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PM elect Rudd strips John naked

Yep, he did what I prayed for. He took a risk by seriously underspending Howard, and putting cash into climate change and education investments for the future, not back pockets. But Howard now has nothing to sell, having trashed his own economic credentials on Monday. 


November 14, 2007

Welcome to my home state of Queensland. Welcome to my home town of Brisbane.  And welcome to my local community here on Brisbane’s southside.  It is great to be among people who are passionate about our country’s future. 

On November 24, Australians will face a stark choice: a choice between the future and the past. 

Today the case I put before the Australian people is that if we are to secure the future for our families, for our communities and for our nation - the government of Australia must now change. 

After 11 years, Mr Howard has lost touch with working families. 

He has become so used to being in office that he no longer understands what fairness actually means. 

After 11 years Mr Howard has become stuck in the past. 

He simply doesn’t understand the new challenges that we face in the future. 

The challenges of climate change and water. The challenges of the digital economy. 

The challenge of the rise of China and India. The challenge to fix our hospitals, once and for all. And above all, the challenge to transform our education system. 

Mr Howard has no plans for the future because he’s not going to be there to deal with the challenges of the future.  It’s official – Mr Howard’s retiring. 

And we all know that Mr Howard’s chosen replacement Mr Costello wants to take WorkChoices even further. 

The way forward for Australia is to elect a new Prime Minister and a new government with fresh ideas to meet the challenges of the future. 

A new Prime Minister and a new government who understand and respect the values upon which our nation has been built. Values of decency.  Values of fairness. Values of respect. 

A new Prime Minister and a new government who believe that the great Australian value of a fair go for all has a future – and not just a past. 

Friends, Australians are a decent people. We don’t ask for a whole lot. 

We want to have incentive to go out there and innovate, to build new businesses, to build our families and to build our lives. We’re competitive, hard working and independent. 

But also want a workplace where everybody gets a fair go – not just some. Australians are a decent people – but Mr Howard’s WorkChoices laws are not decent laws. 

Mr Howard claims he was upfront with the Australian people before the last election about how he would change our workplace laws if he won.  Mr Howard is just not being fair dinkum. 

When did Mr Howard tell working families they would be put on AWAs or lose basic rights to penalty rates, overtime, shift allowances and redundancy pay without any right to compensation? He never did. 

When did Mr Howard tell families that their kids and grandkids would be left to negotiate their wages and conditions on their own with their boss under these new, unfair AWAs?  He never did. 

When did Mr Howard say he would remove the no disadvantage test so that wages could be lowered? He never did. 

In bringing in these extreme industrial relations laws, Mr Howard betrayed the trust working families placed in him at the last election. 

Mr Howard lacked the decency to even mention WorkChoices at all during his 4,400 word policy speech on Monday. WorkChoices has become the industrial relations law that now dare not speak its name.  WorkChoices embodies so much of the differences between the values of our party and those of our opponents. 

We believe in rewarding hard work, achievement and success. We believe in protecting those who can’t stand up for themselves. We believe in a decent safety net and a decent standard of living for all working families. We believe in helping those who fall on hard times. Helping people like Bernie Banton and his struggle to get justice for working families who have done it tough. 

But WorkChoices undermines all these values. WorkChoices is an assault on all these values.  WorkChoices says ‘go out’, ‘fend for yourself’, ‘you’re on your own’. 

Growing up in country Queensland, I saw what happens when people don’t have a decent safety net. 

When I grew up, we were taught the value of community – looking out for one another when times are tough. That doesn’t seem to matter to Mr Howard. 

He is happy to see the fair go disappear out the back door. To me, WorkChoices is just plain wrong. 

That’s why on November 24 we must say no to Mr Howard’s WorkChoices laws.  If elected, we will abolish WorkChoices. If elected, we will abolish AWAs. And if elected, we will ensure flexibility and fairness at work. 

Friends, you can’t have a plan for Australia’s future if you have lost sight of such basic Australian values. 

Mr Howard’s government has lost touch with working families. 

After so long in office, Mr Howard has forgotten what fairness actually means.  Mr Howard says “working families in Australia have never been better off”.  Mr Costello says there is no housing affordability crisis. Mr Brough says there is no childcare affordability crisis.  How out of touch can you get? 

For Labor, fairness is in our DNA.  We understand that working families are under financial pressure and they need every bit of help we can offer.  That’s why we have also put forward a national housing affordability strategy – so that we can keep alive the great Australian dream of one day owning your own home. 

