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Tag Archives: Prime minister

Writing the Narrative, or should that be “Righting the Narrative”?

narrative

 

“As a result, a story has emerged about Labor that goes like this. Faced with the transformation of its old supporter base, and having failed to build a new one, it has lost belief and self-belief. Machine men predominate. Policy is made only with an eye on the focus groups.

 

But another story is also true. Through a traumatic period, Labor ministers have focused on producing good policy. They deserve more credit for it than they have got. Their response to the global financial crisis led the world, and they have kept the economy strong since then.”

A Year in My Father’s Business James Button

 

“Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has admitted Labor did not have a mandate for introducing a carbon tax, naming it as a major policy the party “got wrong” during its term in Government.

Asked on Insiders this morning why the Government deserved to be re-elected, he said all governments make mistakes.

ABC NEWS 25th August, 2013

We initially were told that Gillard was the worst Prime Minister since Whitlam before it was decided that she was the worst PM ever. So, I’m going to throw a couple of questions out here, just for fun.

How much net debt did the Fraser Government inherit from Whitlam?*

Which Australian Government left the highest debt to GDP ratio when leaving office?

The answer to those two questions may surprise you. The answer to the first is “None”#, while the answer to the second is the Fraser Government, with Howard as Treasurer.

Howard’s record as a Treasurer is impressive, he remains the only one to get the 10% inflation while unemployment was also 10%. When Howard was PM, rather than use the proceeds of the mining boom to build infrastructure or to invest in our future, he established more middle-class welfare like the Baby Bonus or the private health insurance subsidy

Yet, somehow the Liberals have been able to write the narrative that they’ve been good economic managers. Whitlam had to deal with the oil shocks of the 70’s, and Rudd/Gillard had the Global Financial Crisis. And somehow, the Liberal narrative ignores these to suggest that it was thanks to Labor that these things occurred.

How?

Well, Labor doesn’t exactly help itself. Kevin Rudd’s mea culpa on the Carbon Tax is symptomatic. “We made mistakes, but we’ve learned” seems to be the way Labor approach being voted out of office.

Rudd, of course, made that comment while still Prime Minister, so he got in early. Labor reacts like someone who feels the relationship break-up was all their fault. “I know that it’s not you, it’s me. What can I do to get you back?”

The Liberals react like someone who should have a restraining order. “I’m going to stand here throwing rocks through your window until you realise you should take me back!”

Labor thinks they get voted out because they’ve made too many mistakes, whereas the Liberals seem to think that it’s the electorate whose made the mistake.

I’d like to see someone from the Labor side of politics say that Whitlam was a far more successful Prime Minister than Malcolm Fraser. He achieved most of his agenda and is probably proud of the way he left Australia. Medicare, for one thing.

Hawke and Keating transformed the economy. Rudd and Gillard saw us through the GFC and established the NDIS. I know there’s more. but it’s Labor who should be selling the narrative of their achievements, not apologising for the bits they got wrong.

(When did you ever hear Abbott or Hockey say that the Howard Government was anything less than perfect?)

Howard? His greatest achievement was the Goods and Services Tax – he said so himself. (Although, I think most of us would have said gun control.)

And Fraser? Well, he promoted Howard to the role of Treasurer. Perhaps, there’s something I missed.

  • http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2024-labor-or-liberal-government-debt

#Many dispute this. I read the reasons. It’s a bit like an argument that Isaac Newton didn’t contribute to Science because Gravity hadn’t been invented then, and anyway, the story about the apple tree isn’t real.

Is Kevin Rudd a winner? Is Tony Abbott a whiner?

A quick summary of the past three years:

“I’m Julia Gillard. and I’m your Prime Minister.”

“I’m not Julia Gillard, she wasn’t elected by the people but by the faceless men of the Labor Party, so vote for me.”

“I’m Julia Gillard. And I believe the following things.”

