tip off

Labor will eventually return to the Rudd brand

Branding has a bad name in political discourse. The word is often said with a faint distaste. Presumably people, particularly politically engaged people, would prefer that the clash of party, of policy, of personality not be reduced to the level of marketing dishwashing powder or cars. But given most voters — whom we force to polls with the threat of fines — have minimal interest in or exposure to the details of federal politics unless something significant is happening, and have long since abandoned even the simplest forms of political activism like political party membership, individual and party brands are key to political success.

And that will only become more so as the unitary media of the 20th century — a single public space controlled by a small number of proprietors across three media — recedes into history as the aberration it always was. In an ever-more cluttered, fragmented media environment, branding is crucial not just for media outlets but for political parties and leaders.

Prime Ministers need a brand. As national leader, they need to have a relationship with voters, and you can’t have a relationship with a non-entity (well, not a particularly enjoyable one). It used to take a long time to acquire a brand as leader. John Howard was around Australian public life for decades before he became Prime Minister. So was Bob Hawke, in a far more high-profile role. Keating created an entirely new political character in Australian politics and inhabited it brilliantly, but he’d been in politics for decades as well before he became Prime Minister. Hawke and Keating also rebranded their party as the party of reform, of modernisation and change, the drive of Keating and the reassurance of Hawke combining to enable Australians to accept the most rapid period of reform since WW2.

Julia Gillard’s brand, as everyone knows, is damaged, and very likely terminally damaged. Last year, after the election, her challenge was to develop her brand, to articulate her personal vision for Australia, what she wanted to achieve as Prime Minister and her agenda for achieving it. She literally admitted that she needed to do this and tried, while many of us were whingeing about her need to do it, to set about doing it.

The carbon price decision, as correct in policy terms as it was, wrecked that, branding her as deceitful. Her, and Labor’s, polling numbers crashed from the day the carbon pricing decision was announced in February, and they’ve never recovered. Her failure to address another issue she had personally identified as being on her to-do list, asylum seekers, played to a wider branding problem for the whole government, of incompetence, an image undeserved in most areas but carefully cultivated by the Opposition and many in the media, particularly News Ltd and the ABC.

Barring a recovery that would make John Howard’s “Lazarus with a triple bypass” look like a mild angina attack, Gillard can’t lead Labor to the next election. You can’t rule out a turnaround, of course: stranger things have happened. Recall John Howard’s travails in the 1980s, when he was a figure of public derision and mocking Bulletin front pages, before his huge electoral success in the 1990s and 2000s. But that took a wilderness period when even his own party turned its back on him, and a deeply unpopular Keating Government.

The political cycle has dramatically sped up since then, so there’s time for a Gillard rehabilitation before 2013, but not while she’s in office and under the constant scrutiny of the Prime Ministership, particularly when, to her immense credit, she remains committed to actually using power to pursue a useful, if fairly limited, set of reforms.

Who else has a brand suitable for leadership in the Labor Party? We’ve seen what happens when you install unknowns into leadership positions, in NSW, where Labor inserted first Nathan Rees, then Kristina Keneally, into the premiership in an effort to turn around its fortunes. Both were unknown to voters. Voters don’t initially react hostilely to people they don’t know, but the lack of a brand means there’s minimal tolerance for error, no deep roots to secure a leader in popular support even when things go bad.

As it turned out — particularly once she was free of the burdens of leadership, Keneally was actually revealed as an intelligent, engaging woman who might yet have a lot to offer Labor. But you can’t create a brand on the run.

That’s Federal Labor’s problem. Does Stephen Smith have a brand? Well, if he does it’s as one of the hotter blokes in Parliament. Beyond that, he’s intelligent, engaging and very competent, but otherwise unknown to voters. What about Bill Shorten or Greg Combet, the next generation? Combet in particular has some profile from his days at the ACTU, but again, they’re mostly unknown and to the extent they are known, they’re not associated with anything beyond being generic Labor figures.

Simon “safe pair of hands”™ Crean? Hmmm. And the ambitious deputy, that perennial figure in Australian politics? Well, neither side is blessed with thrusting deputies at the moment, and Wayne Swan has publicly acknowledged that the leadership baton has slipped from his napsack.

Oh, except, there is Kevin Rudd. He has a brand. And his brand is far better now courtesy of his knifing by his colleagues. The punters like Kevin much more now since he was done over by the factions than in the final stages of his leadership, although he was well ahead of Tony Abbott on all indicators when he was knocked off.

