Howard shows how far we’ve drifted from the Menzies era

Today in The Australian
Set against the turmoil that has racked Australian politics since 2007, John Howard’s masterly series on the Menzies era reminds us of what stability looked like.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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13 Responses to Howard shows how far we’ve drifted from the Menzies era

  1. C.L.

    I agree it was outstanding. Howard has shown a real flair as both writer and TV documentarian.
    And yes, his era as prime minister is now almost absurdly golden, stability-wise, compared to the long, tortuous era of fiasco under Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott-Turnbull.

    But let’s not forget Howard’s crimes against both liberty and budgetary rectitude.

  2. Crossie

    But let’s not forget Howard’s crimes against both liberty and budgetary rectitude.

    Let’s also not forget his gift of Malcolm to the party. Had he not urged him to remain in politics we would have been spared the current turmoil.

  3. stackja

    We had Menzies and Howard then we had the MSM created Whitlam and RGR.

  4. Combine Dave

    Let’s also not forget his gift of Malcolm to the party. Had he not urged him to remain in politics we would have been spared the current turmoil.

    Truly Howard’s biggest mistake!

    But if not Turnbull the media (and ALP) would have found some other wet with which to undermine Abbott’s conservative government (Bishop? Hunt?)

  5. stackja

    Combine Dave
    #2174911, posted on October 17, 2016 at 9:15 am
    Let’s also not forget his gift of Malcolm to the party. Had he not urged him to remain in politics we would have been spared the current turmoil.

    Truly Howard’s biggest mistake!

    But if not Turnbull the media (and ALP) would have found some other wet with which to undermine Abbott’s conservative government (Bishop? Hunt?)

    MSM made themselves part of the political circus.

  6. Pat Warnock

    I know the time well – everybody’s goal was to better themselves and their children – looking back I wonder what happened that we ended up with the low calibre of leaders we have today.

  7. Iampeter

    Come on guys – Howard was a disaster. Going by his policies he was a Labor/Green Prime Minister who is responsible for running one of the lrgest taxing and regulatin governments in Australia’s history.

    Him talking about “stability” is hilarious S to how out of touch with actual politics he, like most Conservatives is. The function of government is not “stability” per-se, it is to protect individual rights. Then stability and prosperity follows.

    Howes categorically failed in this regard and should be remembered accordingly as one of the most left-wing Prime Ministers this country ever had and set the scene for mich of the “turmoil” that has followed.

  8. Iampeter

    Ack, sorry for typo’s, rushed that out on mobile 😛

  9. .

    Would have been great if Howard embodied Menzies whilst he was in office.

  10. .

    Howard spending (all levels) for government IIRC

    34% of GDP

    Menzies, 1962-63

    17% of GDP

    Menzies had no “boats”.

  11. stackja

    .
    #2175054, posted on October 17, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Menzies did not need to do much. Australians mostly looked after themselves. Then came Whitlam.

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