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Readers Write: You tell us your views and your comments

By Readers Write - posted Tuesday, 16 November 2004

After last month’s election we asked readers: With effective control of the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time in a generation, the Federal Government has an opportunity to make significant and far reaching changes. If you were John Howard what would you do?

Some readers have given the matter some serious thought, and others some not-so-serious thought. 

Helena Stace would simply, “Be transparent and a world leader in the humane and compassionate management of refugees”.


Geoff Muirden of the Australian Civil Liberties Union would, “Abolish the abominable racial and religious vilification laws, which have been opposed by most civil libertarians as an unwarranted restriction on freedom of discussion and the mechanism for enforcing political correctness in a draconian way …”

He goes on to explain why: “The two faced nature of the application of these laws, often being used selectively against Christians and failing to “correct” attacks on the white race, is a good reason in itself for abolishing these iniquitous laws as soon as possible. They should never have been created in the first place.”

Bob Downey has worked out a comprehensive ten-point plan that starts by scrapping all election promises, all free trade agreements and membership of the Coalition of the Willing along with all overseas operations. He would review all treaties and repeal where necessary.

Getting down to business, Bob would have a survey of essential resources “especially water conservation and supply, natural gas as an alternative to electricity generation by fossil fuels, and oil supplies”, a Royal Commission on the intelligence leading up to the Bali bombing, a Bill of Rights and a Republic. 

Further down the track, he’d consider a “ six month National Renewal programme which would utilise the strength of all 20-year-old Australians in national programmes to do with natural regeneration and defence of the country”.

(Then he’d have lunch…)


Rosemary de Meyrick has been thinking about those international treaties too.

“If I were John Howard I would … review all the International Treaties we have hooked ourselves up to over the years. They are often totalitarian in nature, and very often subvert our sovereignty, and take precedence over State laws … We are still legally bound by those treaties, and if Labor gets in again as one day it surely will, back we go to the socialist song again.”

Like Bob, reader Michele Stephens, cleverly disguised as John Howard, made up a ten point plan (probably after dinner):

  1. Leave Kirribilli House and move into The Lodge 8 1/2 years late.
  2. Send Senator Amanda Vanstone to the health farm on Ashmore Reef.
  3. Replace Alexander Downer with someone competent.
  4. Give Phillip Ruddock three years' supply of Happy Pills.
  5. Make an appointment for Ian McFarlane with Neville Wran's throat specialist.
  6. Report Tony Abbott to the Criminal Justice Commission and ICAC.
  7. Enrol Helen Coonan at the Film, Television & Radio School of
  8. Buy Mark Vaile a dairy farm and tell him not to come back until he
    has made a profit.
  9. Sign Peter Costello on as a volunteer for St Vincent de Paul so he
    knows how the other half lives.
  10. Make Brendan Nelson re-sit the HSC at Walgett High School.


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Article edited by Margaret-Ann Williams.
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