A first-rate country run by second-rate people

John Pilger, New Statesman, January 21:

“The fear and sycophancy that Howard and his Antipodean neoconservatives have promoted since coming to power almost a decade ago have put paid to Australia’s tenuous self-regard as ‘the land of fair go’. (The much-abused term ‘lucky country’ was ironic, coined by the author, the late Donald Horne, to denote a first-rate country run by second-rate people.) Like Bush’s America, Howard’s Australia is not so much a democracy as a plutocracy, governed for and by the ‘big end of town’, even though, as Mark Twain pointed out, this is ‘an entire continent peopled by the lower orders’.”

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