JOHN BROWN. How Quickly They Forget – But I Don’t.

Some years back, one of my proudest acts as a Minister for Sport was that I introduced about 10 pieces of legislation into the Parliament to the benefit of sport which were the first pieces of legislation including the word sport introduced since Federation. One of the better pieces of this legislation was a taxation ruling which allows particular classes of people who achieve fluctuating incomes an ability to spread their income over five years. This ruling particularly benefited cricketers who over their career have good years and bad years

Recently David Warner and two other Australian cricketers were found guilty of ball tampering. Warner and Steve Smith were forbidden to play cricket of any kind for 12 months. This meant of course 12 months without an income. Fortunately, given the legislation which I introduced, they could balance that nil income year over 5 year’s earnings. This of course was a great advantage to them in particular.

When I introduced that legislation back in the mid 80’s, John Howard was the Leader of the Opposition. As leader, he opposed every piece of legislation on sport I introduced. I spent many days courting the ‘Democrats’ in the Senate for their support to have these legislative acts approved. The act which gave professional sports men and women and others with fluctuating incomes the five year spread of their tax liabilities was opposed by the opposition. Howard in particular was a vociferous critic of this particular concession. As with all the other pieces of sport legislation which he opposed, her referred to them as “cost to the revenue”. Imagine my surprise when I saw Howard, the alleged ‘cricket tragic’ on a visit to Lords for the recent ashes test in a warm embrace from David Warner. I give these modern cricketers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Howard and his self-assumed role as a cricket tragic. His Parliamentary record is a dismal statement of his absolute ignorance of sport and a reluctance to allow any legislative support for sport generally.

John Howard gained great support in the community for his action on the buyout of guns. I recognize that achievement. On every other aspect of his Parliamentary career, I can find nothing but negatives. He us the world’s leading hypocrite.

Isn’t this the man who led Australia on a lie about ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction into the war in Iraq? This war not only cost Australian lives but the infamy of Australia’s involvement lingers on in the eyes of the world. His fellow conspirators (the willing of the three) Tony Blair and George W Bush have subsequently apologized for their action and have recognized that their part in this horrid folly was not only a mistake but a mortal sin. Howard however refuses to apologize and still justifies his dishonest actions.

Isn’t Howard the person who perpetuated that disgraceful lie about children overboard and his part in the world wide embarrassment we suffered as a nation over the Tampa dispute?

Isn’t Howard the man who refuses to recognize the truth of the forgotten generation? Refuse to be part of the sorry march when most of his colleagues joined the public celebration?

Isn’t Howard one of the gang of three with Downer and Vaile, his senior Ministers who perpetuated the scandal of the wheat board selling Australian wheat through a sham company in Egypt to Saddam Hussein when Australian soldiers were dying in Iraq?

Isn’t John Howard the man who decided before the International Olympic Committee denied him the opportunity in the absence of the Queen that he personally would open the Sydney Olympic Games.

Isn’t John Howard the man who was promoted to be the President of the International Cricket Board?

Is it also not a fact that all the non-white members of the British Commonwealth cricket countries decided “no siree”.

There are many more examples I can quote of this man’s hypocrisy and carelessness for the truth. I think however the two things that annoy me most are his gall in wanting to be a sports lover when his record of lack of support in the parliament is abysmal. I only hope that these cricketers who greeted him so warmly will one day learn of his total lack of credibility in this area was manifest well before these modern day cricketers knew of his failure. At least humorously they have seen the efforts of the cricket tragic on television giving the world those wonderful examples of his cricketing skill.

John Brown was a minister in the Hawke Government

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6 Responses to JOHN BROWN. How Quickly They Forget – But I Don’t.

  1. Charles Lowe says:

    How many others, John Brown, can you conscript to reflect your message?

    We all need so very many.

  2. Andrew Taylor-Harris says:

    Barry Jones gave the Dean’s Lecture on the 19 March 2019 at the University of Melbourne, which was titled ‘Christchurch, Racism and the Existential Crisis for Democracy: How will Australia’s most highly qualified cohort respond?’

    Barry referenced, in context of the recent Christchurch attacks, a fact maybe Australians are unaware of.

    ‘Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian far-right terrorist, who massacred 70 people in July 2011, wrote a 1500 page manifesto in which he singled out five Australian conservatives for praise: John Howard, Peter Costello, Cardinal George Pell, historian Keith Windschuttle and former Liberal MP, later talk-show host, Ross Cameron.’

    The initial shock of this revelation led to a question.

    Is this the Australia we want?

  3. Andrew Fraser says:

    You’re on the money, John Brown. Howard was a dab hand at positioning himself as a sort of kindly “Uncle John”, whereas the reality was that he was a scheming nasty hypocrite who was a lot more skilled at turning people against each other than generally realised. This high point of this was, of course, the Republic referendum, where Howard consciously set up a process designed to fail and pitting Republicans against Republicans. Over 20 years later, we’re still constitutionally part of the British empire.

  4. Steve Jordan says:

    Is not the absolute nastiness in the prosecution of Agent K and his lawyer, Bernard Colleary, the legacy of the mean and petty spirit of the Howard years?

    Good to hear from John Brown, too, after all these years!

  5. John Doyle says:

    I didn’t know of Howard’s actions re sport. But his stewardship of the nation was very poor. The LNP often says they are good economic managers. The truth is different. While was not responsible for the arrival of neo-liberal ideology into politics we can thank[not] the Hawke Keating government, for the loss of the mandate to observe full employment that was active from 1948 through to 1974, plus other rules. It is no wonder that the Libs were happy to have their work already on board and that Howard considered Hawke a great liberal PM.
    Howard’s ignorance of Economics was echoed throughout the parliament. His and Costello’s budgets in surplus greatly damaged the national economy as to prevent a recession they forced up the price of housing to where it is today, a serious blow to democracy, and now seen as more like a preditory capitalist economy, whereas Post WW2 it was a social democracy for 30 years or so. No thanks to either party.

  6. Jim KABLE says:

    I’ve just been re-reading a SMH report from June 13, 2006 when John Howard was responding to revelations of a few days earlier in the SMH of his father and grand-father’s involvement in a postwar New Guinea plantation scam. “The Herald article said the two men had been involved in arrangements to buy plantations using dummy names, provoking a government inquiry. Mr Howards said yesterday: “Everything I knew of them [father and grandfather] indicated that they were decent, honest, hardworking, patriotic Australians who were very committed to their country.”

    His ability to bask in his own hypocrisy as if no one understands the things he is on record for is simply astounding. “Everything I knew of them indicated blah! Blah! Blah!” That is legalistic carefulness at its best… Is that everything he knew of them when he 12 years old – or once he’d done his legal studies and had had time to reflect a little on the family finances…?

    Every time he turns up at a sporting event he reminds of nothing so much as the parent who urges the child into a sporting association towards success – never having achieved such him or herself. Had he been a player himself…that would be quite other.

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