John Howard's dignified farewell (letter)by Frank BelletNews Weekly
, December 22, 2007
John Howard, in a dignified farewell speech, which was typical of his high standard of decorum, was somewhat hard on himself by taking "full blame" for the loss of the election.
I was never convinced by the conventional spin, which would have originated in the Labor Party and subsequently swallowed by the nervous Nellies amongst the Liberals, that John Howard should have handed over earlier to Peter Costello.
Also, having spent all of my working life in advertising, I must say I could have written better commercials than the ones foisted on the Coalition by someone, who has much to learn about both advertising and politics.
John Howard's treatment by the press gallery, in his final appearance, compared with their sycophantic treatment of Kevin Rudd, was significant.
Michelle Grattan, of Melbourne's The Age
, came out with both guns blazing at Mr Howard; and Mark Riley, of the Seven Network, who was playing to his peers in the press gallery, was just plain bad-mannered.
No-one, in an interview, should treat the person being interviewed with such disrespect. Journalists can dish it out; but I've never been allowed, in a letter to a newspaper, to dish it out to them.
I would have interviewed about 3,000 people, in my long radio career. I would have had an opposite view to many of them on just about everything; but I made certain that I always spoke to them courteously.Frank Bellet,