Things to Come: Collected Writings

I’ve just been looking over the web-site of the Right Honourable Mr John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, in particular, the speeches in the Media Centre section. One striking thing is the orotundity of some of the titles, which are written in a classic, 18th century style, with an evident eye to the posthumously published collected writings. For example:

Address to the Nation on Committing Australian Forces to War in Iraq
Address to the Quadrant Magazine 50th Anniversary Dinner, Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney
Address at the Launch of the Publication ‘The Conservative’ Parliament House, Canberra

I’m not sure if I’ll be around to peruse the complete collected writings of the Right Honourable Mr John Howard etc, which is a pity, because there are one or two pieces of the Howard oevre I’d particularly like to get a look at; such as the rumoured Electronic Mail Message to the Office of Mr Peter Reith, Defence Minister, Pertaining to the Proper Dissemination of Intelligence on a Certain Maritime Incident.

What juicy items would you like to see in the collected works of Mr John Howard?

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in history, Howardia, levity
33 comments on “Things to Come: Collected Writings
  1. Kim says:

    He’s not “right honourable”, just “honourable”. “Right Honourable” is a title given to those who are sworn in as members of HM’s privy council – and no one has been since the Fraser govt. The last serving parliamentarian to have that designation was Ian Sinclair.

    Ministers (including the PM) are members of the executive council, entitling them to use the prefix “the honourable”.

    Just sayin…

  2. Kim says:

    He’s no Pitt the Third, I will say that!

  3. Kim says:

    I’m looking forward to these future classics:

    Cables I never saw by Dolly Downer

    Focus Group reports which shaped my great leadership by the Dear Leader

    Cliches for every occasion by Brendan Nelson

    A school girl’s primer on manners by Julie Nelson

    Collected Keatingesque question time answers by Peter Costello

  4. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    In the “Simple Art of Politics” John Howard writes his famous concluding paragraphs:

    In everything that can be called politics there is a necesssity of survival at any cost, or crudely put, always there is foremost the covering of your own ass, even if it means blaming your best pals for your own errors. They will understand the necessity. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean. So what if he is slightly tarnished: the mug punters who vote for him will eventually forget as they think about their wallets first and foremost.

    The baby kisser in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete politician – a man who gives the appearance of being a common man by way of deft spind-doctoring. At the same time, although, plainly, he is an out and out liar, almost through instinct, virtually without thought of it, he must give the appearance of an Honest Man and a good enough man for any world.

  5. Amanda says:

    Hockey, J Union Bosses: My Part in Their Downfall

  6. philip travers says:

    The influence of my father,coconuts and garage workshop practice of the late forties early fifties,and the change in marketing operations of fuel at garage as a result of Sir R.Menzies policies re oil companies.As seen by a son of a petrol station proprietor.

  7. Andyc says:

    Sir Henry: is Ratty really so subservient to the USA so much that he uses “ass” to mean “arse”?

    Apart from that, given the muck which is likely to surface on declassification after 30/50/70 years, the concept that Howard might for a minute expect posterity to be at all impressed by his emissions suggests serious detachment from reality on his part, and causes total cognitive dissonance in this poor reader.

  8. QuietStorm says:

    He’s no Pitt the Third, I will say that!

    Oh, and which Pitt would this be? Pitt the Toddler? Pitt the Embryo? Pitt the Glint in the Milkman’s Eye? 😉

  9. Katz says:

    Malcolm Turnbull, Costello’s Prime Ministership: Forty Days before the Wilderness.

  10. Gorgeous G says:

    Tony Abbott’s “How to lose a son in 10 days”

  11. David Rubie says:

    Address to the Nation on Lies, Damn Lies and Obfuscations: Why I know better than anybody else what’s good for you, and why you should suck it up and quit complaining.

  12. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Andy, you’ve got to ask yourself the question: would the American detective novelist Raymond Chandler, the best detective story writer in the world, have used “arse” or “ass”? Well, would he, punk?

  13. Fiasco da Gama says:

    Brendan Nelson: Restoring and Customising Vintage Military Hardware for Fun And Profit
    Bill Heffernan: How To Threaten Friends And Influence People
    Phillip Ruddock: What is to be done?
    Tony Abbott: Apologia Pro Vita Sua
    Mark Latham: Address To The Nation from the top of a table at the back of the bar, shirtless and shickered, sticking it up all youse fucken’ Tory cunts, come on

  14. Youie says:

    He’s no Pitt the Third, I will say that!

    Oh, and which Pitt would this be? Pitt the Toddler? Pitt the Embryo? Pitt the Glint in the Milkman’s Eye?

    I suggest Pitt the Shit…

  15. BeeF says:

    How I consigned Kevin Rudd to the dustheap of history.

  16. John Greenfield says:

    Gummo Trotsky

    I hate to be the one who might give you a coronary, but it is starting to look like Howard will be writing “Why in 2008 I announced to the nation that I would be contesting the next election as leader of Liberal Party. I have decided to beat Menzies’ record. After that I shall pass the baton on to my Deputy, Malcolm Turnbull.”

