On 2 March 1996, the last truly conservative Federal government Australia has seen – John Howard’s Liberal-National Coalition – won office from opposition, beginning nearly 12 years of stable, predictable, mature, responsible and principled government.
In a landslide, Howard swept away a flailing Keating Government – mired in chronic debt and deficits, rigid labour markets, high unemployment, and political correctness spiralling out of control.
Particularly in its early years, the Howard government fixed the inherited, chronic budget debt and deficits, reformed our workplaces, wharves and tax system, eased the cost of living for the “Howard battlers”, sold surplus assets, unapologetically kept our borders secure, abolished ATSIC, denounced the nascent false claims of genocide, stemmed the tide of political correctness and restored pride in our culture, society and nation.
The Howard government bequeathed the Rudd Labor government – who tried initially to imitate him as a fiscal conservative and “Howard-Lite” – with strong surpluses, no debt, Future Fund money in the bank, record low unemployment (near 4%) and over a decade of strong real growth in output, incomes and wages.
Celebrate this anniversary of John Howard’s first election victory – followed by his almost 12 years of stable, conservative, common-sense government – by:
- watching this video of the mid-1990s resurrection of “Lazarus with a triple by-pass”
- viewing one of Howard’s best-known speeches, made during the 2001 Tampa election campaign on national security and sovereignty, where he stood up for Australia and thundered, “… but we will decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come”
- recalling some of the tragic border and boat people chaos that returned after Howard’s Tampa-Pacific solution was dismantled by a chaotic Rudd Labor government in mid-2008
- checking out some of Howard’s “notable quotables”
- reading further about Howard, his life and government
- thinking about whether you might owe a mate some money and pay him back, saying ‘it’s the conservative thing to do’
- cleaning up some clutter in your home or office you’ve been putting off and enjoy the benefits of getting on with something, like the Howard government did with debt, that was considered to be in the ‘too hard’ basket
- putting on your most Howard-esque tracksuit on your brisk morning or evening walk
- apprising yourself of the Conservative Party’s common-sense principles and policies, and
- sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends, conservatives, classical liberals, responsible and patriotic Aussies and those knowing (or beginning to suspect) that there was and still is … a better way!
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