“I’m not Julia Gillard, so vote for me and I’ll stop the boats, abolish the carbon tax, reduce tax for everyone and get the budget back to surplus.”

“I’m Julia Gillard. I’ve accomplished the following things.”

“I’m not Julia Gillard. So vote for me.”

“I’m Julia Gillard. These are the things I want to do.”

“I’m not Julia Gillard, I’d die of shame if I were.”

“I’m Julia Gillard. AND YOU OFFEND ME!”

“I’m not Julia Gillard, so vote for me.”

“I’m Julia Gillard, and I’m going to introduce a disability insurance scheme and improve education..”

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll do all that, and I have the added advantage – I’m not Julia Gillard.”

“Neither am I – I’m Kevin Rudd.”

“…Ah… Julia should be PM, you weren’t elected by the people.”

* * *

Ok, that’s probably left a few bits out, but I think I’ve covered all the significant things that Abbott has said over the past three years. Voting, for a lot of people, is about perception. Kevin Rudd may be annoying, and remind people of their school principal when he’d try to show the kids that he was a “good sport” and could speak their “lingo”, but, for many, that’s the sort of person who should be running the country.

Abbott, on the other hand, has been suggesting that we need to have a change of Government. That Gillard and Swan need to be removed. In a way, that’s happened in the past week! No, no, complains Abbott, that wasn’t the change I meant. Mm, think the mob, that man is never happy. Of course, some will be thinking that he couldn’t get rid of Julia, but Rudd did. Rudd wins, Abbott is ineffectual.

Now, I realise that these are not sophisticated ideas, but that’s the point. There’ll be thousands of voters who switch based on their impression. Not on what they’ve read. Not on the detail of news bulletin. They’ll vote on what they perceive to be happening. “We wanted change, now we’re happy.” That’s why the Liberals flyer in my letterbox was telling me that this is the same Labor Government. Anyone who follows politics will know that; anyone who doesn’t probably won’t even read the pamphlet.

People do like to follow crowds and jump on the winning side. Will the swing back to Labor in the latest poll create an even bigger one in the next election or will the honeymoon period only last a week? I suspect the former, because Kevin Rudd now looks like a winner. Tony Abbott, on the other hand, continues to complain that we need an election now. It’s a simple message, and his supporters will agree, but I suspect that, for many, it’s starting to sound monotonous. Rather than sound like he’s keen to be Prime Minister, it has the faint sound of desperation. Politically, it also seems strange. If an election had been held straight away, the Liberals would have undoubtedly been saying that Kevin Rudd was worried that the cracks in the Government would start to show. Abbott’s constant demand for an election makes that line of argument a little harder to prosecute. “We want an election now, but calling one shows that you’re scared.” Surely, the Liberals would expect the sooner Rudd calls the election, the less time for his so called “honeymoon” to wear off.

Whatever, I’ve only noticed one poll appearing in the news in the past week. I wonder how many we’ll get in the coming fortnight. And I wonder if they’ll ask the question I asked last week comparing Abbott and Turnbull.

Contrast the Liberals approach with Labor’s:

Faceless Men are at it again, says Liberal ad as Rudd returns

http://2013electionwatch.com.au/campaign-ads/labors-positive-pitch-reintroduce-rudd

[polldaddy poll=7232128]

Kevin Rudd is NOT Prime Minister yet!

Image from dailytelegraph.com.au

Kevin Rudd (image from dailytelegraph.com.au)

The media keep announcing that Kevin Rudd is PM again. He’s not!

He’s just been elected leader of the Labor Party. Julia Gillard continues to be PM until the Governor-General withdraws her commission. Which will happen shortly.

Then, it’s highly likely that Bryce will appoint Rudd Prime Minister, but she may wait till tomorrow and ask Parliament to demonstrate confidence in Rudd.

There is a possibility – not a probability, mind you – that Abbott will be PM by tomorrow. If so, I hope that someone asks him about repealing the Carbon tax on his first day as PM.

