John Howard’s whinging shows his lack of character
Posted on July 4th, 2010

Ajit Randeniya

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard has not stopped whingeing since he got back from Singapore after the rejection of his nomination last week for the position of deputy president of the International Cricket Council (ICC). He received a modest degree of support from the Australian media and the public, varying in quality from mock outrage to hollow sounding righteous indignation.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sixty four per cent answered no to The Age newspaper’s online poll question: Do you think John Howard would make a good president of the International Cricket Council? So did ABC radio listeners .

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Most news reports about HowardƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s rejection were underneath somewhat amusing headlines that borrowed freely from cricketing parlance, and were accompanied by images of his forgettable bowling effort in Afghanistan. Such ridicule was matched for good measure by the righteous indignation of the cabal of right wing hypocrites led by the former ICC official Malcolm Speed and cricket scribes at the Rupert Murdoch piggery, News Corp, led by that uppity ignoramus, Malcolm Conn.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Malcolm Speed, the former CEO of the ICC complained that the ICC has ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”insultedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Australia and New Zealand and it showed great ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”disrespectƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to the two countries. He went on to say that Mr Howard is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”entitled to feel angryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢: well, Speed couldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ve been speaking of himself.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The conspiracy to nominate Howard was entirely Malcolm SpeedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”handiworkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. He used his influence over Cricket Australia to sell this ridiculous idea as his revenge for the then ICC President Ray Mali of South Africa sacking him in 2008 on the grounds of insubordination. The affair related to SpeedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s pushing for politically motivated sanctions against Zimbabwe, based on a contrived KPMG report. Hopefully this result will urge Cricket Australia to distance themselves from his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”geniusƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The more knowledgeable journalists such as Peter Roebuck, the cricket writer at the Fairfax Media, on the other hand were feigning outrage. Roebuck titled his Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) column ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Howard dismissed by a low full tossƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, and noted: “No one emerges with the slightest credit from the debacle over John Howard’s failed bid for the deputy presidency of the International Cricket Council… Now another antipodean must be found. What price his prospects? Australia ought to refuse to re-nominate.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is clear as day that Roebuck is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”playing safeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ now because back in January 2010 when the nomination story first came out, he wrote: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Cricket Australia’s decision to nominate John Howard as its candidate for the top job at the ICC is as pitiful as it is disrespectful. Howard’s knowledge of cricket is more characterised by enthusiasm than depth or imagination. Plain and simple he is not qualified for the job. Moreover, the way in which he has been plucked from the sidelines shows Cricket Australia in the worst possible lightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. ReadersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ comments widely supported his line.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ RoebuckƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s current statement reminds of Dennis LilleeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s infamous ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a bob each wayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ bet on the result of the 1981 Ashes test at Headingley, while he was playing in the match! Guarded expression however, fails to hide the fact that Roebuck is holding Cricket Australia responsible for arrogantly nominating Howard in the first place; that is, unless, his name is Paul and unbeknown to us, he has travelled to Damascus since January!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There are others like Roebuck who joined the chorus of India bashing in the interest of self-preservation, rather than facing the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”fate worse than deathƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of being branded ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”un-AustralianƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The response of the political types was most interesting: the new ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”non-electedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that she ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shared some of the concerns Howard has voiced publicly about the kind of factors that are influenced the decisionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ [to reject him] and she would be ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-very happy to offer full support for him to get this role.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Gillard being the type who will ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”sell her grand motherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ for political expediency, this is not surprising at all!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Another politician named Peter Dutton, a most un-likely looking ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”whiz kidƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of HowardƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s former conservative party described the rejection as an affront that is “a significant diplomatic and international issue”. Other politicians and commentators laughed at the idiocy involved in that particular statement: the delightful SMH columnist Mike Carlton quipped: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Not too late to call an emergency session of the UN Security Council, I hope; or perhaps we should just send in the SAS to give the darkies a taste of cold steelƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The view of the cabal was represented by the aforementioned Malcolm Conn of The Australian. He wrote: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The rejection of the former prime minister’s nomination for future president of cricket’s governing body was a gutless act committed by the presidents of cricket’s seven Afro-Asian countries, who could not even look Howard in the eye. That’s dangerous for the sport.”

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Why this cad views the rejection based on a democratic, majority vote of a committee ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a gutless actƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is suggestive of his racist biases. Dinosaurs like him appear to still find it hard to accept that the democracy they are promoting actually involves the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”one man one voteƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ principle, irrespective of the colour of the skin, sometimes yielding results that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”upset the apple cartƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢! They also chose to call the ICC ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”majorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ names like Asia-Africa bloc and simply, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”blackƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ bloc.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The former Australian captain Steve Waugh who degraded cricket to a new low in his playing days by introducing a particularly vicious form of sledging, but crying foul when other teams or players such as Harbhajan Singh paid back in the same coin, said the move was a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”real shameƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. He thought Howard would have been ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”fantastic for world cricketƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Waugh should know. Having repeatedly failed at the number three position in the Australian batting order, literally ‘beaten black and blue’ by Curtly Ambrose of the West Indies in particular, he was somehow slotted in to number six by the powers that be. He should thank his genes!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Then they tried to portray Howard’s rejection as a move aimed at preventing any attempts by him to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”clean upƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ the game, rather than any personal antipathy towards him personally. People who have followed Howard for several decades find such spin absurd and nauseating: in fact, he was given a total image make-over in the early 1990s by the cabal of king makers in Australian politics to remove his reputation as a fraud, including giving him the cuddly nickname ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”honest johnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, the exact opposite of the manƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s true nature!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ HowardƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s own disingenuous pontificating was hard to bear: noting that Zimbabwe and India were the prime movers against him, he lamented: “My personal wish is to see Zimbabwe full re-integrated into the world cricket family and see the sport continue to grow in all parts of the world, including Zimbabwe. He also noted: ”In the end what matters is the success of the greatest game mankind’s ever known.”

