By Darryl Mason
How strong, how formidable a legacy can it really be when John Howard has to repeatedly remind us of how strong and formidable that legacy is supposed to be?
"The legacy of the former Liberal government is one that we should all want to own," says the 2007' Federal Election's Biggest Loser, who, in the words of Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, destroyed the Liberal Party on his way to retirement.
"Australia was a stronger, prouder and more prosperous nation in November 2007 than it had been in March 1996. Yet attempts have been made to discount the contributions of competitive capitalism and more open markets to the remarkable economic growth, in many nations, during these past 30 years."
And how many of those who "prospered" through increased access to cheap and voluminous personal credit remain prosperous today? Enough to sustain that fantasy...sorry, legacy?
John Howard spells out "Who We Liberals Are" for those who have forgotten, and how easily they forget :
"We are a party of the individual rather than of the collective. We see the maximum good for the nation being achieved when each individual is encouraged to do his or her best.
"We are a party that should always see the family as the most important unit in our society, not only as a source of love and emotional security, but also, quite pragmatically, as mankind's most efficient social welfare system. Liberals should always retain their strong belief in the fundamental force of the market. That does not mean that the market always functions smoothly or that it is not open to abuse."
And something from Mr Howard about a new great, or even greater, depression now looms thanks to some of the most outrageous gambles and acts of mega-billion dollar fraud ever committed in the history of the world, perhaps?
"The notion that markets need extensive reregulation is based on a false reading of what has happened to the world economy."
World economy? Do they still even call it that? What's left of it?
It's bad enough that Rudd & Friends dare to claim credit for what was achieved during the Liberal Years Of Peace And Prosperity And Magic Wonderfulness For All, but Howard is so desperate to scrabble for scraps of credibility and respect these days that he is positioning himself as having continued in the tradition of 1980s economic reformers, and former prime ministers, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.
Heeeeerrrrrre's Johnny :
"In 1980 our nation needed five great reforms. We needed to deregulate our financial system, fundamentally change our taxation system, make our labour markets freer, reduce excessively high tariffs and rid the government of ownership of commercial enterprises that would be better run privately. By 2007 these five great reforms had been achieved."
Folding himself into the legacy of the Hawke and Keating Years must have come as something of a surprise for the Liberal desperates gathered to hear Howard speak yesterday.
Well, gathered to hear Malcolm Turnbull speak, suffering through Howard, stifling snores and groans as they collectively wondered when this loser was going to get the fuck off the stage so Turnbull could wake up himself and get on with leading the Liberal Party into whatever hell awaits them next.
END OF PART ONE