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John Howard's Garter will boost the Republican cause in Australia

John Howard slunk off into the west on election night like a mongrel dog but is now reportedly planning a triumphant return courtesy of Queen Elizabeth.

He left as plain old Mr Howard - and now sees himself coming back to haunt the people of Australia as a Knight of Realm, Order of the Garter - Sir John Winston Howard.

loody hell!

To me, he will always be the recalcitrant, conservative Prime Minister of Australia who treated Aborigines with disdain, caused enormous hurt to hundreds of thousands of Australian families with his draconian industrial laws, who regarded the environment as his playtoy and who never embraced any major social change in his 33 years in Parliament.

On 23 April, he might arise as Sir John with the Order of the Garter in his hand but I am sure there will be many Aussie battlers who would like to see the Royal Garter placed securely around this political troglodyte's neck.

Queen Elizabeth must be a closet republican because if there is anything likely to trigger anti-monarchist sentiments in Australia, it is the image of a defeated, conservative politician receiving an undeserved, out-of-touch gong from Australia's Head of State - the Queen of England.

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