Budget 2014: Fixing Labor’s mess


Labor's economic policy

Labor’s economic policy

Giving any Left-of-Centre party the reins of government is like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank.

Firstly, they spend like there is no tomorrow, and when they run out of money, they just put up taxes and/or borrow more, which eventually cripples the economy and bankrupts the government. It never gets to that stage of course, because the electorate, who generally appear to have very short memories, vote them out at the last minute and leave the fiscal conservatives to clean up the mess. [Read more...]

Election 2013: Rudd promises to put Aussie on Moon


Bushwacker Bruce

Bushwacker Bruce said “Geez, I’m on the f*cking moon”

[Satire alert] Kevin Rudd has pledged that if re-elected on 7 September, he will commit Australia to land a fair dinkum Aussie on the Moon.

Speaking at a campaign function, where he had just announced a bunch of random, back-of-the-envelope, thought-bubble, far-fetched and completely un-costed policies so far into the future that nobody will remember, Rudd said that he asked the electorate to return a Labor government so that it could put Australia at the forefront of the space race.

“Australia has a proud history of space exploration [no it doesn't - Ed] and I cannot think up a more brazenly populist and vote-grabbing policy than promising to put an Aussie on the Moon at some point far in the future, when both I, and this ridiculous promise, will have been long forgotten. The East Coast rail link was pretty much out there, with a budget of $115 billion and a completion date at least fifty years away, but the ABC and Fairfax really thought I was serious. So let’s see how many of them fall for this one, with a budget of $1 trillion and a target date of 2100.”

Mr Rudd said he had considered offering free time travel for all senior citizens, but thought that even the ABC wouldn’t be dumb enough to run that story [want a bet?].

[Enough - Ed.]

Rudd the psychopath


Total weirdo.

Total weirdo.

UPDATE: Rudd is branded an “elitist grub who thinks he is superior to all” by someone who had the misfortune to have to work with him, whereas Abbott is a “gentleman with a capital G”. Following the debate last night, the make-up artist who worked on both Rudd and Abbott wrote on her Facebook page:

One of them was absolutely lovely, engaged in genuine conversation with me, acknowledge that I had a job to do and was very appreciative. The other did the exact opposite! Oh boy, I have ever had anyone treat me so badly whilst trying to do my job. Political opinions aside… from one human being to another… Mr Abbott, you win hands down.”

Just confirms the fact (if such confirmation were needed) that Rudd is a pompous, arrogant, sociopathic bully, disconnected with real people to the point of autism.  [via Bolt]

Janet Albrechtsen is on sparkling form in The Australian today:

Rudd knows he is not like the rest of us and that’s why he works so hard to prove that he is. Whether it’s the weird way he talks or the cheesy smile he wears for those few seconds too long, or his unnatural hand gestures, Rudd is trying hard to fit in. The problem is the more Rudd tries to be like us, the less he is.

When Rudd was removed in 2010, it was not just about policy mistakes, though they weighed heavily. Rudd was also removed because of his temperament, the way he governed as PM. Plenty within Labor were anxious that Rudd’s disturbing personality flaws would become known to the public. There were already slips: his hissy fits, his crude language, the white anger caught on camera and the rude, dismissive treatment of colleagues.

When Labor MPs spoke about the arrogance of Rudd, what Peter Beattie called his “fatal political flaw”, his dysfunctional, grandiose and chaotic governing style – it wasn’t hard to find evidence. Rudd’s character translated into rushed policies (think the National Broadband Network, the school halls, the resource super profits tax), overblown rhetoric that only highlighted under-delivery (how many policies were “revolutions”), arrogance that he always knew better (ignoring warnings about the consequences of dismantling John Howard’s immigration policy and safety concerns about pink batts) and thrilling symbolism over tangible outcomes (the apology to indigenous people was Rudd’s crowning achievement as PM).

Read it here.

Australian Labor chaos: new Liberal advert


Remember Kevin O’Lemon? Now we have a new advert, just in time for Labor’s leadership ballot tomorrow morning at 10am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (11pm GMT): “Lemons never change their spots”:

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All I am hoping for is that whoever wins will be so damaged that there will be a general election and the Coalition can dump the carbon tax.

Kevin Rudd resigns as Foreign Minister


Bitter enemies

Our dysfunctional Labor government limps from crisis to disaster and back to crisis again, as Kevin Rudd finally pulls the plug and resigns. Julia Gillard is expected to call a leadership ballot on Monday:

THE Gillard government faces days of uncertainty until Kevin Rudd declares whether he will challenge Julia Gillard for the Labor leadership, go to the parliamentary backbench or even resign from his Brisbane seat and force a by-election.

As government sources last night revealed the Prime Minister would today call a special caucus meeting for a leadership ballot on Monday, NSW independent Tony Windsor warned it was “more than likely” a change of leader would trigger a return to the polls.

