Thursday, February 14, 2008

Arsetalker

John Howard did more for indigenous people than any other prime minister, opposition frontbencher Tony Abbott says.

Mr Howard was the only living former prime minister absent from yesterday's parliamentary apology to Australia's indigenous peoples.

He refused to say sorry to the stolen generations while in office between 1996 and 2007.

Mr Rudd described all his predecessors, except Mr Howard, as great friends of the Aboriginal people.

Mr Abbott, the opposition's indigenous affairs spokesman, said it was appropriate for Mr Howard to be taking some time off rather than witness the apology.

"He was a great prime minister, a great leader and he changed Australia dramatically for the better," Mr Abbott told reporters in Canberra.

"I believe no Australian prime minister has done more for Aboriginal people, in practical terms, than John Howard.

"After 11-and-a-half very difficult years as prime minister, I think the guy's entitled to a bit of time out."



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