What does Kevin Rudd stand for?

Traditionally Labor has been “the battler’s party,” with a focus on protecting the interests of workers who tend to fall into the lower to middle income categories.

The party has also been traditionally more ‘liberal’ (in the true sense of the word) than conservative parties and championed equality and an end to discrimination in the workplace and broader society.

This position has fundamentally changed during the course of the past ten years. While Labor continues to wax lyrical about “working families,” they have also transcended, and to a great degree distanced themselves from their Union dominated past to become a party which has a greater awareness of fundamental economic issues, the global environment and the role of commercial enterprise.

Of course the world has also fundamentally changed in recent months. The global economic meltdown presents an enormous challenge for Labor, not just in maintaining growth in the Australian economy and minimising unemployment, but also in pursuing their mandate for addressing climate change and introducing an emissions trading scheme. In today’s precarious economic climate, pursuing an environmentally-driven agenda is walking a political knife’s edge.

So what does Labor stand for today? After 12 months in office, it’s almost difficult to say. Apart from delving into the budget surplus to prop up the Australian economy there has been little in the way of significant policy announcements. The ‘education revolution’ which was largely hailed prior to the election seems like a distant memory.

While Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s plan to introduce an internet filtering system seems like a page torn straight from the Liberal party handbook.

Similarly, ending discrimination against same-sex couples has fallen off the agenda. And in a bizarre twist the leader of the Opposition is more focused on this issue than Labor.

The full impact of the economic meltdown will not be fully felt in Australia until early to mid 2009. Already we are witnessing mass redundancies in the Banking and Finance sectors; typically the first industries to be impacted in an economic crisis.

The question remains; What does Labor really stand for anymore?

Posted by: Stuntreb

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147 Responses

  1. What does Kevin Rudd stand for?

    Working Families, working families, working families…

    Using a cliche in every sentence

    Do whatever he can to be as popular as possible.

    Can’t think what else?

  2. UNION BOSSES OF COURSE!!

  3. What does Kevin Rudd stand for?

    Depends on whether or not the RAAF executive jet fleet gives frequent flyer points.

    Apart from that I actually don’t know although I am do feel that the natural party for Rudd is on the other side of the table.

    I’m VERY disappointed in Julia Gillard. If she had balls, I would suggest the ALP had given her an orchidectomy as they did Peter Garrett (then again perhaps he had none to start with).

  4. He also stands for:

    Biting the bullet

    Launching a war on everything

    Doing things without throwing the fair go out the backdoor.

  5. Actually from some token things, what has the govt really done since November last year? Has anything substantial actually gotten through the Senate yet?

    In six months or so it will be time to start campaigning again for the next election.

  6. Change of IR Laws is a positive, in my view.

    Parts of the “Education Revolution”, which has not been nearly as effective as it was hyped up to be by Labor.

    I’m sure other things.

    They’ve also let the premiere classical music training institution in this country hung out to dry.

    http://alexmillier.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/anam-closure-news-items/

  7. Already we are witnessing mass redundancies in the Banking and Finance sectors; typically the first industries to be impacted in an economic crisis.

    May I be so bold as to mention some good news stories. From today’s Burnie Advocate comes the story “More employed”:
    “Tasmania’s employment figures have continued to rise, despite the troubled economic climate. Treasurer Michael Aird yesterday announced statewide growth in the year to October. In the Mersey-Lyell region employment increased by 3.2%, or 1600 persons. The number og long-term unemployed dropped by 23.8% from October 2007. Mr Aird said there were now an average of 2300 people classified as long-term unemployed – a dramatic fall from 8500 in 1998.

    This, from today’s Newcastle Herald “Jobless rate hits new low” is even better:
    “The Hunter’s jobless rate is at its lowest in 21 years, with 9500 people, or 3.1%, reported to be unemployed in the region during October. The ABS released the figures yesterday, showing a significant drop since January this year, when 24,600 Hunter residents were unemployed”.

    The article credited the high employment rate to an economy that is fundamentally holding up pretty strongly.

    Maybe that is what Kevin Rudd stands for.

  8. Miglo,

    That employment news you refer to sounds good. However, I don’t think it had much (if anything) to do with any actions by the Rudd Government.

  9. In a time of financial crisis, with urgent demands on government’s sorely-limited coffers, I have no trouble with a classical music training institution being made a lower order of priority.

  10. “May I be so bold as to mention some good news stories”

    Indeed you may. And that news almost seems worthy of celebrating with a half corona and glass of red heavy…

    Maybe a bit later…

  11. Indeed you may. And that news almost seems worthy of celebrating with a half corona and glass of red heavy…

    Maybe a bit later…

    I’m excited by the mere thought. Might head to the golf club after work and sit out on the terrace with a glass of cab sav in one hand and a half corona in the other. Bugger the golf. I go to the club to drink.

    That’s what Miglo stands for.

  12. Miglo,

    That employment news you refer to sounds good. However, I don’t think it had much (if anything) to do with any actions by the Rudd Government.

    OK Alastair, are you suggesting that this should be credited to the Howard Government?

  13. Caney,

    the way in which it has been handled is the main problem.
    Out of the blue, Peter Garrett announces that they are going to cutoff all funding to the Australian National Academy of Music effective the beginning of next year. That will result in the closure of the Academy

    Students have been left out in the lurch with regards to their study next year. If they were going to make such a decision, they should have done so much earlier in the year to give students a chance to make alternative arrangements and to give the Academy a chance to attract private sponsorship.

    There is no reason why such an important institution should be left to close because of global economic times. $2.5 million is not going to help the budget’s bottom line one iota! This decision will lower the standards of classical music training in this country. For what?

  14. “OK Alastair, are you suggesting that this should be credited to the Howard Government?”

    No

  15. Damn, I mentioned Howard. I might need that cab sav earlier than first planned.

  16. “That’s what Miglo stands for”

    LOL!! Luv your style Miglo…!!

    I think we both stand united on that front.

    🙂

  17. “OK Alastair, are you suggesting that this should be credited to the Howard Government?”

