Talk:John Howard

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Who throws a shoe? Honestly![edit]

I'm curious about why there's a mention of that shoe throwing clown from Q&A, does any joe with an opinion suddenly become a notable figure or poster boy of dissent whose opinion suddenly matters when they chuck a shoe at someone? Plenty of people have strong opinions about him which is fine, he was a politician, but what exactly makes this guys little protest even worth a passing mention? And on that, he was doing a bit more than just 'promoting his autobiography' on the show as the article implies. Farticus1981 (talk) 06:25, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

What was that "bit more"? The source seems to suggest that he was there to promote his book. With an audience there it created a chance for discussion of issues like Iraq, Hicks and Stolen Generation, all of which, of course, are topics of the book. As for whether the shoe throwing is notable, it did get a lot of media attention at the time. (And probably indirectly benefited book sales!) To me, perhaps the more notable aspect of the story was the bit about David Hicks asking Howard about his incarceration at Gitmo. HiLo48 (talk) 07:17, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Not notable at all. It should be removed. unfortunately, Aust political articles are filled with tidbit headlines from the moment rather than researching for info on significant policy and issues, and their consequences. For example, Paul Keating's article has a section "Post politics" which is longer than his PM section and is basically a rolling list of Keatings comments as they appear in the newspaper. So, actually the Howard article is not the worst in this aspect.--Merbabu (talk) 07:30, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I probably didn't distil my comment properly. I do agree that the shoe throwing itself wasn't notable. HiLo48 (talk) 07:35, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
The 'bit more' was taking questions from the audience for pretty much the entire show on whatever topic they felt like asking a question about. The article only says he was there promoting his autobiography, of course he was doing the rounds in the media at the time promoting his book, his appearance on Q&A was a lot more than that.
If the question by Hicks for example is more notable (there's someone whose book can do with a little scrutiny, just for the understatement of the decade) isn't it a bit sad that a sideshow takes its place? Farticus1981 (talk) 07:42, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
There were three people there that night who actively sought and succeeded in gaining media attention, Howard, Hicks and the shoe thrower. Best we ignore them all on this occasion. HiLo48 (talk) 08:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
HiLo48 if we are to take your advice (ignoring all 3) even howard shouldn't have a mention here. i think the shoeing incident is noteworthy because 1. it gained international attention. 2. people who are often targets of shoeing are so because of something perceived to be controversial, i.e. specific policies. 3. shoeing, particularly after the infamous bush incident has sparked numerous copycat incidents internationally. Marxwasright (talk) 23:54, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I think my point is there under your number 3. There HAVE BEEN numerous copycat incidents. Too many for this one alone to be significant. It was a transient, now long gone, PR event. Nobody was harmed. Not notable. HiLo48 (talk) 05:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Anders Behring Breivik[edit]

i don't understand why section on Anders Behring Breivik is not considered noteworthy or neutral. Marxwasright (talk) 02:37, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia article about the second longest serving Prime Minister of Australia, the fact that he received a tiny mention in 1,500 pages of ramblings by Breivik is in no way a significant part of his life. Your addition was:

On 26 July 2011, it was revealed that Norwegian mass murderer and right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik praised Howard for his particular stance on Islamic migrants and border security and that the former Prime Minister 'has repeatedly proven to be one of the most sensible leaders in the Western world.'

