Margaret Thatcher has been vilified time and time again for her comment “There is no such thing as society”, yet it is a statement of the bleeding obvious.

There is no one great mass in politics. There are competing interest groups individuals identify themselves with – but individuals are the building blocks. This campaign, John Howard has forgotten that. If he loses, this will be why.

Jargon and ideology obsessed academics call the PM a neo-liberal. They are talking out of their arses. Instead, as Crikey has been saying for half a decade, he is a populist authoritarian.

Authoritarians don’t like individuals. They like cohorts. John Howard has never given greater freedom to individuals. He has never trusted Australians with their own money. All he has offered is bribes to key demographics.

If he had given us liberty, the freedom to do what we want with the money we earn, he could legitimately claim that Labor technocrats threatened that.

He hasn’t. All he has offered is bribe after bribe – piddling, bureaucratic bribes. Bribes that have ended up stretching our credulity.

Howard has forgotten about individuals. His slogan “Go for growth” only relates to the economy. All year he has been unable to relate that to individual Australians.

If John Howard loses tomorrow, it will be because he is not a liberal.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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