Aug 132007

Okay, a different Costello, but same family just the same.

A nice little piece of ‘gotcha’ from Tim Costello, and more confirmatory evidence, if such a thing was really warranted, that John Winston Howard never, ever says what he means. Only what he thinks the listener wants to believe he’s saying. Take the prime example of the questions from Kevin Rudd to the PM on a daily basis of late, regarding the working of the 2004 election campaign ad which still appears on the Liberal Party website. John Howard has never mouthed the words proclaimed in that advertisement. Nor has he mouthed anything even remotely similar. Why? Because he’s far too clever to be caught out actually making promises he knows damn well he can’t influence, let alone keep. Does that mean though, that the context of the last election campaign, and this current one by inference because the themes remain the same, were and are conducted on a false premise? Is the Liberal-National coalition merely mouthing fright words because they know voters are gullible, easily startled?
I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the release of polling results today which showed that 80% of voters believed interest rates would be the same as they are right now or higher if politics were different today. Equally, the same sentiment applies to the figures claiming only 7% of those polled believed rates would be lower under Labor. Why am I, a devout Labor voter, pleased with these results? Because it’s clear that those polled are pragmatic rationalists. Governments and political ideologies don’t impact either favourably or unfavourably on how an economy fluctuates over time. The impactors are many and varied, coming mainly from external sources, trade imbalances, currency fluctuations, foreign investment and so forth. What many people seem to lose sight of is that our economy today is only as strong as it is – after 15 years of uninterrupted growth – because of the fiscal reforms enacted by the Hawke-Keating Labor governments. The only real reform Howard’s mob have enacted is the GST and as to whether that red herring has benefited Australians to any great degree is highly debateable. If political ideologies really did effect economic stability then the current coalition crew would most definitely not had the dream run they’ve had to date. Clearly, if Labor can’t run an economy, they’d not have taken over on the rising of a wave.
Yes, indeedy, tricky is John Winston Howard, but judging by the Age/Nielsen poll figures, not nearly tricky enough.