June 14, 2004


Demonic BusHitler conservatives are conspiring to re-elect John Howard, claims Labor president Carmen Lawrence:

Party federal president Carmen Lawrence said she believed the administration of President George W. Bush was trying to help conservative Prime Minister John Howard win another term in national elections expected to be held in October or November.

"The US conservative administration is supporting the Australian conservative administration," Lawrence told Channel Nine.

But wait! Now the Caged Massachusetts Hamster (grrrr! grrrr!) is joining Bush’s conservative conspiracy:

The campaign of the Democratic candidate for the US presidency, John Kerry, has for the first time rejected Mark Latham's plan to recall Australian troops from Iraq by Christmas, leaving the Labor leader without support for the policy in America's political mainstream.

James Rubin, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Kerry, told the Herald in Washington: "John Kerry has been very clear that regardless of what you think about how we got here, here we are. And failure is not an option in Iraq. And the prospect of success in Iraq will be improved by maintaining a substantial contribution from friends and allies, including Australia.

"When the Spanish Government announced its intention to pull out, he was critical of that. So he would be critical of any government's failure to recognise the stakes in Iraq, the need to succeed there, no matter how sympathetic he might be to concerns about how America got to this point."

Kerry for Howard! Scary.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 14, 2004 08:36 AM

...the situation in the UK is almost as funny. Lefties over there are unhappy with Blair for various reasons, and are delighted that his party did so poorly in the last election... until the realize that the alternative is the Tories.


Posted by: rosignol at June 14, 2004 at 08:51 AM

Just goes to show that no matter how far to the left the U.S. Democratic Party may have drifted in recent years, the big left-of-center parties in the rest of the world (except the UK's Labour Party) are considerably further left still. That's the really scary part. Especially if one considers that this means there's still plenty of room for the Democrats to move further.

Posted by: PW at June 14, 2004 at 09:48 AM

Did leftists in the States or overseas complain when Kerry bragged about foreign leaders' support for his candidacy and when Zapatero actually said he would like to campaign for Kerry? Or when European heads of state or aspiring Australian pol's assail (candidate) Bush's policies?

Thought not.

Posted by: c at June 14, 2004 at 10:11 AM

Since Pete Garrett apparently doesn't know how to use his vote, can I have it?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at June 14, 2004 at 10:44 AM

It hasn't sunk in yet on Kerry and his supporters that they no longer have a platform.

The US has set a pullout date for Iraq—

The Iraqis have resumed active control of their government—

— and their oil fields—

— the American economy is recovering rapidly. Growth and unemployment are back to the levels of the Dem's Golden Clinton years.

Kerry has nothing left to offer us except the flattery of the French and we have been doing without that for 50 years.

All he can do is make totally unquantified promises ("Oh, yeah? Well... well... I'd pull out SOONER!" "Oh yeah, well... well... I'd create even MORE jobs!") without the slightest detail on how to deliver on them.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at June 14, 2004 at 10:51 AM

Wait ten minutes and Kerry will say the opposite to what he said before.

Hamster .... *snigger*

Posted by: EvilPundit at June 14, 2004 at 11:20 AM

Richard Armitage - who only a very very foolish person would mess with, by the way - said to the ABC's Maxine McHugh last week that Australians value plain speaking so they have to accept same when they receive it. Exactly.

I now look forward to the campaigning John Kerry, not so intimidating as Armitage, being criticised by the commentariat for this terrible intervention in Australian politics.

No. I don't think it'll happen either.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 14, 2004 at 11:46 AM

CurrencyLad, that picture of Kerry is just so cuuuuuutttteee!

But I still ain't voting for him.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 14, 2004 at 11:56 AM

'Did leftists in the States or overseas complain when Kerry bragged about foreign leaders' support for his candidacy?'

No, they clapped their hands to their heads and muttered, 'shut up, already.' That was quite possibly the biggest foul-up of Kerry's campaign so far.

Posted by: David Gillies at June 14, 2004 at 11:57 AM

It just goes to show what an inept bungler Mark is. I mean the comment about pulling troops out before Christmas was amongst his dumbest, now the Garrett debacle, what next? This election campaign is turning out to be a hoot - think I had better join Garrett and go enrol for it.

Posted by: Rob at June 14, 2004 at 12:20 PM

Exactly David. This whole 'U.S. intervention' thing is not going to fly - I would be surprised if it did, anyway. We've seen Mark Latham's backflip on troop withdrawal, the U.N. resolution on Iraqi sovereignty, 'Geronimo' Pete Garrett's ineptitude and now this from the Kerry camp.

My oh my - the next sitting of Parliament is going to be a bloodbath of 'Scarface and Mexican Drug-dealers in that Bathroom with a Chainsaw' (SAMDITBAT) proportions.

Real JeffS: You've passed the ruthless Republicans' 'What if Kerry Was a Cute Hamster'? test and may now proceed to a senior level within the G.O.P.'s psy-ops division.

Goal: To somehow cause Kerry to have a Deanesque brain explosion and say something no New England Brahmin Democrat has ever uttered before:

[Play Kennedyesque accent]: "With respect to the, ah, issue you mention - let me, ah, say that we carnt support Mr Latham and, ah, therefore... therefore... Head hurts...Getting dizzy...What's happening...


