what he said was an apology.

Carney on Sorry

You are correct, Bill, this tit-tat could go on for ever. I rest my case with Howard's muddled message

Another Exclusive!

Not only will the poor man be trashed at the polls and possibly lose his own seat in Bennelong-there will be no celebration party (or wrist slashing event) for the Coalition held within the lavish surrounds of the Westin Hotel.

I predict the Epping Club as venue of choice as John desperately tries to convince local voters he is their man – much as he tried to with his grand announcement of a spy camera on every corner from Ryde to Beecroft. Even the local Libs are scratching their heads over that one.

Impending Implosion

Your Labor pal was channelling me.

We are witnessing the darker recesses of Howard's mind that are coming to the fore – the ones that have taken over his whole being where continuing power is all that he now stands for. All power corrupts. He has dissolved into repeating mantras over and over – r "better economic manager" – as though it will salvage his government.

I've always said it – Howard would rather take down his whole party than have a successor like Costello become PM and do better than him. That way his legacy is left intact as the second longest serving Liberal PM and the last one for many terms. The manner of his demise will be quickly forgotten.

Expect many Freudian slips from here on.

Moral majority supports Rudd. Survey.

If there was any remaining doubt that a campaign of deliberate panic and hysteria is behind the growing support for Kevin Rudd, then this new survey should remove the last vestiges.

"It shows that support for Labor in this election has increased across all age groups compared to the three previous campaigns, but that its vote has increased most dramatically among those aged 40-54."

Neer Korn, director of Heartbeat Trends, said that there were myriad reasons why people voted as they did, but he suggested that baby boomers were concerned about values.

"They have become reactionary about what they see as a dropping of values; they see swearing everywhere, television has taken things to an extreme, so they feel quite threatened by it," he said.

Oh my God. Rudd really is a social conservative.

And the boomers love him for it.

Geraldine Doogue

Regarding the Geraldine Doogue incident, I am reminded of the following anonymous quote:

"When people who are honestly mistaken learn the truth, they will either cease being mistaken, or cease being honest."

Fiona: Welcome to Webdiary, Jason. What an excellent quotation. 

It's Time

My understanding of a lot of polling about why people would vote against Howard and his government is that it is a time for a change.  This latest escapade merely reinforces this view and is another nail in the coffin of his re-election chances.  It will be even harder to swing voters to his point of view.

The Media Crucifixion Meter – the end of Week 4

The Media Crucifixion Meter – the end of Week 4 – 10/11/07.
To amuse myself during this election, I have been keeping the crucifixions that have been metered out by the media to the pollies, in particular to the Ministers and Shadow Ministers.

The gaffes:
1. Robert McClelland on capital punishment on the Bali bombers
2. Joe Hockey said that the role of the unions was "essentially over".
3. Joe Hockey on “our fear campaign” on the power of the Unions.
4. Malcolm Turbull’s urging for the Government on the signing of Kyoto
5. Mark Vaile is still a climate change sceptic
6. Peter “My Bed is Burning” Garrett on post Kyoto target for the developing countries
7. Tony “Mad Monk” Abbott’s attack on  Bernie Bantam, the asbestosis campaigner.
8. Tony “Mad Monk” Abbott’s non show on the debate with Nicola Roxon.
9. Tony “Mad Monk” Abbott saying “bullshit” to Nicola Roxon
10.Tony “Mad Monk” Abbott’s attack Tim Costello on the foreign aid issue.
11.Peter “My Bed is Burning” Garrett on “we change it all” with Steve Price
12.Peter “My Bed is Burning” Garrett on “we change it all” with Charles Wooley
13.Malcolm “I hate it too” Turnbull with the bloomin’ Peter Cundall on the Tasmania Gunn Pulp Mill.
14.Peter Costello – for telling the Melbourne radio announcer John Faine in an off-the-record conversation recently that "there will not be a rate rise in November, take it from me".
15.Peter “Take it from me” Costello said that the increase in the interest rate will be good for the Government with the backup singers consist of Mr Cameron Thompson MP, Janet Albrechtsen and Caroline Overington of the OZ.
16.John “Sorry” Howard's own goal on saying “sorry” on the interest rate rise. Is it a sorry? A regret? a f*** you? an apology? a remorse? a not my fault? a I-am-not-guilty?” a don’t blame me? etc etc – Just like the sorry saga with the Stolen Generation for Howard. Love Annabel Crabb's take and Howard looked like a zombie last night in his bizarre doorstop.

Gaffe score so far: Liberal Vs Labor: 12 - 4

The debates:
1. Howard vs Rudd – Rudd won.
2. Costello vs Swan – Draw
3. Abbott vs – Roxon – No contest
4. Minchin vs Tanner – Sunday 4/11/07 – on Skynews, non event.
5. Hockey vs Gillard – Gillard won on point for a stronger closing remark and prop.
6. Howard vs Rudd – Melbourne Cup. Rudd won on Efficient. Howard’s Mahler third.
7. Turnbull vs Garrett – an honourable draw for the millionaires
8. Downer vs McClelland - coming

Debate score so far: Liberal Vs Labor: 0 – 4.

Ludwig v Ruddock

PF, did you catch up with the Richard Ackland article about the hidden-away so-called debate between Ruddock and Ludwig?

No national  TV audience for that debate. Anyone else puzzled at that?

Off the record?

PF Journey: "Peter Costello – for telling the Melbourne radio announcer John Faine in an off-the-record conversation recently that "there will not be a rate rise in November, take it from me" [my emphasis].

Jon Faine is adamant that Mr Costello's "punt" that there would be no November interest rate rise took place in a conversation that, while it happened after their on-air interview, was never expressed to be "off the record". I think, also that Barrie Cassidy (who was appearing on the show a little later that day) backs Faine's version of the event.

I would have thought that Mr Costello, after Michael Brissenden et al.'s disclosures regarding his (Costello's) revelations at that infamous dinner, would be more cautious about claiming "off the record" status.

I must also say that, in the many years that I have listened to his program, I have formed the view that Jon Faine is a person of considerable integrity.

To use the language applicable to the Spring Racing Carnival, it's all a matter of form...

Howard is Consistent, if Nothing Else

First, let me say that I detest Howard as much as anyone does. I have detested everything about him since long before he became Prime Minister. Nevertheless I can appreciate his distinction between saying he is sorry about something and apologising for it. There is a clear distinction there. And I can appreciate his impatiently dismissing the semantic issue by pointing out that he is not an English teacher. I think the Labor Party should make the point (which they have done), and move on to more significant issues. So should media commentators. Of course Howard should indeed apologise. His government is keen to take credit when things go well; that being so it is incumbent upon it to accept responsibility when things go badly. But we know Howard well enough by now to know he will never do that.

Changing votes

I don't know whether this will change votes. Perhaps for those with mortgages. Though for many they may think that governments don't influence interest rates and so is not relevant.

My guess is that it increases the impression he is inept and bereft and yesterday’s person. This may influence some people I think.

Howard looks to me increasingly like Kennett in his dying days. Pathetic.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 6 hours ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 2 days ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 3 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 4 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 1 day ago