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Power for no other reason

Sometime during Howard’s reign of nothingness, our democracy began to slip away from us. Entitlement insinuated its way into our politics as rivers of gold in the form of a mining boom flooded the country. We put nothing from it into a future fund that might have been a godsend in today’s economic environment.

Howard gave us a gun buyback, a war in Iraq that was none of our business, and under the pretext of a lie, a GST that benefited the wealthy and substantial welfare payouts at the time of each election. It was called ‘buying elections’, and it worked rather well.

The wealthiest of society became more so and avoided paying taxes. Treasurer Costello commented that at least the poor was no worse off.

Indeed, before the Luddite period started, Labor had its epoch when good intent was interrupted by the ambition of revolving-door leadership, where exceptional minds indulged in mediocre political practice for personal power.

On November 24 2007, Kevin Rudd, the owner of enormous intellect, defeated John Howard after 11 years of a wasted windfall in the economic inflow from mining profits. Rivers of gold squandered.

The Rudd government came to an end in June 2010 when:

“… under pressure from an impending leadership caucus ballot, stepped down from the leadership of the ALP and was succeeded by his deputy, Julia Gillard. [However] Rudd was re-elected leader of the Labor Party in 2013 and served a second term as prime minister.”

It was also in 2013 that l began to write for The Australian Independent Media Network, otherwise known as The AIMN. Since then, almost ten frantic political years have passed.

I call them the ‘Luddite years’ (oft-repeated) because it was a period of dreadful governance by leaders seeking not the power of an intent to govern well for the common good. Tony Abbott was considered the best Opposition Leader we have seen by being the most negative: a dubious criterion for such judgement. He never would make the leap from Prime Minister to international statesman.

Julia Gillard led a Government that passed legislation for a tax on carbon that would have resolved the most significant issue of our time. Abbott rescinded it, and we witnessed the most incredible public policy debacle in our history.

Abbott’s “carbon tax” scare-mongering was, it seems, a plan to hide his own party’s corruption, lies and incompetence behind self-embellishment, deceit and more lies on top of lies.

Rudd fell because of a perception of self-importance. Turnbull’s own ego ambushed him while Morrison displayed what many believe was arrogance… behind his perpetual smirk. A bastard in any form of the word. And Morrison never stopped telling us lies or how good he was.

Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s well-being for the sake of it.

Behind every conservative leadership takeover is a person desirous of power. All the corruption, the policies, the lies, the rules, the placement of important people of the same ilk on essential committees, and the support of a biased media was a plan to make the rich richer.

Capitalism is the rudimentary monetary system in the normalcy of democratic conservative politics. Supposedly it makes the rich more prosperous, and the others keep in touch via a magical drip-down effect.

When Abbott became Prime Minister, he set the ball of corruption rolling, and it has been bouncing along ever since.

So corrupt is this economic system that our political choice is no longer democrat or conservative, left or right, liberal or conservative. It is a democracy or authoritarian fascism.

When on May 21 2022, Australia elected a progressive left-wing government, they got with it a Labor politician of some distinction. Without the charisma of Whitlam, the flare of Hawke or the urgency of Rudd, Albanese, with great patience, took his place in the queue for leadership.

Now but a few months into his first term, he has made considerable progress. Most importantly, he has taken the edge off the Luddite way of doing politics. It is far less belligerent and argumentative. Respect has poked its nose in the window.

Tony Abbott became Prime Minister wanting to take politics from the front page. Lying bastard that he was. He abused Gilliard after she had politely asked the press to stop writing crap. Pandemonium could well have been his middle name. He only lasted two years.

Malcolm, the velvet fog Turnbull, came to power intending to restore the Parliament with the adult decorum and collegiate government that had flown the nest years ago. With so many extremists in his middle order, it couldn’t last.

Scott Morrison stood for nothing, knew everything, and refused to shut up when talking about himself but became Prime Minister. Eventually, he had to step in and move Turnbull aside. God only knows how.

So, what has changed? Well, not so much what, but who. Image is a powerful thing. All the men of the Luddite age, except Turnbull, were loud, aggressive, in-your-face politicians who knew only one way to lead: they led presidentially. They could never be wrong.

Albanese believes in the Bob Hawke style, where Ministers carry their portfolios on their sleeves and take responsibility for them. They appear calm, and whilst they are all of the digital age, calmness prevails within the chaos.

This calmness in appearance whilst addressing significant problems is a tribute to the Prime Minister’s style of governance. So different to that of his predecessors that it’s almost scary. Round, one of climate policy, has been addressed, and round two is being drafted.

The architecture for a National Anti-Corruption Commission is being debated in the Parliament, and procedures to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament are underway.

Penny Wong and others have circumnavigated the region relentlessly to win favour in the Indo-Pacific.