What is Howard's "particular stance on Islamic migrants", and why is Breivik introduced as a "mass murder and right-wing terrorist" in this context? That sort of commentary should be left to Breivik's article. If this is to be mentioned here (which I am opposed to), he should described as "perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks", not "mass murder and right-wing terrorist".  -- Lear's Fool 03:33, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
The wiser critics of Howard did not suggest that he was racist, but rather that he was clever at convincing racists and bigots that he supported their position, and therefore, if they were Australians, they would vote for him. He did this by using words that could be interpreted in several ways, and therefore defended by him and his supporters as not racist. It was his way of capturing the One Nation vote. To me, it was one of the most significant aspects of Howard's political style. That someone from the other side of the globe demonstrates this is of interest to me at least. I don't expect a mass audience of Wikipedia editors to even recognise that perspective at this stage, but to me this is VERY significant. HiLo48 (talk) 05:27, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
A discussion of Howard's alleged dog whistling on refugee policy (if supported by reliable sources) is fine by me, but this piece of trivia is entirely the wrong way to include it.  -- Lear's Fool 06:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
To have a Norwegian mass murderer and terrorist single out and praise a previous PM of Australia is definately significant, but only worth a passing mention in a wider section. Timeshift (talk) 06:40, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) And by-the-by, the Tampa was a Norwegian vessel, it's hardly unexpected that a Norwegian national would have heard of Howard's refugee policies.  -- Lear's Fool 06:41, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
(To Timeshift) Single out? It's a couple of sentences in a 1,500 page document that refers to hundreds of international conservative figures.  -- Lear's Fool 06:45, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
When I say single out I refer to Howard, a previous PM, being singled out from a line of Australian PMs. We are only a country of 20mil who are generally considered to have moderate political ideologies. Timeshift (talk) 06:49, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I come down on the side of Lear's Fool. This shouldn't be in the article on Howard at all. If notorious criminal X mentioned Mickey Mouse's left foot as an inspiration for his crime should it go in the Mickey Mouse article? No. Donama (talk) 06:51, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Silly analogy. Mickey Mouse has never (to my knowledge at least) aggressively sought votes from notorious criminals. HiLo48 (talk) 08:11, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
i'm prepared to drop mass murderer and right wing terrorist (i still don't think this violates neutrality - most of the media have been calling him this) but i still think it's significant that the perpetrator in such an historic tragic event spoke so highly of howard. i was merely trying to summarize with "particular stance on Islamic migrants" without using the whole section of quotes or text attributed to howard by breivik but if this was not clear then perhaps they all need to be reproduced. Marxwasright (talk) 06:56, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
A better analogy is Al Gore and the Unabomber. We don't include the fact that Ted Kaczynski was strongly influenced by Earth in the balance on Gore's page (because Gore had nothing to do with Kaczyinski). The same principle applies here. Howard didn't endorse Breivik's actions, nor have any contact with him before the attack or after. Howard's mention in the manifesto belongs, if at all, on the Breivik page in a long list of other people he quoted. To include it here is a pretty clear BLPvio, IMHO.--Yeti Hunter (talk) 10:21, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
And that's exactly what Howard's approach was designed to achieve. He (and you) can deny that it has anything to do with him. His strategy has worked. I won't try to push the point any more, but I just hope people will think about it and, over time, see how sneakily clever (and nasty) he was. HiLo48 (talk) 10:54, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

i'm not suggesting howard endorsed breivik's actions. i tend do agree with Lear's Fool's discussion of Howard's alleged dog whistling on refugee policy (or any other policies) if they can be substantiated. to my knowledge there have already been a few articles written about (not just howard but) generally speaking government/media responsiblity/accountability or lack there of in the case. Marxwasright (talk) 11:08, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

I see yeti hunter has an obvious bias, perhaps yeti is codeword for another entity which is bigger wiser more ethnic and thus scarier than you?IraqiLion (talk) 11:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

East Timor[edit]

I think, and I can never quite work out why, Howard's actions about East Timor are often not given due weight. It is arguable that his actions, directly or indirectly resulted in East Timor being decolonised by Indonesia, and getting independance. The indirect actions of Howard, and his direct actions with the UN basically led to the creation of a new country, and indirectly resulted in a colonising power removing its forces. Historically, this is pretty important stuff, and also quite possibly put Australian in a position where it could have had a military conflict with Indonesia. This is a major deal! Deathlibrarian (talk) 04:06, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Just find a reliable source that says so, and add appropriate content to the article. HiLo48 (talk) 07:10, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The secession of ET from Indonesia was indeed a major deal. However, it is well and truly overstating significance to say that Howard was behind it. His role is often overplayed in Australian sources but not all, and non-AUstralian sources tend to provide a bit more balanced description. And, there are a number of sources who criticised the handling of it. Some called the chaos and the collapse of relations with Indonesia a international relations disaster - I'm not necessarily saying that's correct, just providing another POV to the "Howard saved ET" POV . There was a whole lot more going on than Howard's single letter to Habibie. And, yes it was a big deal for Australia, but that's different to crediting Howard with freeing East TImor. It's a given a full paragraph in this article, which is no less than any other of the major issues of his PMship - and that paragraph is longer than most in this article. --Merbabu (talk) 07:11, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, is it just a general comment, or do you have a specific problem with the existing text? If so, what is it? The text looks pretty good I thought - and as for word count, it's got more words written about than most of the other topics in the article. cheers --Merbabu (talk) 09:47, 11 December 2011 (UTC)