And Wayne Swan launched an extraordinary attack on Mr Rudd, saying that “for too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop”.

Mr Rudd’s dramatic 1am resignation in Washington yesterday threw the parliamentary Labor Party into even more confusion and bitter recrimination as supporters of Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard blamed each other for the damaging events. (source)

Time’s up. A new election is required. This government has no credibility and no future.

Gillard finished as Australian Prime Minister?


Finished?

The governing Labor party is in turmoil. Polling shows an election now would sweep Tony Abbott’s conservative Coalition into power in a landslide. Julia Gillard has lost the trust of the public, and her own MPs, after a string of high profile embarrassments.

Labor really has nowhere to go. Some are talking of a return of Kevin Rudd, who was unceremoniously stabbed in the back in the mid-2010. But there is no obvious alternative candidate. If they dump Gillard, there will need to be an election. Australia may still dodge the bullet of the carbon tax, due to come into force in the middle of the year.

JULIA Gillard faced a revolt last night by marginal seat MPs who publicly called for her to resign as Prime Minister.

For the first time, marginal seat MPs including Victoria’s Darren Cheeseman went public with a demand she quit to save the party.

“There’s no doubt about it: Julia Gillard can’t take the party forward. The community has made its mind up on her,” he told the Sunday Herald Sun.

“Certainly, it would be in the interests of the party for Julia to stand down and allow (the) Government to select a strong candidate.”

One of Ms Gillard’s senior ministers also urged her to “resign now”, as Cabinet erupted into open warfare over a leadership showdown.

“For the good of the party, for the good of the Government, she should stand down,” the senior minister, who declined to be named, said.

Some supporters predicted yesterday the Prime Minister might yet be forced to spill the leadership and fight, but this was ruled a high-risk strategy because it would expose Kevin Rudd’s support levels.

But the Gillard camp has not ruled out sacking Mr Rudd as the Foreign Affairs Minister.

The Gillard camp maintains she has more than 65 votes in the 103-person ALP caucus, but even her supporters concede a ballot is high-risk because it is likely to show that more than a third of MPs want her gone.

Her supporters say Mr Rudd has between 30 and 34 votes, while six are unknown.

A Labor powerbroker warned Mr Rudd was destroying the party, driving down the primary vote with relentless destabilisation.

“He’s taken ALP caucus hostage,” they said. 

“His message is, ‘I’ll shoot the Prime Minister if you don’t give me the job’.

But both sides believe Ms Gillard will not resign. (source)

And while Labor fiddles with its own internal wrangling, Australia burns – no direction, no focus, no plan for the future. Time for a grown-up government again.

Lemon, Lime and Bitter


On the anniversary of his final squeeze into the gin and tonic of history, the Liberals resurrect Kevin O’Lemon in preparation for a possible return of Rudd:

The Government had “lost its way”, Ms Gillard said. Well, twelve months on it is clearer than ever that this Labor Government is just a bunch of lemons – and it is Australian families who are left with the bitter taste.

[tube]Vtgv3LaL9WU[/tube]

And Rudd is causing problems wherever he goes:

KEVIN Rudd has enraged cabinet colleagues with a media blitz on the anniversary of his knifing, prompting demands for the Prime Minister’s office to gag him.

As Julia Gillard declared her leadership “very secure” and dismissed “silly questions” about her plunging polling, senior ministers were despondent, lashing Mr Rudd as “dysfunctional”.

Almost 12 months after Ms Gillard brutally cut short Mr Rudd’s prime ministership, the pair yesterday engaged in a bizarre dual in the nation’s newspapers and airwaves.

The one-upmanship was played out against a backdrop of a devastating Nielsen poll that has the government at record low levels, and revealed twice as many voters want Mr Rudd as PM than Ms Gillard.

Ms Gillard also did a range of media events yesterday – a photo opportunity at a solar plant in Newcastle and a major solar deal with the Queensland government – before delivering a speech to Labor faithful in Brisbane.

Mr Rudd received a rock-star welcome at the Queensland ALP conference and conducted several interviews urging colleagues to get behind the PM, ignoring Ms Gillard’s barbs about his leadership in the Saturday papers.

He also issued a mea culpa over his time as PM, saying that he should have had a better mix of experience and “greybeards” in his office.

The turmoil dragged on as independent Rob Oakeshott warned the Labor Party not to move on Ms Gillard, declaring it could prompt him to pull the pin on the government.

“From my perspective if the Labor Party organisation wants to mess with Julia Gillard, the Labor Party organisation is messing with people such as myself,” Mr Oakeshott told The Sunday Telegraph. (source)

Oh dear, it’s all going horribly wrong.

More here.

"Horror poll" for Gillard


Is Kevin sharpening the knife?