We have put forward policies to help with the family budget.  We will increase the Childcare Tax Rebate to 50 per cent.  We will introduce a 50 per cent Education Tax Refund.  We will extend dental care to teenagers through the Medicare system.  We will establish a Petrol Price Commissioner and a national inquiry into grocery prices to make sure working families aren’t ripped off. 

None of these represent a silver bullet.  But they do offer practical help to working families under financial pressure.  Financial pressures which Mr Howard no longer understands. 

Friends, Australia needs new leadership with fresh ideas for the future. 

With barely a week to go of this election campaign, Mr Howard’s government has put forward no new ideas for the future. It has run out ideas. It has run out of energy. And it has run out of time. 

I am offering new leadership with a plan for the future - Mr Howard is offering no leadership, other than a plan to retire and handover to Peter Costello. 

At Mr Howard’s policy launch on Monday there was nothing on climate change.   Nothing on water.  Nothing on hospitals. Nothing on infrastructure. And whatever amount of money Mr Howard may yet throw at these long standing challenges over the next ten days, it just not going to be real. 

The truth is, it’s all just too late to be believable. 

Remarkably as interest rates rose yet again last week, we now find Mr Howard running up the white flag on inflation, and running up a huge bill in a desperate bid to get re-elected.  A bill he is happy to leave for us all to pay – once he heads off into retirement. 

Monday’s feeding frenzy of expenditure would actually make inflationary pressures worse. Mr Howard spent nearly $10 billion on Monday.  Trying to buy his way out of political trouble.  And he did so little more than an hour after the Reserve Bank of Australia issued its monetary policy statement warning of rising inflationary pressures.  How irresponsible can you get? 

Mr Howard has already presided over ten interest rate rises in a row.  Six interest rate rises since the last election when he promised working families they would remain at record lows.  A broken promise now costing first homebuyers nearly $3000 a year more on an average mortgage. He has ignored 20 separate Reserve Bank warnings on Australia’s skills shortages and infrastructure bottlenecks. 

And now with this latest irresponsible and desperate pre-election splurge, Mr Howard is putting his own interests ahead of working families by risking further increases in their mortgage rates. 

I have no intention today of repeating Mr Howard’s irresponsible spending spree. Unlike Mr Howard, I will heed the warnings of the Reserve Bank. Unlike Mr Howard, I will not place in jeopardy households already struggling with mortgages. Unlike Mr Howard, I don’t stand before you with a bag full of irresponsible promises that could put upward pressure on inflation. 

Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop.  I am determined that any commitments I make are first and foremost economically responsible.  That’s why the commitments I announce today will cost less than one quarter of those Mr Howard announced on Monday. 

Furthermore, the commitments I am making today are exclusively directed at tackling the skills shortage, tackling infrastructure bottlenecks and acting on Australia’s environmental and economic challenges. 

I have said I will spend less than Mr Howard.  I have said I will not match his spending dollar for dollar. And I have said I am an economic conservative.  Today, I deliver on each of these undertakings. 

Mounting inflation and rising interest rates are a scourge on working families.  And I believe governments must do everything in their power to place downward pressure on inflation and protect family budgets from rising interest rates.  Because family budgets right around Australia are already under pressure from WorkChoices. 

Of course Mr Howard will continue his fear campaign on interest rates – while always forgetting to remind us that interest rates hit 22 per cent when he was Treasurer during the 1980s. 

We’ve learnt from the experiences of the 1980s.  But it seems from Mr Howard’s irresponsible spendathon on Monday he has now forgotten them. 

It is not just that Mr Howard has no plan to fight inflation.  He has failed to advance any credible plan to deal with the future challenges our nation now confronts.
On hospitals, we have put forward a national plan to end the buck-passing between Canberra and the States. 

I have a long-term plan to fix our nation’s hospitals.  I will be responsible for implementing my plan, and I state this with absolute clarity: the buck will stop with me. 

Mr Howard, by contrast, has put forward no new plan.  He prefers to continue buck-passing to the States, instead of taking responsibility for fixing the system. 

Australians are fed up with this tired, old game.  Australians want a long term solution for our hospitals.  They are sick and tired of short term excuses for not fixing our hospitals. 

We will deliver 2,000 extra aged care beds to take the pressure off acute hospital beds.  GP SuperClinics around Australia to take the pressure of accident and emergency departments.  A national fund to eliminate elective surgery waiting lists beyond clinically acceptable times.  A massive national investment in the war against cancer.  And 10 years after Mr Howard abolished it, we will re-establish a Commonwealth Public Dental Program.

