Sunday, September 17, 2006

' A Word From Deakin' - get rid of "this ill-bred urchin"

Writing in The Monthly, Mungo MacCallum imagines a missive from the grave from one Mr Alfred Deakin on the subject of one Mr John Winston Howard. I recommend a full reading but here is an excerpt:

"A fair balance between Capital and Labour is the very foundation of a civilised society; it is not simply a law, but a covenant. And by breaching it, Mr Howard has sadly forfeited whatever claims he might have had to being a statesman, or a Liberal.

There are, of course, many other signs that he has crossed the Rubicon to confirm Lord Acton's dictum that power corrupts. His abuse of patriotism, that last refuge of a scoundrel; the resort to military jingo in the manner of that great political tergiversator, Mr Willian Hughes; the corruption of the Civil Service through patronage and intimidation; the emasculation of the Senate, which, if no longer a protector of states' rights, remains the best hope of restraint upon a Government rampant in its hubris; and so the melancholy list goes on.

I have mentioned a similarity between Mr Howard and my old adversary, Mr Hughes; increasingly they resemble each other in their love of demagoguery, their disregard for veracity and their flexibility when it comes to any kind of principle - let alone that of Liberalism. So let me conclude by paraphrasing an anethema I conferred long ago on my now-deceased rival: the sooner this ill-bred urchin is dragged kicking and screaming from the tart shop, the better."


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