Thursday, August 2, 2007

Howard's new clothes

What 's your vote worth No.1?

We have been fed the same line for years. Labor needs policies to win government. But to keep government Howard knows that you don't need principles. Remember Federalism. Gough Whitlam should demand an apology from Howard and Abbott now. Johnny used to use the term centralist as a synonym for satan. Now centralist intervention is the new creed of the conservatives.

Can you imagine Tasmanians swallowing that during the 1983 election when Hawke promised to override the State government to stop the Franklin dam? Labor was trounced in Tassie. Guess who was a strong proponent of States rights at the time? Howard was clothed in principles in those days. His new attire is more interesting.

Yesterday Tony Abbott described the States as the seconds or thirds teams. Has Abbott only read the part of the Constitution that mentions the monarchy?

Whether Health should be a Federal responsibility is a matter for debate and constitutional change. Not pork barreling. The States have claimed that Hospitals have been under-funded by the Commonwealth to the tune of $1 billion a year. It is much cheaper and politically more astute to target the funds. At marginal electorates! Even the estimated $45 million a year for the Mersey would only cost $720 million if it were spent in all 16 marginal seats needed to retain government. Discount vote buying!

You have to keep a sense of history and of humour in these times. Gough, it's time again!

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