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The Howard Years

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was booted out in the 2007 elections. He had been Prime Minister for 11 years and in that time he had taken the country to war and divided the country on issues like Aboriginal reconciliation and workplace reforms. The Howard Years, a four part documentary originally screened on the ABC, is now online and available to view for free and takes a detailed look at the legacy of his Prime Ministership. The four part series explores in greater detail than ever before Howard's fractured relationship with his deputy and heir apparent, Peter Costello, and also contains some startling revelations from Howard Government ministers that many candidly admit they would never have told you while they were still in Government.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 8, 2008 - 32 comments

Tenth Anniversary of the Patrick Stevedores Dispute

Australian dock workers will stop work for a minute today to remember the Patrick stevedores dispute, an industrial dispute that involved the stevedoring corporation Patricks, the Howard government and the Maritime Union of Australia. A landmark event in Australian political and legal history, the dispute saw dock workers stand "in the first line against the Howard government and the Patrick corporation that was seeking to remove their legal rights, their right to go to work [and] the right to collective bargaining." In its wake, the event generated debate about the role of unions in Australia, an alleged conspiracy between Patricks and the former Howard Government and even spawned a controversial TV mini-series, Bastard Boys. For more history and analysis of the dispute, you can read about it from the view of the MUA or this account but for the definitive analysis see here.
posted by Effigy2000 on Apr 6, 2008 - 12 comments

Australian Federal Election 2007 on November 24

And we're off! Prime Minister John Howard has set the date for the Australian Federal election as November 24th, meaning we're up for a long six-week campaign. With Kevin Rudd leading the PM by between 16 to 18 points (depending on who you read) in recent opinion polls, this election seems the most likely to provide a change of Government since Howard was first elected 11 years ago. Antony Green's usual excellent election guide is up and running here, along with an excellent calculator which shows which seats are up for grabs dependent on a 2 party preferred swing. You might also want to check out the Vote-O-Matic, a fun but entirely disposable quiz which aims to help you decide who you'll vote for. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 13, 2007 - 603 comments

Poo Bum Dicky Wee Wee!

People vandalising Wikipedia is hardly a new thing but now even the office of the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is getting into the act. Website Wiki-Scanner (previously) has traced several edits to Wikipedia articles by the Prime Ministers staff, according to Australian newspaper The Courier Mail. And they aren't confined solely to the Wikipedia entry on the PM himself; there was even an act of vandalism on a martial-arts related entry, in which one of Howard's ministerial staffers wrote, “Poo bum dicky wee wee” on the page. Not good news on the eve of a federal election that the PM is largely expected to lose. Meanwhile, 'new media' is being put to good use at Opposition leader Kevin Rudd's website, Kevin07, where a recent blog entry compiles Youtube's 'best' political videos. Hours of fun for the whole family!
posted by Effigy2000 on Aug 23, 2007 - 17 comments

Double edged sword

Australian Prime Minister John Howard dipped his toe in the waters of new media this week by releasing his climate change policy via youtube, however which is the real clip? Unfortunately Labor was ready with their own message. Rumours abound (via crikey- login req’d) that the PM’s staffers are censoring comments, or are they?
posted by mattoxic on Jul 18, 2007 - 23 comments

John Howard in 'Cabinet: The Movie.'

Cabinet: The Movie. Starring Australian PM John Howard and a bunch of chickens. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Jul 18, 2007 - 13 comments

Evil Little Bastard Filter

How Could He? After the (who else but) Murdoch owned Sydney telegraph splashed the headline “How Could She” in response to the mother’s abandonment of her new born baby outside a hospital in depressed outer Melbourne suburb of Dandenong, Australia’s Prime Minister Howard leaped to the paper's defence saying that’s how most Australian’s would feel- Is it really how most of us would feel? Or is it just “dog whistle politics” from this past master, or a bad idea to criticise the ‘Tele’ in an election year?
posted by mattoxic on May 18, 2007 - 36 comments

McLeod's Pollsters

As the countdown to the Australian federal election continues ever onward, the key issue looks set to be industrial relations. The incumbent Howard Government's WorkChoices laws (now re-branded due to their increasing unpopularity) have seen the poll figures for challenger Kevin Rudd go up and up and up. But even as the Government prepares to unleash a major advertisement spree in an attempt to sell the alleged benefits of Work Choices, the new laws have come under attack from the most unlikely of places; popular prime time TV soap McLeod's Daughters, which last night aired this thinly veiled assault (youtube) on the central element of WorkChoices, AWAs.
posted by Effigy2000 on May 17, 2007 - 36 comments

Imperator Howard's Tenth Year.

Today marks Australian Prime Minister John Howard's tenth year in the top job. The event has sparked the usual calls of when, if ever, he will step down to make way for his annointed successor, Peter Costello, and has also opened the flood gates on a range of editorial criticisms and praise from the usual suspects. But even with a new poll released today claiming that he is the most popular PM in Australia's modern political history, will the continuing AWB scandal (previously discussed in one of my own FPP posts here) and an unhappy Coalition partner finally end his seemingly endless run of political good fortune?
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 1, 2006 - 28 comments

The Bomber Gets Bombed.

While the Democrats seem a spent force in the United States, fighting to hold its political relevance in a political system dominated by the Right, here in Australia, our own Centre Left party is facing a similar battle. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is being attacked not by Prime Minister John Howard but by one of their own, former leader Mark Latham. In his new book The Latham Diaries, released today, Latham ferociously attacks the party that paid his way through University and gave him his first job. His major claim is that current leader of the ALP, Kim Beazley, waged a six year smear campaign against him and that this disloyalty, as well as an antagnostic press, resulted in the devestating defeat of the ALP at the 1996 general election.

To say that this book, which seems to be based on one man's vitriol rather than solid, well researched facts, has created a storm in a teacup would be to understate the media circus that has erupted since News Limited, Rupert Murdoch's publishing empire, began to publish exerpts from the book a week before it's launch. In this media circus, we have seen court battles, internal media-institution bickering, and article after article after article. Meanwhile, the ALP has closed ranks and rallied around it's embattled leader, though some Labor MPs have suggested that Latham's claims may hold more water than many would give him credit for. Others, such as Beazley's own daughters, have simply dismissed the claims as "bitter and hateful rantings" at their webblog.

But what is the real effect of the Diaries? What was Latham's intent in releasing them? Was it merely to make money? Are they simply the ramblings of a bitter loser? Or in his own, twisted (and probably ill-concieved) way, was he aiming to achieve the change of culture in the ALP he believes needs to occur? And, perhaps sweetest of all things to ponder over, has Latham used the media he hated so much to acheive all of this?
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 20, 2005 - 17 comments

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