Intrepid Australian Elections Correspondent Brett McS files the following report (filed previously with RC2, and do link over for further coverage):
This is John Howard’s legacy in action. Twelve years of balanced budgets and paying off of the former (Labor) government’s debt to the point where the Australian Government’s books were in the black. Rudd (Labor) came in promising to keep this legacy going – only to immediately blow it, of course. But, Global Financial Crisis! So, OK, Labor sort of gets a pass and sneak in the next election as a minority Government (now under Gillard, because, basically, Rudd is some kind of sociopath who can’t work with other people), promising all the while to bring the finances back into the black, and failing year after year to do so (of course) despite the mining boom. Big Black Mark.
I love this analysis. And no, not Seven Sociopaths, but if you’ve seen Seven Psychopaths (as I did last night), you’ll understand why I find Seven Sociopaths, in a government context, so hilariously funny.
The other big issue was “the boats”: Border Security. Howard’s Pacific Solution had stopped them coming. Rudd dismantled the scheme so of course the boats started up again – and an untold number of people died as a result. Then, after coming back in at the last minute to lead Labor – after challenging Gillard – he, rather cynically one might say, implemented his own version of the Pacific Solution. But, all that did was concede the point to Abbott, who was by now the more trusted leader.
So, the Labor government, despite presiding over a robust economy where the unemployment rate never even went as high as 6% (in spite of their best efforts) get ousted because they couldn’t balance their budget even in good times, and were lax on border security. That, to me, says that the Australian electorate has absorbed the John Howard legacy. Hopefully Abbott will carry that on and reinforce it going forward. John Howard (bless him!) did make a brief return to the public spotlight to offer his endorsement of Abbott.
And, while I personally don’t put much attention to politics, nor look to politicians for solutions …. YAY!
Looking forward to Walker/Cruz 2016.
See, now, this is good political analysis. And as I said, rather flightily, to our correspondent this morning via Twitter, I find that relying on Australian news orgs is unreliable, as I tend to read (disregarding the RSS-truncated-but-otherwise-beloved Tim Blair) about, oh just for instance, poor Julia Gillard being very solid and well-liked and knitting booties for Baby George, just the night before she’s getting her ass kicked out of office. And people, just for instance, passing around videos of her delivering awesome feminist screeds against her opponents who are, let’s not forget, currently the last two prime ministers.
So, after a few of these instances, I tend to think, “Oh F… this,” and stop reading that particular news source, at which point I come to my current situation, which is to say, I’ve reached a point where I don’t pay attention to Aussie politics much anymore, which I really need to sort out.
I mean, come ON, news peoples.