10 Sep. 2007

You Still Here, John?

To the tune of Dem Bones:
The fear-mongering justifies the war-mongering,
The war-mongering justifies the oil-grabbing,
The oil-grabbing justifies the imperialism
I hear the word of the stock-market
Yeah, that's the sort of crazy shit that goes through my thick head on the way to work every morning. Sad, isn't it? All the more reason why I am looking forward to a long break from blogging... as soon as John Howard is gone.

And so I was earnestly hoping the old bastard might call it a day and step down this week. But no... here he is on the 7:30 report last night, telling Kerry he is going to remain PM till the day he dies.
KERRY O'BRIEN: And are you hoping that Parliament will, do you want Parliament to run its next two weeks?

JOHN HOWARD: Yes, yes, Parliament will be sitting definitely for the next two weeks. You can rest assured of that.
That means he wont even be calling an election for two more weeks, which is getting a bit ridiculous. He says he doesn't want to be panicked into an election, but the fact is that he is too panicked to call one.

This little deer-in-the-headlights moment was also interesting:
KERRY O'BRIEN: In all the circumstances, the uncertainty, the speculation about you and your part in the way you are trailing so badly in the polls, you don't think that there's any wisdom or anything to be gained from your party showing a solid show of support in the party room this week?

JOHN HOWARD: Certainly not. [long pause ... ]

KERRY O'BRIEN: No?

JOHN HOWARD: No. You don't do that. [crickets chirping ... ]

KERRY O'BRIEN: That doesn't prove anything?

JOHN HOWARD: No. [wind whistling ... ]

KERRY O'BRIEN: How do you test the mood of your colleagues?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, you talk to them, you talk to a whole range of people. I do that all the time. It's a constant exercise and…

KERRY O'BRIEN: How do you know the ones who are going to tell you what you need to hear rather than what you might want to hear?

JOHN HOWARD: If you think I'm going to go into that, it's like asking you to disclose your sources as a journalist (laughs).
Heh. That's like asking you who are the bastards in my own cabinet who keep white-anting me, Kerry! Of course I'm not going to give them an opportunity to nail me!

You have to wonder why Howard did the interview, given that it was all about leadership speculation. The only answer is that he felt it was necessary to send a defiant message to his colleagues, lest they turn on him in tomorrow's cabinet meeting.

Finally, get a load of this:
KERRY O'BRIEN: Any other blemishes? What were the other blemishes of this last term?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I mean, we've obviously made, early on, we made mistakes

KERRY O'BRIEN: I mean in this last term, just in the last three years?

JOHN HOWARD: I think maybe we could have been faster with some things.
Got that? Aside from scaring people with WorkChoices, the only mistake we have made is not doing things faster. I mean, for God's sake, Kerry - Australia could have been a 100% Fascist Dictatorship by now and then I wouldn't have to sit here answering your frikkin' questions!