In the Sydney Morning
Herald today is a reminder of where politics in this country has been
heading. At the end of a witty recollection of some memorable
Australian political wit, Allan Ramsay says:
For as long as Howard
remains in politics he will never, ever escape his "never, ever"
insistence in 1995 that the Liberals would "never, ever" introduce
a goods and services tax ("A GST or anything resembling it is no longer
Coalition policy. Nor will it be policy at any time in the future":
John Howard, May 2, 1995). Like "core and non-core", a miserable
abuse of language that came into vogue after the Coalition came to office
and began retreating from its promises, "never, ever" will forever
blight Howard's name and blacken his word, just as his shameless behaviour
over Iraq and the two Australian "non-persons" incarcerated at
Guantanamo Bay will hound him until he leaves public life. Alan
Ramsay July 16 2003
Howard deserves this
hounding. We all do, if we will not be true to our word. Ramsay is
writing in the context of the furore over the incorrect intelligence used to
get us into Iraq... intelligence
apparently known to be incorrect by a growing number of people (except for
the Prime Minister), rather like issues with the children overboard.
Ramsay writes "As Howard evades and grows more terse as more
Australians get more insistent about why this country went to war for a
lie..." it reinforces a sense in me that perhaps the tide is turning in
this country, and people are coming back to a sense that our behaviour over
refugees and the war is simply immoral. One hopes so. It would
be a sign that we are not so morally bereft as recent history has suggested.
I hope we will stop, and never, ever do it again.... and that we will make
it a real committment, not a non core promise.