Mr Howard has spent a decade in denial on the critical challenge of climate change.  Even now, Mr Howard still opposes Kyoto. 

I make this commitment: If we are elected, I will immediately ratify Kyoto. 

Mr Howard has opposed carbon targets and emissions trading. 

If elected, I will implement a 60 per cent carbon target and establish Australia’s first national emissions trading scheme. 

Mr Howard has opposed boosting the renewable energy target. 

If elected, I will implement a renewable energy target of 20 per cent by 2020 so that Australia can have a solar future.

I will establish clean coal innovation fund. 

And today I announce that if elected I will set up a major new renewable energy fund to develop, commercialise and deploy renewable energy technologies across Australia.  

We need to harness our enormous potential in solar, wind, geothermal and wave power.  This fund will support projects that take renewable energy technology from the lab to the grid. 

I am determined to make Australia part of the global climate change solution – not just part of the global climate change problem. 

Mr Costello has said the national government has no role in urban water. I fundamentally disagree.  Climate change has made urban and rural water supplies a matter of national significance and therefore a matter of national responsibility. That’s why if elected we will establish a National Desalination and Urban Water Recycling Fund. 

It is irresponsible for any national government of Australia to stand idly by while our major cities are threatened by the insecurity of water supply. This national fund is designed to deliver new desalination and water recycling projects right across Australia.  To help support projects in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – and other cities - which provide long term security of water supply.

For 11 years Mr Howard’s government has failed to provide leadership in developing our nation’s infrastructure.  If elected, I will provide that leadership. I will establish Infrastructure Australia - to tackle the nation’s infrastructure bottlenecks. I will establish a Building Australia Fund.
 And as one of our first nation-building investments, in partnership with the private sector, we will build a state of the art, fibre optic to the node, National Broadband Network. 

Mr Howard’s government offers a second rate, two-speed network – one for the capital cities and one slow and unreliable system for the rest of Australia.  Labor, by contrast, will deliver broadband for the entire nation.

Nation building requires vision. And the cornerstone of my vision for Australia’s future is an education revolution. 

I spoke about Australia’s need for an education revolution in my very first speech to Parliament nearly 10 years ago.  I have been speaking about it all year. Because I believe passionately in the power of education.  I believe education is the engine room of equity. The engine room of opportunity. And the engine room of the economy. 

I would not be standing here before you today were it not for the encouragement, instruction and opportunity provided to me by the teachers who shaped my life.  They made it possible for a kid like me from country Queensland to finish school, go to university, become a diplomat and stand here today seeking to lead our nation into the future. 

I know the difference a great education can make.  I want every child growing up in Australia to have the opportunity of fulfilling their potential.  My vision for Australia is to build the best education system in the world – so that we produce the most innovative, the most skilled and the best trained workforce in the world. 

The sad reality is that over the last decade Australia has been falling behind.  Falling behind in early childhood education, in trades training and in our national funding for universities.  The economies we are competing against are making huge new investments in education.  They know that knowledge intensive economies will be the wealthiest economies of the future. We must take decisive action now. 

We need nothing less than an education revolution now.  A revolution in the quantum of our national investment across the entire education spectrum.
And a revolution in the quality of those investments – to improve radically the performance of the education system. 

Right now, Australia’s investment in early childhood education is the lowest of any advanced nation on earth.  That’s why we announced in chapter one of our education revolution that we will provide 15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year in pre-literacy and pre-numeracy play-based learning for every four year old in the country. 

In chapter two we announced we will introduce a 50 per cent Education Tax Refund to enable parents to claim a refund for their investment in the modern tools and resources of their children’s education. 

In chapter three we announced we will tackle the chronic shortage of maths and science teachers by halving HECS for those disciplines at university, and we’ll halve it again for those graduates who go on to teach maths and science in our schools. 

In chapter four we announced we will introduce comprehensive Asian language education across the school system to equip the next generation of Australians with the languages of the major economies of the future. 

In chapter five we announced we will build state of the art Trades Training Centres for each of Australia’s 2,650 secondary schools. 

Today I announce three further chapters in Labor’s education revolution. 

Australia at present is suffering an acute skills crisis that is driving up inflationary pressures.  The government itself projects that Australia will suffer a shortage of qualified workers of more than 200,000 workers by 2010. 

Today I announce a plan to tackle the skills crisis head on. Over the next four years, a Federal Labor government will fund an additional 450,000 training places across Australia.  Within this, we will support up to 65,000 more apprenticeships over the next four years. 