    No

    Shall we agree on the Keating Government?

  18. I think that there have been hints that it’s something to do with Taxation Reform especially upper class welfare. It’s a leftie thing, shock, horror cut out welfare to the wealthy and aim welfare benefits to those in need such as pensioners and the disabled. And bring back..wait for it..double shock..means testing.

    Of course there have already been bleatings from the well-to-do..why should I support lazy sods who can’t be bothered getting off their ever-expanding backsides. I am WEALTHY because I DESERVE TO BE WEALTHY, cos I work hard.

  19. Miglo,

    I believe a lot of it has nothing to do with any government, past or present. Probably Keating’s reforms had some positive contribution and Howard did nothing to stuff it up.

  20. 19 comments and still nobody has been able to name something the government has done (other the timely symbolic ones at the start).

  21. 19 comments and still nobody has been able to name something the government has done (other the timely symbolic ones at the start).

    They made me feel better about being an Australian.

  22. That’s a good point, Miglo.

    Before the election I believed Kevin Rudd to be Howard-lite and the ALP to be the Alternate Liberal Party.

    Nothing has changed my mind so far. Perhaps even confirmed my thinking.

  23. #22 In a lot of ways, I agree with that

  24. Having been a pollie eons ago, I am still giving Kev the benefit of the doubt. I worked bloody hard, lots of innovative stuff especially with regard to cat control. Ha ha, a light-weight..but not when you’re trying to protect a diminishing lyrebird population..diminishing nightly with dead birds everywhere due to cats.

    You put out press releases and they never get published. And then someone comes along and says, Since you’ve been in government you lazy b**ch you’ve done zilch for anyone.

  25. I would say that the Labor party has been moving away from Union dominance for a lot longer than 10 years. A lot of the Unions didn’t like the scrapping of wage fixing and the removal of tarrifs by the Hawke Keating Government but it forced them into Enterprise Bargaining and improved productivity. All in All, I say that the Labor Party has been pretty much Centrist on economic policy for over 20 years.

    As for the same sex discrimination issue – marriage aside, the Bill should be passed by the Senate in this session – it was being debated the other day when I swithed accross to News Radio.

  26. “As for the same sex discrimination issue – marriage aside, the Bill should be passed by the Senate in this session.”

    Now that would be a significant move and a very positive one, in my opinion.

  27. The problem as I see it for Labor is that people expected evrything to change straight away. Whitlam made this mistake and, while he did some good stuff, he got a lot of people off side and introduced some poor reforms. Rudd, correctly IMO, is running a full review over all areas where he knows that reform is required and will implement the changes when he has the proper information. A lot of what he promised in the election – computers to schools, broadband etc were easy to promise but in opposition, you don’t have the resources to know if they can work in practice as well as you hope. As we have seen, both of these have had difficulties in the rollout.

    As for the education revolution, I agree, nothing much to show for it so far but the report on the review of the Higher Education sector will come in early next year and I, and the Unis, are hopeful that that will produce some major reforms.

    In Short – I think Rudd has done OK so far but I am expecting a lot more from him in the next 2 years when all the reviews start coming in. Hopefully he still has the cash to implement them.

  28. “They made me feel better about being an Australian.”

    I think that’s a major one Miglo.

    But was that more just a relief that Howard (and the Liberals) weren’t re-elected, as opposed to something that Rudd has done?

  29. I think that both your posts are very fair Dave55. I believe there have been many positive policies and important symblic gestures taken by the new government. However, there have also been significant failings as well.

  30. By the way, I have justed posted a new mind-bending competition!!

    🙂

  31. “However, there have also been significant failings as well”

    And these are all the more disappointing when they are in implementing policies which appear to go against what the party said they stood for prior to the election.

  32. But was that more just a relief that Howard (and the Liberals) weren’t re-elected, as opposed to something that Rudd has done?

    To start with Reb, it was certainly due to seeing the back of Howard.

    I work in Canberra, and yes, I work in government (surprise surprise) and in my position I see things with regularity that make me feel damn good about the Rudd Government. I cannot disclose the nature of my work, but I can assure you that in policy formulation the Australian public are held in much more respect and empathy than the previous government.

  33. “I see things with regularity that make me feel damn good about the Rudd Government.”

    That’s reassuring Miglo. I just feel that Rudd really needs to start getting some runs on the board. After 12 months, the report card’s looking a bit blank…

    (how many cliche’s did I manage to slip in there…)

  34. Well whatever he stands for the people like it.

    Morgan: 58.5-41.5

    Makes a farce out of the whole G20 gaffe it hasn’t even registered with the people, Labor up 2.5 per cent on the primary vote to 49 per cent, the Coalition down 1.5 per cent to 36 per cent.

    Turnbull is taking the Coalition backwards to a position far worse than Nelson had them and at a great rate of knots.

    The better topic would be what does Malcolm Turnbull and the Opposition stand for?

  35. “The better topic would be what does Malcolm Turnbull and the Opposition stand for?”

    Fair point. Maybe that’s a topic for another post…

  36. Adrian,

    “Well whatever he stands for the people like it.”

    I disagree. They just like the alternative less. And that’s very understandable.

    “The better topic would be what does Malcolm Turnbull and the Opposition stand for?”

    It’s a relevant topic but don’t see how it would be better. Surely both topics are important.

  37. That’s reassuring Miglo. I just feel that Rudd really needs to start getting some runs on the board. After 12 months, the report card’s looking a bit blank…

    Reb, you don’t see the runs because there are far more needy people and groups out there that the Government goes into bat for than people like you and I.

    There is policy and there is politics. Because of the nature of the Australian media we only hear about the politics.

  38. “There is policy and there is politics. Because of the nature of the Australian media we only hear about the politics.”

    Sage words Miglo. It’s a pity the media don’t pay more attention to what is actually being achieved, rather than just focusing on the petty political fights.

