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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Quote: may I be

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.

Lao Tzu

I am blessed. I have needed heavy doses of strength and courage in my life. I have had those that loved me “just when I needed it most”.

The courage I have needed in the last few days might well surprise some folks. In fact I know it has. In ways that has damaged at least two friendships.

But the courage I needed was not physical. It was of integrity. I needed to own my truth and recognize that for me at least loyalty to a broader cause was not my highest calling. It was to a principle, this time one of inclusion. I assessed each woman on her merits as I was asked and on the issues I was asked about I spoke as I saw.

IT was worth it all.

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Tuesday tiny: Orwell’s view of my writing

I listened to George Orwell’s: Politics and the English Language as read to me by my computer. He may not like this blog much! However, we do agree on this:

In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.” All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred,……..

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one take on the polls today

In the words of one of the commentors:

This is probably the most succinct, accurate? and hilarious summary? of the campaign.

The apathy I heard and saw today while waiting after completing my own vote was heartbreaking and especially sad given the apparent closeness of the expected outcome. I would normally have expected a close election to fascinate more than bore. But still there were people more interested in finding out if they’d get fined for not voting because <insert excuse here> than in exercising a democratic right only afforded once every three or so years, despite their influence on our lives.

It certainly wasn’t an awe inspiring campaign but surely the closeness should engender interest? No?

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A fresh face perhaps

Over the last few days NSW  politics has had something more of a adjustment. After the Premier quit a week ago, we now have a former garbage man as NSW’s top man.

There’s been hurt egos, spilt blood and no doubt split factions within the ALP in NSW at least as well as over in Western Australia.

Nathan Rees does seem to be saying the right things, acknowledging the “soap opera” as he put it within hours of becoming the leader for example. He is warning tough times, both for the State and for NSW Labor. I guess we’ll see what happens. They are coming from a long way behind. Shifting chairs on the Titanic perhaps? Hope not.

The worst part of all this: a new Minister for Disability to work out and try to bring up to speed. I’m in a different level of government but there is flow on.

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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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Any one surprised?

Link: Military Says It Paid Iraq Papers for News.

The U.S. military command in Baghdad acknowledged for the
first time yesterday that it has paid Iraqi newspapers to carry
positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq, but officials characterized
the payments as part of a legitimate campaign to counter insurgents’
misinformation.

In a statement, the command said the
program included efforts, “customary in Iraq,” to purchase advertising
and place clearly labeled opinion pieces in Iraqi newspapers. But the
statement suggested that the “information operations” program may have
veered into a gray area where government contractors paid to have
articles placed in Iraqi newspapers without explaining that the
material came from the U.S. military and that Iraqi journalists were
paid to write positive accounts.

Ok so now we learn that the Bush boys do propaganda? As if we needed to be told! It fits the model that this war seems to have produced.

I’m getting heartily sick of government paid content. Especially in so-called democracies. Makes me grateful for blogging and for not owning a television. I really don’t think Orwell’s view of the world is as far fetched now as it was in say 1984. Ok so he was a couple of decades out.

The scary thing here is that buying comment practise – the same thing that may or may not be investigated (see this fellow blog for explanation) is not new. However I worry that the big brother “democracy” who muscled in with it’s holier than thou attitude might now be teaching the baby of the family bad habits.

Luckily for most of the West, paid comment is fairly blatant. The issue here is that the Big Brother here is passing off advertising as journalism and being deceptive as to the source. This reduces the Iraqis to being merely receptacles. It takes the local journalists away from the people that they are charged to work on behalf of.

If paid comment  is in fact a common practise there, I dare say it was employed by Suddam Housain; presumably therefore not something that a “non-dictator” would want to employ. Regardless, customary or otherwise let the locals use their own media content. If the US still really needs to say something — other than good bye — it really needs to be spelt out who is saying what, positive or negative. It’s good democratic practise.

Oh I just realised that’ll be why Bush isn’t doing it! It’s good democratic practise and it’s smart.

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