Monday, October 25, 2010

John Howard: Still unable to say he's SORRY!

This week The Blowfly would like to stimulate you to play a little mind-game.

Imagine, if you will , that you are John Howard's fairy godmother.

Your charge became the second longest serving Prime Minister in Australia's history (second only to Sir Robert Menzies) in 2007 but also had the rather dubious honor of being only the second serving Prime Minister to lose his seat at a Federal Election.

He was endowed with the middle name of "Winston" because his father was an admirer of Winston Churchill. His father, Lyall, died when John was 16 and he was raised from that point by his mother.

Wikipedia also reports that "Howard suffered a hearing impairment in his youth, leaving him with a slight
speech impediment and he continues to wear a hearing aid. It also influenced him in subtle ways, limiting his early academic performance; encouraging a reliance on an excellent memory; and in his mind ruling out becoming a barrister as a likely career."

As his fairy godmother you have had your work cut out for you over the years.

A critical incident occurred just after his father died.

His mother had given him a little lecture about the need to say he was sorry regarding an incident involving his brother's toy boat.Little Johnny had sunk it and he was reluctant to say sorry. During the course of his mother's lecture his hearing impairment caused him to believe that he 'never had to say he was sorry'.

On several occasions you have found your magic wand incapable of working with John's obstinacy in this area.

No matter how much you waved it when he was being implored to apologise for the 'stolen generation' he simply refused to obey the laws of your universe.Admittedly his rather proud wife did not help your cause. Normally wives and fairy godmothers work towards the same goals in respect to their charges--- but not in Janette's case!

And coming up to the Federal election in 2007 it didn't matter how much you waved your damned wand he would not hand over to Peter Costello.You knew something that no-one else knew during he last few years------he was just foxing about handing over!

You had tried to teach him humility and you had tried to teach him to be truthful but again your magic wand failed you.

In 'Fairy Godmother Land' your magic star dimmed considerably over the years and you were considered to be an also-ran.

There had been glorious days of course!

When he knocked Keating off your star shone bright. And when he orchestrated the 'guns buyback' after the Port Arthur massacre your superiors in 'Fairy Godmother Land' called you in for a special commendation.

You suggested to Howard in a dream one night that a timely handover of the leadership to Peter Costello was in the best interests of the country, the Liberal Party, the Essendon Football Club, the aboriginal community, Tony Abbott and, of course, Janette-----because she would see more of him and they could travel together in his retirement.

But it did not matter how far into his ear you stuck the magic wand, the thought of him handing over to Costello simply raised too many memories of pain from his youth, and he just could not contemplate it in real life. In fact you remember him describing the dream to his wife as a 'nightmare'.She looked a little bemused, you recall.

Now, in democratically-non-elected forced retirement, your charge has recently been writing his memoirs.

You acknowledge now that your magic wand may as well be a lollipop because your charge is up to his old tricks.

He is unable to practice humility, tell the truth or say sorry.And his 'excellent memory' (as per Wikipedia) is no more.

In his book he says that Costello did not have the 'common touch' and that he had no choice but to stay on. 'The lying rodent' was not able to put the interests of the nation and the Liberal Party before his own interests.

Howard, in ruining the career of his loyal Treasurer, somehow seemed to think that the role of a leader is to be challenged for his position rather than effect a 'handover and anoint' process. For someone who espoused leadership so much, you,as his fairy godmother, cringe at his hypocrisy.

Your charge also cruelled the future of the Liberal Party for at least a decade because he found a way to allow Tony Abbott to rise above the pack and assume the mantle of leader. Admittedly, Tony Abbott's rise is seen by some in the Catholic Church as a miracle---but not quite in the same vein as the Mary McKillop miracle!

Anyway the release of Howard's book is the final straw so far as you, his fairy godmother, is concerned.

You realise that you have been a total failure as his fairy godmother and you intend to hang up your wand forever.

You did consider finding another resting place for your wand which was symbolically appropriate.

But when you went to do it you found that the World Cricket Council had already placed a cricket bat in that orifice and your wand would not fit.

Thanks to readers for playing this mind game with me.

As a parting gift The Blowfly would like to leave you with the words of Hubbard: "Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny."

Obviously Howard has not read these words.

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