December 13, 2005
Time to go, John Howard
The current second top search on Technorati right now is for Cronulla, the beachside suburb where the escalating racial tensions and violence first broke out two days ago. Earlier today it was the top search subject. This reflects the significant impact of and interest in this story in the blog world.
Meanwhile, Google News, which tracks stories in mainstream online media, has this as the second top story in the world, with over 900 stories in most of the major world newspapers and organisations. Bigger than the explosions in London, the political assassination in Lebanon.
And what does our Prime Minister have to say after three days of consideration, and ensuing violence and tension, the worst we have seen here for decades?
"He said the riots would have no long-term effect on Australia's international reputation."
"I would earnestly encourage and ask people to not take any notice of that sort of nonsense"
That's it? "Ignore it and it will go away!" Characterise it as "domestic dischord", and stick your head in the sand. Fine fine leadership. Especially as it now appears to be spreading to other cities in Australia.
Howard has never been a leader. He is a craven self serving politician, willing to sacrifice the best in our country for his personal ambitions, to lie repeatedly, take Australia to an illegal war, increasing the risk to all of us, here and abroad, and pander to the baser instincts in our society.
None of which esteems him for the role of leader of this country.
But the denial in the face of the obvious reality that a decade of winking at and pandering to xenophobia in this county has lead to ugly ugly violence, on all sides, is too much. Howard must go - both for the decade long lead up to this result, and to his complete lack of responsibility now it is occurring - given he's again off overseas while parts of the biggest city in the country burn, and racist violence spreads to other parts of the country.
Oh, and if you think I am a Howard hater, you are right - I hate what his "leadership" has done to this country. What a wasted decade.
Sadly, we have no alternate leadership, no vision waiting to step in and replace this corrupted, tired old lot. That's a genuine national tragedy.
And, if you think I am overreacting, read this eye witness account, then try and spin this as domestic dischord, a law and order problem, or some other nice way of avoiding the term "racist mob".