For my take on the significance of the dawning of the Rudd era, please have a read of my piece published in New Matilda today.
A great article Mark.
“I started this campaign quite skeptical of Kevin Rudd, but I’m much more hopeful now that the new Labor Government will do many good things.”
I don’t think Rudd will be a ‘great’ Labor leader. He is not an orator and his passions are always under control. But I know no leader of the past could match Rudd’s energy, attention to detail and his ‘properness’.
I am glad he won but much happier that Howard lost.
Wow , Leo ( the commentor over at New Matilda ) is real find Mark.
Should ask him/them over to LP to liven things up.
From M’s NM piece: “Hewson’s trashing of individuals and institutions in the service of partisan advantage”. And here I’ve been suggesting Hewson come back to lead the Libs. Remind me someone, what Hewsonist evil is Mark referring to? GST doesn’t match the description.
And Murph: you sure you wanna encourage Elders of Zion stuff? It’s a bit retro-conspirationalist for me, surely there’s plenty of domestic-strength controversial subjects to be explored with the advantage for discourse making that we’re all soaking in it. Pass on the uber-exotic.
John Robertson, of the NSW Union movement is apparrently not very hapy about Rudd at all. He is accusing Rudd of trying to play down the contribution of the Unions’ anti-Workchoices campaign that undoubredly won Rudd a number of NSW seats.
While I’m more impressed with Rudd than I thought I’d be, and very careful not to make the old mistake of saying the ALP and the Coalition are virtually the same, as some of my comrades on the far left would have it, because the Howard years have definitely proved that is not the case, I’m still worried.
Wpd, with respect, Rudds “Greatness” or not, surely should be judged buy what he does, not what he says, or (especially) how he says it.
Deeds not words.
Jeez. Let’s NOT wish Leo on ourselves here at LP. Please. Not even in jest.
Paul, I haven’t seen the comments from John Robertson. I think there’s no doubt that the YRAW campaign had a big impact and it was interesting to see on Lateline just now Coonan running a million miles away from WorkChoices, and suggesting Brandis was whistling in the wind when he talked about blocking it. I don’t know if you saw my earlier piece in NM – I’m a bit too stuffed to look for the link but it was last week and shouldn’t be hard to find. In some ways, I’m not massively overjoyed about the “employment rights” focus of the Labor IR policy – but it’s worth noting that it came from Combet basically. Robertson may be expressing some sour grapes – there are big factional animosities between him and the left in the ACTU. And I’ve long thought that unions need a policy framework that lets them do their job but encourages genuine workplace organisation. The old award/arbitration system which the NSW mob are still wedded to in some ways makes it easy for unions to rest on their laurels and play politics while trusting in the IRC to rubberstamp wages deals. You can see, when you think a bit, why Combet, a man of the left, pushed the current model.
goodtobewithyou, Hewson was one of the first in public life to start the abuse directed against public institutions like the ABC, individuals who disagreed with him – eg the then Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, as well as community groups, etc.
Hewson might be a bit of a social liberal but he’s hard right economically and also the first Liberal leader to really pioneer the nasty ad hominem style of politics. A lot of his trashing of Howard is also sour grapes.
I seem to remember Hewson questioning Bob Carr’s manliness because he didn’t drive a car, or something ridiculous like that, and then having to apologise.
Keating OTOH issued instructions that Hewson’s private life was off limits.
Is it too much to hope that Rudd will not be writing the history syllabus in his office and that the culuture wars are put to the sword. Of all the many offensive things Howard did it was this that got to me most. I too think that the well spring of compassion that still lurks in some parts of Labor will be there to temper policies.
And finally an observation about Paul Kelly. What a puffed up twerp he is. I generally don’t read him. His columns are generally fantasy where he assembles things that just aren’t true and then constructs what he feels is an intellectual position. So as Rudd’s words about Bernie Banton ad the great trade union movement were still ringing in our ears he goes on Insiders and says there was not true believer stuff ion Rudd’ speech. So the great man starts the narrative about Rudd as the new man the man with no ideology. blah blah blah bah as Howard would say. So self importantly pompous is this man is that he feels happy penning a long piece on the Australian Literary review about how shallow are the left leaning intellectuals in this country. Kelly of all people is a shining example of where the level of public debate has been dumbed down to in the mainstream media. We should all thanks the blogosphere for keeping us sane.
May I suggest Rudd is far too sure of himself ro indulge in the history wars atc. But I do hope he engages sufficiently to ensure our school history syllabi are utterly comprehensive and not stuck with only Howard’s triumphalist narratives.
As for Kelly, it will soon be evident how far he’s talking through his hat or not. I’m waiting to see what Rudd does, not what he says.
I’m sure all Lp-ers will be delighted to know that there are some of us on the Left who believe Ruddbot is reprogrammable.
M: Thanks for clarification. I was always suspicious of the way Phillip Adams, ‘frinstance, would trot Hewson out as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
Speaking of Luvvie Lore: at the moment, who knows for how long, there’s 12 and a quarter mp3 minutes of Paul John Keating interview from yesterday’s World Today. It’s the one from which his Julia Bishop comments are being snipped, but the best bits are before that.
Why didn’t we hear this during the campaign?
“For instance, you know, when he was secretary to Wayne Goss I put together the Australian National Training Authority for putting $2 billion into TAFE (Technical and Further Education). Kevin signed up to that. I put the headquarters in Brisbane. I did the Brisbane to Robina light rail line with Wayne and Kevin, but Kevin did all the massaging. I built the standard gauge railway from the intermodal point, Acacia Ridge, out the Port of Brisbane.
I mean, you know, Kevin’s a guy who will ride the detail and do the things. This is why, you see what happens now, at the Commonwealth level after these great reforms of the ’80s and ’90s, in tariffs, financial markets and that, is a loss important now than what happens in the States. The supply capacity economy can only be delivered in the States. It’s state sector – transport, health, you know, et cetera.”
Oh yeh, that’s right, Paul had to be kept in a box. Party man that he is he makes the point: “I won the fifth election. Howard didn’t win the fifth election. And I won it with a five and a half percentage point swing to Labor after a decade in office. And maybe just a few of my colleagues, particularly the machinery of the Labor Party will get to understand now how hard that was to do”. Exactly.
If Kev’s got an eye to his notation in history, (which no doubt he has, bigtime) he’d do well to set up a bolthole in Paul’s street, ( he can get a one bedroom apartment there for around 300) stock it with a case of a good single malt, a good set of crockery and eating irons, and make sure he bumps into Paul at the corner video store or the local Chinese or Italian, so he can invite Pail back for a takeaway a tipple and a talk. The nation would be better off for the rounding out of the education of young Kevin.
Then he should introduce Paul to the pleasures of small bore target shooting, Kev’s preferred sport. When they run out of small bores, they could move onto clay targets, Kev’s always keen for a bit of showing-off.
I can just see the two of them taking turns to call “Pull!”.
Very good article Mark.
Australia is very different to USA in its emphasis on the idea of fairness.
However, I do think it’s going a bit far to expect the politics of this Rudd government to be close to the Keating.
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