One of Rudd’s problems as PM was that he failed to build his brand while PM. I just said you can’t create a brand on the run, but Rudd was in an unusual position, having won the Prime Ministership on the basis of being able to project different things to different voters as Opposition Leader, appealing to both more cautious voters who were tired of Howard but didn’t want too much change, and the Howard-haters who would have done anything to turf out the Liberals.

With his enormous popularity, and his adroit handling of the GFC, Rudd was positioned in 2008-09 to craft a durable positive brand from a position of power. Instead, he blew it, blew it any number of ways but mainly, for mine, by allowing the Opposition to define the terms of economic debate, by skipping the chance to have a double dissolution election on the CPRS (dud policy that it was) in February 2010, and by dumping the CPRS.

All of that was fixed by getting knifed. As Malcolm Turnbull discovered, getting publicly executed by your party is a great way to revive your reputation. Before Tony Abbott narrowly defeated him, Turnbull’s leadership was a mess, particularly due to his appalling misjudgement over Godwin Grech. All that’s been forgotten now, particularly by Labor and Greens voters, who would lift the Liberals’ vote to even higher levels if he was leader, and even by the independents, who clearly would be tempted to back a Liberal Government if Turnbull was at the helm.

Turnbull was done over for standing by his principles, while Rudd can make no such claim, but that detail doesn’t seem to have dampened the popular enthusiasm for Rudd. The fact that Labor’s factional leaders are so poorly regarded further strengthens the image of Rudd.

That’s why, barring that improbable Gillard recovery, Labor will turn to Rudd, probably late in 2012, should the government survive that long, which is by no means assured. They’ll turn to him in spite of his profound personality flaws, Downfall-based management style and quite staggering genius for alienating people. Rudd’s the only choice. Labor wasted Gillard when it elevated her to the leadership too soon, and surrounded her with duds from NSW Labor to run her election campaign. Sticking Stephen Smith or Bill Shorten or anyone else in will just waste them too. Labor can’t waste Rudd, because it’s already done it.

Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of what exactly the ALP’s brand is any more, anyway. That’s a problem beyond the immediate capacity of any leader — Gillard, Rudd, Smith, anyone — to fix.

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  • 1
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    This articles assertion that Gillard can’t lead the ALP to the next election neglects a few very important points.
    First, any leadership change will trigger an election meaning which without a significant improvement in the polls the ALP will lose (and that improvement will not come from changing leaders again). This means that the ALP will in effect reduce the time they are in power, hardly an entincing option. Plus the ALP need this term to go as long past the Carbon price introduction as possible as the longer they go the worse Abbott looks and the better they do.
    Second, who would want to take over the leadership when they are almost certain to lose when they can start with a clean sheet and an Abbott lead govt after the election who will be unable to achieve his promises, especially with a hostile Senate.
    Third, this govt still has to get through things like the MRRT which are unpopular in some sectors so any prospective new leader will let Gillard take the hit’s for that.

    Also why is Crikey bothering with this sort of thing, why are we getting polls and leadershio spills rather than policy analysis?

  • 2
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    The assertion that Gillard can’t lead the ALP to the next election neglects a few very important points.
    First, any leadership change will trigger an election meaning which without a significant improvement in the polls the ALP will lose (and that improvement will not come from changing leaders again). This means that the ALP will in effect reduce the time they are in power, hardly an entincing option. Plus the ALP need this term to go as long past the Carbon price introduction as possible as the longer they go the worse Abbott looks and the better they do.
    Second, who would want to take over the leadership when they are almost certain to lose when they can start with a clean sheet and an Abbott lead govt after the election who will be unable to achieve his promises, especially with a hostile Senate.
    Third, this govt still has to get through things like the MRRT which are unpopular in some sectors so any prospective new leader will let Gillard take the hit’s for that.

  • 3
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Also why is Crikey bothering with this sort of thing, why are we getting polls and leadershio spills rather than policy analysis?

  • 4
    enquvist
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Rudd as PM and I STILL want Rudd as PM. Although for a while there, I liked the idea of a female PM (finally Australia got with the times!) sadly I think it’s the wrong female and she’s wrecked it for other women’s chances to get into that position for a long time to come. This country already has a pretty misogynistic undertone and they’ll not forget Gillard (or stop using her as a reason no other woman should be PM for a long time to come).

  • 5
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy, you are to be congratulated. With the enemy out numbering you 100,000 to 1, you are still loyal to labor

    Impressive Jimmy

  • 6
    Son of foro
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    No they won’t. The polls will start to turn around, the internal tensions in the Liberal Party will bubble up, Abbott will be STABBED IN THE BACK BY FACELESS BACKROOM HEAVIES!!!! and Gillard will win the next election.