    I guess the ‘snarling’ gets more ratings…

  39. Sage words Miglo. It’s a pity the media don’t pay more attention to what is actually being achieved, rather than just focusing on the petty political fights.
    I guess the ’snarling’ gets more ratings…

    It’s a known fact that the truth does not sell newspapers.

  40. Adrian @ 34: Well whatever he stands for the people like it. Morgan: 58.5-41.5

    Evidence that the policies are working and that the politics isn’t.

  41. Well one very obvious thing he stands for is not using a boatload of asylum seekers as a dog whistle.

    I think people are also forgetting that one thing that has happened is progress towards doing something about our emissions problems. Even if you aren’t happy with the proposals to date that is more progress than was ever going to happen under a Liberal government.

    Rudd has only achieved nothing if 1) you expected him to solve all our problems over night and 2) you expected more than Liberal Lite. Me I expected nothing more than that he was not as bad as Howard et al.

  42. Polly,

    I agree that the new Government has made some positive steps towards doing something about emissions problems. However, according to scientists, the actions of our Government plus the proposed actions of the rest of the world, to date, won’t be nearly enough to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.

  43. Cooincidentally, I just happened to be in Dymocks at lunchtime, and noticed that Brian Dawes and John Clarke have a new book out.

    Naturally it’s very funny! On the back cover it reads something along the lines of:

    “The major political organisation is the liberal and labor party. They’ve been in power now for about 80 years, and every now and then change leader, just to make it seem like something is actually happening, when the reality is that nothing really changes, and they’re really just rearranging the deck chairs…”

  44. I remember back over a year ago having a discussion over at Meganomics concerning it would be hard for the person that won the election because of the economic storm that was approaching.

    How this has been handled by the PM thus far I would be generous in saying I would give him almost 8 out of 10.

    Let’s face it guys, it was a mess when the guy got in and it takes time to sort it out…I would rather see a coordinated effort than this reactionary stuff that was evident in the past and if we are to advance as a nation this is a must.

    I know that early in the new year there will be announcements on a lot of fronts and these will be actioned ASAP…it’s just a matter of tuning and timing that is been settled before orchestration.

  45. “won’t be nearly enough to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change”

    Well, as someone who doesn’t believe that climate change is the only reason we should be trying to reduce our reliance on carbon based energy sources, I say, so what. Doing something is still better than doing nothing which was the alternative offered by our now opposition.

  46. The ALP largely exists as a sinecure for union and factional hacks.

  47. scaper @44.

    totally agree….

  48. “Doing something is still better than doing nothing which was the alternative offered by our now opposition.”

    I don’t disagree.

    “so what.”

    Well we may only lose many small islands, millions of people, the Great Barrier Reef, have many more wars based on resources. So what indeed!

  49. Tom, cmon that’s absolute crap but you probably know that and are probably just trying to stir the pot.

  50. Well if you believe the Rudd government isn’t doing anything on the policy front or is not doing it fast enough here is the perfect opportunity to have your input:


    Government Policy Evolution 2008

    You missed this one: Streamlining Government Policy Implementation

    If you think the government hasn’t done a lot I suggest you find a few hours and painstakingly go through each government department website and/or reporting facilities and see how many changes and new initiatives are being undertaken at the moment. Some good, some bad and some just playing around the edges, but this government isn’t standing still under Rudd, it just isn’t making the song and dance about it that Howard did. If one department employee got a new chair then Howard let the world know he was doing fantastic things for people’s health and well being and was changing the culture of employment for the better, all self promoted in a spread media campaign at tax payers expense.

  51. On the topic, this is worth a read:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/peter-hartcher/in-sensible-grownups-we-trust/2008/11/13/1226318833723.html

    “As for the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull: he started out as a grown-up, offering positive suggestions and reasoned critiques, but he and his front bench are regressing. They have developed an undiscriminating anger towards the Government, incapable of telling an important issue from mere detail, falling into the old trap of becoming lost in a mindset of oppositionism.”

  52. This war cliche is getting to me though…initiative would be better than this word that images death and destruction to me.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24650956-12377,00.html

  53. LOL. Alastair, I realise the risks if climate change is real.

    I apologise I misunderstood your post – I thought you were inferring we should do nothing because what is proposed will make SFA difference.

  54. Adrian at 50……..no that’s right, they just released a book on their achievements!!

  55. Adrian @ 50.

    You’ve pretty well summed it up. Rudd is interested in policy, Howard was interested in politics.

  56. That’s ok Polly. I was not inferring that at all.

    Miglom “Rudd is interested in policy, Howard was interested in politics.”

    Oh c’mon it’s not as black and white as that.

  57. Miglom “Rudd is interested in policy, Howard was interested in politics.”

    Oh c’mon it’s not as black and white as that.

    On the contrary Alastair, I think it is quite obvious.

  58. Miglo,

    Are you saying that you think that Rudd doesn’t do any of the things he does for political gain?

    And are you saying that everything Howard did was for political gain?

    What I think you appear to be saying is, to me, quite stunning.

  59. “That’s what Miglo stands for”miglo

    Are you claiming that you don’t also stand for 100 years of tradition & the Power to choke?

  60. I think there are several points to the changes within the Labor party, the first being, the party has been changing gradually but dramatically for the past 30 years, not just thhe past 10.

    Hawke and Keating truly brought them to the center of the political spectrum, although, the center back then may have been more towards the left than it is today?

    The current government I think have kept them there (the center), but, I think, the definition of center has moved a bit more.

    We are now in a much more globally aware world, where communism has faded, and capitalism has emerged as the most powerful and successful model. The definition of that model is still being fought out, with the right verging further right and into more ‘free’ market territory, and the left moving more from the communist(??) model to the more scialist/capitalist model.

    At the same time, the ‘battlers’ have become more globally aware, and more affluent. I think that Labor still represent (or aim to) the same demograph as the past, but that demograph has changed over the years, and the party with it.

