By JAMILA RIZVI
Tough. Difficult. Necessary.
As a press secretary, these are the kind of words you use in a politician’s press release when you know that what they’re announcing is going to get slammed by the public. In the special language of Canberra, these words have entirely different meanings to what they do in our common vernacular. In the world where promises are core and non core, and iron clad agreements generally turn out to be pretty flexible – these words are all euphemisms for: unpopular.
And what about the word ‘brave’, I hear you ask?
In politics-speak ‘brave’ isn’t used to describe knights in shining armour who rescue damsels in distress. It’s not even applied to celebrities who wear clashing prints to an awards season red carpet. No, no, no.
Brave is code for REALLY f*cking unpopular…. usually with a healthy dose of internal party dissent thrown in as well.
History will remember former Prime Minister John Howard for many things. As the man who back flipped on the GST, who cut income taxes for the wealthy, who failed to apologise to the stolen generation, who refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, who lost his own seat in the Kevin 07 election and for introducing Work Choices.
I’m not going to try and hide the fact, I wasn’t a fan of John Howard.
But for the Government buy back (and destruction) of more than 700,000 Australian owned guns, following the horrific massacre at Port Arthur?
For that, Howard will be remembered as brave.