  • 7
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Enquvist - What has Gillard got so wrong that Rudd got so right?

    SB - I don’t see any polls showing 100,000 to 1 against the ALP and my post wasn’t pro labor (I actually acknowledge the unliklihood of Gillard winning the next election) but merely pointing out Labor and any prospective leaders of Labor have nothing to gain from changing leaders and a lot to lose. If there is a flaw in my logic please feel free to discuss it.

    Oh and I am still waiting for evidence from many of your previous assertions!!

  • 8
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    @ Son of f0ro

    Its impossible now for Gillard to win, her reputation is trashed by lying and now all the bad press that is constant.

    She will never win an election, and history will judge her and replay that lie video in any memorial / backgrounder

  • 9
    PatriciaWA
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    What crap, Bernard!

    Julia Gillard doesn’t need a brand! She has guts, brains and leadership skills. Commentators like you, those at Fairfax, News Ltd and the ABC keep telling us she’s finished and her government done for but it’s still holding together and she is still standing.

    Stop writing about polls, regime change and what Abbott looks like and get on with reporting on things like policy analysis, climate change phenomena, economic data and some real news!

    Gillard has guts!

  • 10
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Son of foro - It is interesting that every poll shows Abbott is a drag on the Libs vote, but if they were to change who would they go to, Hockey is a joke and Turnbull won’t continue the opposition to the carbon tax which is bolstering the Libs vote, I can’t see them changing either, we will have Abbott V Gillard in 2013.

    I do agree though the polls will turn especially with Abbott worrying business currently and sush a big black hole in is budget. In fact I think to a dgree they already have, it just a matter of whether they will come back far enough.

  • 11
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy

    I actually believe in Rudd’s ego.

    He WANTS to prove them wrong - the people who axed him

    He WANTS to re-write his history

    He WANTS to have it appear it was continuous PMship, so I think he will have a move before years end. So he can say he was PM in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 etc.

    He BELIEVES he can be the white knight that saves Labor.

    He WANTS to restore his tattered reputation on the World stage. He has lost all face in Asia. One you are sacked, you get a nothing job and look out the window. its similar here.

  • 12
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    SB - “Its impossible now for Gillard to win, her reputation is trashed by lying and now all the bad press that is constant.” That is why Abbott is her best chance right now, his net approval is about as bad as her’s and there is no way he can actually do all that he is promising.

    As for history judging, history generally let’s the minor politics disappear and focus on the major policies and a Cabon price, Paid Parental Leave, a National cirriculum, disability incusrance, MRRT etc will sit pretty well.

  • 13
    enquvist
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    What has she done wrong? Well the troops are still o/s, live cattle export sans mandatory stunning is still going strong, gay marriage is still a no no, and that’s just my own personal reasons for losing faith in her. The off shore immigration processing plan made her look very bad, and though I’m all for the carbon tax, there’s a lot of people (sadly I suspect, a majority these days) are against it. She doesn’t come across as a warm person, and I think that’s a big mistake and she should have worked harder to develop a warmer presence. I’m not sucked in by News Ltd’s propaganda but there’s no denying there’s a big stink hanging over her head, and I believe, given a public vote - Rudd or Gillard as PM - she’d lose.

  • 14
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    SB - Rudd might believe all that but it doesn’t make it fact. As I said he has more to lose than gain from toppling Gillard prior to the next election.

  • 15
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy

    As I have said before Abbott is a fool and NOT a leader. They change him and Labors vote will go to 22%, simple as that

  • 16
    Jim Reiher
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Labor have been their own worst enemy. If they had any real courage, any serious survival strategy they would begin a serious reformning agenda including:

    - increase the mining tax (even if it means breaking the deal Ms Gillard did with them three days after knifing Mr Rudd)
    - use that money to immediately increase pensions (will Mr Abbott take it back?)
    - put dental care under medicare (will Mr Abbott end that?)
    - get up the national disability insurance scheme
    - end the intervention in the NT
    - institutue a national holiday celebrating our indigenous people and their heritage (let’s see Mr Abbott try to undo that one)
    - change media ownership laws to lower the amount that any one person or company can own
    - begin a govt owned and operated manufacturing plant for wind turbines and solar panels - out near Hazelwood, and offer people out there more jobs in clean energy work…
    - introduce gay marriage (cant see the Libs undoing that one either)
    - and more….