The Sydney Morning Herald tries valiantly to put a favourable gloss on this (see here), but in the end, it’s lipstick on a pig. Gillard is sinking faster than a Pacific island. And to add to Gillard’s woes, Kevin 747 is almost twice as popular, demonstrating that it has become a case of ABJ – Anyone But Julia:

SUPPORT for the Labor government has fallen to 27 per cent, its lowest point in almost four decades, while Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have collapsed to levels not seen for a prime minister since John Howard introduced the GST more than 10 years ago.

The latest Herald/Nielsen poll also shows that a week away from the first anniversary on June 24 of Kevin Rudd’s dumping as prime minister, twice as many voters prefer Mr Rudd as Labor leader to Ms Gillard.

The poll, taken from Tuesday to Thursday night, contains a sliver of good news for Labor in that support for putting a price on carbon has jumped 4 percentage points in a month to 38 per cent.

But the government is in dire straits. A little more than one in four voters would choose Labor first should an election be held today, and almost 60 per cent disapprove of Ms Gillard’s performance.

She urged her colleagues to hold their nerve, suggesting that unlike Mr Rudd a year ago, she had a strategy to turn things around.

”We’ve got a plan which we are working through to deliver, which we did not have at the start of my prime ministership,” she told the Herald.

Since the last poll a month ago, Labor’s primary vote has fallen 4 percentage points to 27 per cent – the lowest primary vote for any main federal party in the poll’s 39-year history and the first time a major party has fallen to less than 30 per cent.

The Coalition’s primary vote rose 2 points to 49 per cent, giving it a two-party preferred lead over Labor of 59 per cent to 41 per cent.

This represents a 9-point swing towards the Coalition in the 10 months since the election and is the Coalition’s biggest lead since May 1996, two months after John Howard trounced Paul Keating.

Read it here.

Gillard and Swan wanted to abandon ETS


Which is worse?

That would be the same Gillard and Swan who are now trying to railroad through a carbon tax in breach of an explicit pre-election promise not to. To discover this fact, all The Australian had to do was check its news archive:

Speaking on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Mr Rudd, now Foreign Minister, said he had made the wrong call to abandon his ETS plan.

He said there were people in the party who wanted to kill off the idea, and others who advocated delay.

“I tried to find a way up the middle of all that, preserve the unity of the government,” Mr Rudd said. “On balance, it was the wrong call. We should have simply tried to sail straight ahead.”

Mr Rudd did not specifically suggest Julia Gillard, as Mr Rudd’s deputy, had lobbied heavily for the switch.

However, the caucus minutes, reported in The Australian last November, reveal a different story.

“I wish to place on record here that Lindsay Tanner and Penny Wong strongly argued to me against taking that position. Equally strong was the advice from Wayne and Julia that the emissions trading scheme had to be abandoned,” Mr Rudd said at the time. (source)

Julia is a fake, changing her tune to fit the prevailing mood (or the wishes of the Greens).

Labor Nightmare: The Return of Rudd?


Horror movie in real life…

Kevin Rudd was in good form on Q & A last night, breaching cabinet confidentiality to reveal that senior Labor figures were against an ETS, and leaving open the possibility (heaven forbid) of another go at the leadership. Another great day for Labor!

THE Coalition has seized on Kevin Rudd’s admission that he got it wrong when he dumped his emissions trading scheme, painting the comments as a job application for a second tilt at the Labor leadership.

The Foreign Minister’s breach of cabinet confidentiality – in which he admitted some senior ministers wanted the ETS permanently killed off – has also been used by the opposition to accuse Labor of hypocrisy over the issue.

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said there was “no doubt” Mr Rudd’s comments were an appeal to his backbenchers for another go at the leadership.

“I would suspect Kevin Rudd is applying to be prime minister, there’s no doubt about that, no doubt at all,” he told ABC radio.

Mr Rudd admitted on last night’s Q&A program that shelving his ETS was a costly error.

While admitting his mistake, he said he had resisted the urgings of some cabinet members who had argued for it to be axed completely. Others wanted to stick to the existing timetable.

Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop, who appeared on the panel with Mr Rudd, said his comments provided an extraordinary insight into divisions within the Labor cabinet.

“He said that last night, that there were some who wanted it dumped for all time. He was clearly indicating that that was Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan,” she told The Australian Online.

“I think he relished the opportunity to set the record straight. That’s what it appeared to me.

“I think that Julia Gillard’s hypocrisy is just too much for him. And he’s outraged by it. That’s what it appeared to me to be, that he was speaking out over her hypocrisy.”

Ms Bishop said Mr Rudd had clearly broken cabinet confidentiality and had “never seen such an open discussion of otherwise confidential deliberations”. (source)

Just when you think it can’t get any worse for Labor. The Return of Rudd – a horror movie in real life.

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