  61. Let’s face it politics after Keating and Hawke have been pretty bland…no passion…no innovation…no creativity…no oratory…just a bunch of rich cretins trying to get richer at our expense…and kow tow to the USA…

    …if you weren’t around during Keating and Hawke (or, God forbid Menzies, fawning to the monarchy AND the USA) I guess you have to simply accept the mediocrity of the present Parliament…

    …it is rather pleasing to note that most of you are now feeling what I did six months ago (Rudd was always the best alternative to Howard and JWH had to go – Rudd is NOT a traditional ALP PM he is just a better alternative to Howard – at the moment)…I was always accused of being too far ahead for my own good and going for the jugular!

  62. Rudd also stands for going back on his word.

    AWAs will now not be scapped and can go on forever. Julia Gillard was almost choking making the announcement.

  63. “AWAs will now not be scapped and can go on forever.”

    That can’t be right can it? That was a major policy taken to the election and the main reason why the ACTU got so firmly behind Labor. Got a link?

  64. “Rudd also stands for going back on his word”Adrian

    Just saw that on the ABC, not impressed.
    They (seemingly all politicians) don’t credit we the people with a decent memory do they?
    Trying too hard to walk the line.

    It won’t get credit from the wingnuts & it will likely alienate some of the base. Now consider how many more of the base will be similarly p!ssed (or moreso) at the draconian internet censorship fiasco.

    unfknblvbl!

  65. Alastair, having worked for both governments I can say that the former where the biggest bunch of liars that God ever breathed guts into. Every policy I was involved with had one purpose only: to get the pricks re-elected. I can say quite categorically that they didn’t give one hoot about you or the Neils, Toms, Sherlocks and Annie Barries of this world. They only cared about themselves. How I shuddered when I used to read posts on Tim’s site from the RWDBs about how the sun shone out of Howard’s backside. If only they knew the truth about how he treated those bloggers.

    Be stunned as much as you want. If you want to go on believing that all was rosy under Howard then feel free to do so. I will continue to believe in the contrary. I would add that my opinions are based on fact, whereas yours are no doubt based on opinion.

    HD – this “choke” business is a bit rich coming from a Crow’s supporter. That is a tradition that now rests with your club. You stole it from us, as the last few Septembers will testify.

  66. Miglo, your first two paragraphs were a great read.

  67. HD, I thought I’d saved the best for last.

  68. Vot One – Miglo – mate, I always knew your posts rang true…

    …most of my adult life has been trying to convince people that – “the truth is out there” – I sense the same frustration from you (and satisfaction with life) – you, hard drinking, STILL? smoking, “loving” husband, you! 😉

  69. That’s “frackin’ ” (I’m a Battlestar Galactica fan, OK) VOTE

  70. Seems this major backflip was Rudd bowing to the wishes of big business who have stated they are overjoyed with this announcement.

    Tom will be having kittens of joy.

    The only trade off is there will be increased arbitration for any dispute but only for the lowest paid workers.

    Why I am so against this backflip and AWAs is not that I think AWAs themselves are entirely a bad thing, In fact I think in some circumstances and for some jobs they are superior to any other instrument., but that AWAs must be in place for any IR system like WorkChoices but especially WorkChoices MkII to have a chance of being implemented.

    The threat of that makes AWAs untenable under any circumstances because as sure as day turns into night business will pressure some future government into WC MkII.

  71. Change does not come from the top down…never did.

  72. “If you want to go on believing that all was rosy under Howard then feel free to do so.”

    Dear oh dear! Where did I ever say it was rosy under Howard? You’re having a laugh aren’t you? However, you do seem to be suggesting the motives behind all of Rudd’s policies and actions were all pure whilst the motives behind all of Howard’s policies and actions were all politcally motivated. That is crazy and niave!

    “I would add that my opinions are based on fact”

    So you know for a fact that Rudd never bases his actions on political motives? That is ridiculous and laughable!

    And thanks for listing me with the Liberal-biased commenters from Blogocracy. I don’t know where you were going with that.

    Can I suggest that you respond to others based upon what they say, not absurd and wild assumptions?

  73. “That’s “frackin’ ” (I’m a Battlestar Galactica fan, OK) VOTE’TB

    Yeeha TB, I think the new Battlestar series is great; got it on DVD.

    Do ya know if the writers strike is over yet & are they getting on with making series 4 yet?
    Check out all of the “sleeper cylons” in the last ep!
    I love how the population just keeps dwindling & mankind built the harbingers of his own doom.

    VOTE? WTF?

  74. I do agree with you about one thing Alastair: I am indeed having a laugh. Thankyou for providing it for me.

    “And thanks for listing me with the Liberal-biased commenters from Blogocracy. I don’t know where you were going with that.”

    Perhaps I should have added the Adrians, the Mins, the Jonis and the HDs etc etc, for Howard never gave a damn about them either.

    “Can I suggest that you respond to others based upon what they say, not absurd and wild assumptions?”

    Pot, meet kettle.

  75. So Miglo, how’s the weather down your way???

  76. Actually Alastair, I do remember you from Tim’s blogs. I found that your posts were quite balanced and showed no political leaning. You called a spade a spade and appeared to stand for what was right and just.

    I’m wondering if you are really the same Alastair.

  77. Hello scaper. Warm but overcast, and slightly prickly. Have noticed a few bags of wind, particularly around 8:26.

  78. “Perhaps I should have added the Adrians, the Mins, the Jonis and the HDs etc etc, for Howard never gave a damn about them either.”miglo

    I know that this is juvenile but I used to fantasize about ambushing him on one of his early morning PR jaunts around the lake; in my fantasy his bodyguards actually let me do evil things to him….stuff like tearing off his overgrown eyebrows for trophies.

    Then he would have given a damn. Now he is just a relic, but I’d still denude him for the sake of hateridden nostalgia.

  79. Yes TB, it was very frustrating. But as a public servant I work for the government of the day. I don’t have to like my employer, but I’ll still put in 100%. The frustrating bit was knowing that I was working for a government that didn’t put the people of this country first. And I wasn’t alone: the Monday after the election Canberra workers had a spring in their steps and smiles on their faces.

