09 March 2009

Say no to cheap punk bandwagon jumpers

The Telegraph's current headline (as I write) is a lame-as-hell interview with ex-Australian PM John Howard.

For those who don't remember Howard (and there will most likely be many of you), he's a nasty little wanker of a politician who stayed in power in Australia for 11 years by riding out a boom driven by the Chinese demand for Australia's raw materials exports whilst pandering to the worst xenophobic instincts of the Australian voters and imposing fascist industrial relations laws. When he was swept away by Kevin Rudd's Labor party in 2007 it was the best electoral night in years (until the recent US election).

Suddenly he's trying to sound like someone with a clue on economic policy, but sadly he doesn't seem to have even the most basic grasp of economics. "It's dangerous to go too far into debt" - certainly, but the alternative of cutting back spending would get us into Herbert Hoover 1930s territory, and that's even worse.

His main policy suggestion in response to the slump is pure Reagan/Thatcherism: let's deregulate the labour market even more - making it even easier for big business to exploit workers than it already is. But John: large chunks of the industrialised world have already been following these right-wing policies for 25 years at least. And it's led to economic disaster.

What's perhaps saddest about this is that a broadsheet national newspaper thought this was a strong enough story to lead on. What next? Robert Mugabe on economic policy? Or maybe an interview with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, just re-elected with 100% of the vote. They have about as much to say about the current economic situation that's useful as John Howard does. And that's the sad truth.

1 comment:

Van Patten said...

Would you reject an interview with Bill Clinton on the same grounds?

Like your suggestion in the last paragraph BTW? Why on Earth not? The Guardian had an interview with Hitler as one of its twenty most important interviews of the 20th century. Kim Jr. in particular appears to provide much of the model for Blair's style, and that of London's former mayor. The way things are going, these two countries increasingly appear to provide the blueprint for Labour's long-term economic vision - our civil liberties, whilst not threatened to the same degree, are being slowly undermined. Perhaps it's worth seeing the future before it arrives.....