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Gillard, Rudd, Brown, Wilkie, the nightmare continues

May 7th, 2011 · Greg Atkinson · 13 Comments

For a while I have resisted writing about the political situation in Australia simply because it is too depressing.  Of all the possible political outcomes after the election last year it looks like the Australian people have ended up with the worst case scenario – a leaderless dysfunctional government adrift at a time when major ecomic challenges loom.

In July 2009 while the mass media were still enjoying thier Rudd love-in I raised the alarm about how much money would be wasted by his big spending, poor planned vote-buying projects. As I said back then:

“The main problem is that extreme socialists only know how to spend as the concept of making a profit or seeking an economic return is something that only those evil neo-liberals would think of. So in their view of the world when a government funds a project there should be no detailed objectives, just some high level vague statements of what they they hope will be achieved.”

(See: Wasteful spending, poor planning and extreme socialism)

Fast forward to today: the National Broadband Network (NBN) debacle drags on, millions was wasted pumping Gillard’s ego via the Building Education Revolution (BER) and lives were lost plus million wasted in the rush to install imported home insulation into peoples homes.

But don’t go looking for any details from the Government regarding the economic return on any of these projects because they don’t have the data or they are cunning enough not to disclose it. But the Australian public and media have finally woken up to the fact that governments that borrow and spend big are just buying time in office.

For sure some economic stimulus can ease the pain as an economy hits a rough patch, but when a government spays around too much money then much of it is wasted, mis-directed and does nothing to make the economy more robust for the future.

We have gone in just a few years from a situation where the Rudd Government was handed $10 billion as they came into office to one where the Gillard Government (and I use the term government loosely) has no racked up a debt of around $60 billion. So what time is it now? It’s tough budget time!

A ‘tough’ budget means that the Government finally realises that the public has worked out the politicians have been spending too much and folks are getting worried. Of course most folks in Australia did not seem that worried when the hand-out cheques were in circulation but those are now a distant memory. (even Gerry Harvey seems to have forgotten them)

Of course the Government should have stopped the spend-a-thon a while back but the problem is the Government morphs in and out of several mutations as every week passes.

Sometimes it appears to be greenish in colour where Julia Gillard is in a power sharing deal with Bob Brown but then it re-invents itself to look after the Unions. (since they held Rudd’s toga when the knives went in)

It then occasionally morphs into the Silly Party and embraces the rantings of Wilkie, Windsor and Oakeshott; three chaps who I am sure are brushing up their CV’s for a life after politics which I hope is not too far away.

The result is that the Gillard Government is unable to untangle itself from the deals it did to hold onto power. Simply put, the Gillard Government is a mess and if the Prime Minister genuinely wanted to help the nation she would go see the Governor General and call an election.

But that’s unlikely to happen and so the nightmare continues. The mining tax remains an unsolved mess and added to it now is the carbon tax. Businesses are not sure which way the Government will lurch from one week and overseas governments probably consider Gillard and Co are acting in a caretaker role until a real government can be formed.

So far the only major achievement of the Rudd/Gillard years since 2007 appears to be that they built a lot of school halls. Apart from that I am struggling to think of what else has happened.

The big health reforms have stalled, the education revolution has been a flop, the NBN is already running over-budget and behind schedule and the only thing the Government has done in terms of climate change is start some green programmes and then run out of money and cancel them.

Julia Gillard is so worried about carbon emissions that she felt compelled as a atheist republican to fly across the planet to attend a royal church wedding.

So at a time when measures should have been taken to diversify and improve the efficiency of the economy we have been poorly served by firstly Prime Minister Rudd, an ego maniac who really wants to be head of the United Nations and Prime Minster Julua Gillard, who appears to want a job writing travel stories for LonelyPlanet.

Some of this would be funny if we didn’t have to pay off the debt. Gillard, Swan, Rudd etc will be okay because their overly generous politician’s pension will more that insulate them from higher taxes and energy costs etc in the years ahead. The general public however, won’t be so lucky.

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JasonD // May 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    all i can say is “yes” and “i told you so”, 100% agree

  • 2 scottmuz // May 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    It always seemed to me that Abbott’s move to not try too hard to form a government after the 2010 election was a very smart move.

    We are looking at an Abbott decade 2013-2023. With the left hopelessly split between between the Greens and Labour.

    I’ve felt for sometime that the Green movement would bring an existential crisis for Labour type parties in many western states.

    On Wilkie, I think his Pokies idea actually makes a great deal of sense. I walked around my local RSL last week watching those playing pokies. Rows and rows of 60+ year olds, 75% women, feeding the machines. A very depressing scene.