    And by the way, I’m not a smoker. I just enjoy a puff on a cigar a couple of times a week. My recently retired doctor has been smoking 7 Cubans a day for 52 years, and at 82 he also enjoys a good bottle of red, and get this – he tells me he uses Viagra. Who said getting old is no fun?

  80. I know that this is juvenile but I used to fantasize about ambushing him on one of his early morning PR jaunts around the lake – HD.

    To really terrorise him you could have worn a Crow’s jumper.

    No, on second thoughts, his guards might have shot you on the spot.

  81. “No, on second thoughts, his guards might have shot you on the spot”miglo

    It would have been worth it to make him void himself.

  82. Miglo, yes I’m the same Alastair who commented from time to time at both of Tim Dunlop’s blogs. And yes I do not have a party-political leaning.

    “”You called a spade a spade and appeared to stand for what was right and just.”

    Thank you for those kind remarks. I don’t feel I have changed from previously, although others may have a different view on that (or not one at all).

    Can I put this in a simpler form. I can’t accept that Rudd is 100% pure whilst Howard was 100% impure, so to speak. Just like the most intelligent people around are not right 100% of the time and Sarah Palin supporters are not wrong 100% of the time (even though they get pretty close).

    I had major misgivings about the Howard Government and Howard himself. I think Rudd and the new government are doing a better job in many respects. However, they are still politicians and they are still motivated by political motives to some extent. I agree that they don’t appear to be as blindly motivated by their own self-interest as was Howard and his government.

    I don’t chose to criticise the Howard Government much now because they are history. They are not making the decisions now so they are in many senses irrelevant. I will criticise any decision of the Rudd Government if I feel it warrants such criticism. I believe we should expect good standards from our government. The previous government set the bar so low, I think we need to ask a bit more of them than just being better than the previous government.

  83. Alastair @ 82.

    Alastair they are fair comments. It was a good post.

    Can you use that same logic to help me drum some sense into HD?

  84. Settle down guys.

  85. Scaper, I’m settled.

    HD knows what I’m talking about and I’m sure he’s having a chuckle.

    To the rest of the Blogocrats I promise not to make any further refernce to HD’s tunnel vision.

  86. Thanks Miglo.

    Incidently I’m still a bit stunned at the responses I received from you at #65 and #70. Don’t know where that all came from. Anyway, doesn’t matter.

  87. Don’t know where that all came from. Anyway, doesn’t matter.

    That’s right. We’re all friends.

    It’s so easy to type something based on passion instead of logic. Please feel unstunned. In all probability I may have bee misreading your posts. However I won’t go back an re-read them as we should take this opportunity to move forward.

  88. “However I won’t go back an re-read them as we should take this opportunity to move forward.”

    Good point. I shall do the same.

  89. And thanks for the rest of your nice post also.

  90. Same to you too.

    I can get a bit passionate on some topics. None more so than on Indigenous Australians, which is a subject I consider myself an expert in. Due to this passion I tend not to get involved in any discussion.

  91. 78. Human Dividend | November 14, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    That’s tame HD, my 70 year old mother fantasised about getting a gun and shooting Howard – on a daily basis!

    Alistair @ 82 “Can I put this in a simpler form. I can’t accept that Rudd is 100% pure whilst Howard was 100% impure, so to speak.”

    Howard was and still is, 100% pure evil. As Keating knows well:

    …PAUL KEATING: Look, for John Howard to get to any high moral ground he would have to first climb out of the volcanic hole he’s dug for himself over the last decade. You know, it’s like one of those deep diamond mined holes in South Africa, you know, they’re about a mile underground. He’d have to come a mile up to get to even equilibrium, let alone have any contest in morality with Kevin Rudd….

  92. Min (18) Of course there have already been bleatings from the well-to-do..why should I support lazy sods who can’t be bothered getting off their ever-expanding backsides. I am WEALTHY because I DESERVE TO BE WEALTHY, cos I work hard.

    The irony will be indeed bitter for people such as these who find themselves suddenly out of work, or with reduced hours so suddenly they are forced to empathise.

    As has previously been mentioned, and was discussed on Lateline, up to 1000 banking jobs may go (ANZ?). The report spoke of middle management jobs going.

    I would imagine in the current climate they may find it a tad difficult to find another position quickly. Then I guess they will get a taste of how the other half live.

  93. What does Kevin Rudd stands for? Good question. He really is proving to be just the sort of leader I feared he would be. Howard Lite is very appropriate.

    Just in regards to the employment figures, last I heard full time jobs were down, but this was ‘offset’ by an increase in part time work.

    Lateline last night also reported that the ALP appear to be backflipping on AWA’s. It now appears that if ‘the employer and the employee both agree’ the AWA can continue beyond 2013. So why is the employer/employee relationship any more equal that it was when the ALP spoke so passionately about the unfairness of a system that exploited the power inbalance between employers and employees.

    Maybe the unions should start a new campaign backing the Greens and Independents? It seems workers are in for a raw deal no matter whether the ALP or the Libs are in Govt.

    I voted Green because I had had more than enough of the Libs , but didn’t trust Rudd -so glad now I did.

  94. Doing something is still better than doing nothing which was the alternative offered by our now opposition.

    Pollytickedoff, that is like saying that half resuscitating someone is better than not resuscitation them at all. The patient will still die.

  95. And thanks for listing me with the Liberal-biased commenters from Blogocracy. I don’t know where you were going with that.

    Can I suggest that you respond to others based upon what they say, not absurd and wild assumptions?

    Suprises me too Alastair. It is clear you were not remotely suggesting that things were better under Howard.

    Actually that reminds me of all the right wing nuts who denounced anyone against the invasion of Iraq as ‘preferring that Saddam Hussein was still in power.’

    Just because Rudd is ‘not as bad as Howard’ does not mean we should be silent when he does the wrong thing.

    The main parties are near indistinguishable, there are some who will constantly dispute this. For everyone else there are minor parties and independents.

  96. Kittylitter,

    LOL! That is a great quote! I’ve heard it before but it still makes me laugh.