We will act on the repeated calls from small and large businesses for more skilled workers, higher level skills training and for the training system to be more responsive to their needs.  Two-thirds of the new places will be allocated to training people who need to update or lift their skills.  One third of these additional places will be allocated to people currently outside or marginally attached to the workforce - to equip them with the skills they need to gain employment. 

Under Skilling Australia, new skilled training places for those outside the workforce will be available from April 2008.  This will ensure that some of these courses could be completed as early as June 2008 – thus stimulating immediate increased participation in the workforce.  To lift workforce participation now and to have an immediate impact on our skills shortages and inflationary pressures, we must get those on the margins of the workforce back into the workforce. 

Another key to fighting inflation and delivering long term economic growth is investment in 21st century infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband. 

Right now high-speed broadband is transforming economies all round the world.  The economic impact of the broadband revolution could be greater than the industrial revolution two centuries ago. The problem again for Australia is that we are falling behind other nations. 

We have one of the slowest, most expensive broadband networks in the developed world.   We must turn the corner now.  It starts with rolling out a genuine high speed National Broadband Network. 

And it carries on to the next chapter in our education revolution: linking this network to our schools. 

I announce today that if elected we will connect Australia’s more than 9,000 primary and secondary schools to our National Broadband Network - at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. 

And our most remote schools will be provided with alternative high speed systems, where fibre optic can’t physically be delivered. 

The next step is to make sure that the students of tomorrow are properly trained in the technology of tomorrow. Not simply word processing skills.  Not simply computing skills.  But using broadband - through individual computer terminals - to deliver education programs right across the school curriculum. 

Today I announce that if elected, Federal Labor will undertake a ground-breaking reform by providing for every Australian secondary school student in years nine to 12 with access to their own computer at school.  This is an education revolution. 

I want to turn every secondary school in Australia into a digital school.  I want to provide every secondary school student with the foundations to move into the digital economy of the future.  This will not just be a one-off investment.   And we will fund the replacement of these systems to keep them at the cutting edge.

For those schools who have already provided computers for each or most of their students, our plan will enable those schools (government and non government) to upgrade what they already have. 

Our National Secondary School Computer Fund will help students in all subject areas – such as technical students who use computer aided design as a key part of trades projects including furniture making, carpentry, metals and electronics.  It will turbo-charge the effective teaching of foreign languages by providing pronunciation drills online.  And it will deepen and broaden the study of chemistry, physics, biology and the hard sciences. 

Mr Howard seems to believe that providing our young people with computers is exotic. Mr Howard just doesn’t get it. Around the rest of the world, providing young people with computers isn’t exotic – it’s mainstream. 

Mr Howard seems to believe that providing our young people studying the trades with computers is also exotic.  Once again, Mr Howard just doesn’t get it. 

If you visit one of the country’s best tech blocks, or best automotive workshops, you will see how much computers are now increasingly integrated into what we once called the traditional trades. 

I believe that for Australia’s future a trade certificate will be just as important as a university degree.

The final step in the broadband revolution is to link school networks to students at home.  For some students, this happens already. However for many, it doesn’t.  And one of the purposes of Labor’s Education Tax Refund is to encourage parents to invest in computers and internet connections at home. 

Because Labor understands that in the 21st century, information technology is not just a key subject to learn, it is now the key to learning all subjects. 

Universities are critical to the education revolution that Australia so urgently needs. 

Australia is the only country in the OECD to have disinvested in our universities in the past decade.  This has got to stop.  It has got to stop now. Otherwise the brain drain will continue to see us lose many of our brightest young people overseas. 

Undoing the damage which this government has done to our universities will not be easy.  But this challenge begins today. 

I announce that if elected, an incoming Labor Government will double the number of national undergraduate scholarships to a total of 88,000 by 2012. 

I also announce today that if elected an incoming Labor Government will double the number of post graduate scholarships to nearly 10,000 students across Australia by 2012. 

And if elected we will create for the first time in Australia 1000 high-value mid-career research fellowships, valued at $140,000 each, to help reverse the brain drain.  This will help retain Australia’s most talented academics at home.  It will encourage the return of some of our best and brightest from abroad. 

This is critically important economic policy.  Australia cannot survive as a knowledge economy if we do not help our universities attract and retain our best scientists, innovators and researchers into the future. 

