Former Australian prime minister John Howard enjoyed lunch in Kingscliff, a town he described as one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
Former Australian prime minister John Howard enjoyed lunch in Kingscliff, a town he described as one of the most beautiful places in Australia. Scott Powick

Lazarus rises in Kingscliff

ONE of Australia's most revered former prime ministers visited Kingscliff yesterday to launch a revised edition of the book he began writing eight months after he lost office in 2007.

While enjoying lunch overlooking the ocean at restaurant Babalou, John Howard spoke of his inspirations, mentors, achievements and mistakes over more than 11 years of government.

He wrote every word of his personal and political autobiography Lazarus Rising.

"In the book I try to describe some of the important things we did, some of the changes of which we were proud; I acknowledge the mistakes we made, as all governments make mistakes, all prime ministers make their share of mistakes,"; Mr Howard said.

"I think people look back and say the Howard government did a good job."

Mr Howard said he believed his run in government ended because Australia believed it was time.

"They thought 'we're tired of you lot, we want to give the other mob a go'," he said. "They looked at Kevin Rudd; he was a non-threatening alternative, he was not seen as a radical Labor man.

"He worked very hard at not being too different from me."

While reluctant to offer advice to the Gillard government, Mr Howard expressed his disgust at the sacking of former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

"I think the Labor Party made a huge mistake getting rid of Rudd. I think he would have won the last election in his own right, but they panicked and made a huge mistake and it's been all downhill from there," Mr Howard said.

"The best thing I can do for myself and my party at the present time is to do what I'm doing and that is not get in Tony Abbott's way and let him make the running for us."



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