Kevin Rudd was elected largely because he conveyed an image to the Australian public of a man who would keep Australia on a steady course. His 2007 election campaign was all about convincing the public that he would follow most of the policies put in place during the Howard years but govern in a “nicer” way that would keep the trendy “cafe latte” types happy. However as the current economic crisis drags on, I sense that Kevin 09 might not be anything like the “lovable” Kevin 07.
Rudd’s rise to the top of Australian politics was impressive and no doubt this pushed his ego to new heights. The problem of course is that the rise to the top can be relatively easy to handle when compared to the slide down as Mark Latham illustrated as he fell apart after losing the 2004 federal election. Latham and Rudd might be very different people, but I would suggest their ego management systems are probably very similar.
When they taste failure they lash out; Latham turned on just about everyone and now that Rudd is in trouble, he is turning on economic fundamentals and free market thinking which is curious, since these things made him rich and put him in office.
As reported widely in the media Rudd has written an essay (to be published next week in The Monthly) in which he attacks neo-liberalism because it is a philosophy which is anti-tax, anti-regulation and anti-government. I can only assume then that Rudd likes taxes, regulation and wants to see the government more involved in our daily lives.
Great…we have state governments across the nation that cannot manage such things as public transport and hospitals, a federal government that can not even handle a broadband network tender and Rudd’s bright idea is to give more power to the government!
Rudd’s ideas are quite simply dangerous and is the type of over reaction that George Soros warned of when he wrote”
“In view of the tremendous losses suffered by the general public, there is a real danger that excessive deregulation will be succeeded by punitive reregulation. That would be unfortunate because regulations are liable to be even more deficient than the market mechanism. As I have suggested, regulators are not only human but also bureaucratic and susceptible to lobbying and corruption.”
(Taken from The Crisis & What to Do About It)
What worries me the most about this latest round of Ruddish is that it clearly shows he just does not understand basic economics or believe in the free market. This will not encourage companies to invest in Australia because there is no longer a clear sense of where he will take the nation. The more he talks, the more he sounds like a socialist; but of course his wife and himself made sure they gorged themselves at the free market table before calling last drinks.
Rudd is now showing his true colours, he is man who said anything to gain power and now will do anything to hold onto that power. He is almost child like in his sulking, things have not turned out as he expected and now like a child he will blame anything and everything for that.
First it was all Howard’s fault, then it was because of the economic crisis and recently his last hope the Chinese economy, has forsaken him. So whose fault is it that his government cannot govern in troubled times? Not Rudd’s of course, it is all because of those evil free market thinkers and neo-liberals.
Yes dear readers, Thatcher and Reagan back all those years ago not only delivered the world from the Cold War and into a period of unprecedented economic growth, but cunningly they also secretly plotted to undo Rudd. Of course you have to skip the part about the social democrats in the U.S. being actually responsible for setting up the sub-prime mess, but don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.
Maybe Rudd should speak to his Chinese pals? I wonder how many of them would like to skip the benefits that the last 30 years have delivered to their country? Or how about the millions of people who have been dragged out of poverty? Did the great communist states of the USSR and China ever deliver such benefits to their people before they embraced the liberal capitalist system?
Finally let’s not rewrite history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” (and big government) was not the main reason the U.S economy sprung into life again, tragically it was World War Two that set the U.S. up to become an economic power house.
I hope Rudd is not thinking that the solution for our current dilemma needs to follow a similar path. Maybe Latham was right after all when he described Rudd as “a terrible piece of work”? We might soon find out.