Meanwhile, up here in Brisvegas, I’ve just noticed on my stumble home from the Valley Jazz Festival, The Curious-Snail headline for tomorrow is framed by a huge picture of Rudd, and the headline reads something like “This man will help you”. (I think there was just a tad more Rudd cheering to it, but I’ve had a few gin and tonics!)… The Queensland branch of the Murdoch Empire has obviously got the message.
Update: Here’s the actual headline, now that I’ve bought the paper:
My name is Kevin, I’m from Queensland and I can help
Check out this
report puff piece:
QUEENSLANDER Kevin Rudd painted himself as Australia’s man of the future as he unveiled key election themes aimed at catapulting Labor into power.
In a landmark 45-minute speech, the Opposition Leader told party faithful that only “modern” Labor could solve the nation’s challenges and accused Prime Minister John Howard of being stuck in the past.
Mr Rudd launched into a sweeping speech about the choice Australian voters would soon face with an election due in about six months.
“There is a deep mood for change in our nation,” he told a packed auditorium at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“Our goal in one sentence is this: to build in Australia a long-term prosperity without throwing the fair go out the back door. That is the Labor way.”
The build-up to the address was enormous and Mr Rudd entered the auditorium to a new catchy campaign song and a standing ovation.
On the lectern, and behind the stage on large projection screens, was Labor’s new slogan of “fresh thinking”.
During the speech, Mr Rudd said repeatedly that Labor represented the future and that by contrast the Federal Government was out of touch and Mr Howard stuck in a time warp.
“Mr Howard does not believe in a single idea that did not appear on black and white television,” he said.
Mr Rudd, who is 18 years younger than Mr Howard, is expected to keep hammering this theme in the run up to the election. He said Mr Howard had been in office too long.
“He is prepared to do anything, to say anything in the months before an election in order to cling on to naked political power because that is what fires his soul,” Mr Rudd said.
Mr Howard struck back, dismissing the personal criticism and saying the speech lacked substance.
“Mr Rudd’s biggest responsibility was to outline to the Australian people a plan to keep the Australian economy strong and prosperous into the future, and he completely ignored it,” he said.
While there was no major policy announcements in the speech, Mr Rudd ramped up his attack against the Government over climate change, education and industrial relations.
He vowed that if Labor won the next election then the Government’s WorkChoices laws would be axed “lock, stock and barrell”.
The speech came on the first morning of the crucial three-day conference that will lay the platform for Labor’s policy at the next election.
Today the conference will debate the two most controversial issues: industrial relations and a push to allow new uranium mines.