Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The New Liberal Mantra : John Howard's Rule Was A "Golden Age"

After writing more than 20 columns for the Sydney Morning Herald on how relentlessly crap the Rudd Labor opposition was throughout 2007, Tony "Too Raw" Abbott has now turned his kitten killing gaze onto his own kind :
As the reality of defeat sinks in, the Coalition has to accept that it made serious mistakes in its fourth term of government but should never concede that it can't win the next election. That will be hard, especially over the next few months, when the best way to get a headline will be to engage in self-criticism.

Almost certainly, the official post-mortem will attribute defeat to the poor politics of Work Choices, which was "sprung" on voters after the government unexpectedly won control of the Senate; the difficulty of marketing voting for Howard but electing Peter Costello; and the comparative lack of big new policy initiatives to justify giving an 11-year-old government a fifth term. Still, the former government could not help its biggest problem: age. Unless the opposition is really hopeless, the normal life even of good governments seems to be about three terms.
Abbott also takes time to unveil the new mantra that you will hear falling from the lips of every member of the opposition government when the slightest thing goes wrong for RuddInc :
If the new Prime Minister can't conjure lower interest rates, petrol prices and grocery bills; if he can't make the states lift their game on health, education and disability services; and especially if he can't keep unemployment down and economic growth up, the Howard era will soon seem like a golden age.
The fact that the Howard decade was not a "golden age" for many millions of voters is one of the fundamental reasons why his government was given the boot. They believed Howard's lies, and then felt like they'd been fleeced.

But that won't stop the legendisation of the so-called 'Howard Golden Age'.

Abbott doesn't seem to understand that this will have the same effect as Howard telling millions of poverty-level Australians that they'd never had it so good. And we know well that went down with the voters.