Tag: kevin rudd

what a gaffe: Open letter to the cabinet

This happened on my mothers local radio station.


He’s a happy little vegemite, that’s at least a good sign for a foreign minister sprooking a “once Australian” production.


Not that anyone will ask my opinion on the matter but for what it’s worth I think that the only “reasonable solution” (the time has passed for a “good” solution) is to have a challenge. Do it openly, loudly even. Plan it, book it in. Just have it. Have anyone whose name has been mooted by the media make a “real” statement as to status.

Then you have two options, just two I figure.

1. Kevin wins,well  so that the electorate’s original wish is respected. He might lose the election but he can push it back a bit at least . Then when you lose you can play swapsy if you like. If he wins and keeps winning he needs to talk succession. But if he wins in the world outside the cabinet room, then in one sense, the cabinet needs to suck it up. The people have spoken. Democracy has then done its job.  If he’s that bad at internal consultation there’s always Dale Carnegie! But I doubt they will win again.

2. Someone else wins and everyone else shuts up and winner gets given three clean news cycles. Yes I know technically the media decides that. But the party PR machine needs to cheer loudly. Keep all the news coming from the Government, Party and Country coming from this mouth ONLY. I think there are too many egos for this to work. But it must, because the Party can’t afford a bi-election. Nor can the liberal-minded of us all migrate to New Zealand quickly enough!

Even people I know with little interest in politics are taking bets on Julia remaining PM. Lets deal with it.

Why one might ask is this still an issue. Why is Kevin Rudd still on the front page of the paper every time he coughs?

Despite the carbon tax Copenhagen/mining tax mess up, I think that the polls that resulted were only meant as a slap. A punishment, not an execution. We figured he’d get the message that he had upset us and he’d have the time to kiss us and make up. He was still charming to us. So we didn’t know that he was hard to work with. But that wasn’t our problem. The spill made it our problem because it happened quickly, but not cleanly. and neither the mining tax, nor the carbon tax have looked like clear and clean wins for Julia Gillard anyway.

You turned our slap into your execution, without asking us. Clearly we don’t like that type of responsibility. We are happy enough (or not) with the responsibilities we have, thank you very much.

So now we are nervous about why the choices we make mean. Some are learning what the rest of us knew; you elect a local member and the rest happens in green and red rooms elsewhere.

But, even to those of us who do intellectually understand that though, you do sell the leader you have as prime ministerial candidate versus “other guy”. It’s not “our prime-ministerial candidate” versus “other guy” versus “whoever else we might like later”. Not in the first term.

However and whoever might lament  the Americanisation of politics; it is done as I have just described. Both sides have used this method. It is how it is. Yes we all need civics class to learn more about what our election day choices really mean and all the green and red rooms involved, that will have to go into an education package later on.

In the meantime you have two choices. But first have the challenge. Then decide and make sure everyone gets the memo this time


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Are we at the starting blocks?

Get ready its going to be a bumpy ride and a long run.

In the wake of what seemed a somewhat elongated UK election (who is David Cameron anyway?), I got to thinking about our own political landscape here in Australia. For those of us in New South Wales at least, we can look forward to two general, compulsory elections between say July this year and March next year. The state one next year is a fixed date election, so we can see it coming and boy can we see it coming.

Those with an eye for politics are expecting our PM to call the Federal election before the end of this year. Before Federal issues start getting (more) mixed with State ones. It can’t happen during September because of Fathers’ Day and all the football finals. I think the latest in the year I’ve voted at that level is November. October elections are more common. I’ve even voted on my birthday. Some of the folks in the know here are predicting either August or October.

You can tell things are gearing up. Tuesday night saw the delivering of the Federal budget, an amazingly low-key low spend budget for a Labor government in an election year. In order to bring the budget back into the black. My guess is (as Peter Hatcher has proposed) is that the intent was to take the “Labor are financially irresponsible” argument away from the Opposition, something that appears to have worked:

THE morning after and Canberra awoke with a post-budget headache only to have Tony Abbott add to the pain by saying the Rudd government started out as Paris Hilton and ended up Uncle Scrooge.

I don’t think that’s much of a sting to come back with. Circumstances change. The economy has changed. It might be quite confident to not feel one has to spend but still.

That was yesterday. Today of course, leadership speculation.


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We are shrinking and maybe not just the economy

It seems official. Australia has just experienced its first quarter of negative growth in 8 years with a drop of half a percent in the GDP.  We are spending less after the aparent boom of the past 17 years. As Peter Hatcher as pointed out this must be exceedingly frustruteding for the Government.

For Rudd Labor, taking power just as a 17-year boom turns to bust is profoundly frustrating

The timing is bad. Just as I suspect the Obama administration inherited problems originating from a careless Bush era, I fear much the same was always bound to happen to this Government. Recessions do not develop overnight and while they have been in power for 18 months now, i think the responsibility needs to be shared.

Australia lost some of its soul in the last 5 or so years. (more…)

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Australia 2020

Ok, so I am a bit late commenting on this I know but last weekend the Rudd government hosted the Australia 2020 summit. An exercise in listening to a handpicked collection of 1000 Australians for new ideas or re-hashed old ideas. In the words of Russell Skelton:

For one weekend a national conversation took place about the future of the country without a bunch of once-influential marsupials shouting down discussion of significant policy issues.

Ideas include major “root and branch” reform of the tax system, a republic, a review and reform of the federation as well as a disability Insurance scheme for those who acquire a disability through their life, among others. These are big overhauls and big risks for a government that is just over its 90 days after over 10 years in Opposition.

It was interesting to see who got an invite. that said a lot in itself of where the Government was pinning its hopes.

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