Former Prime Minister John Howard has criticized the behaviour of the Essendon football club in forcing the resignation of CEO Andrew Thorburn as “preposterous” and against the “spirit of this country”.
“I thought the treatment of Mr Thorburn was disgraceful, it can’t be excused, it can’t be explained away,” he said.
The former Prime Minister stated in an interview with Sky Australia’s Chris Kenny. Howard went on to say:
“The idea that because of a religious affiliation a person has he is disbarred from holding a non-religious position for which he is apparently eminently qualified is quite preposterous and I don’t think it can be condemned strongly enough.”
Referring to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews appointing himself the arbiter of Catholicism over the matter Howard declared:
“I am appalled that the Premier of Victoria should have attacked this man’s association, I mean he didn’t say these things that the Premier was attacking… And I am appalled at what has happened and I can’t condemn it strongly enough and I think the Australian community feels that way, and I think that those who think otherwise have pulled the wrong rein in a big way.”
While it’s lovely that Howard was able to stir himself from retirement to be able to tell us all how awful the latest round of persecution against Christians is, it would have been rather nicer if he’d done anything to halt the cultural trends that were forcing Australia in this direction at any point between 1996 to 2007 when he was actually in charge of the country.
Did Howard reform the ABC, the largest and most influential propaganda outlet for anti-Christian views in the media? He shuffled the board a couple of times, but when it was clear that the far-left staff were running the organisation and not the board did he break up the behemoth or privatise it or even threaten the overstuffed salaries of the leftist activists who populate it?
Of course not.
He put into place easily circumvented Voluntary Student Unionism legislation for Australia’s universities but did he do anything to dismantle the gigantic indoctrination factories of the far left that our academies have become? Did he threaten funding for the institutions that employed (and still employ) left-wing extremists in positions to brainwash the next generation of culture shapers?
Of course not.
He may have passed sensible (and bipartisan) legislation to declare marriage between a man and a woman but then in 2010 convinced Malcolm Turnbull to stay in politics, the man ultimately responsible for running the campaign within the Liberal Party that forced Prime Minister Tony Abbott to run the gay-marriage plebiscite and for the foundation of Guardian Australia.
And he can’t plead ignorance. Johnny was involved in Student politics at the University of Sydney back in the late 50s and early 60s when openly Stalinist and Trotskyist activists had already taken control of the campus “Labor” clubs. He knew the anti-Australian and anti-Christian nature of the enemy. Johnny himself walked through the rubble after a far-left mob whipped up by union bosses and Greens leaders invaded parliament and ransacked the gift shop.
Some people might argue that Howard did not have the power to radically reform the system. After all, he was tied to the hip for most of his prime ministership to Peter Costello, a man who started off on the left in his student days and who while moving right on economic issues was never a social conservative.
But that excuse no longer flies after 2004. At that election, Howard managed to win a massive victory and gained control of both houses of parliament for what will probably be the last time ever. Howard was probably the last prime minister we’ll have (at least for the foreseeable future) who actually had the mandate and the power to enact radical change.
And what did he do with that mandate and power? Workchoices. He decided the best use of this never-to-be-had-again opportunity was a highly unpopular and easily reversed re-jigging of industrial relations laws.
In 2019, Howard acted as a character witness during the persecution of Cardinal George Pell on obviously fake charges. If only he had done something about the ABC which helped lead that persecution or the universities that trained the journalists, lawyers and detectives who participated in it when he had a chance to do so maybe he wouldn’t have needed to testify at all.
Howard had the ring of power. He had the chance to enact a cultural revolution, to reform Australian society in a better direction, to tear down and reshape the organs of the leftist establishment which decides the direction of our culture.
Instead, he chose Workchoices.
So yeah, Howard did fail Australia. Mainly because he couldn’t look past the economic doctrines of Margaret Thatcher and the HR Nichols society to see what was really happening in the power structures that decide our nation’s culture.
And now all of us, including John Howard, get to live with the results.