Monday, September 27, 2004

John Howard:Spending like a drunken sailor in his attempt to bribe the Australian Electorate

With less than two weeks to go before the Australian Election Howard is making economists (and all rational beings) nervous:

Drunken spender giveth and giveth ... but not with a glad heart

By Mike Seccombe
September 27, 2004
Sydney Morning Herald

People have accused the Howard Government of spending like drunken sailors as they try to win this election. It's an inapt comparison, for two reasons.

First, no sailor, no matter how intoxicated, has ever spent like John Howard did yesterday.

Howard spoke for an hour and promised some $6 billion. That's $100 million a minute.

Second, a drunken sailor usually appears at least to have enjoyed his profligacy. Howard, in contrast, spent most of his speech looking tense, grim and at times almost manic.

He held the sides of the lectern in a vice grip for the most part, but even so his right arm, the Dr Strangelove one which indicates when he's agitated, broke loose on a few occasions and waved about threateningly.

We can only speculate about the reasons. Maybe it's just that the election is much tighter than the polls indicate. Maybe he's feeling the pressure of his decision to stay on in the leadership, knowing that even if he beats Mark Latham, Peter Costello is sure now to come after him.

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