Monday, 26 November 2007

A Tribute to John Howard

Yesterday John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia for 11.5 years, was defeated in a landslide by Kevin Rudd.

I have always believed John Howard was deception, lying, and corrupt. But this is politics and perhaps lying is necessary. As John Roskam says, John Howard's racism may be necessary to defeat racism itself.

When economies are integrated in a process known as globalization, there are winners and there are losers. Losers are usually angry and envious of the winners. Bashing immigrants or foreigners is a way these people can release their anger and though focusing on characteristics like skin color or any other characteristic other than money and income, they can feel as if they are united with the ruling class.

When Pauling Hanson came along in the late '90s with a plan to reduce Asian immigration, John Howard could have easily denounced her loudly. But this would only make the losers (or Battlers) more angry and more and more of them would vote for Hanson. Instead, John Howard pretended to accept Hanson's views, so much so that the Hanson voters switched votes to the Howard Government. Under his leadership, Howard ran the largest, most open immigration program in Australia's history, turning Australia into a highly diverse country. People in Australia started to get used to the diversity. Even though Howard increased immigration, only 30% of Australians thought immigration was too high, compared to 70% before the Howard Government existed.

Because of John Howard, Hanson's support waned and her party imploded.

Even as Howard sent immigrants in, even as his seat of Bennelong was filling with Asians, he kept pretending to be racist. In an attempt to mimic Paulie Hanson even further, he had a go at Africans and Muslims.

And in 2007 he was destroyed as the battlers and Asians struck back at him. The very people he sent into the country were voting against him. Howard must have known the immigrants would vote against him but he continued to send them in. This I suspect then was an act of self-sacrifice. Pauline Hanson represented sin and John Howard represents Jesus. Howard sacrificed himself so that Australia could become a better country.

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