Today I have announced three new chapters in Labor’s education revolution. And we will be building on these chapters into the future. I am intensely proud of Labor’s plan for education.  It’s core business for Labor. It’s core business for me.  And it’s a core part of our nation’s pathway to the future. 

Friends, it’s good to be back in Brisbane today where I began this election campaign a month ago.  It’s especially good to be back home with Therese and the kids.  And for the record Therese, I haven’t forgotten that today’s our 26th wedding anniversary. 

Friends, if we are elected in ten days time, I want to be a Prime Minister for all Australians.  A Prime Minister for Indigenous Australia. A Prime Minister for rural Australia, where so many of our fellow Australians are going through such tough times with the drought.  A Prime Minister for our regions that stretch so far beyond our magnificent cities. 

If elected, I also want to ensure that Australia once again has its own voice in the affairs of the world.  I want Australia to lead, and not just follow, in dealing with the international challenges of the future.  I want Australia to be a leader in the global fight against poverty, disease and underdevelopment – starting right here in our own region, our own neighbourhood, our own backyard.  And I want Australia to be a leader in the global negotiations on climate change – rather than Australia being excluded from the negotiating table. 

And on Iraq, the time has come to implement an exit strategy for our combat forces – forces who are needed much closer to home. 

I approach this election with a passionate commitment to Australia’s future.  The values I bring to leadership are the values instilled in me by my family.  They are also the values that are intrinsic to this great party.

I understand that life is sometimes harsh.  But I believe that as a community we have a responsibility when one of us falls down, we must help to lift them back up. That’s what decency and fairness is all about. 

Another thing I have learnt is the absolute value of hard work.  Of not being wasteful.  And the importance of planning for the future.  For me, these are enduring values. The values that have built Australian families and communities throughout our history. 

And these are the values that as Prime Minister I would bring to our nation’s future challenges. 

I stand before you today as a candidate for the Prime Ministership of Australia.  I am proud of the plan we have put forward for Australia’s future.
And I am proud of the team that I lead – the team that will work with me in implementing this plan. 

The nation now needs new leadership for the future.  The nation now wants new leadership for the future.  And today, I stand before you ready to deliver that new leadership for Australia’s future.


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Well hell Alga

How about we try this? We let Rudd show his stuff before we decide it is all his fault.

What a novelty that would be.

Well Hell Mary

Mary j Shepherd, how about this:

"The sister of Mr Peters, Maureen Tolfrey, says she would like to see members of the Whitlam administration help in the repatriation of the victims' remains from Jakarta.

"I would like to say to Gough Whitlam and Richard Woolcott, you connived to hide the bodies and the remains, perhaps you could connive now to bring them back to Australia and let them lie in rest," he said".

Now here is something you can get your teeth into, let's get the silly old fart (Whitlam) behind bars.

Combet's house

If Combet wants to buy a house who cares?

The likes of me...

Mary j Shepherd says:

"And Eliot, I am proud as hell of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating because at least in this country with them around we could breathe without the stultifying abuse we have to put up with today from the likes of you."

I was around then, too.

New home for a new Prime Minister

The new Labour Prime Minister Greg Combet has bought a new home:

High-profile Labor candidate Greg Combet has bought a beach front house in one of Newcastle's most exclusive suburbs, 10 kilometres outside the blue-collar seat of Charlton he is contesting, and plans to live there after the election.

I wonder where the new Labour Government front-man, Kevin Rudd, will live?

And will it matter?

Eliot you are a wag!

Eliot, I grew up in Newcastle.  To this day it doesn't have 'exclusive' suburbs.  What a hoot you are!

I just had a funny thought

Gee. That Leunig cartoon is so deeply poignant and ironic and understated an' everything. Wouldn't it be funny if Howard won?

Margo: No! 

How Apropos

Gotta love that Leunig cartoon, this morning's Age. Not the bit about feeding the birds, though — I do that, and I'd hate to have anything in common with John Howard.

Implosion No:2

Hi Margo, Tony "Mad Monk" has just imploded on Lateline about WorkChoices.

Jesus won't help

Mary, I said Rudd had nothing to offer which will help alleviate these glaring problems through education or legislation, not that he was to blame for the situation. It's one of the major causes of the low health in the indigenous, low socioeconomic people and in growing numbers of all children in society. All politicians since Gough have contributed to the decline in our society's outcome and the sustainable operation of it.