Im adding a section taht details howards anti-Islamic nature. I have multiple references,,, and many more. This little boy CLEARLY has something against the Islamic people and I am beyond anger that this is not mentioned on his page, perhaps some racism from other wikipedia editors?IraqiLion (talk) 07:28, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not certain of the terminology, but I think reason you can't edit is that you're still seen as a new editor here. You'll note that your name still appears in red in article histories. You need to have made some minimum number of edits elsewhere before you can edit protected articles like this one. That applies to all new users.
As for your perspective on Howard, if you look carefully at those sources you will see that you could not use them to say that Howard was anti-Muslim. You could use them to say that many accused him of using anti-Muslim sentiment among parts of Australian society to improve his electoral chances. He was a clever politician. HiLo48 (talk) 07:38, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Listen to my words, you are not a clever person, howard was a stupid racist, this is all common knowledge, how can you say he was clever with his statements that you will see if you bothered to read the links my brother?? When does an accusation become reality? Does it take a european christian controlled newspaper to dicate what is real and what is speculation on wikipeida? Are you seriously saying that commentary from a Muslim only constitutes opinion whereas the herald sun and new york times constitute truth? if you somehow think I am mistaken do feel free to make an attempt to point this out but you will not be able toIraqiLion (talk) 07:59, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
You make a personal attack and then state Yeti Hunter made a personal attack, right.... Yeti Hunter comment was off topic (per WP:TALK), however it wasn't attack but your comments have contained attacks. Also please read WP:OR, WP:NPOV, WP:BLP, WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL. Bidgee (talk) 12:05, 17 February 2012 (UTC) This is from the FORMER DEPUTY SPEAKER OF MALAYSIA!!! THIS IS NOT A NEWSPAPER THIS IS A COUNTRY A LEADER IN A COUNTRY TELL ME HOW YOU CAN DISCREDIT THAT!!!IraqiLion (talk) 08:04, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

This should be good. *grabs popcorn* Yeti Hunter (talk) 09:26, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

HiLo48, I am sorry, but this subject has me very passionate. And Yeti Hunter, that was hardly constructive, please refrain from making personal attacks. I intend to add this information to this article and I am willing to make a compromise in which the information is toned down to make him seem less bad, but I digress, he was most definetely anti-Islamic, and at the very least he was 100% racist. His handling of the Tampa boat affair proves this beyond a doubt. I am new to this website this is true, if I am breaking a rule could you please help me? Thankyou =)IraqiLion (talk) 09:46, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, I'll try a little more. What we write about people here can't be your own opinion. It has to reflect what the sources say. And they didn't say that Howard was anti-Muslim. They said that some people claimed that he made use of existing anti-Muslim feelings in society to enhance his electoral chances. That's the most extreme thing you could possibly get away with saying, and you would have to reference it back to those sources very clearly. I personally don't like Howard at all, and happen to agree with those sources, but that's irrelevant here. HiLo48 (talk) 11:42, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
If you don't like howard either why are we fighting when we know the truth of his racism? Why would you not help me and hold me down? You are lying to encourage my behaviour and get me blocked, you are not the first to do this on this website. On the off chance you are on the side of truth and justice (I will not be pulled into little games) you must help me find sources. The ICC affair is very good as many world leaders openly stated that his racism stopped them from allowing him to be the chairman. If I find a source to do with this and I add it, as multiple world leaders opinions of him, not as truth but as important peoples opinions will you try to stop me? We must work together to stop some aussie from doing what he did again, what with statements that support a xenophobic popeIraqiLion (talk) 11:50, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm guessing that by ICC you mean the cricket body, not the criminal court. Yes, it would be interesting to see if there were precise quotes of what other countries' leaders said. Perhaps they could be used. See what you can find. (Right now I'm going to bed.) HiLo48 (talk) 11:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Hahaha, yes of course I forgot about the International Criminal Court =) Ironic, that Howard may get arrested in the future for his involvement in the Iraq war by one ICC and banished from being leader of another lol no I'm only joking =)IraqiLion (talk) 12:10, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
If you think Wikipedia is all about the truth, you need to read Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:17, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Any attempt to load this article with (tiresome) "Howard is a racist" opinions will have to be carefully balanced against the record of Howard as the a PM who ran the (to that time) largest and most diverse immigration intakes in Australian history. Any attempt to suggest that supporting the wars against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, or instigating new national security laws in the face of terrorist bomb threats in the aftermath of September 11 amounts to being "anti-Muslim" will struggle not to collapse under the weight of their own il-logic.Observoz (talk) 13:25, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

This character has been (mercifully) indefinitely blocked. Can we now move on, and let's not waste any more time. cheers --Merbabu (talk) 19:23, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


