12 Nov. 2006

Hello and welcome to my new blog, Howard Out.

Some of you may know me from Bush Out, where I have been blogging since 2003. For those who don't know me, I am a nondescript 41-year-old father of three, living on the Gold Coast in Queensland. I have no political connections or agendas.

Having now helped to bring Bush to his political knees, I will still be keeping my old blog alive, at least until it's time to deliver the ultimate coup de grace. But given the Democrats' new hold on power, and the opportunities now available to them, I don't think that bloggers will be (or need to be) at the fore-front of the push for change over the next few months. So I am expecting that Washington will no longer be the main focus of my attention, at least for a time. I don't expect things in the USA to change overnight, mind you: the people there have a long, hard battle ahead of them.

But with my own country, Australia, facing important national elections in 2007, and with our PM John Howard still unaccountably popular, I wanted to start a new blog, focussing more closely on Australia's own media, politics and people. Of course, it is still the same battle of ordinary folk against a war-loving, fear-mongering, Big-Business-backed elite regime. It just has a different flavour, different characters, and different dynamics.

My primary goal is to ensure that John Howard cannot win re-election. My secondary goal is to hold him, and others who facilitated Australia's involvement in the Iraq War, accountable for past lies and misdeeds. Beyond that, I want to get engaged in the national debate about who we are and where we are going, and try to push that in a more positive direction.

It seems to me that as a nation, in terms of self-identity, self-belief and self-respect, we are pretty well lost right now. We need to pull back the curtains on the increasingly global politics-business nexus, and we need to inject a huge dose of idealism into the "story" that controls our national direction. As a melting pot of cultures, Australia has an incredible opportunity to stake out a key place in the globalization debate, the environmental challenge and other big issues. As the Yanks say, it's time to step up to the plate.

As this blog develops, I hope to educate myself a bit more about how politics and business work in the land of sweeping plains. I'm sure I'll make a few enemies, and hopefully a few new friends, along the way. Comments are always very welcome, but I will be implementing a "use 'em or lose 'em" policy. I tend to be a bit of a newshound, trying to fit the latest stories into a broader context. It's not always the best format for comments, which disappear down the page pretty quickly. But don't let that hold you back. And please do email me (gandhi) any time (at bmail dot com dot au) with any other thoughts, comments and suggestions.

So welcome aboard: please bookmark the Howard Out URL and stop by regularly for the latest news and views.