It was harsh judgment delivered back in 2003 at the Sydney Institute but a percipient one.
"Populist right-wing ressentiment is so 20th century.
It has been replaced by a tone of triumphalism.
Since the beginning of this year Les Murray, Christopher Pearson and others have been acknowledging that they're now on top. The paradigm has changed. They're the new orthodoxy.
It's time for those who oppose Howard's agenda to admit that he and his helpers have succeeded spectacularly.
The nation is in the grip of a neo-conservative political correctness that is out of touch with the values of the majority of the Australian people.
It's a political correctness that has elevated values that most Australians don't share: individual selfishness and a strange envy of the less fortunate because they are receiving Government assistance.
It's a political correctness that has produced greater divisions in our society between the haves and the have-nots, indigenous and non-indigenous, new migrants and old.
And it is a political correctness that puts winning before all else, where ethics, integrity and values like equality and looking after others less fortunate don't rate.
John Howard has won his culture war, for now."
And as Julia Gillard prepares her review of asylum seeker policy that abandons the "ethics, integrity and values like equality and looking after others less fortunate" that she spoke of back then, she confirms that the victory has survived a change of government.