US Dept of Defense
In Coffs Harbour

The subject image in a BLP article's infobox should represent the subject in the best possible quality available to us, and I'm not talking pixel count here. Images of politicians are always difficult, but I think the best show a recognisable person in a neutral setting. Above all, the image must evoke the subject, and that garish image of Howard at a desk with a plaque saying Prime Minister of Australia before a background of flags just doesn't look like him. It doesn't resonate. And it also fails in an aesthetic sense. Something appears wrong with the lighting, the body proportions are distorted, the whole thing is too "busy". --Pete (talk) 19:00, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually no - the other is far superior. The present one looks appalling. --Merbabu (talk) 19:41, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
While your opinion is valued, I wonder if you have any factors for your opinion to share and discuss? Looking at a few other similar images, I find the Kevin Rudd shot kind of disappointing, because in my mind he's always such a cheery chap. The photo of Julia Gillard is just superb, I think. Look at her, you get the feeling she's not one to bend easily. Besides, the photo you like is already included in the article further down. Looking further, I see the Coffs image has been leading the article for a couple of years with no dissent on the talk page. You've made many edits during that time and haven't expressed any opinion, let alone changed it. Now you say there's two other editors as well as yourself who are keen to make a change. Could you explain this? --Pete (talk) 22:12, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion on the lead image, but the same image should not be used twice in the article. The guidelines WP:IMAGE RELEVANCE cautions against using the same image twice. If Howard @ UN is used in the lead, it should not be repeated later, or vice versa. WWGB (talk) 23:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I've removed what had become the second instance of that picture. I have not (as yet anyway) found a new location for the old lead pic. Is it required? --Merbabu (talk) 06:14, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

As an explanation, it's a higher resolution, it's not grainy, and really, I find the latter one more towards "garish" and I think it evokes the subject less than the new. Not sure how to answer the fact that it doesn't "resonate" with you or how it fails "aesthetic sense". The other is more poorly lit, I can't see any problem with the body proportions, and the issues of busyness or otherwise is not relevant. As for your question on my timing, there’s no statute of limitations on when an editor needs to raise an issue, or support or make an improvement. --Merbabu (talk) 05:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. The higher resolution is an objective factor, to be sure, but not a major one, given that we're not displaying either image at full resolution in the info box. You spoke of two other editors sharing your opinion. Did you have anybody in mind? --Pete (talk) 05:46, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, if you're saying the other measures are subjective and therefore invalid, then the resolution is the only one left. And you agree that the newer image has better resolution. And, you'll note my skepticism on what's subjective and if that makes it irrelevant. The new one is better lit for starters, it doesn' appear grainy in either thumbnail or full view, and proportions are not subjective).
I'm referring to the two editors who you reverted to restore the existing image. --Merbabu (talk) 06:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you could name the two editors? I only count one. Someone with no previous contributions to this article who replaced an image that had been an uncontested and highly visible part of the article for two years with one which had been replaced and not mourned. I raised the resolution issue because it is irrelevant - we're not showing it in anything like the full resolution. The only factors remaining are subjective, and you seem to disagree with me on every point there. The only other input is from WWGB, who underlines my observation that the image appears further on in the article and it shouldn't be used twice. Given that good images of politicians are hard to come by for we Australians, well images that we can legitimately use, I see no point in throwing away an excellent photograph. --Pete (talk) 06:30, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we are going over the same ground, and that you are trying to argue that black is actually white...
  • You reverted two editors (and the first time was with no explanation in either edit summary or talk page). You know exactly who they are, and anyone else can also see the record. WP:IDIDNOTHEARTHAT springs to mind in this case. I will not be needlessly naming them on your demand.
  • WWGB said his only concern was repetition of image. My response, including suggestion, to that was previously posted above. He said he has no strong opinion on image choice and offered no preference.
  • The former image is grainy in thumb size. That is not subjective. It is also underexposed, has poor contrast, poor clarity. These are not subjective characteristics. And you have not established how he is poorly proportioned in the new picture. Proportions being a measurable characteristics at least in relative terms are thus an objective measure.
Is there anything else? --Merbabu (talk) 07:29, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you could name the two editors I supposedly reverted? I reverted IgnorantArmies twice over. If you can find anybody else, please name them. I can't spot the graininess you claim. In my eyes the Coffs image is far superior to the US image in clarity. Howard's hands in the US image are over-large. He looks very odd and unfamiliar. Maybe it's the lighting. The background is full of flags and banners, none of which is Australian. And his face in the US image is very small as a proportion of the total picture - contrast the proportions in Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, all of which emphasise the subject's face rather than flags or hands or signs. --Pete (talk) 08:16, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The flags issue bothers me as well. As below, there are a couple images in the Commons category which feature Australian flags, which probably serve as an appropriate backdrop for a former PM. Ignorant Armies (talk) 10:47, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Okay, several points:

  • I added the present image as I believe it is of much better quality than the "Coffs" image. I know image quality is very subjective, but the Coffs image has poor resolution (other image has 8× more pixels), poor lighting, and is slightly out of focus. There are several images in the John Howard category on Commons; the Coffs image is probably the worst out of any of them. File:Howard2003port.JPG and even File:Johnhoward.jpg would also be acceptable lead images, IMO.
  • Apologies for not noticing the image already appeared in the article further down. Seeing the same image twice in one article usually irritates me, and thanks to Merbabu for removing it.
  • Edit summaries which provide no explanation are not good editing practice. Considering two weeks had passed without objection to my first edit, you probably could have taken it to the talkpage after I reverted your reversion.
  • "Someone with no previous contributions to this article..." Is that relevant?

