Perhaps we’re giving it too much attention (given that it was a pile of negative dross and dire warnings that if Labor does anything about global warming YOUR JOB WILL DISAPPEAR and anyway, union bosses will soon drag us back to TEH BAD OLD DAYS… when incidentally productivity was higher and we weren’t just reliant on being a quarry, but anyhoo…, oh and all that being sacked and hired back on a lower wage stuff, nothing to do with WorkChoices, trust us). But we’re not alone.
Paul Kelly thinks that climate change isn’t remotely a moral issue, and that Howard is a political genius, while Dennis Shanahan can hardly contain his glee at the fact that now the government are supposedly back on the front foot (his evidence being that he thinks so, and perhaps he gives the game away when he refers to Rudd’s “media honeymoon” – us humble voters apparently have no role to play whatsoever in an election year.)
I’m not buying it for an instant.
In truth, probably no one outside the political class, the punditariat and us politics junkies took any notice whatsoever. All that “cut through” from Howard’s speech was a couple of soundbites where he bags Labor and makes his infamous “moral challenge” claim which is just going to reinforce the head in the sand on global warming theme.
But, anyway, since a Rudd government looks more likely than not, I thought this snippet from Martin Kettle’s Guardian column on the death of New Labour in the UK was interesting. I’d be interested in people’s thoughts on how valid his criteria for a centre-left government are, and also how Labor under Rudd measures up (either in prospect or so far).
For a party of the centre-left to sustain itself in power, three big things are necessary. The first is to have honest answers to the problems that voters ask about the world they inhabit. The second is to have a constantly renewed national vision that remains rooted in the progressive tradition. And the third is to remain hungry for power, never forgetting that election victories require very broad coalitions of support that must be respected not taken for granted.