    On AWAs, I am extremely surprised at this appararent major backflip! I’m half expecting to read tomorrow (later today) that there was some miscommunication by somebody and that it’s not happening.

  97. Thanks Tracy. I didn’t think I was. I agree that decent minor parties and independents are a good option if you don’t like the major parties much. And the beauty of our preferential system is that you can vote for a minor party/ independent and still chose between Labor and Liberal.

  98. Sorry Tracie for mispelling your name (again)

  99. Miglo (83 & 87) thats nice of you to say. I thought it was getting very tense there.

  100. *- he tells me he uses Viagra. Who said getting old is no fun?

    Inject cooking oil, did you see how big the womans face got.

  101. “Miglo (83 & 87) thats nice of you to say” Yes I agree.

  102. Miglo (83 & 87) thats nice of you to say. I thought it was getting very tense there.

    Hi Tracie. It wasn’t meant to be. I’m sure that Alastair will agree with me that despite the passion we were also having a bit of fun.

    Take note of that for future refrence: I will never denegrate another blogger. Poke a bit of sarcasm? Definitely.

  103. That was an interesting linked article sans blog..

    Nice to see I’m not alone in my suspicions…

  104. FFS! Here’s the latest load of bollocks from Joe Hockey:

    “In Canberra, the shadow finance minister, Joe Hockey, criticised the Prime Minister for going to the summit and not attending to the domestic impact of the global financial crisis.”

    “They should focus on what is happening in Australia. Kevin Rudd should not be going overseas just to lecture the world about what he thinks is good for it.”

  105. So, I was really, really, really p!$$ed off with Howard & The Private School Bullies…

    …I’m now p!$$ed off with Kevin Rudd & Co…where to from here?

    …Greens are not “practical” enough for me…Independents have limited power…

    … I know – anarchy!

  106. Friggin’ ell. Shows how isolationist the Liberals are. Apparently the whole world can have a crisis around us but somehow a PM staying at home will put a shield of invincibility around us. New title for our PM, Batfink.

    Of all the current crop of pollies from all sides the one who has disappointed me the most is avuncular Joe. During his Sunrise days with Kev I honestly liked this man even more than Kevin and he was my favourite government minister until he took over the IR portfolio, where the only thing he did right was to say he honestly didn’t realise WorkChoices disadvantaged workers. Joe has never been the avuncular person since his stint as IR ministers and has done nothing but spruik utter rot ever since, as his latest statement illustrates.

    I also thought a lot of Turnbull at one stage until I read about his water from cloudless skies backing. He has proven himself to be utterly shallow and a poor leader.

    But now it is Rudd who is starting to really disappoint me as he slowly dismantles what I thought he stood for and almost weekly turns into a Howard lite. The last thing I want in a current PM is to be reminded of the previous one.

  107. TB,

    I still have faith in Kev and his team. Especially Lindsay Tanner and Julia Gillard. I think Wayne Swan is also competent, he just needs to convey a bit more confidence.

    What’s the alternative? Joe Hockey as Finance Minister? I don’t think so, or Julie Bishop as Deputy PM?

    It doesn’t bear thinking about.

    As Adrian pointed out, Labor is still well ahead in the polls despite the ecomonic crisis and the Liberals “G20 accusations”.

    This suggests that the old Liberal tactics of fear and smear are no longer resonating with the public. You would think the Libs would’ve realised that after losing the election…

    I guess they’re bereft of any other “skill set”.

    Which is really quite pathetic – especially Crazy Eyes Bishop and Joe Hockey. The way those two in particular conduct themselves is particularly reprehensible.

    Would anyone employ personalities like that in private enterprise?

    And to think Hockey and Rudd used to be mates.

    Somehow I don’t think they’ll be exchanging Christmas cards this year…

  108. Adrian,

    Rudd may be beginning to disappoint in some ways, however at least I can still stomach watching him on TV.

    With Howard, I felt nothing but absolute hatred towards him and his cronies Abbott, Downer, Vandstone, Andrews and Ruddock.

    Their total contempt for ordinary working people and blatant lies and obsfucation were sickening.

    Howard’s tenure will go down as one of the worst periods in Australia’s history. I for one, am glad that we’ll never see his sorry ass again..

  109. Again I feel the frustration. I’d like to be able to tell you guys how much better things will be than that painted by the media, but I can’t.

    I agree, that after 12 horrid years we’d prefer changes to be moving with much freedom, but we just have to be patient.

    I painted a room for a mate once, and as I prepared to splash some paint around he reminded me that I should fill the cracks in first. And that’s how it is for the new government: there were a hell of a lot of cracks to fill.

  110. Reb @ 109. Perfectly put.

  111. I hope you are right Miglo (well, I know you are, my old man was a painter & decorator!)… 😆

    …sreb, I know that the Howard lot had to go, we all did and we fought long and hard at Blogocracy, but I am not seeing a Labor Party in power…as your (excellent, BTW!) post suggests…the one advantage of age is experience…these guys just don’t live up to my previous experiences of good government…on either side…

    …I hope I am wrong – desperately…

  112. Miglo, there is quite a few things happening but it would be remiss of me to let on…although I have overstepped the mark lately but at least it was cryptic.

    The bottom line is this government is the only option at the moment and I don’t see the opposition being a credible alternative until there is generational change.

    If people have problems with policy then get on to your local member and air your concerns…as these people work for us and the sooner the people get over this inferiority complex and demand better then we as a nation deserve what we get!

  113. Scaper @ 113.

    Very profound my friend.

  114. “I still have faith in Kev …

    What’s the alternative? Joe Hockey as Finance Minister? I don’t think so, or Julie Bishop as Deputy PM?”

    This is the nub of the whole thing: I don’t anyone really sees Rudd or his govt as the one many of us really want and we shudder at the alternative.

    I actually can’t stand the sight of Rudd on tv (although he’s a heck of lot easier on the eyes (and ears) than the Rodent): he reminds me too much of the holier-than-thou Sunday school teachers and preachers who started me on my path to non-belief.