Basically, I think the best-quality portrait-style photograph should serve as the lead image. I don't think the Coffs photo is the best image that can be found to serve that purpose. Ignorant Armies (talk) 10:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

John Howard in the Pentagon
Happy Howard
I'm a big believer in the WP:BRD cycle. There's a word abhayam, which one of the many Sanskrit scholars who inhabit my life tell me is translated as "no fear", though of course as with all Sanskrit words there is more to it than that. If we were timid, we would never fly to the moon, bomb Pearl Harbor, unleash the power of the atom or win fair lady. Boldness or abhayam is what leads us to improve our world. In this case Wikipedia. But some bold strokes are best left unstroked, and when there is opposition, it should be accepted and addressed. Which is where we ware now, and thank you, IgnorantArmies, for coming to discussion.
I don't think that I need to tweet my every action, nor do I think that every edit needs a summary. The action is the message, and when I said "restore image", that's pretty self-explanatory, and when I simply hit the "undo" key, that's another message that is understood in the context. Especially when I made a note on your talk page. You were simply edit-warring until your post above, so I really can't accept point three of your criticism above at full value.
The image resolution is simply not relevant. Both the US and Coffs images are scaled down from their full resolution unless you read Wikipedia on a cinema screen or something. We could have a million pixels on a side and it's still going to be the approximate size of a postage stamp for our readers. I notice that neither you nor Merbabu have seen fit to address the points I made about the US image's aesthetic values apart from disagreeing without details. A photographic portrait of a subject is a key item in this or any other Wikipedia article, and the US image just sucks as a portrait. For reasons already given. Maybe that's the way some people see John Howard - as a distorted image in their heads and the best likeness is not one they can recognise. Nevertheless, if we have a photographic portrait as our lead image, it should be the best one we have, and John Howard the man can stand high or fall short in Wikipedia by our best description of the reality. The images for Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler, for example, portray the subjects well, without providing any sort of editorial commentary.
I mentioned your lack of editing history here because, yes, it is relevant. The portrait has been the subject of keen discussion, edit-wars and compromises over the years, as a roller-coaster ride through the archives demonstrates. The US image has been given the boot before and there has been no push for its return in two years. That's the sort of thing that needs consensus if we are to go back to something long rejected, and I don't see consensus.
I do accept the comments about the Coffs image. It's a little soft and lacking in contrast. But it is an excellent likeness, the background is Australian, and it portrays the subject well. I often look at the official paintings of Prime Ministers in old and new Parliament Houses and they all bring something to the viewer that resonates far more than a simple photograph. We want to showcase the person, not the technical details of exposure and colour key.
The two alternate photographs proposed - and I thank you for digging them up - both have problems. The Pentagon image again looks a little weird in the lighting and if we are to use it as the lead, it goes against the guideline that people in photographs should look into the article. The "Happy Howard" shot also has the wrong orientation - to a far lesser degree - but shows him in a political setting in his dark suit, little Australian map gold badge and the flag behind. If it had a shelf of Hansard volumes in the background it would be the full cliché.
Without a more voices raised in discussion here, I don't think there is consensus for change to the US image. If anybody really wants it, they are going to have to recruit a few like-minded supporters to restage the debate resolved here years ago. --Pete (talk) 23:04, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
It was left for 13 days without any opposition. Your reverted with no explanation. This is poor form no matter how might try to spin, sugar-coat or make up new conventions to explain it. Apart from a few hours following your two reverts, it’s been there 16 days without any opposition apart from yourself.
Can you show where the previous consensus, or at least discussion, was for the coffs image? Note that consensus changes, consensus is not unanimity, and notions of consensus are not be used as a veto by an individual. These points are established and long-accepted in wikipedia.
You acknowledge significant disadvantages of the coffs image (resolution, exposure, focus, etc). These are basic requirements for a good photo as they are in this comparison. They are not mere “technical details” that you can dismiss because you want to. Your one other objective/quantifiable concern - that of proportion - is mere perspective and I do not find it odd at all. In fact, it's normal part of anything we see - it's everywhere and at anytime - and the eye-brain automatically adjusts for it.
If no details to our disagreement with your opinion of aesthetic value have been provided, it is simply because your reasoning is pretty flimsy, and (as you yourself imply) extremely subjective. You just say it’s a better likeness. You don’t provide any reasoning for this, or evidence that others agree, or that is indeed “the way some people see John Howard”. I disagree, and apparently IgnorantArmies, disagree with your assertion of personal taste, and with no solid justification from you, then why should we provide further? Coffs is an appalling picture.
You can try to come up with novel rules and new conventions, logic, etc as much as you like, but explanations of non-vandalistic edits are standard and expected through both convention and guidelines. Further, anyone can see that it is also civil and it helpful to the process. I find it difficult to believe this is even being questioned. It goes to editor behaviour and this is not the space for it. If you still have concerns, then perhaps go to ANI or equivalent. However, the contents of WP:BOOMERANG spring to mind. IN the same vein, trying to tell people that they have to pay their dues on a page before their edits and opinion are equally valued is indeed “irrelevant” and frankly, it’s BS. Again, if you have issues about someone’s behaviour, then this is not the place.