    What might happen? They lose the next election?
    You have to be joking!?
    That looks so certain that a radical action plan of serious reform might just save them.

    So to Labor out there…. I have to cry out in desparation: Go down fighting you cowards! Sack your conservative advisors and minders and DO SOMETHING you frightened poll-driven gutless wonders!

    The only think I can image worse right now, than impotent Labor, is an Abbott led hyper-conservative govt. That thought causes me to fall into the fetal position, shaking ….

  • 17
    Jean
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Ah, come on- Rudd and Turnbull have been getting the underdog vote in the opinion polls- put either back as party leader and everyone would hate them again :-)

  • 18
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Enquvist - Rudd didn’t solve any of those issues either, my question is what did Rudd actually do that is better than what Gillard has done?

  • 19
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy - perhaps, but his ego gets in the way of his judgement most of the time.

    He is angry, gets wound up by Queenslanders and supporters and anythung could happen.

    Where do you think the leaks are coming from?

    Rudd or someone else? and if so who

  • 20
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    SB - You still haven’t said why my logic in my original post is wrong!

    As I have said before Abbott is a fool and NOT a leader. They change him and Labors vote will go to 22%, simple as that” Abbott is holding the Libs back but who would replace him?

  • 21
    Luke Miller
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Upboat for hilarious Downfall reference

  • 22
    enquvist
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    @ Jim Reiher
    ahhhh that is a DREAM list of events. You had me salivating!
    And I agree also about the foetal position should Abbott become PM.
    No gay marriage allowed, no straight divorce allowed, no carbon tax, no nothin’!

  • 23
    Edward James
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Bernard Keane
    Will any journalist ever return to asking again those questions which Kevin Rudd refused to answer while he was running interference for the Goss Labor government in Queensland. The questions relate to his part in the destruction of documents relating to the abuse of children who were in the care of state intuitions? Party branding with expensive bought and paid for spin, reminds me a little of the way cattle rustlers would resort to over branding duffed cattle, by for example burning a B over a P. When Rudd was on the ropes recovering from being stabbed in the back by Labor Party members, were were the bought and paid for media with those unanswered yet probing questions? Edward James

    http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds

  • 24
    Joe Magill
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Yawn. Oh look, another article about a leadership challenge. Rivetting.

  • 25
    matticus
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Jim Reiher for PM 2013 ;D If that list was completed I think I would feel proud to be an Australian.

    Take the rare opportunity of having power in both houses, and get things done, Rudd didn’t get that chance and Abbott won’t (if he’s in).

    First step I think is get a Super Profits Tax sorted, that money could really help out. Let the mining corps have their whinge and print ads all through the News Ltd papers, so what, do it anyway, they’ll survive. No better time to talk about it again with the OWS movement on.

  • 26
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy,

    “As I have said before Abbott is a fool and NOT a leader. They change him and Labors vote will go to 22%, simple as that” Abbott is holding the Libs back but who would replace him?

    Both Labor and Liberal are devoid of QUALITY leaders.

    I think Stephen Smith from Labor
    I think Scott Morrison from LNP or Stoner if he makes the move to federal

  • 27
    DF
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    @ Jim Reiher

    Yes. Agree 100%.

    Excuse my literary lapse but so many cliches come to mind. If you’re going to go down, go down with a bang, not a whimper. A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man only one. Faint heart ne’er won a maiden’s hand. Grasp the nettle, seize the day. Might as well get killed for a sheep as for a lamb. And finally… what have they got to lose?

  • 28
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Matticus - “First step I think is get a Super Profits Tax sorted, that money could really help out” That will happen very shortly, it has the numbers to pass both houses.

    SB - Neither of those will happen before the next election. Morrison has shown nothing to demonstrate he has any sort of vision, and SMith is a steady performer without being a standout, he is better suited to defence or finance than being leader or treasurer.

  • 29
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Joe Magill - I posted something similar earlier but my criticism’s are still in moderation.

  • 30
    Michael Hutak
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    More brand analysis. I’m so tired of brand analysis.

    The relegation of politics as nothing but another arena for the application of marketing is what is causing the cancerous disrespect for all politicians and the destruction of faith in political systems to enact change according to a collective will expressed in the franchise.

    Tanner is right, this is all content, no substance, a sideshow apparently without end.

  • 31
    kerneels
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Bernard,
    Hope you don’t mind me correcting you, but “napsack” is actually spelt “knapsack”.

  • 32
    Son of foro
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    SB

    You want Casey Stoner to lead the Libs? That’s a dream team!

