Apr 28, 2010

Clumsy but ruthless — why Rudd is clearing the decks now

The Government is using a brief lull in the political cycle to junk everything that will get in the way of its re-election strategy. Maybe Caucus will have other ideas?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

There’s a definite look of panic to the Government’s pre-election deck-clearing, with anything faintly inconvenient being chucked overboard in extreme haste.


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4 thoughts on “Clumsy but ruthless — why Rudd is clearing the decks now

  1. Kevin Jones

    Bernard, do you think any of the OHS harmonisation or workers’ comp harmonisation processes will get increased attention during the run-up to the election?

    The insulation installers’ deaths have got increased attention this week and will gain more as the OHS regulators, coroners, etc begin providing findings.

    The workers comp review process involves money and insurers and should generate some interesting business commentary. The sensitivities of the issue in the recent SA election were clear and the Queensland review announced this week has that peculiar anonymous letter attached to the Boral submission.

    Workplace safety is more than anything a moral obligation and the government cannot be seen to be heartless – the insulation deaths again.

    Or am I just an OHS professional in a niche profession pushing a niche barrow?

  2. John james

    This decision, combined with several earlier decisions, particularly Rudd’s using junior ministers to front the media with the bad news , notably Minister Ellis telling everyone, with a straight face, that the capacity for child-care placements is much in excess of demand, and Greg Combet’s mournful announcment that the Insulation scheme was dead in the water, tells you much about the government in general, and the PM in particular.
    As Paul Kelly stated to-day, the CPRS is a “monumental backflip” and Laura Tingle was even more astute, when she stated that this is a sign of general panic, because if Rudd will do this when he is nominally ahead in the polls, what will happen if the polls’ gap closes?
    Nothing illustrates Abbott’s jibe about Prime Minister ” Blah Blah” better than this CPRS decision.
    As the Spaniards say, no ‘gohones” or as Abbo put it this morning, absolute “gutlessness”.
    I think it also tells you that Abbott has the PM and the government much more on edge than they are prepared to publicly admit.
    The Opposition should focus on the enormous number of initiatives begun but not completed by this government, the PM’s penchant for announcing big things then walking away, often leaving individuals ‘carrying the can’ ( those insulation company representatives he met under the glare of TV cameras, with notebook and pencil, telling them he’d address their concerns! What a phony! ) and the inability of this goverment to deliver.
    Combine that with some solid policy measures of their own and this will be a very competitive election. The sooner Rudd, Labor and the Left go, the better for all.

  3. Malcolm Street

    Interesting that Rudd didn’t consult the back bench re. dumping the CPRS, and earlier Abbott didn’t consult his party re. his parental leave scheme.

    Seems to be that both leaders are playing their own populist games independent of their parties.

  4. pedro

    The word seems to be that Kevin has no stomach for change, but
    everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room.

    If the Liberal dominated Senate hadn’t been so obstructionist for partisan political reasons (read “Because we can”), stymieing virtually every bill that would give some credit to the Government, there would have already been big reforms under Rudd.

    I think the Government are rightly clearing the decks against a ‘criticise everything but have no policies’ Opposition coming up to the election.

    Savvy politics, not weak leadership. The end result is that the Senate lottery at this election will determine whether this Government can achieve true reform in it’s next term.

    Wait and see.

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