We will find out who Rudd really is after he has been in office for a few months and even more when and if the balance of power in the Senate changes. I'd like to see Senate control or balance of power held by a combination of independents and Greens, I doubt the Democrats will retain a seat or Family First gain another. I have no ideological leanings, Mary, just abhorrence at what is happening to our world and the life forms inhabiting it. The blame for that lies solely with the political parties who have controlled the country for the last 40 years, for allowing and encouraging it to happen. Rudd may be much better than Howard and I hope so, but the Labor party is no better overall than the Liberals in their approach to the future.

Implosion No: 1

Hi Margo - Downer has imploded on Skynews tonight while being interviewed by David Spears.

Jesus what whingers

Alga, if people are too bloody fat they should eat less. Why is it Rudd's fault? The doctors are on the front line for health care not Rudd, so why blame him? He has not been in government yet.

And Eliot, I am proud as hell of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating because at least in this country with them around we could breathe without the stultifying abuse we have to put up with today from the likes of you.


Hi Margo. I think you are so right in Has Howard imploded? Not quite, but he's getting there. He will after the latest ACN Poll in SMH/Age, it is still 54/46 2PP.

Worst still to come, because the ACN poll was done before the latest scandal about the Regional Partner Scheme reported by the Auditor General and all those sensational headlines for Labor after the sensational launch. It's going to get very ugly for the Coalition the next 8 days.

Margo: You know, I think he actually did implode on that no apology day.  It's one thing not apologising to Aborigines. It's another refusing to take responsibility for the swinging mortgage holders who won you office. I heard from my betting partner today. He doesn't care that Howard didn't implode in week 3, and doesn't care to wait to week six. He reckons it's all over, and wants to pay up on the bet whatever happens. I think he's happy!

The libs are reduced to this...

Latest Lib email

The Editorial in today's edition of The West Australian highlights the risk a union-controlled Labor government would pose to Australia's $1.1 trillion economy.

The Editorial states: 

"...Mr Rudd's claims to responsible economic management and conservatism continue to be undermined by Labor's doctrinaire stance on industrial relations.

(The West Australian 15/11/07)

Labor's workplace reform rollback would lead to a wage and prices spiral that would put upward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

Australia cannot afford Labor's inexperience and union-controlled policies in these turbulent economic times, when external pressures such as world stock market instability, high oil prices and the US sub prime crisis make strong economic management more important than ever.


"...the dominant interest group behind the blanket opposition to WorkChoices is the union movement and this was not covered in yesterday's rhetoric. Labor's IR policy offers salvation for unions, which have been losing members and influence for years.

"...Labor's undertaking to abolish Australian Workplace Agreements threatens work arrangements that allow the flexibility that drives productivity and competitiveness in international markets."

Winnie the Pooh

Mary j Shepherd said:

"Really pathetic and deluded this old mob."

I found the Brian Courtice ad quite startling, actually. Especially the line about Kevin Rudd "not able to go three rounds with Winnie the Pooh".

Because, it's obviously true.

And there's no question, Rudd owes his ascendancy to the Greg Combet scare campaign over WorkChoices almost as much as to the Climate Change hysteria cult.

And Rudd won't be able to do anything about either industrial relations or climate change.


"Abolishing" (ie re-naming) workchoices won't satisfy the ACTU. And Ruddy isn't able to close down the coal industry even if he wanted. Which he doesn't, anyway.

So, in the medium to long tem, Rudd's knackered.

Especially if there's a recession, which is almost certain sometime in the next year or two.

Still, there's always the option of pretending later that we didn't support him, and then turning our sanctimonious wrath on him for 'betraying' (ie failing) the 'cause' (ie our cherished petit bourgeois technocrat paranoid delusions).

A new leader, not a new future

Rudd did good and Alga you are just a plain nark.

Mary, I understand your reluctance to look at our current reality and into the real coming future. Rudd did a good job for his ego and for the gullible slaves of society, however facts are facts and he has not addressed the most glaring ones determining our future. He has nothing to offer addressing the fact Australia is amongst the 5 fattest nations in the world, meaning health is deteriorating rapidly, so just throw more money. We have a pandemic in type 1 and 2 diabetes amongst our young, this is caused by the diet fed to people by corporations whose only aim is more profits for cheaper unhealthier food. Nor has he addressed the fact that:

AUSTRALIA's power industry is the highest polluting in the world on a per capita basis, according to new research.Australia produces more than 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide in generating power for each person per year, compared with 9 tonnes for Americans and 2 tonnes for the Chinese.

