How Canberra became Wayne’s World
What political silence?
Dr Richard Di Natale, Greens Senator for Victoria, writes: In Bernard Keane’s piece yesterday “Cost of living delusion runs deep at the political level” (yesterday, item 2) he says that that all politicians keep pandering to the notion that voters are doing it tough despite the fact that the opposite is true. He finishes by saying “at some point a brave politician has to come forward and tell voters the truth.” He obviously hasn’t read my first speech. It’s not a question of bravery, just a willingness to say it as it is.
From my first speech, July 2010:
“It is now a political mantra to talk about how tough life is for ordinary Australians. Of course some Australians are hurting. Some are trapped in an entrenched cycle of poverty. Some people have lost their retirement incomes because gamblers have speculated on the market with their savings. Some have a gambling problem of their own, supported by State governments whose own addiction to this revenue shows no sign of letting up.
But the reality is that by almost every measure, whether it is income, housing, education or health, most Australians are doing better than the citizens of almost every country on earth and far better than at any other time in our history.
At a time of global turmoil, our economy is one of the world’s shining lights. When almost half of the world’s people continue to live on less than $2.50 a day, we have experienced a prolonged period of economic growth, low inflation and low unemployment. Our nation has never been better placed to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. This is precisely the time for courage and vision, to lead rather than follow.”
The power of Wayne:
Robert Jensen writes: Re. “The Power Index: why Canberra revolves around Wayne’s World” (yesterday, item 1) I think Bernard Keane is the only journalist that gives Swan any credit for being a good treasurer — thanks for that.
It’s easy to be a great treasurer in the good times but it’s in the hard times that they truly have to show their metal. I think Swan and Rudd deserve a lot of credit (though they won’t get it) for having the guts to go hard with the stimulus when the GFC hit. It couldn’t have been an easy decision but it saved lots of jobs and more importantly for the long term — businesses.
And those people who think that 2012/2013 surplus is purely political should read the article “Keynsians in the recovery” that Swan wrote for the Australian Fabian Essay.
Also, in the next few years productivity will increase as a result of the current restructuring of businesses resulting from the high Aussie dollar and the training measures put in place by the government. Unfortunately, Swan won’t get the credit as Abbott will probably be in power then.
Finally, I think people under-estimate how much influence Swan had in getting the carbon price up. He was committed to pricing carbon into the economy after he met Stern. Although, the short term politics aren’t good on this one the long term economic benefits to Australia will be immeasurable.
The Gillard v Walladge war continues:
Hugh McCaig writes: Something has to be said to bring Luke Walladge’s (comments, yesterday) all out attack on PM Gillard (now twice) down to earth. It has become an unrecognized reality that the economic safety which our country has had is in fact down to the Labor Government led by Julia Gillard and her Cabinet colleagues. Looking around the world this should be acknowledged. The fact that it isn’t, is down to the constant negativity of the Media pack in Canberra working almost in a lock step march to denigrate the Prime Minister and Government.
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