But at the time of writing, there is no certainty that the Governor-General will make Rudd the Prime Minister without his support being tested by the Parliament.

So, the blaring headlines: “Rudd Prime Minister again!” at the time of writing are just wrong. He probably will be, but it’s far from a certainty.

If the role of the media isn’t to explain things like this rather than announce what they expect to happen as fact, then they really have just become entertainers! We can’t expect them to inform.

 

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott: Head to Head

Apart from the obvious differences such as Julia Gillard being a lady and Tony Abbott being a mere male, head to head how do they otherwise compare?

I have given this question much consideration and have come up with what I think to be a fairly accurate list.

What do you think?

Julia Gillard: Cool headed.

Tony Abbott: Hot headed. In danger of bursting a blood vessel.

Julia Gillard: Composed.

Tony Abbott: Decomposed.

Julia Gillard: Tackles tough questions.

Tony Abbott: Ducks and weaves or nods head to within a whisker of it flying off.

Julia Gillard: Dresses elegantly.

Tony Abbott: Dresses scantily, exposing as much skin as possible.

Julia Gillard: Has a sense of humour, laughs a lot.

Tony Abbott: Has a sense of outrage, snarls a lot.

Julia Gillard: Runs the country, no task too big.

Tony Abbott: Runs away, it’s all too hard.

Julia Gillard: Kisses President Obama. Understands that ‘he’s da man’.

Tony Abbott: Kicks President Obama. Obama doesn’t realise that Abbott’s ‘da man’.

Julia Gillard: Has the keys to The Lodge.

Tony Abbott: Hasn’t got the keys to The Lodge. A real sore point.

Julia Gillard: Wants to help poor people. Nothing in it for her.

Tony Abbott: Wants to help rich people. Mutual back scratching.

Julia Gillard: Recognises we’ve been through the GFC.

Tony Abbott: Denies it ever happened.

Julia Gillard: Lives in the 21st century.

Tony Abbott: Stuck somewhere in a time warp between 1850 and 1950.

Julia Gillard: Gets called a liar even though she isn’t.

Tony Abbott: Doesn’t get called a liar even though he is.

Julia Gillard: Has the guts to go it alone on QandA. Answers questions.

Tony Abbott: Doesn’t have the guts to go it alone on QandA (unless of course he could just sit there snarling, nodding and remaining mute).

Julia Gillard: Looks comfortable and performs admirably on the world stage.

Tony Abbott: Looks and acts like a complete idiot on the world stage. Is even an idiot when not on the world stage.

Julia Gillard: Thinks before she speaks. Has the capacity to construct logical thought.

Tony Abbott: Doesn’t think – just speaks. Has perfected the brain fart.

Julia Gillard: Delivers policies.

Tony Abbott: Delivers slogans. Limits them to three words.

Julia Gillard: Hasn’t told the Queen we need an election. Hasn’t told anybody.

Tony Abbott: Has told the Queen we need an election. Has told everybody.

Julia Gillard: Is an atheist.

Tony Abbott: Speaks to God daily. Good mates. God knows that Tony’s ‘da man’.

Julia Gillard: Hasn’t been abducted by aliens.

Tony Abbott: Clearly has. Possibly subjected to anal probes.

Julia Gillard: Mature.

Tony Abbott: Immature. Needs to grow up. He can’t. Must be due to that time warp thingy.

Julia Gillard: Full of confidence.

Tony Abbott: Full of ****.

Julia Gillard: Sensible enough to know that the sky can’t really fall down.

Tony Abbott: Expects it to fall at any moment. Looks for cracks after each Labor policy.

Julia Gillard: Has a map with Whyalla on it.

Tony Abbott: He hasn’t. He wiped it off.

Julia Gillard: Says the media writes crap.

Tony Abbott: Says climate change is crap.

Julia Gillard: Has a policy document.

Tony Abbott: Has a brochure.

Julia Gillard: YES.

Tony Abbott: NO.

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