  115. Their total contempt for ordinary working people and blatant lies and obsfucation were sickening

    Reb it still took a blatant atttack on the hip pockets of Australians for them to realise that Howard was getting out of control.

    Now the ALP have not only backflipped on AWA’s, but now they want to censor the internet.

    Faith may be fine for religious types (both theological and political) but I prefer evidence. Emerging evidence is not comforting.

    I hope you are right Scaper, but from where it sit it is hard to see these actions by the ALP as anything but detrimental to Australians.

    Those who continually vote for only the Libs or the ALP are encouraging and entrenching a mediocre system. Tweedledum or Tweedledee. Personally, I would like to see more minor parties and independents in our parliament.

    Independents at least are mindful of the wishes of the electorate, they count on their goodwill to be elected, or re-elected. Main party politicians tow a party line or risk their preselection.

  116. Hockey doesn’t know where to go and where to put himself. It’s only a little thing, but to me Hockey showed his true colors by refusing to go to his good mate Kev’s daughter’s wedding; no doubt because JWH told him not to. Just a thing of mine, but I think that friendship should be thicker than water.

    And yes spot on adrianofnowra @ 107 and reb also re “has done nothing but spruik utter rot ever since, as his latest statement illustrates.” It is getting so very obvious that the Lib’s ‘advisors’ are telling them that the way to go is to pursue the Kev/Always OS Theme even extending this to the ridiculous such as not attending the G20 summit.

    How true scaper @ 113. Our local member is Justine Elliot, former police officer. When you think about it the government has a lot more depth re variety of experiences than has been seen for a long time.

    Just a personal favorite and a little off topic. Children Overboard: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/navy-chief-torpedo-over-children-overboard/2008/11/14/1226318927477.html

    Who to believe..sigh..such a difficult choice, JWH or the now retired Admiral Barrie and Vice-Admiral Shackleton.

  117. Solid piece from Michelle Grattan on Rudd & Co.

    Eye of The Storm:
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/eye-of-the-storm-20081114-67bo.html?page=-1

    “…Former PM Bob Hawke notes about Rudd: “No (previous) prime minister has ever faced the double whammy of a world financial crisis of significant proportions plus the economic challenge of climate change…”

  118. min,

    Admiral Chris Barrie??!!??

    Could he be related to our old oddball poster Annie?

  119. The good and the evil twin hey joni…

  120. Who to believe..sigh..such a difficult choice, JWH or the now retired Admiral Barrie and Vice-Admiral Shackleton. (Min).

    That’s an easy one Min. JWH of course.

  121. So, what do you guys make of this?

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24655397-12377,00.html

    I’m sure the jackals will be feeding.

  122. Scaper,

    It started off being a story about Rudd meeting Bush and then rapidly degenerated into recycling the G20 gate non-scandal.

    I mean really, who writes this crap? Oh that’s right “The Awfulstralian”

  123. Watching the video, I sense some tension there.

    I’m sure the usual suspects will be making the best of this and it will be rolling out tomorrow night at this establishment.

  124. Scaper, President Bush being standoffish to Rudd can only be a good thing for our Prime Minister. Only the Australian could turn it into a world shattering event that can only be correct with Rudd’s dismissal.

  125. From Kittylitters link:

    More out-of-the-blue was that former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer was given the plum post of Australia’s first full-time ambassador to the Vatican.

    ??? So much for separation of Church & State. Explains a lot however.

  126. I think pretty much the whoile world is counting down the days until Obama’s inauguration (sp)

  127. Hello scaper @ 122. I saw it on Sky and thought that the greeting was very cordial but then ‘those who have already set the scene’ compared this greeting with a back slap for another head of state. Ohh damn our PM missed out on a back slap.

    The only thing that would have satisfied those who have set the scene is if Bush had given Rudd a tonguey.

  128. Then again Min – if this is what Costello got from Howard, I shudder to think what Bush received.

  129. ” Watching the video, I sense some tension there.”

    I agree Scaper. It didn’t seem to be the friendliest of greetings did it?

    On AWAs, this is an extraordinary about turn from Federal Labor!

    Adrian @ 70, I agree with what you say. It will make it much easier for the next conservative government to exploit workers rights if they are so inclined.

    Labor went on endlessly about how AWAs were fundamental to the problem of WorkChoices and to the unfairness of the IR system. This was a central theme of their election campaign! How can they now have such a huge about turn on the matter? I’m sure many people will be wondering what Labor actually stands for and if any other fundamental promises are going to be broken.

    Because of this, the credibility of Rudd and Gillard, in my eyes, has been significantly diminished.

  130. “Just a personal favorite and a little off topic. Children Overboard: ”

    Yes interesting isn’t it as more information comes to light on such matters? It was clear back when it all happened that Howard was being deliberately deceitful. Even clearer now. There might even be more people who speak out into the future. History will not look kindly on Howard in many respects, and rightly so.

  131. Slightly off-topic but perhaps slightly interesting. This article gives Julia Gillard’s Question Time performances the thumbs up:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/blogs/national-comment/when-kevs-away-killer-gillard-comes-out-to-play/1360729.aspx

  132. Actually, I take back all I said about Rudd, Gillard, Federal Labor and AWAs @130.

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/labors-work-choice-awas-now-ok/1361345.aspx

    This newspaper report suggests that they are now allowing old AWAs to continue, providing they meet Labor’s new minimum employment conditions. I don’t think there is any suggestion of new AWAs being permissible. If this is correct, then I don’t have any problem with it. I think I might just hold tight on this matter, and see what the facts reveal.

  133. I served under Chris Barrie on a destroyer when he was a four ringer. He was a good skipper.

  134. The way I understand it Alastair is that if the employer and employee both in total agreement a current AWA can go beyond 2013 and in principal forever. No new AWAs can be struck.

    The good trade off, which is very limited, is that business had to agree to increased arbitration for low paid workers, but the arbitration will only be called as an absolute last resort.

