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Man of Steel

He didn't get to the point until the end of the piece, but I quite liked Peter Hartcher's editorial about John Howard's never-changing stance on political issues. Like, say, Iraq.

John Howard, when asked about his view on the Vietnam War:
"I supported our involvement at the time and I don't intend to recant that," he said. "I believe that in public life you are accountable for the decisions that you take. I mean, I didn't hold any position of authority then but I supported the reasons for Australia's involvement and nothing has altered my view that, at the time, on the assessments that were made then, I took that view and I took that view properly."

Some people might applaud such a stance. To me he just seems unable to admit that he was wrong.

" ... And if I ever develop reservations, well, I hope I would have the grace to keep them to myself because I think you take a position and you've got to live by that and be judged by it, and that's my position."

I disagree with this, but then there's so much about little Johnny that I disagree with. There's got to be a point personally where you step back and think, listen to and consider other points of view. People judge by how you change and adapt to the current social climate.

The last comment by the author, however, reminds:
"Unless, of course, you consider his many reversals over the years. He was opposed to Medicare before he was in favour of it; he was opposed to the GST before he was in favour of it; he was a sceptic of global warming until he became a convert.

Howard's great commitment to holding his ground is absolute. Until he thinks it's going to cost him power. A man of steel perhaps, but a very malleable alloy."

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