Julia Gillard not only unpopular, she also lacks authority – John Howard

John Howard / ABC

John Howard on the 7.30 program last night. Picture: ABC
Source: Supplied

FORMER prime minister John Howard has re-entered the political debate with a blast for Julia Gillard who he says “lacks authority”.

The nation’s second longest serving PM also predicted independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott would lose their seats at the next election and says the Greens have “peaked”.

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard in parliament. Picture: The Daily Telegraph

He urged Liberals in Victoria to put Adam Bandt last in the seat of Melbourne even if it meant Labor won back the seat because the ALP was less extreme than the Greens.

However, Mr Howard predicted the Gillard Government was “very likely” to last another two years because the independents would not withdraw their support.

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As he gears up to promote a new chapter of his best-selling book Lazarus Rising, Mr Howard, who appeared on TV without his trademark glasses after having eye surgery, condemned the nation’s first female PM.

“The biggest problem that the current Prime Minister has is that she lacks authority,” he told ABC TV’s 7.30 program last night.

“And even if you are an unpopular Prime Minister – and I went through periods of unpopularity, all of us do as prime ministers – you have to retain authority and this is her biggest problem because she didn’t win the last election outright.”

Mr Howard said the experiment of the hung Parliament and the “cosmopolitan coalition” of Labor, the Greens and independents had not worked.

He said there would be a “clear outcome” at the next election.

“I don’t think they (voters) want the indecision and the influence of minorities that we’ve had over the last year,” he said.

Mr Howard hit back at criticism of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

“This charge that Tony Abbott is too negative is hypocritical. None of the big reforms of my government were supported by the Labor Party in opposition. They opposed every single thing of any consequence,” he said.

He also rejected the suggestion politics was more brutal than ever, saying it was “fairly brutal” in 1975 and in the 1980s under Bob Hawke.


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