Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and the Red Cordial
Sir Roger supposes that, given he is the default custodian of Australian Values, he is bound to comment on the recent burst of enthusiasm in Canberra. The lesson to be learnt from it all is Don’t Let Unionists and the NSW Right Drink the Red Cordial. (They spill it all over the place.)
But where to start? First, we’d like to see the resumes of the people who have been advising Kevin Rudd for the last six months. My god, there has rarely been such a display of collective stupidity, incompetence and/or self-serving inhumanity in federal politics since … since … since Abbott & Costello, Sir Foppling Downer, Ruddock the Nazgûl, the tame but dreadful Keelty and, perhaps, DIC Correll, gave advice to John Howard.
Rudd was a joke for most of his leadership. And the joke was that he thought people voted for him. He thought, or came to believe, that people voted for him because they liked him. Pfffftt.
People voted for him so as not to vote for John Howard and his debauched, dissolute, corrupt, self-satisfied, complacent, arrogant party of political brigands.
They voted, specifically:
Rudd’s popularity was high for as long as there was a prospect he would deliver these things. And he did deliver more or less on Work Choices and certainly on the Apology. But the doubts were there for years as he substituted imprecise promises of distant and uncertain reports-and-inquiries for actual action. “We are acting decisively to set up an inquiry into whatever.”
Voters have felt betrayed especially about the acute need for action on mental health which has fallen away into nothing.
He looked cowardly when he distanced himself on a number of occasions from the bad news of broken promises which he ruthlessly forced his ministers to deliver while he was conveniently out of town. He didn’t look tough. He looked weasely.
The ascendancy of Tony Abbott has spooked him. And so he tried to look tough on the Mining Super Tax which he described as an example of revolutionising the taxation system which it patently was not. It was just a money grab and everyone knows it. Money to salve the hip-pocket nerve in the run-up to the next election. So we knew he lied about it being a revolution in taxation as long as this was the only recommendation of the hundred or two made by Henry that was taken on board. He recanted about the party political advertising “cancer” so we knew that he was unreliable, and untrustworthy – in fact that he was just another politician.
And he didn’t look strong against the miners. He just looked stupid. It wasn’t David and Goliath it was Dopey and Godzilla.
In his desperation to counter the attraction (he thought) and the traction of Tony Abbott he swung the party to the right. He matched Abbott on asylum seekers and he ditched climate change as policy – possibly the two biggest things that got him elected in the first place.
When he became Prime Minister he had placed the party in the centre right. That left the LibNuts nowhere to go but further to the looney right fringe, where Tony Abbott lives. Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull tried to contest the centre right and failed. All Rudd had to do was to stick to the centre right – humane social policies with responsible fiscal policies – and he would have been a three-term PM. But he got spooked. The hilarious moment came, in fact when the night before he jumped he promised that Labor wasn’t going to lurch to the right into Abbott territory on climate change and refugees. But it already had! His asylum-seeker policies were as ruthless, at least in prospect, as John Howard’s, and his proposed action on climate change now non-existent, like Howard’s. The other amusing thing he said was that he had been elected PM by the voters of Australia. This was not true. You can’t vote for the Prime Minister, just your local member and the factions elect the leader of the party. So the factions just unselected him as leader.
It was the lurch to the right that really opened up the Greens’ opportunity in the centre. They now look like the centre left instead of the looney left fringe. We can all see that they had been right all along, all those years of banging on about climate change and the environment and being ignored as radical-newage-pinko-leftie-drug-crazed-hippy-weirdos. Oh, and gay. And it turns out they were right and we should have listened to them way back then. But way back then they were unelectable. Now it is quite conceivable that they will hold the balance of power, possibly even in the Reps. It may be the only way to keep a rein on the ALP’s slide to the right.
Anyway, Rudd broke the faith and broke our hearts and he had to pay for it sooner or later. The power brokers all have the Labor Party self-destruct DNA. You can see it in NSW every day. Two and a half years in power federally clearly is beyond their capacity to cope with. The boiler was bursting and they longed for the quiet, familiar decades of Opposition.
One doesn’t blame Gillard. She knew Rudd’s number was up (courtesy of the naughty boys who had drunk the red cordial) and she was obliged to take the opportunity.
One doesn’t care whether she’s a woman or not. It’s no big deal. Bandaranaike, Meir, Gandhi, Thatcher, Clark; Boudicca, Mary, Anne, ER, VR, EIIR. Xena. All have come before, elected and unelected, both. We already know for goodness’ sake, that women are up to the task. They always have been. What one does care about is whether she does a good job for the country.
One dislikes her. Especially her awful, grating voice and strident accent. Someone on a radio talkback show said they liked her because she was a good communicator and a straight talker and they were looking forward to the end of all the political spin.
One begs your pardon?
One cannot recall a single time that Gillard ever actually answered a question, or at least the one that was asked. All there ever is with her is spin and slogans and ignoring the question. Here’s an answer I prepared earlier. Over and over and over again. She is a waste of space and a waste of time.
And she is still preferable to Tony Abbott by a long long way.
And if she softens asylum seeker policy and urgently implements real climate change policy and compromises on the mining tax grab and addresses mental health then one might change one’s mind about her.
We don’t deserve this bullshit. We shouldn’t be limited to choosing between the Liars and the Other Liars and the pot-smoking-long-haired-tree-huggers.
There ought to be a law that says anyone who wants to be a politician is banned from running for office and the politicians should be drafted the way juries are.
UPDATE: The question whether the bloodletting was worth it pragmatically (and what else is there in politics?) may be answered by the betting market, although one wasn’t watching before the guillotine fell to know how much tightening there has been.
Betting on the election result is strongly towards Labor. Centrebet has Labor at $1.36 against $3.05; Sportingbet has $1.40 against $2.85.
Top election date betting is for August 28: Centrebet $3, Sportingbet $3.50; September 4: Centrebet $5.50, Sportingbet $5; any date in 2011: Centrebet $6, Sportingbet $5.50. All other dates in 2010 are at longer odds. So the punters apparently expect Gillard to go early while she’s got the new-girl bounce. Hmmm. (Strokes chin)
MORE UPDATE: Recommended: more, more professional, betting analysis, immediate polling results and other entrail sorting available from Possum Pollytics and the Pollbludger. The new-girl bounce is there but would Kevin have won anyway?
[tags]Australia, Australian values, Rudd, Kevin Rudd, Gillard, Julia Gillard, Labor, Labor Party, Prime Minister, PM, leadership, politics, political values, Australian politics, mining, asylum seeker, refugee, stolen generation, indigenous, aborigine, aboriginal, Abbott, Tony Abbot, Costello, Downer, Ruddock, Howard, Keelty, red cordial, Work Choices, Apology[/tags]
Posted: 25 June, 2010 in Australian Politics, Australian Values, environment, History, politics and government, values.
Tags: Abbott, aboriginal, aborigine, Apology, asylum seeker, australia, Australian Politics, Australian Values, Costello, Downer, Gillard, Howard, indigenous, Julia Gillard, Keelty, Kevin Rudd, Labor, Labor Party, leadership, mining, PM, political values, politics, Prime Minister, red cordial, refugee, Rudd, Ruddock, stolen generation, the red cordial, Tony Abbot, Work Choices