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This is a failed strategy. In preparation for the job interview, Howard received help from David Coltart, a white former ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”enemyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of Zimbabwe who has now joined the government, to try and deceive the Zimbabweans along those lines. The problem was, they are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”million times bitten and hundred times shyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Howard is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a liar who is always ready to take oathsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, as the eighteenth century Italian tragic poet Vittorio Alfieri wrote: while sending Australian troops to Iraq in March 2003, in an Address to the Nation he said: “The Government has decided to commit Australian forces to action to disarm Iraq because we believe it is right, it is lawful and it’s in Australia’s national interest. We are determined to join other countries to deprive Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, its chemical and biological weapons, which even in minute quantities are capable of causing death and destruction on a mammoth scale.” The rest became the messy history of millions of Iraqis as we now know, due to the lies of the Anglospheric cabal of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and John Howard trio.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Howard is also recorded in history for repeatedly denying during the election campaign any intention to introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST), and then introducing it. When commenting about the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”obviouslyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ racially-motivated Cronulla riots in 2005, he tried to portray the riots as something else by saying: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”I do not accept there is underlying racism in this countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As a man who has never done a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”real jobƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in his entire ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”workingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ life of over forty years, other than being a politician, Howard would have loved to get this cushy job for the perks it entails, as well as the opportunities it provides to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”operateƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in Dubai, with the opportunity to help some of his friends in the region. But the ICC membership acted decisively and wisely.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As usual, sense prevailed at the SMH. Its editorial, probably penned by Peter Roebuck himself, read: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-John Howard’s past seems to have caught up with him, with his post-retirement dream job as world cricket supremo vetoed by the non-white members of the game’s top governing body. This is not a snub by the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”newƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ cricket world to the old white circle, but a rejection of Howard, both for his perceived lack of empathy and for his lack of credentials in cricket administration. It is a lesson for Cricket Australia. Its board has shown itself completely out of touch in thinking that Howard’s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”statesmanshipƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ was the remedy for the ills of commercialism and gambling besetting cricket.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Now there is talk that Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket may name former Australian captain Mark Taylor who, most people would agree, is considered an engaging personality. Whether he has the necessary profile and maturity is another matter. He will at least face a vote!

7 Responses to “John Howard’s whinging shows his lack of character”

  1. gdesilva Says:

    Once long ago there was a Prime Minister who publicly ridiculed Murali on his bowling action – is this the same guy????? Guess who is laughing now – a good lesson for all those arrogant Western pollies – what you throw at others will eventually come back to bite you – it is just a matter of time.

  2. Sri Rohana Says:

    John Howard should nominate to ICC. Not only John Howard! Tony Blair, George Bush and all the NATO and EEC leaders should nominate. Best suited ICC for them is not the International Cricket Council but International Criminal Courts. ICC can prosecute them for genocide; crime against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression in Iraq killed more than 1.1 million humans and unaccounted amount in Afghanistan.
    If by mistake Howard appoint as an International Cricket Councils president how come he travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan is International Cricket Council’s member and the person who directly involved in invading a member country has no right to visit that country as a president of an international body.

  3. cassandra Says:

    John Howard displayed some welcome good grace in his concession speech following the Liberal Party’s defeat at the last Australian general election. It is a pity he has not been able to respond similarly to his failure to secure the position of deputy president of the ICC. His reaction, instead, smacks of petulance. He has said he has no wish to withdraw from ‘the race’. And that seems ill advised. So, what if he is re nominated and is selected the second time around? How comfortable will he be, knowing full well that he has only been grudgingly accepted? I believe that whoever is selected for the position should enjoy wide acceptance. Nominating a former politician was not unlikely to cause problems. Nominating John Howard was almost certain to.

    John Howard is a controversial person. He is not – at least he is not perceived as – a warm man, endowed with a gift for forming new friendships or enhancing old ones. His style has been confrontational, rather than consultative. And that is certainly not one of the qualities that the job demands. Why on earth did Cricket Australia nominate him and what is more twist New Zealand’s arm to drop its own choice and accept him?

    All manner of reasons, including that it is payback time for Howard’s criticism of the Mugabe regime and Howard’s comments on Murali’s bowling action, have been suggested for Howard’s candidacy being rejected. But we may disregard these. If one looks at it objectively, the man simply does not have any cricketing credentials for the job. And arguably, neither has he had great administrative experience. Leading a political party of like- minded persons is not the same as managing a diverse group of individuals. No-one doubts his enthusiasm for the game and for the job. But enthusiasm alone is hardly the sole qualification for a job.

    Australia and New Zealand now have to nominate another candidate. Let us hope they show more common sense now.

  4. Loku Malli Says:

    Brilliant Article by Ajit
    should’ve mentioned that Old Jhonny lost his own seat in the last election he faced

  5. ajit.rand Says:

    Thanks Loku Malli

    I love Sri Rohana’s comment. A man after my own heart!

    Speaking of cricket and balls etc, Cassandra will have to learn to suck her’s up so that she sounds less like Weeraya.

    Ah… what technology enables you to do.


  6. cassandra Says:

    Ajit Rand,
    Thanks for that gratutious swipe. I am not quite sure what you mean but I think I can guess. The same to you feller!

  7. Sri Rohana Says:

    Thank you, Ajith. The articles of your’s are with full of facts and very interesting to read.

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