An Australian background is irrelevant. The photo is of the subject. While background is a significant aspect of a photo, the location is not inherently significant in judging it’s appropriateness.
It’s been here over two weeks and no-one apart from yourself has expressed opposition. Your (many) angles on this have been thoroughly and patiently addressed. And, no-one should be “recruiting like-minded supporters”. --Merbabu (talk) 01:47, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Could you address the various points made about the images above, please? As for consensus, the Coffs image was here over two YEARS and nobody expressed opposition. The US image has appeared off and on before then, but it has always been replaced after a short time. I'm looking through the talk archives now. You may care to do the same. --Pete (talk) 02:14, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Which specific points about images to you believe I have not addressed? As I said, we’ve been pretty thorough. It’s not a war of attrition.
The time that an edit has stood is of no significance. Wikipedia is here to be changed. While there are other criteria to be met, the time an edit has stood is immaterial particularly when a subsequent one has been there for two weeks as opposed to 2 minutes. Unless you could direct me to policy that says otherwise. --Merbabu (talk) 04:46, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I'd be equally satisfied with the "Howard Happy" image. It too is superior to the Coffs image for a number of the same reasons discussed. --Merbabu (talk) 04:48, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I just wondered why you weren't addressing the points made about resolution, colour, distortion and proportions in the US image, especially after I indicated three images in other recent PM articles that were much superior in quality. As I said, I really like the Julia Gillard lead image. It's a great capture. You made the time period an issue, so i compared two years of unchalleged use for one image against several ahort and troubled periods for another. There's a message there, I think. When another editor evades points made, such as my repeated question about the other editors supposedly supporting you, I wonder just how focussed they are on improving the encyclopaedia, and whether they are just disrupting genuine efforts. Most of us have other things to do. Looks like we have broad agreement on the "Happy Howard" picture - my only nitpick is that he's slightly looking out of the article space. --Pete (talk) 08:59, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Skyring, I have addressed those points specifically. Saying otherwise is frankly bullshit, whether you intend it or not, and you raised the issue of time - saying otherwise doesn't actually make it true. Sorry, I'm not going to do a little dance for you, and if you are going to accuse me of disruption, then take it to ANI or well, drop it. And if you don't like my frank calling of bs, then go take it do ANI or some other board (keeping the content of WP:BOOMERANG in mind, of course). I'll bank on my record and contributions to wikipedia over yours any day. You are the disruption and the waste of time. DOn't like that, go ahead, complain. If like a good troll, you are trying to provoke a response such as this, then go ahead, make your complaint, send me a link to a civility policy, and have your little chuckle. If that makes you feel better. So if you want to talk about disruption, let the board be reminded that I'm not the one with an extensive block log, or a with a recent lucky near miss at topic ban on ANI (which I decided not to comment on). --Merbabu (talk) 09:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, wasn't trying to upset you. On the contrary, get you to address the details. It's no sin to be wrong, and if you genuinely thought there were editors supporting your views, but you couldn't identify them, that's fine. Everyone makes mistakes. I just think it's poor form to deflect attention away from the discussion by making personal attacks when they are unwarranted and undeserved. I've just noticed and reverted a change to the lead image at Julia Gillard. Perhaps you'd like to add your input there? --Pete (talk) 10:14, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
We both know you were trying to upset me, but I've been around long enough to know when to stop playing silly games or dancing to some elses game. Sorry if I'm blunt and don't quite match your faux politeness. Such a mask is easily seen through and doesn't wash with me. I call it trolling, and it's boring and indeed disruptive. If you all this a personal personal attack, then man-up and take it somewhere. Or drop it. If you're enjoying it, or it's more important to get an admission of error, then wikipedia's not the place for you. I'm just calling it as it is. I was wrong on the 2nd reverted editor, but if you want to start counting wrongs in this section, you're going to loose badly, not that I'd expect you do accept any of it. Shall we call it quits or start counting? WP:IDIDNOTHERETHAT springs to mind. --Merbabu (talk) 10:22, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd much rather see you happy and editing productively than bitter and full of aggression. Seriously. If I've upset you, I apologise. There was no intent in my mind beyond getting to the facts. Life's too short. Cheers. --Pete (talk) 10:48, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Whatever you say. Faux politeness, and faux apology. Just be honest and cut the crap, (although I don't hold high hopes of either from you). I'd rather give you up front "aggression" than your smiling passive aggression. Sorry if I'm surprising you with a good dose of frankness. While we are at it, just restore the pic, not because it's good, but because as you say, life is too short.Seriously. --Merbabu (talk) 10:56, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
You are wrong if you think either is false, but I cannot make you change your honest opinion, and I appreciate your frankness there. I think the "Happy Howard" image seems to have genuine, if lukewarm approval from all parties. It is a pity we cannot use the images from the Parliament website. --Pete (talk) 11:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Old Howard[edit]