That would be bad for his career and good for yours my friend. To work!

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 14, 2004 at 12:25 PM

Many in Canada could use the support of down unders as we try to throw off the yoke of all the failed commies that raped and pillaged us for too long. If you have any relations, friends or dumb enemys, please push them to vote for Stephen Harper to the station of PM. God help Canada!

My name is not Stephen Harper but I still support this little guys comments.

Posted by: The Happy Dyslectic at June 14, 2004 at 12:28 PM

Flip flop! I thought Kerry said the US allies’ troops’ presence in Iraq was mere window dressing.

Posted by: ForNow` at June 14, 2004 at 12:32 PM

CurrencyLad: LOL! I look forward to my assignment, code name: Operation JABBA THE HUTT....

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 14, 2004 at 01:23 PM

Why does it have to be a conspiracy? Why can't people like Carmen "I can't recall" Lawrence accept that maybe, just maybe, these things are being said because they happen to be important issues which Latham is using as some sort of populist wank-off?

Posted by: Quentin George at June 14, 2004 at 01:43 PM

Did someone say "Jabba the Hutt"?

Posted by: EvilPundit at June 14, 2004 at 01:48 PM

AN american blogger has just called Ms lawrence a "Cane toad" of Australian poltics.
Another example of american interference in the sovereignty of OZ politics.
No one can deny the truth now !
And another thing "Chirac est un Couillon".
Can't wait for the french indignation to begin on antipodean interference.
Bush is the ..... no that's already been said !

Posted by: davo at June 14, 2004 at 02:00 PM

Happy Dyslexic

may you yet succeed in throwing off the yoke and misfortunes of shar'ia law in your country !

Posted by: davo at June 14, 2004 at 02:03 PM

EvilPundit: That link should have been accompanied by some kind of warning. Shhhiiiiverrr - oooh...

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 14, 2004 at 02:07 PM

Hang on ... does this mean that Kerry now believes that the Aussie troops are NOT part of a "fraudulent coalition"?

Maybe in his mind, you can't withdraw what's not there. Or something.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at June 14, 2004 at 02:54 PM

Great post Mr. Blair. It seems the paranoia is reaching absurd levels over there as well.
So why not capitalize on our Vast Conspiratorial Power(TM).

OK guys n' gals, so when's the global coup?

I'll bring the cookies...

Posted by: Rtfm at June 14, 2004 at 05:00 PM

Peter Oborne, in the Spectator a few weeks back:

So an operation has been launched within the White House, the State Department and above all the Republican party to keep Tony Blair in office. This takes a number of forms. George Bush understands that extravagant praise for his close friend no longer serves a useful purpose. There are likely to be fewer tributes from now on to Tony Blair as a ‘stand-up kind of guy’ and similarly effusive references that now litter the public record.

... But the United States is not only eager to do what it can to ease Tony Blair’s perilous domestic isolation. It is keen to offer what practical help it can by exercising secret pressure at Westminster. The Republicans are now stretching themselves to the limit to put pressure on the British Tory party to give Tony Blair the easiest possible ride.

Oh, and Rtfm - re: capitalising on our vast conspiratorial power - it's already happening! See above post...

Posted by: TimT at June 14, 2004 at 05:41 PM

TimT: I saw Oborne's comments in the Speccie too. If the GOP is in fact helping New Labour, then they are being very, very shortsighted. After the drubbing Labour got in the local elections, and the rise of UKIP in the European elections, I think Blair is now on borrowed time. It won't just be Clare Short and Robin Cook doing bucket jobs on Blair on Radio 4 now. And when Blair goes, the modern, credible, electable face of the UK Labour party goes with him.

The longstanding interest of the US in British politics is to encourage a healthy, vibrant competitive Tory party. Michael Howard is doing solid legwork on this and the Republicans would be well advised to back the Conservatives as their best long-term option.

Posted by: Alex at June 14, 2004 at 06:02 PM

Oh TimT (rolling back sleeve and balling up fist) your link doesn't work. (draws fist back and...)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 14, 2004 at 08:06 PM

Next thing will be Latham claiming that Howards plan of a christmas withdrawal is flawed, now that'd be a back flip!!!
It'd be sorta like Latham claiming last year that the labor party always believed that Iraq had WMD's but now seems to suffer amnesia because he now believes they don't.
He believes that the Labor party is democratic but overrides a party ballot and appoints P.Garrett, now there's democracy at work...Will this be the same democratic process he uses to appoint a Republican head of state if he gets in???

The guy is a dead set flogger and now both sides of US politics can't stand him...I hope he's not hoping for trade favours or lucrative US contracts, I reckon he's just fucked himself anally in that regard.

P.S. Does anyone have any idea what Lathams plan is on troop withdrawal. Maybe he means he's going to pull his little soldier out of Bob Browns arse...

Posted by: scott at June 14, 2004 at 09:59 PM

Here is the link. Not sure what happened before.
And in case that doesn't work, here's the URL:


- you'll need to be registed to read the article though.
And in case there are still problems, it's in the 22 May edition of the Speccie.

Posted by: TimT at June 15, 2004 at 11:30 AM