The year of 2006 will possibly go down as the worst yet for Australian Prime Minister John Howard, as he comes under inceasing pressure, both from within his party and from media pundits, to review and adjust many of his long-held beliefs.After Howard promised that he would keep interest rates low, (and got elected in 2004 on that basis) there have been several interest rate rises – three so far this year!
After promising to make Australia a safer place in which to live, the OECD report came out showing
Australia to be number one in crime victimisation. (reference: Sydney Morning Herald, March 29, 2006 “Australians top the world when it comes to crime”.)
After wasting more than one BILLION dollars on his failed gun control agenda, the mainstay of which was universal firearms registration, Howard was forced to stand at the side of the newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as he announced that the Canadian firearms registration system, set up in 1995, would be disbanded, since it was found to be of no help in stopping or solving crimes! (ref: www.pm.gov.au/news/interviews/interview1944.html) (Dear Reader, would you like to ask Howard why he doesn’t also disband Australia’s firearm registration?)
Then, a report published in The British Journal of Criminology, proved that Howard’s gun bans, gun buy backs and gun laws, had had no influence on murder or suicide! (ref: www.bjc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/az1084v1)
By the way, Condoleesa Rice, US Secretary of State, apparently gave Howard a real tongue-lashing over his ideas on Gun Control! In US terms, “Gun Control” means the laws introduced in the South to keep Blacks from having guns to defend themselves and their families from attacks by the Ku Klux Klan! Seems Condi got stuck into Howard over cocktails, explaining how her father taught her to shoot at an early age and how people should have the right to firearms for self-defence. Word has it that Condi was baffled as to why Howard would crush the guns of people who had never committed any crime.(more from Condi Rice: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20050511-1803-rice-guns.html)
Next, a back-flip over climate change/global warming, with Howard quick to embrace nuclear power and calling on experts to advise him on a more palatable post-Kyoto accord. Perhaps the views of Rupert Murdoch had a great influence on Howard, as always!
Now, the American voters have turned against Howard’s hero, George W. Bush, in the mid-term elections.The Democrats (comparable to Australia’s Labor party) have taken control the House of Reps and the Senate. (Gentle Reader, please suggest how Howard will wriggle out of this one?)