Caption Existing image

Query. John Howard was notable for being Prime Minister. Do we show a photo of him as PM, or a current image seven years after? My preference is for the former, and so I've reverted Stemoc's addition. As for image quality, I prefer the former, but neither is a really good shot. Comments? --Pete (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

I think the first shot, the current one, is an excellent shot. The image should be of when the person was most noteable. If someone takes a fantastic picture of Howard just before he were to croak, we wouldn't use it because it's not representative of them during their most noteable part of their life. A PM's image should ideally be one during the time they were PM. Timeshift (talk) 23:48, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
The best images for infoboxes, especially for politicians and celebrities are the ones where they are atleast looking towards the camera. I changed Howard's image not because its old, but because he is literally looking away from the camera, now if he was looking towards his right, it would look ok in the infobox as it would seem like he is looking towards his article. There is an older pic (1997) of him sitting at a desk and it seems more appropriate than the current one...Howard is old, lets just accept that..--Stemoc (talk) 00:59, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I too prefer the former, especially since the glasses were such a huge part of his image as prime minister. The pictures should represent the time of greatest notability for something like this. I don't think it matters that he isn't looking towards the camera. That's far from essential in a portrait, and the "looking to the right" thing is not a hard and fast rule. Frickeg (talk) 01:01, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, it is irrelevant as to what direction the subject is looking. Timeshift (talk) 02:48, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
He rarely looked to the left. --Pete (talk) 03:10, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
No need for WP:RECENTISM in photographs. The longstanding image is of excellent quality. The recent one is ok too, but not as good as the previous, IMO. If it is considered illustrative of his post-politics activity, then perhaps it could be included there. -Yeti Hunter (talk) 00:48, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Very good point. Not for the infobox, but possibly for a "later life" section. On that point it would be even better to show him performing some activity, such as addressing a cheering crowd of seniors, playing with the grandchildren, line-dancing or whatever it is he does nowadays. Signing copies of his book, perhaps - there must be a few of those around. --Pete (talk) 00:55, 13 June 2014 (UTC)


John Howard is the 30th Prime Minister not the 25th. The office of Prime Minister should be about the continuity of governance not the person who occupies it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Should, eh? Right. Not. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:15, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

SSI revisited[edit]

Further to Talk:John Howard/Archive 18#Postnominals, please see Talk:Peter Cosgrove#CNZM, which is relevant and topical. I'd really like to get an authoritative source that shows either Howard is definitely permitted to use SSI or he is definitely not permitted, because it's quite unclear at the moment. Also Hawke and Whitlam's GCLs. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:58, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