We are on the eve of Labor’s first budget, with another in May next year. All this while, Ministers are analysing their portfolios for defects or future action. Albo knows what needs to be done to win back the people’s trust and doesn’t want to do it in complete disorder.

If you want to rate this government’s performance against something, use Kevin Rudd as your yardstick.

Rudd was the first prime minister of Australia’s digital age. He attacked the period with a pace commensurate with his belief in its possibilities. Chaos prevailed.

Now bring your mind back to Albanese. He makes as many television appearances as his predecessors, but it’s as if he doesn’t. He brings a sense of resolving matters with a degree of calm and composure that the others never tried. He doesn’t impose himself on people as others have done. He doesn’t lie, and he doesn’t forcefully subject people to lessons. His colleagues are as observable as he is.

What more do you want?

 

 

My thought for the day

In the recipe of good leadership, there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It, however, ranks far below getting things done for the common good.

 

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15 comments

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  1. Glenn Barry

    So pleased to see someone crediting Anthony Albanese, whilst the panic ridden impatience and irrational sense of urgency of the previous period prevails.

    It’s not unlike emerging from a near decade long period of prolonged psychosis to find that a calm consistent approach is what is required, which is what we have now.

  2. Keitha Granville

    I was a huge Bill Shorten fan, I think he would have also made a great PM but for the lies of the LNP which stole his chance.
    Albo is doing a great job, he’s going to be a great PM hopefully for a very long time – if the electorate has any brains at all.

  3. New England Cocky

    Uhm … John Lord I beg to differ on your evaluation of the last LABOR government.

    Kevin 07 was vilified by the Murdoch Media-ocrity for saving Australia from the 2008 GFC, thanks to advice from Ken Henry to increase government spending to the bottom of the economic pyramid, that gave Treasurer Wayne Swan the international recognition of ”World’s Best Treasurer”. Australia did not feel the GFC.

    There unrelenting attacks on Labor pollies by the Murdoch media-ocrity paid little heed to journalistic accuracy of reporting. We see the same style now on Sty trash channel with the likes of A Blot et al (audience <3%).

    Kevin 07 was scuttled by a CIA coup involving Senator Arbib (Labor) who was an American sycophant and sacked from Labor for his troubles, only to get a cushy job with an American corporation. Kevin 07 had to go because he was too much for the workers and failed to grovel to Murdoch.

    Gillard was Australia’s first lady Prime Minister who also won a second term for Labor against strong whingeing from the Murdoch media-ocrity. LABOR became the government because Independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott saved Australia from an early three more years of Toxic RAbbott. Oakeshott could have taken less than the 23 minutes to explain his position, but later discussion with Windsor had Rabbott never in the race for 2010 government benches.

    It is too easy to forget that Gillard’s last act was to call the Royal Commission into Child Abuse in Institutions that sat for five (5) years and exposed the rock spiders and kiddie fiddlers occupying positions of responsibility in those places and abusing kids for their own personal sexual gratification. Thanks here to The Newcastle Herald editorial room, Gold Logie Award winning journalist Joanne McCarthy and now retired Police Inspector Peter Fox, who sacrificed his career publicly exposing the corrupt link between the Roman Church & NSW police in this and other criminal matters …. and was seriously victimised by the NSW Police establishment for his trouble.

    The Gillard government was very efficient, holding regular cordial meetings with the Independents, a multitude of legislation proposed, debated and passed. But the incessant misogynistic attacks by the gay radio shocking jocks and bad mouthing print media (Murdoch again) plus Labor factionalism created the Rudd Gillard Rudd government label that the COALition copied with far less talented players for nine (9) years.

    I also disagree that “When Abbott became Prime Minister, he set the ball of corruption rolling””. Surely that title belongs to Little Johnnie Howard, the former Sydney North Shore solicitor with the politically active father-in-law. Howard pursued the ALP initiated policy of selling off Australian assets to the highest corporate bidder with gay abandon that present Australian voters are currently feeling in poor Internet connections (because annual profits go to shareholders rather than infrastructure hardware) and gifting any corporate lobby group with their dream policies ripping off Australians.

    However, the Albanese LABOR government is continuing the COALition policy of pandering to foreign owned multinational corporations rather than protecting the best interests of Australian voters, as shown in this Michael West media report:

    One up on Barnaby: government delivers Coalition election promise for port, petrochemicals, gas subsidies

    I suggest it is too early and the world economic & political situation is too unstable to yet evaluate the 2022 Australian LABOR government and its Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

  4. John lord

    New England Cocky. I-m fully aware of all you say but I try to limit what l write to around a thousand words otherwise people don’t read them. Appreciate your comments.