Clean coal is not possible until you find a way to trap the CO2 and other pollutants and that's at least 20 years away if at all, they haven't even started working it out yet. Climate change is with us now, not decades away as those in denial hope. No plans for the growing threats of sea rise, changing rain patterns, fire storms, increasing destructive weather patterns We are 30 years behind where we should be in combating these and the many more problems facing our society. Rudd provides nothing but plastic band aids and useless rhetoric, just like his older clone Howard.

I wonder how many people have noticed that they no longer state it's time for a new party or direction in government, but just time for a new leader. To me that proves there's really no difference between the parties, this election is about who will lead the lib/lab coalition not about the change of direction and application required to ensure our survival.

Rudd along with Howard's education policies are stupid and don't do anything, throwing money at people in the form of tax rebates does nothing for deteriorating education infrastructure and inadequate teaching abilities. The same goes for every facet of our society, nothing but more of the same slide into chaotic collapse.

Call me what you like Mary, but it won't change the future. On the other hand I understand how much people cling to empty hope and deny their true reality in life.

Rupert at work?

Rupert at work? Funny how things start to turn around after the News AGM a couple days ago.

KEVIN Rudd's speech at his campaign launch yesterday had a confidence and a drive which many voters will decide was lacking from John Howard's address last Monday. The two launches were starkly different, and clearly tailored to cope with differing pressures. Mr Rudd's event was clean and positive - even funny at times. There were moments when the audience seemed excited, something not seen in Australian campaigning for a considerable period - Daily Telegraph Editorial 15/11/07.

KEVIN Rudd has gone for restraint. In a policy speech that gives priority to fiscal virtue, anti-inflation and Reserve Bank warnings, he has seized the economic high ground. It is a calculated break from me-tooism. Rudd has underspent John Howard’s launch by 75per cent and attacked Howard not just as a symbol of the past but for indulging “in an irresponsible spending spree”. In a clever tactic, Rudd seeks to prove his fiscal conservatism, campaign as the best interest rate manager and exploit Howard’s tax breaks and spending promises as the actions of a desperate man. It will infuriate the Coalition. - Paul Kelly, The Oz

Leader displays newfound boldness - IN the ultimate act of me-tooism, Kevin Rudd has adopted one of John Howard’s oldest and most trusted tactics - turning a weakness into a strength. He has also decided to boldly take at their word voters who say they prefer money being spent on services rather than tax cuts. There is an element of stardust and risk in both strategies, but they demonstrate Rudd’s political deftness, frustratingly so for the Coalition, and a sense of boldness we have not seen previously from the cautious Labor leader. - Dennis Shanahan, The Oz.

Richard: Coincidences of course, PF  ;)

The spider and the fly

Well Margo, I think you were right on the money.  Rudd set a trap for Howard, and he walked right into it.  In the space of three days Rudd essentially reversed the orthodoxy that Labor is profligate and Liberal is financially responsible. 

All Howard really has left is his line that Labor’s plan to dump Workchoices will somehow lead to a wages breakout, which will push up inflation and then interest rates.  But to Howard’s ‘battlers’ – the real strugglers, not the aspirationals - who saw their conditions and wages slashed under Workchoices, that argument is a crock.  They know it and Howard knows it. 

You don't need to be an economist to know when you're being shafted. 

Workchoices was a deep betrayal by Howard of his beloved battlers (who we haven’t heard much about in this campaign, strangely), and I don’t think they’re going to let him get away with it. 

Karma, Johnny.  Coming to gitcha!

Gawd the old mob are lame

Rudd did good and Alga you are just a plain nark. I just saw this absurd new attack on Rudd using Brian Courtice who said that Rudd couldn't go three rounds with Winnie the Pooh.  Who the hell is Brian Courtice?

Really pathetic and deluded, this old mob.

Old Mob

Mary j Shepherd, talking about the old mob, did you see the Labor Launch where they wheeled out that silly old fart Whitlam again? Did you notice that he did not hug Rudd? I wonder who told him not to. (Remember Latham?) 

Last Hand Of The Shoe

An aside: "Mr Costello has said the national government has no role in urban water." said our Kev.   That must be why Downer's proposing funding for an aquifer under Adelaide Airport... on federal land.  And no doubt, given their previous history with that project, from Halliburton plans.  If the treasurer is so sure then how can Alex make such a proposal?   Do you smell an involuntary federal takeover of water control if the Libs win?  By his words Downer has telegraphed it.

I loved this speech for the fact that Rudd is actually making proactive proposals for a change.  I and I suspect many others, have been gritting my teeth and hanging onto blind faith that Rudd would start getting aggressive.  If he's holding more cards to his chest to play in the last hand of the shoe, it could be an interesting last nine days.