    I still have a problem with leaving AWAs alive in any capacity. As long as they are alive it is that much easier to expand them in the future because the IR law is already in place and only needs a change to get through parliament to implement new AWAs or remove workers conditions from them. It is then just one step further to WC, under another name of course.

    With AWAs completely gone it would be a brave government of any persuasion that attempted to take them to an election as part of an IR package. Without individual workplace contracts in place then any type of worker suppression IR legislation like making workers sub-contractors is impossible.

  135. “HD knows what I’m talking about and I’m sure he’s having a chuckle.”miglo

    Hehe, miglo & I have a cordial understanding(not like Cottees), besides which we were both hatched in the same altar of madness.
    No tension whatsoever, that will happen next year on the weekend of Showdown#?…ROFLMAO. Port scum.

    “That’s tame HD, my 70 year old mother fantasised about getting a gun and shooting Howard – on a daily basis!”kittylitter

    What I really wish for Howie ain’t fit to print on this blog & I could do without ASIO combing through my life for threatening the lump of excrement.
    Is it the same in OZ as the US, whereby if you threaten the Head Puppet in Charge you automatically get investigated by the FBI, I dunno if we are that anal here yet?

  136. “With AWAs completely gone it would be a brave government of any persuasion that attempted to take them to an election as part of an IR package”Adrian

    Salient point, I’d not thought of that. Even more reason to kill AWA’s stone dead.

  137. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/labors-work-choice-awas-now-ok/1361345.aspx

    Australian Mines and Metals Association director of workplace policy Chris Platt said allowing the agreements to continue had defused a ”dirty bomb” in the legislation.

    This bloke is a piece of work let me tell you. He is as anti-union as Tom and often reading Tom’s rants and listening to Chris Platt in interviews I have thought they are one and the same person.

    When SBS Insight did a show on WorkChoices sometime last year it was very interesting listening to a metal miner who was on an AWA and was on the pro WorkChoices side of the debate, until bit by bit he was shown he was worse off on his AWA. By the end of the show he was a little upset and in the washup interview outside the studio he said he thought he was earning more money and had better conditions than other miners not on AWAs as that is what the company led him and the other miners to believe.

  138. I think I might just hold tight on this matter, and see what the facts reveal (Alastair).

    I’ll emerge from my hiding place just briefly enough to submit that Alastair’s comment is right on the money. And note his source – the Canberra Times. Oh how oh how we form better opinions when the source of our knowledge comes from somewhere trustworthy.

  139. EBA’s in most Queensland coal mines much better off than thier WA colleagues in the metalliferous mines…to my knowledge always have been…

  140. I understand what you’re saying Adrian but keeping old AWAs that meet decent conditions isn’t hurting anyone. It also blunts any future attack by the conservatives that Labor is idealogically opposed to individual stuatory agreements and flexibility in the workplace. I believe that the conservatives would try and re-introduce individual stuatory agreements regardless. I think it is too much of an important principle for them.

    Thanks Miglo and good point about the quality of the source being important.

  141. “It also blunts any future attack by the conservatives that Labor is idealogically opposed to individual stuatory agreements and flexibility in the workplace.”

    The reason why I think that would be a good outcome is that I think it would reduce the conservatives ability to move the countries IRs laws to the far-right. In general, I think Labor has struck a pretty good balance with its IR laws.

  142. Adrian, so you’ve established the truth –

    “He is as anti-union as Tom and often reading Tom’s rants and listening to Chris Platt in interviews I have thought they are one and the same person.”

    …and you think my jokes are lame.

    If you keep making that type of comment, the site will have to be moderated. Mr Platt would regard that as defamation.

    As you know, I think AWAs in some form are a necessary employment instrument. 85% of people in the private sector (where it is more difficult for employees to enforce their rights) can longer use unions as their agents.

    Common law employment contracts are costly for individuals to enforce, and the critics of AWAs seem incapable to addressing this issue.

    Personally, I’d be entirely happy if the safety net looked something like –
    – no juniors
    – must provide remuneration at least 20% greater than those applicable award
    – must provide at least $75,000pa
    – cannot trade off annual, sick leave etc

    My understanding is that AWAs will be available to those companies that currently use them. Unions will be able to get their leverage in new developments, but then there’s not going to be much of this for the balance of this term of government.

  143. Some good points there Alastair and I think you are right about striking a good balance but I don’t think they are there yet. I know they have further changes in the wind, they have already stated this.

    But yes leaving some AWAs in place under restricted conditions does seem to appease the business lobbies, and you are right it blunts any opposition attack on this front whilst also denying them any type of IR policy contrivance at election time forcing them into me tooism.

    Still I have reservations about leaving in place any instrument that is the requisite basis for laws to oppress workers.

  144. “Asked whether that meant the Australian budget would slide into deficit, Mr Rudd said: “Our policy remains to maintain a surplus across the economic cycle” – a formulation that could mean the budget could dip into deficit for a period.”

    Ruddspeak – “the economic cycle”

    I wonder how long that is? Six months? A year? A generation?

  145. This is the official business definition:

    Predictable long-term pattern changes in national income. Traditional business cycles undergo four stages: expansion, prosperity, contraction, and recession. After a recessionary phase, the expansionary phase can start again. The phases of the business cycle are characterized by changing employment, industrial productivity, and interest rates. Some economists believe that stock price trends precede business cycle stages.

  146. Watching Insiders (I know a glutton for punishment but this is one of the better episodes) but when have journalists become body language experts.

    Not only are they 100% certain what Bush’s body language was and are speaking tomes of words into what that was, it now appears they can accurately interpret every smirk, smile, twitch or tic of Kevin Rudd into whole essays of meaning.

    A slight apparent smirk from Rudd in question time (one I didn’t see) when Hockey was asking that great question on the “War on Everything” has been interpreted as Rudd being immensely upset that his good friend from Sunrise days has turned on him and their friendship has been destroyed deeply scarring him for life.

    Journalists of Australia will you please stop making mountains out of the petty and start bringing the stories that count and are important.

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