  5. wam

    Happy to read your words, lord, and hope you escaped the floods.
    I found rudd to fit the ‘kevin o’lemon’ image. He went from “the great moral challenge of our generation” to an easy target for rupert and his rabbott. Gillard was great and sadly was lied out of office.
    To me, the lying rodent was the worst man to be our PM. His destruction of of the armed services and his privatisation policy was a ruthless defeat of the workers rights. He turned politician’s privileges into rights and established the way to the corruption of the last 15 years of LNP policies. The irony being if he had not lost his seat we would have had a price on carbon.
    ps so was I, Keitha, but the power of Beaconsfield Bill was not seen, over the 6 years in opposition and then the last minute timing of his policies were ridiculous.
    pps NEC
    If only ‘evaluate’ replaced the easily corruptible ‘review’. Especially applied to donations like the turnbull’s $440m for the reef.

  6. Lawriejay

    New England Cocky you’ve reminded me of the comment by the ‘celebrated’ Murdoch opinionist Kelly’s attack on Julia Gillard : “Rarely has an Australian government embarked on such a sensitive and vast project in profound ignorance of what it was doing, with virtually no serious policy consideration and driven entirely by politics.” The Australian (News Corp) Columnist Paul Kelly on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2012

    Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot

  7. leefe

    “As governments go, Gillard’s was the equal of Howards, who had little to show for his eleven years in power.” Are you serious? Gillard’s government was light years ahead of the Lying Rodent’s. You even say a few sentences later that they got an effective suite of carbon pollution reduction laws in place. Little to show? They were a long way from perfect, but they did far more good than many governments before and since.

    ps: fullyy agree with NEC.

  8. Michael Taylor

    leefe, I think there must have been some editing errors in that sentence. I found it easier to remove it than reword it. Thanks for picking it up.

  9. leefe

    Michael:
    Ahhh, that makes more sense than the sentence as it read. Thanks.
    And apologies to JL for thinking he may have actually meant that.

    GL:
    And thank you for that link. Few things are so plesurable as the courts holding the likes of PoorLean and her ilk to account.

  10. New England Cocky

    RE NEC ABOVE: I have just learned that the enormously expensive and totally financially inviable Northern Inland Railway that passes close to Beetrooters CGS properties in the Pilliga Scrub near Narrabri NSW could be built much cheaper if re-directed from Dubbo across to Werris Creek on an upgraded existing railway corridor and then north up the Great Northern Railway to Toowoomba and Brisbane. There is already another formed railway bed between Tenterfield and Beaudesert that would reduce the travel time for passengers to Brisbane by omitting the Toowoomba loop.’

    Will the Albanese LABOR government continue pushing the NIR across the treacherous Black Soil Plains north of Moree at a guestimated cost at present of $1,500 MILLION and counting entirely for the benefit of CSG exporters (and their political enablers) at public expense?

  11. Michael Taylor

    leefe, I’m fairly sure now that John didn’t mean what he wrote, but I left it in because my original thought was that perhaps he did mean it. I now see it through your eyes. If John did mean it, I’m sure he’ll let us know, in which case I’ll put it back in.

  12. B Sullivan

    “I call them the ‘Luddite years’ (oft-repeated) because it was a period of dreadful governance by leaders seeking not the power of an intent to govern well for the common good.”

    The Brotherhood of Ned Ludd were a group of social activists who opposed the use of technology to exploit the working poor of Britain during the Industrial Revolution, best known for smashing up mechanical looms in weaving factories. They were not, as popular history has come to portray them, opposed to technology. They were just opposed to the exploitation of workers and so only attacked the machinery of employers known to exploit their workforce. They were vilified by the ruling class as Luddites, people irrationally opposed to all and any progress who would have us all go back to living in caves. Since then, anyone who expresses any concern about the detrimental social effects of technological progress can be summarily dismissed as a Luddite without any consideration of the validity of their argument.

    Just another example of the ruling class’s relentless determination to suppress dissent by redefining the meaning of words so as to deprive the language of a vocabulary with which to express it.

  13. John Lord

    Leefe

    “As governments go, Gillard’s was the equal of Howards, who had little to show for his eleven years in power.”

    I don’t think l have ever composed a worse sentence than the above so please allow me to make myself clear.

    Because the Howard Government served for 11 years many think that his longevity alone made him successful. I have never subscribed to that view.

    By contrast Gilliard served for far less time but achieved much more. I think l meant to expand on the sentence but neglected too.

  14. Stephengb

    Well said JL.

    These words says it all for me.

    “…on May 21 2022, Australia elected a progressive left-wing government, they got with it a Labor politician of some distinction. Without the charisma of Whitlam, the flare of Hawke or the urgency of Rudd, Albanese, with great patience, took his place in the queue for leadership.

    Now but a few months into his first term, he has made considerable progress. Most importantly, he has taken the edge off the Luddite way of doing politics. It is far less belligerent and argumentative. Respect has poked its nose in the window”.

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