I must admit that if I’d have to invite politicians at a dinner party, Kevin Rudd wouldn’t be first on the list.
Nothing major against Rudd, just that I don’t know whether he would be someone I’d warm to.
However, while I wouldn’t imagine him as the ideal dinner party guest, he would be my first choice to be the school principal of my son’s school.
I see ultimately Rudd as a competent person with some ability, that is why I am amazed that he dived in the polls so badly, so much so that the Mad Monk could be Prime Minister if we had an election last week.
That is why I did the photoshop I did in the previous post. That ‘don’t fuck it up’ was placed in blogs that wanted Howard out at the last election. I guess that Rudd didn’t ‘fuck it up’ then, but the erosion of goodwill is pretty astounding. That’s a ‘fuck up’.
I was going to write about this, but as it often happens a professional journalist writes about it much better than I could (that’s why they get paid).
This article is by Jack the Insider Blog. Usually I don’t read anything in ‘The Australian’ as its anti Labor stance is so extreme that it ceased to be anything closely resembling an impartial source of news and comment. However the article was linked in a tweet by Leigh Sales, so I had a read and I think that he explains Rudd’s predicament very well.
There is a time to expend political capital and a time to greedily store it away. The GFC provided Rudd with political cover to jettison some contentious policy and to stick to his guns in other unpopular policy areas. Yet the hard decisions were put off, pushed back until an election year when the humiliation became palpable. It might be all right to make a policy back flip in an election year but to do so on a weekly basis, reveals that the government is in a tactical black hole.
The first sign that all was not right with the Rudd government’s tactics was its limp response to concerns over asylum seekers in May 2009. In speaking to a few young Labor policy advisers at the time, I was astonished to see the panic in their eyes. The Rudd government was leading by the length of the straight. Nevertheless, the fear was real. “If (the election) runs on border protection, the other mob always win,” was one such comment.
Surely, that was the time to rumble that political truism once and for all. To do so required some political courage and an ability to communicate with the Australian people. It didn’t happen of course. Instead a poll driven or fearful policy response was cobbled together. First it was the Indonesian Solution (which immediately fell into chaos) and more recently, the suspension of refugee processing for Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers.
It wasn’t just gutless. It was dumb and gutless.
Hawke and Keating are real assets for Kevin Rudd. Sure, they’ll get out in the campaign, glad-hand the party faithful and tell a few amusing stories along the way but they offer more value to the Rudd government than that. They’re experience in the caper is an invaluable resource for a Prime Minister who is struggling to convince voters of his credentials.
Both Hawke and Keating have done the hard political yards. They have traipsed through political mine fields on a daily basis and walked away unscathed. It is inconceivable that veteran campaigners like Hawke and Keating would ever make the same mistakes. That their advice is not sought, as I am led to believe, is staggering.
Both Bob Hawke and Paul Keating would have had Abbott for dinner after two days. We can’t afford to have that sanctimonious fornicating Catholic dick-showing- in budgie smugglers idiot for Prime Minister.