Bleak Angels and Good

I am not a fan of party politics and view Kevin Rudd as a 'less bad' leadership alternative to John Howard. Today gave me a small glimmer of hope for the future.

I think this quote from Kim Beazley's concession speach after the 2001 Tampa election sums up my thoughts about politics at the moment:

Like any nation there are bleak angels in our nature, but there are also good angels as well. And the task and challenge for those of us in politics is to bring out the generosity that resides in the soul of the ordinary Australian, that generosity of heart, so that we as a nation turn to each other and not against each other in the circumstances which we face.

A clones a clone

Fiona, I would expect an intelligent human intending to lead the country to provide answers to the future reality, not empty gibberish supporting a collapsing ideological delusion. You can't be disappointed in a predetermined direction destined to fail the requirements of the future, just sad. Solar panels on schools will make no difference to our future, nor will throwing billions of dollars at fossil energies, which are clearly at the forefront of our problems. Now if Rudd had've said he would spend billions on creating a real sustainable economy, environment, energy, health system and infrastructure, we may have reason to be optimistic. But he didn't, just prattled on as you would expect from an unintelligent ideological cloned puppet.

An optimistic realist sees the realities ahead and takes action to create a positive outcome. An optimistic clone sees what they hope lies ahead and continues on their negative path. Equating me to a donkey from a fairy tale is a poor attempt at rationale, and more in line with frustrated delusional hope. Rudd won't disappoint me, as he's never said anything which would give me confidence in his ability to do anything positive or constructive. When you have a situation where the countries future revolves around the personalities of two ideological clones with less than half a brain between them, you can clearly see the outcome, disaster. This election is all about Rudd and Howard, no mention of the many others who make up the parties. Political parties elect those who do what they are told and follow the party line, which is dictated by their corporate and other vested interests. They don't elect people with ideas, common sense or a rational understanding of life, otherwise they would lose the control they have. I understand how people supporting these fools continue to elect them, they have no choice as they also wish to keep their illusional collapsing lives bumbling on and don't want to be left out of the mob consciousness, which is the only way they can think.

what's new

So Rudd's proud of the platform of policies he's putting before the people, but I bet the people won't be proud of the outcomes of his leadership. Labor's policies are not much better than libs, not one solution to the problems facing us, just throw more money, more committees, inquiries and big noises.

It's easy to see the only changes coming from this election will be at the Lodge and seating in parliament, more money is going towards increasing the failings in our system than to cures. More nurses won't help the declining health of the nation; only prevention can do that. Throwing money at climate change won't help either, but stopping the pollution now will. More money for roads, but none of consequence for alternative sustainable energy and fuel. Nothing towards developing alternative public and commercial transport in the wake of peak oil and growing pollution. We should be shutting down coal and uranium mines, and building huge numbers of localised alternative energy generators. No banning of plastic bags, non reusable packaging, containers and consumer products, just shut down more industry, export polluting resources and import everything else. Nothing to turn the trade imbalance around, or reduce our reliance on overseas commodities, no nothing of consequence, just a lot of hot air from a clearly unintelligent clone.

Fiona: Oh really, Alga, do stop this impersonation of Eeyore. Did you really expect Mr Rudd to go into the nitty gritty of his policies? What about his proposals regarding solar panels etc for all schools? What about ... oh, what's the use (see - you've got me doing it too). He is different from JWH in so many respects. Why not give the man a chance? Or is this all finger-crossing, just in case you are disappointed?

The "Nambour Nerd" ... has ..... !

.... done good !

The Libs' email response


The difference between the Coalition and Labor couldn't be more stark.

Today Mr Rudd failed to explain how he would keep inflation low and how he would manage Australia's $1.1 trillion economy in uncertain and turbulent economic times.

Nor did he spell out how he will prevent the inevitable wage and prices spiral once he winds back the checks and balances against a wages breakout.

Mr Rudd also ignored the real needs of working families.

Broadband won't stop the unions, keep inflation low or teach Labor how to handle an economic crisis.

Nor will they help working families balance their budgets, especially those with schoolchildren.

Mr Rudd's claim that Labor will spend less than the Coalition totally ignores all the promises he has made before today. It proves that Labor can't manage money.

Whatever Mr Rudd said today, Australians should remember Peter Garrett's confession: "Once we get in we'll just change it all", starting with Wayne Swan's raid on super funds as spelled out in the West Australian on 13 November 2007.

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