The rate rise is not especially Mr Howard's fault, but if voters hold it against him he's got no one but himself to blame. That's because of the foolhardy and dishonest claims he made in the last election campaign. He pretended he had control over interest rates when, in truth, they were always controlled by the central bank. He pretended that merely by keeping his budget in surplus he was putting downward pressure on interest rates, when the best you can say is that this didn't put much upward pressure on rates. Had he genuinely been trying to hold rates down he would hardly have been spending so much and granting tax cuts in five budgets in a row. And now, when the proof of his impotence and insouciance is plain for all to see, he wants to shunt the blame on to "Kevin Rudd's Labor premiers". Weak act. And an insult to the voters' intelligence. This is the man who keeps telling us he's God's gift to economic management?