Two and a
half minutes into his Budget speech Kim Beazley correctly observed:
“The minerals boom that underpins our economy has nothing to do with
the policies of this government.” Then halfway through he talked about
the importance of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Get it? He identified
the sources of our wealth – like coal exports – and less than ten
minutes later declared he wanted to make them worthless.
gentle reader. I’m not going to waste your time or mine with a critique
of a critique like that. I will make just one observation. Beazley
rightly praised the Hawke and Keating governments’ record of reform. He
noted that in the 1980s the Labor Party rejected its ideological
prejudices. But in exhorting the Liberals to do the same, he actually
flagged his party’s return to its own old and worn set of preconceived
ideas: “Today’s challenges… call for active public sector involvement”.