July 06, 2006 | Tom

Comparing Menzies and Howard, Canberra, 6 July

The Australian Historical Association is holding its 2006 Conference at the Australian National University on July 3-7
The program includes items such as “Pool Politics: the emergence of a distinctive swimming pool culture in suburban Sydney” and “The early Chinese Restaurant and ‘White’ Australia”.
One item of note is the session 11 am to 12:30 pm, Thursday “Comparing Menzies and Howard”, with:
MACKERRAS: Comparison of the Menzies and Howard Electoral Strategies
CAIN: Differing uses of ASIO Comparing in the Menzies and Howard Years
BROINOWSKI: Foreign Policies in the Menzies and Howard Years
HARRIS: The Differing Economic Policies of Menzies and Howard Government
I thought I would take my wireless modem along and do a “live” report of the session on OnLineOpinion. Anyone with a question they would like asked at the forum can send it to me and I will try to report the answer back.
Here is some background about the first speaker:
* Associate Professor Malcolm Mackerras “…is well known for his interest in Australian elections, and has written and contributed extensively to radio and television on most federal and state elections. …”
Some papers by and about him are on Google.
ps: I have done a live Internet report from a hot air balloon with a Senator over parliament house, so how much harder can this be? 😉

Posted by Tom at 10:03 am | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Menzies was a politician but he seemed a far more honest, that is he was not a congenital liar as howard seems to be, person. He also appeared decent and trustworthy howard has none of those qualities at all.

    Comment by R. Patterson — July 10, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  2. Menzies was indeed Australia’s greatest Prime-Minister. What Menzies presided over was a highly useful post-war expansion where the lessons of human depravity discovered from World War II and national lessons historically derived from collective knowledge back to the depression of the 1890s as well as the internationally induced 1930s depression were applied. But Menzies’ talent was supported by good men such as Hasluck, and the three Liberal Billies : Snedden, McMahon and Wentworth and from the Labor side, Arthur Caldwell and the likes of Bill Hayden, so the Menzies era was not just the work of one man. Back then parliament was a truly erudite but relatively fun place beacause most politicians across the party divide supported what may be denominated the Australian version of the European-American-Scots Enlightenment.
    However, Australia’s capability as a leading world nation based on general public contentment and full employment – a true commonwealth was fundamentally and permanently damaged by the Whitlam government to the concern of older Labor men. When Malcom Fraser announced that ‘life was not meant to be easy’ he was really indicating that the future direction of public policy in Australia was turning down the path of the misanthropic in that state socialism was coming to an end.
    Vis-a-vis Fraser, Hawke and Keating, Australia is now in a historically stable Howardine era and John Howard is doing very well in terms of longevity.
    But in terms of government having a misanthropic relation to its constituency – realpolitik, it seems that the system appears very stable convenienced by the ALP in power at the state level and the Coalition in power at the Commonwealth level.
    The golden aspect to the Howardine era will last until free trade environment diminishes middle class prosperity to the extent that public soup kitchens become commonplace. Until then, most Australians will still be silly enough to believe that government is other than it really can be in the free trade environment, misanthropic and servile only to the wealthy – the chief manipulators of free trade.

    Comment by David A. White — July 10, 2006 @ 10:44 pm

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