  • 3 Greg Atkinson // May 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Actually Scott I agree with you regarding the gambling reforms. I don’t see what is so bad about helping people lose less money. But in general I think the Independant MP’s have too much influence due to the nature of the almost hung parliament. I reckon Abbott must be relieved that he might be able to build up enough support to get a decent majority in a few years time..if not earlier.

    Call me silly but I reckon Rudd will quit before the next election. I can’t see him hanging around when it is quite clear he despises Gillard and those who knifed him. If Kev07 get’s the nod for a good UN role or something else that tickles his ego then things will get really interesting.

  • 4 Arian Motavalli // May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    You’re right – the political situation in australia is depressing, but hasn’t this always been the case?

    Ok, so lets say come next election the libs win (which is probably going to happen given the current swing with the affairs of state politics).. what do you think will happen to:

    1. The NBN. Shelved? I doubt it. Reason: if you do some research on the inception and the ‘bigger picture’ reason for having the NBN, I highly, highly doubt the libs would pull the pin on it. In fact, they’ll probably spin it something along the lines of “well we’ve already gone so far, we may aswell continue”. And lets be honest, in australia we’re very much detached from whats going on politically – we virtually give the government a carte blanche on issues we should really be taking a referendum on.
    2. As long as both parties take on psychoanalytical focus group studies as a method of vetting agendas/proposals…how is it even possible for any change to occur?

  • 5 Greg Atkinson // May 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Arian I also reckon it would be hard for the Opposition to simply scrap the NBN. I guess what they would try to do is offload NBN Co to the private sector and work parts of the old OPEL plan back into rollout?

    As you say we are disconnected from the political process. Few of us belong to a political party, few of us have ever attended a branch meeting of a political party and then come polling day we vote for a person we generally don’t know much about.

    My idea of political reform is a little radical but if you are curious I wrote about it back in 2009 here in: Bring back the toga and lose the House of Representatives!

  • 6 Biker // May 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Scottmuz: “We are looking at an Abbott decade 2013-2023.”

    Abbott is not an asset. Hockey or Turnbull perhaps.
    For all his faults, Hockey is more popular and less offensive.
    Even when he screws up, we’re laughing _with_ him…
    …not _at_ him. 🙂

  • 7 Plornt // Jun 24, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Biker I prefer Rudd to Abbott. Call me crazy but I thought Rudd did a good job under pressure in the GFC. He made some great decisions to keep our economy going (yes he made bad ones aswell)
    If liberal gets in they will cut spending heavily and our economy will go down the tubes.

    Rudd just needs to tone down his narcissism and deflate his ego. But I genuinely believe he wants to help people. When I see Gillard I think of that wife you divorced that took you to the cleaners and caused you a midlife crisis 😛 Just kidding, I like Gillard, its good to have a female in leadership and she is making tough decisions in the face of adversity.

    This drivel should not be taken as financial advice. Seek to obtain professional
    advice before proceeding with any financial decision.

  • 8 Biker // Jun 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Plornt: “Rudd just needs to tone down his narcissism and deflate his ego.”

    Agreed. His threat to the miners, a few days before his demise, was unnecessary and unwise.

    “When I see Gillard I think of that wife you divorced that took you to the cleaners and caused you a midlife crisis 😛 ”

    HaHa!~ Enjoyed that!~

  • 9 Greg Atkinson // Aug 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I was just re-reading this post and touching up my usual spelling mistakes when I realised that the political situation in Australia since May has actually deteriorated further. Rudd must get up every day and wonder how on earth he lost the leadership to Gillard, Gillard must get up every day and wonder how much longer she has in the job and many Australian’s must get up each day and wish they had a chance to vote the government out of office.

    I wonder why Rudd is handling around? Has be been promised a key overseas diplomatic posting? What is it that keeps him in Canberra when he clearly dislikes Gillard and many of his fellow cabinet ministers? Does he think he can make a comeback?

  • 10 Biker, Denali Alaska // Aug 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Greg: “Has be been promised a key overseas diplomatic posting?”

    Possibly, but he may think he’s in with a chance… .
    One day is a long time in politics!~

  • 11 Greg Atkinson // Aug 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Biker he must think he has a chance I reckon, either that or he has nowhere to go?

  • 12 Lachlan // Aug 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    “Does he think he can make a comeback?”

    Yes, I believe your suspicions are correct Greg.
    I said he would PM several years beforehand because of the air time afforded him by ABC radio in contrast to Downer the actual FA s minister of that day…and because of his eloquent and intelligent speech. During the QLD floods he was keen to be seen on the streets of Brissy….which started me thinking again.

  • 13 Lachlan // Aug 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Though such aspirations may turn limp if he’s caught “handling around” by the media Greg, esp as not a first time offender if I remember rightly…. and I guess you might remove this post when you finish editing your own 😉

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