  17. Sorry to disappoint you Mr G, but round these parts we’re feeling cheerful but not complacent. If it’s any consolation to you, I will now have to slip out to the chemist to get some of those Rectinol thingies.

  18. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    JG, that is like totally meshuggeneh… check out SportsBet

  19. adrian says:

    If his performance on Radio National this morning was any guide, the little man is becoming increasingly desperate. Shrill and hysterical doesn’t quite cover it.

  20. John Greenfield says:

    Gummo Trotsky

    If Rudd goes down, it will be under the weight of his clueless IR thinking.

  21. SJ says:

    JG, you’re mistaken about Tunbull as well. Even if by some miracle Howard retains government, Turnbull won’t be around. His is now one of the most marginal Lib seats.

  22. Zwilnik says:

    Speeches? Just words whirling about the ether.

    Yes, the johnhoward shows much promise. He is already more technologically advanced than the rest of you frail bags of protoplasm, with his enhanced eyes, artificial hearing and focusprompters.

    But he does still not grasp the true essence of wielding power. It is only through the whip, the boot and the blaster that one can drive the masses while feeling truly comfortable and relaxed.

    But he will learn, as will the rest of you foolish Tellurians. Sooner than you think, once I work my way through the fine print of this *untranslatable* Endemol contract. (I swear by Klono’s carbide claws, the entertainment industry lawyers will be first in line for the Lethal Chamber when the Glorious Day of Liberation comes.)

  23. Peter Kemp says:

    What juicy items would you like to see in the collected works of Mr John Howard?

    Indeed–The Indictment preceded by:

    John Winston Howard, you are under arrest for war crimes and crimes against humanity contrary to the Australian Criminal Code, the Geneva Conventions and Customary International Law. You do not have to say anything but anything you do say may be written down and used in a court of law against you…

  24. John Greenfield says:


    Yes, you’re right there. His margin is only about 2%, isn’t it?

  25. John Greenfield says:


    Oh and by the way, my letter from JH is not my prediction at all. I was just stirring GT. 😉

  26. While we are on the subject:
    Anyone from melbourne want a FREE ride to Apollo Bay and Back tomorrow Friday 27 April? Email me tonight – I might reply to you.

    NB: It’s my music on the car sound system.

  27. mick says:

    Dolly Downer -There is no such thing as nepotism in the Howard era.

    Dolly Downer – Amanda, do you like pizza?

    John Anderson – My relationship with the AWB.

  28. John Greenfield says:

    Peter Kemp

    You are barking up the wrong tree. Howard has not done anything illegal.

  29. Peter Kemp says:

    Howard has not done anything illegal.

    A Rotary function attended by Julian Burnside (emminent Melbourne barrister and QC) and Amanda Thirtystone in 2004

    Burnside then latched onto section 268.12 of the Australian Criminal Code which promises up to 17 years jail if:

    1. the perpetrator imprisons one or more persons or otherwise severely deprives one or more persons of physical liberty; and
    2. the perpetrator’s conduct violates article 9, 14 or 15 of the Covenant; and
    3. the perpetrator’s conduct is committed intentionally or knowingly as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

    (The Covenant referred to is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the ICCPR.)

    The elements of these offences are relatively simple:

    * The perpetrator imprisons one or more persons;
    * That conduct violates Article 9 of the ICCPR;
    * The conduct is committed knowingly as part of a systematic attack directed against a civilian population.

    Burnside argued that Australia’s system of mandatory, indefinite detention satisfies each of the elements of that crime and that The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that the system violates Article 9 of the ICCPR.

    With Vanstone listening intently just metres away, Burnside then said the following:

    “If moral arguments have no purchase, it remains the fact that our government is engaged in a continuing crime against humanity when assessed against its own legislative standards. I accuse Mr Howard and Mr Ruddock of that crime.”

    “I accuse Senator Vanstone of that crime. I expect that they will ignore this accusation, since the only person who can bring charges is the Attorney General of the Commonwealth.”

    There is a whole lot more. I guess many of Ratty’s supporters will also be saying “he’s done nothing illegal” after indictment. Pinochet’s supporters probably said the same, but I guess it’s a predictable defensive/verbal talisman reaction of those who refuse to see concentration camps under their noses.

  30. BeeF says:

    Julian Burnside is a twit of the highest order.

  31. Peter Kemp says:


    Julian Burnside is a twit of the highest order.

    Is that because his legal arguments are wrong or that you don’t agree with him for political reasons such as “I love Ratty”?

    If Burnside’s arguments are wrong the onus is on you to prove otherwise, Sherlock.

  32. Peter Kemp says:

    (typo–delete “otherwise”, substitute “it”–it’s Friday night chateaux cardboard again)

Comments are closed.

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: