Feb 27, 2012

No more secrets: Rudd a dud on health reform

In the health arena in 2007 there were great expectations for root and branch reform of the Australian health care system. Kevin Rudd simply wasn't able to deliver, writes one of his mental health advisers John Mendoza.

The defeat of Kevin Rudd was as assured as if he had gone to a caucus vote on the morning of June 24, 2010. The Australian public is now getting an insight into the reasons for the total lack of confidence in and a total repudiation of Rudd as prime minister. The stream of commentary provided by senior cabinet ministers over the past week has finally started to tell the real story of his time in the Lodge.

What has been extraordinary in the 20 months since he was removed has been the discipline and loyalty of the vast majority of federal Labor members towards Rudd. What makes this period of discipline and loyalty even more extraordinary is that Rudd has been running a relentless, very damaging campaign against Julia Gillard and the government.

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4 thoughts on “No more secrets: Rudd a dud on health reform

  1. John Saint-Smith

    Surprised? What rock were you dullards of the media hiding under? Blind Freddie could have told you that Rudd was broadly detested but tolerated for the sake of presenting a united front. Now all you can do is tell us how surprised you are that his colleagues thought so little of him all along. Is that why you gave so much credence to his white-anting nonsense about a strong challenge to Gillard?
    I don’t like Gillard either, but it has to do with her own two-faced approach to policy. It was she, with Swann who urged Rudd to drop the ERTS. Today she claims the Carbon Tax forced on her by the Greens as her finest achievement.
    But for me the real killer is her Education Revolution which has done more to send Australian Education backwards than any other government program. Have you looked at what national testing does to education performance on the PISA sampling? The US, UK and other countries that have adopted national testing like NAPLAN have all gone backwards in their test performance over the past ten years, yet she gives us national league tables and “Myschool’.At the same time, the number of dollars spent on education in each of these countries has gone up dramatically, while their student results have gone in the opposite direction.
    I see precious little discussion of the real issues at Crikey.

  2. JamesH

    Could someone unscramble the grammar of this article please? It’s opaque enough without phrases like “the goalposts were shifting and zero very significant policy decisions were being considered with little or no advice” in the mix. What’s the zero zero-ing out?

  3. Meski

    @John: Before NAPLAN, how were we measuring test performance? If we weren’t how are you measuring that it has gone backwards? Maybe you’ve got an answer, and some stats to back up this, bus as it stands it’s an unsubstantiated assertion. Disclaimer: I have no involvement in the education system whatsoever.

  4. CML

    John Mendoza – isn’t this all about your celebrated (in the media)
    fall-out with one Patrick McGorry? If not, then I have a different
    The Rudd government was elected in 2007 with great plans for the
    health system in total. I don’t remember, but correct me if I’m wrong,
    that these plans specifically concentrated on mental health. Anyway,
    shortly after the government was elected, we had a small problem
    called the GFC and my reading of what happened to a lot of govt
    policies was that many took a largish haircut. Obviously, mental
    health and healthcare more generally were included in that. Trying
    to interest the States in reform without the usual bucket of money
    attached is almost impossible. I don’t care who is running the Feds!
    or what party they come from.
    Further, if the Ministers for Health, and Mental Health were doing
    their jobs properly, you might have got somewhere. Rudd is a visionary
    and ideas man – the lesser beings were supposed to keep him
    grounded and get results. I note that one Ms Roxon has been running
    around dumping a bucket of excrement on Rudd all week, and doesn’t
    appear to realise that she is just advertising HER failures to all and
    sundry. Likewise Gillard, who had even more responsibility as deputy
    PM for the smooth running of the government. My point is, that the
    failure should be shared here instead of you “doing a Roxon”.
    I am amazed that no one in, or connected with, the Rudd govt is able
    to see that what we had here was a failure of management . Of course
    Rudd is not blameless, but there are many other people who don’t
    want to take their share of responsibility for some of these failures.

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