As far as the general entitlement for Australian citizens to use post-nominal letters, the list of allowable postnominals is specified in
Other nations, and citizens of other nations, have different entitlements which are not relevant to Australian citizens.
None of CNZM, GCL, nor SSI appear on this list. i.e. there is no general entitlement for Australians to use these postnominals.
User:The Tepes tells me (on my talk page: User talk:Pdfpdf#John Howard SSI removal)
An Australian could receive permission to use the post-nominal letters ... From what I recall permission is granted by the offices of Governor General, and the State Governors.
(Unfortunately, no supporting reference has been identified.)
Hence, according to User:The Tepes, an Australian may receive a specific entitlement to use specific postnominal(s).
To use these postnominals on Wikipedia requires a supporting reference to the specific entitlement.
(Unfortunately, no supporting reference for Howard's specific entitlement has been identified.)
Pdfpdf (talk) 10:16, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
@Pdfpdf and JackofOz: There's the Schedule of approved countries and awards as at July 2014 and Guidance for Wearing Foreign Awards. The link which Pdfpdf has provided dates from 2007. The first of those PDFs is from 3 months ago. The second is a list of amended guidelines issued in 2012. As the Star of the Solomon Islands is listed in the first PDF, : James (TC) • 2:55 PM 03:55, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Further, the official notice for Jan 2012 appointments to the Order of Merit lists him with SSI. James (TC) • 2:58 PM 03:58, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
a) Thanks. b) ... would Howard not be entitled to the post-nominals? - Dunno. I'll do some homework and reply later. c) FYI, in my opinion, I'd be wary about what a non-Australian government has to say about Australian law/entitlements/etc. Cheers, and thanks, Pdfpdf (talk) 09:18, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
The Honours System, in theory, places these under the Queen's prerogative. Although, in practice, that's reserved for the Royal Victorian Order etc. And if the official website of the Royal Family and the Monarchy uses it, I would think that of all entities, they'd be the last to misuse titles, honorifics and post-nominals. James (TC) • 12:55 PM 01:55, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Your logic is impeccable. But logic does not always apply in such circumstances! As I said:
a) Thanks. b) ... would Howard not be entitled to the post-nominals? - Dunno. I'll do some homework and reply later. c) FYI, in my opinion, I'd be wary about what a non-Australian government has to say about Australian law/entitlements/etc. Cheers, and thanks, Pdfpdf (talk) 11:55, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
@M.O.X: Hmmm. Your logic is impeccable, but a number of the assumptions on which you base that logic are inaccurate.
As far as I can tell, nothing has changed from the situation described above. viz:
  • As far as the general entitlement for Australian citizens to use post-nominal letters, the list of allowable postnominals is specified in
  • An Australian may receive a specific entitlement to use specific postnominal(s).
  • To use these postnominals on Wikipedia requires a supporting reference to the specific entitlement.
Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 06:13, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
In response to your posting:
Cheers, Pdfpdf (talk) 06:13, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Given he's not a British subject, it is very relevant. The UK would not be errant on an honours system that ultimately requires Royal Assent for establishment. James (TC) • 6:32 PM 07:32, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Huh? What is relevant? The document? I repeat: "That's a UK document, not Australian. UK entitlements are different to and separate from Australian entitlements."
The UK would not be errant on an honours system that ultimately requires Royal Assent for establishment. - Huh? As already stated, that is NOT the case. If you disagree, then please provide a supporting reference. (If you require, I can easily provide numerous supporting references to the contrary. So could you if you wished.) But we are getting off topic, with you trying to go down a rabbit hole that doesn't exist ... Pdfpdf (talk) 09:35, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Summary of Howard's term - relying for a source on a quote in QUADRANT of all places - is hardly neutral[edit]

"Presiding over a period of strong economic growth and prosperity" is one view of Howard's premiership, and I'm not surprised it's held by someone writing in Quadrant. It's hardly a neutral or non-controversial one: there are many who'd dispute the "economic growth" (surpluses built on structural deficits) and "prosperity" (massive widening between rich and poor under Howard) claims. And what about the other aspects of Howard's time - a hardening of attitudes to the vulnerable, an increase in cruelty to refugees, a slashing of public services, taking us to war based on a lie...

(a) If you can't find a more neutral source of the claim than Quadrant, it shouldn't be there; and (b) The summary should be more balanced - his time in office was marked by more than economic issues.

Garth M (talk) 00:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Building a surplus by running structural deficits would indeed be a notable feat. -Yeti Hunter (talk) 13:01, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 August 2014[edit]

|profession = Lawyer (talk) 16:34, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Yellow check.svg Partly done: Technically, he was a Solicitor. so I have added that instead of lawyer - Arjayay (talk) 18:02, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 August 2014[edit]

|profession=Lawyer (talk) 11:50, 26 August 2014 (UTC) Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. His occupation prior to becoming a politician is given as being a solicitor in [1] and other sources in the article. Please provide reliable sources demonstrating that it should be changed to Lawyer AlanS (talk) 13:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)


The introduction states that Howard worked as a solicitor for 12 years prior to pursuing a career in the parliament in the 1950's. Surely this should read prior to pursuing a career in the parliament in the 1970's

Thanks, I've fixed this. --99of9 (talk) 07:27, 15 April 2015 (UTC)