Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Please don't touch the Kelpie...

Only in Queensland can you say this without feeling self conscious:
He has to be the leader. He's so safe you could leave your girlfriend or your kelpie with him.
Or your Kelpie. Glad he won't do to Kelpies what he also won't do to girlfriends.

Meanwhile Beazley potters on. There's a fire in that belly I'm sure, but whether it fires over policy or just the seat inhabited by Johnny is another matter. How many chances do you get before you accept that maybe you're not leadership material. Maybe you don't even believe in anything worth fighting for.

I started reading the Latham diatribe again the other day, got about 3 pages further in and retired it again. Why are there so many people in my party with such strong beliefs that accord so precisely with the dry wing of the Liberal party? People who probably sit to the right of Amanda Vandstone or Petro Georgiou?

I would like to see a Rudd-Gillard team sweep in now, but my fear is that they wouldn't make enough headway before the next election, lose, and get dumped prematurely by the party in its hand-wringing uncertainty as people muttered about what a mistake it was to ditch Beazley.

If the party has little chance of winning next time, wouldn't that be a good opportunity to run a few strong policies up the flag, road test them, see where the public might actually tolerate or even warm to something progressive? Sometimes we are so conservative that I wonder if Labor winning with Beazley and the roosters at the helm would be an improvement at all...


Guy said...

"Sometimes we are so conservative that I wonder if Labor winning with Beazley and the roosters at the helm would be an improvement at all..."

Well I think we need to find out, one way or another!

Boysenberry said...

Reading your post was like looking into the recesses of my mind. All I can do is hope that Labor will one day stop the pattern of change leaders just before an election, then dump them just after the loss...

Rob M said...

The trouble is that conservatism is working just fine in the state governments. Look at Bracks, for heaven's sake.

Though if Beazley had been flipping through the Financial Review today he should have noticed that the government is getting a pasting over over its lack of investment in both physical and human capital - to wit, education.

I think you could put together a fairly compelling argument the government has put a largely ideological effort into starving the Australian higher education system of government funds, in the hope of forcing the universities into an American-style pay your own way system (that, and using the money to bribe the aspirationals and retirees in the marginals). In the process, the government has deprived Australian businesses of the skilled staff they need to expand, restricted the ability to reduce the unemployment and especially underemployment level further, forced the Reserve Bank' hand in raising interest rates (because there's no more skilled labour to be had) helped create a slow-burning crisis in rural health. Instead of investing in upgrading the skills of Australian workers, the government's solution is to create a low-wage, low-skill economy of working poor, just like the Yanks, who despite being considerably richer than we are have a working poor far worse off than our own.

Tidy that up a bit, maybe drop the reference to the Yanks, and that should just about cover the attack on the government's competence. Might even give some inspiration for some policies to fix it....

Oh, and if they want to be brave and progressive, commit to a carbon trading system, with any surplus revenue going to tax cuts.

Finally, here's something I've been puzzling over. Clearly, the childless and non-retired are getting the shaft in relative terms; bracket creep and the GST mean that they're paying more tax than ever, which is being shovelled to those with kidlets (hey, have the kid, my taxes should cover most of the expenses! ;) ). But how can you effectively dog-whistle to peeved-off singles and childless couples?

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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