I feel sorry for that tiny, whiny band of bigots who threaten to cancel their subscriptions because Crikey doesn’t just offer views that reinforce their prejudices. They obviously came to the party late. They can’t follow the conversation. They just can’t get it.

Just the way they just can’t get John Howard. No wonder they can’t beat the little rodent. Impotence is distressing, going by the irrational way these people resort to shooting the messenger. We at Crikey care – so much so that here’s something for these saddoes.

John Howard is said to have a rapport with Middle Australia. Yet when has he ever really demonstrated this? When has he said anything at all?

John Howard’s two skills are simply evasion and dog-whistling. His personality is non-existent. This is the man, after all, who claimed he liked Dylan for the music.

His boosters say that he’s a conviction politician. Yeah? When has he ever nailed his colours to the mast? A conscience vote on stem cells is suddenly on the cards. The migration bill is pulled. He melted on the Snowy a few weeks ago. Look back to his time as Malcolm Fraser’s treasurer, when he wouldn’t fight for what we’re now told was his agenda all along.

Howard’s never stood for anything other than his own career. How long until he cans WorkChoices?

Missing this may well be the biggest mistake of Howard’s opponents. They fulminate against conservatism and racism – but can’t put their finger on any truly objectionable thing the PM says. Sure, their sensibilities are offended, but to ordinary voters they seem to be objecting to motherhood statements – hence the four election wins on the trot.

It is when Howard seems tricky – or, worst of all, indifferent, as on petrol prices – that he is really politically vulnerable.

So don’t cancel Crikey. Do something with this instead. Hippies.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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