Well it's finally happened.
Ten years of having John Howard as PM.
Now, this is a fairly decent achievement. Some would say that he's benefited from an unusually rare run of 15 years of unprecedented growth, but to be fair, there was a tech wreck that hit the rest of the world in 2000, and we came within a hair's breadth of a recession in 1997/98.
So economic prosperity has been good. On the other hand, this has come at the price of quite a few things.
We appear to have become a much more intolerant country as a result of various things. Peter Costello's inconceivable words to the media about people from islamic countries migrating here and instantly looking to convert us to sharia law appears to have been aimed at the general population who are possibly getting stupider and stupider.
Thanks to thoughtless comments like Costello's, we now have a real problem with a sub-section of Australia who belives that all muslims are out to cleanse the earth of non-believers.
On top of this, prior to the Howard Government, a comment like Costello's would have been enough to have him sacked from previous governments.
(Sadly, a lot of these idiots are born again freaks who happily quote the Qu'ran on the subject, but then wilfully ignore the Bible's wording which is uncannily similar. Especially in the Book of Judges)
Our treatment of refugees is similarly hopeless. They have now become "illegal immigrants".
Apologising (Not!) to Aboriginal Australia for the Stolen Generation, not enforcing the Ministerial Code of Conduct, mollycoddling the ethanol lobby, negotiating a useless free-trade agreement, going out of their way to discriminate against gay Australia... the list goes on and on.
At least Port Arthur happened early on in the government's reign. If it had happened yesterday there is absolutely no way that the gun controls proposed by the Howard Government would even see the light if day now.
I give them a C-, just because I'm charitable.