  • 33
    Perry Gretton
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    If memory serves me well, John Key, Kiwi PM, had a poll rating as Opposition leader barely above 20% at one stage before he won the election. Just sayin’.

  • 34
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    @ Perry Gretton

    Yes Opposition Leaders can recover (if they are given time),

    The PM cannot. Dead Women Walking - simple as that

  • 35
    Ruprecht
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Yawn.

    I don’t need a person in Canberra to speculate on my berhalf.

    Sad for BK that this article is put in the same issue that Gawenda says that BK offers a unique perspective on Canberra that no one else has.

    There’s a lot of actual stuff going on. More policy discussion, less horse race please.

  • 36
    Kez
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Bernard
    Can you Canberra types please stop talking up Rudd. He must not be allowed to come back as he is a flesh-creepingly awful person who couldn’t do the job the first time around.

    Also, have you noticed how the Coalition is Rudd’s new best friend? Why? Because they know that with him back there’s no question they’ll win the next election.

    Sadly, Julia is not doing well. But surely there MUST be someone else? Anyone? (but not Stephen Smith, either)

  • 37
    Billy Blogs
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Self interest will prevent Rudd from getting the job again. Those who knifed him know that revenge is just around the corner if they give him half a chance. Most of the power heads in the ALP would be kicked up the arse if Rudd was calling the shots leaving nothing but juniors.

    Most of them would then lose their seat at the next election and the heavyweights will resign knowing they would otherwise spend years in opposition.

    The only hope for the ALP is to promote a Smith-type person who will survive an election and claw back some of the more marginal seats that would be lost in a 7% swing. Then have another look at the leadership toward the end of Abbott’s first term with an aim to recover more seats.

  • 38
    Ian
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Sent this to the PM yesterday. Don’t really care what the right thinks

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Firstly, my sincere congratulations on the passing of the Carbon Reduction Scheme. I am sure that my grandchildren and their childrens gratitude will echo with much more resonance than mine. The future,as always, has much to thank the past for. This is no exception. Again, thank you.

    As I watch the daily political debate I can’t help but at times to feeling a disquieting coldness overtake me. It’s as if the heart of the old time knockabout, she’ll be right Aussie has been clenched in a corrupted fist of hate, bile and venom. The personal attacks on yourself have been particularly disturbing. No Australian worker, and you are one, should ever be subjected to that. It really is unAustralian. How and where you get the strength to fight it day after day I have no idea. I, like millions of others are just thankful that you find the courage to do so.

    In those times when you find yourself doubting the validity of your beliefs, your vision of the countrys’ future, the steadfastness of your colleagues beliefs please remember that for every Australian that doubts you one Australian believes in you. That the polls say different is superflous. The last ballot boxes spoke truthfully. I truly believe that in the cheap cardboard voting booth Australians, aware of the importance of their individual action, vote in the best interests of this country. It was so in 2007, it was so in 2010 and will be so in 2013.

    Pay no attention to those who, by not understanding the true nature of courage, seek only to destroy it. To those to whom the meaning of Honour is not the selfless actions of the brave, the courage of independent thought guided by an empathatic awareness of the foibles of humanity. They believe Honour to be a useful addition to the school motto. Give them no heed.

    Millions of Australians believe in you and your journey. Draw on our strength.

  • 39
    davidk
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    @ Jim Reiher
    What a wish list. If Labor controlled both houses; as Howard did and screwed us all; or would work with the Greens, we might have been in with a chance. But Labor hasn’t and won’t.

  • 40
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Ian,

    I can’t think of why future generations will thank Gillard for being forced to very little when she actually wanted to do nothing.

    The carbon tax is only a good first step if there is the intention of rapidly taking many more steps. Very rapidly. And much bigger steps. I don’t see any sign of Labor having ever wanted to take real action, or of them wanting to do much more now.

    Which is worse - denying that climate change is a problem or pretending that we are taking real action to prevent it when we are doing anything but?

  • 41
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    DavidK - “What a wish list. If Labor controlled both houses; as Howard did and screwed us all; or would work with the Greens, we might have been in with a chance. But Labor hasn’t and won’t.”

    Have a look at that list and compare it to what Labor has done/planning in govt -
    Increase pensions, Rudd did this and it will be increased more undre the Carbon tax.
    The mining tax will be passed soon and while it might not be as big as some would want it is bigger than what we have presently.
    get up the national disability insurance scheme - Only a matter of time.
    “begin a govt owned and operated manufacturing plant for wind turbines and solar panels” Never going to happen but it is investing billions of dollars into renewables run by the private sector so the end result will actually better value for money.

    So only the national hoilday, dental care, gay marriage (although big advancements in the recognition of same sex partners has been made) and the intervention (which apparently most people effected actually want) remain. To me that is a pretty good result from a “wishlist”

  • 42
    geomac
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I cannot see a change in leadership for the ALP anymore than I can see it in the Liberal party. Rudd may have a brand but what is its value ? Other than the GFC which was a group decision by Swan , Rudd , Gillard and Tanner with Henry led advice what did brand Rudd represent ? We have a minority government and speculation about a change without considering the minor players expectations of honouring agreements seems pointless. If Abbott gains office it will also be a minority government if the libs have a lower base than Labor because he will have to depend on the Nationals of various stripes and labels. WA nationals as compared to natlibs/libnats in QLD or just Nationals elsewhere.
    On Turnbull and the Grech debacle one thing puzzles me. Abetz was knee deep in the bogus questions and inquiry and hammed it up to look like he was a Perry Mason intellect but no fallout for him. I see some official is in trouble for providing questions to the Greens and who is among the throng saying that was not appropriate but Abetz. I find it extraordinary that Abetz is even allowed to be part of a senate inquiry at all . Another Rudd mistake in not pursuing an obvious act of deceit to make himself look magnanimous like the Costello appointment.

  • 43
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    @ Ian

    Hope you get some flowers, box of chocolates and a Christmas card for your efforts

  • 44
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    MWH - “I can’t think of why future generations will thank Gillard for being forced to very little when she actually wanted to do nothing.” Hasn’t stopped your beloved Greens from talking up the historic significance!!

    The carbon tax is only a good first step if there is the intention of rapidly taking many more steps” Are we in a better position to take those steps with or without a price on Carbon?

  • 45
    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t blame the Greens for talking up THEIR achievement.

    But future generations are going to look at what was done to actually prevent climate change, and ask why was so little done, and who is to blame.

    And look how Labor supporters are making Labor out as some great progressive party when under Labor overall taxation has LOWERED. And this is from a tax base which was already low compared to most other advanced countries.

    Labor is a just a nicer RIGHT wing government than we would have under Abbott.

  • 46
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    MWH - ” don’t blame the Greens for talking up THEIR achievement.” So the Greens get to claim all the good bits, get to talk of the historical signifigance, get to be hailed as saviours of the planet but the other people in the room in the negotiations just get criticised for not doing enough?

    And look how Labor supporters are making Labor out as some great progressive party when under Labor overall taxation has LOWERED” So the only way to be progressive is to increase taxes?

    But future generations are going to look at what was done to actually prevent climate change, and ask why was so little done, and who is to blame.” If they study their history propoerly they might actually marvel that in such a hostile political environment and a facing media intent on bringing it down a minority govt was able to achieve something that had claimed the leaders of both political parties.

    Honestly MWH I thik you are part of the reason why people dislike the greens, not prepared to live in reality and accept compromise that means something is achieved rather than nothing. You only want change in massive leaps that will never be politically possible.

  • 47
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    What a suck up Ian, what is her vision beside selling refugees to Malaysia or anyone else she can?

    Malaysia has a new dirty deal that shows they were leading that idiot Bowen around by his balls.

    Read on - Malaysia having detained too many refugees is planning on relieving overcrowding by sending Burmese refugees back to Burma- and possible persecution and death.
    Malaysian has recently promised to allow asylum seekers to work under the 6P program -see herehttp://www.malaysianbar.org.my/legal/general_news/6p_programme_to_register_illegal_immigrants.html Grave reservations about what registering really means are becoming a grim reality.

    Malaysia, Myanmar Eye Swapping Immigration Detainees
    http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=620444

    Malaysia and Myanmar to Swap Detainees
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/10/17/myanmar-msia-to-swap-detainees/

    18 October 2011

  • 48
    nicolino
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Suzanne, You mention lying in connection with Gillard. Lying never seemed to have hurt Howard when he lied about the GST.

  • 49
    david
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    nicolino and lying is one of the troll suzie oozie’s habits…expect nothing else from a troll of course, its how they operate..talks rubbish, knows SFA , and believe the stupidity they post.

  • 50
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 19 October 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    @ David @ Niclino

    Howard went to an election with the GST policy and almost lost.

    Gillard lied at the 2010 election and almost lost.

    Politicians are liers, but Gillard takes the cake, and she will be remembered for this.

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