Iain Hall's SANDPIT

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Labor, a love that dare not speak its name, thanks to Julia Gillard.

There is something rather Zombie like about the Gillard government as we traverse the days between now and September 14. They keep trying to pretend that they are still alive but we can all see the green tinge of putrefaction in their collective pallor and we can see the increasingly stilted gait as they go through the motions of government. Gillard talks with faux confidence “Gonski”,  NDIS, NBN  and all of their other pie in the sky schemes but absolutely no one is listening, NO one believes that Labor will ever be in a position to deliver on anything they promise.

The one thing that they can deliver on that they would be well advised not is the appointment of ” Labor mates”  to various well paid government jobs.  It really is the worst kind of nepotism so too would be any move by Gillard to appoint a new Governor General as Tony Abbott has made clear in the  letter to the Dead PM walking leaked to the Fairfax press:

In the letter, Mr Abbott complains about the recent reappointment of the Australian Electoral Commissioner and other public service appointments, and invokes the ”caretaker” convention to suggest the current government is going beyond its legitimate authority.

”In my view, the decision to announce these appointments subverts the established convention that no government should make decisions that are legitimately the province of a potential successor,” he wrote in the letter dated April 21. ”The announcement of appointments expressed to take effect almost nine months into the term of the next parliament and some 15 months before they become operative is a blatant abuse of power.”

Mr Abbott argues that to attempt to recommend the appointment of a new governor-general more than six months before the term would commence is ”without modern precedent”.

”Quite properly, arrangements regarding the appointment of a new governor-general would be, and should be, a matter for a new or a returned prime minister after the September 14 election.

”Thus, I seek your specific assurance that this precedent will be respected and that arrangements for the appointment of a new governor-general will be a matter for an incoming or re-elected government.”

You could take the view that Gillard’s behaviour is understandable given the inevitability of her political demise however I think that it makes evident a total lack of good character or any commitment to protecting the reputation of the high office that she currently holds.  She is just buying more time in the political wilderness for any of her parliamentary colleges who happen to survive the coming  electoral annihilation.

I can’t help but compare  Gillard  to Gough and think that the later had more principle and more good graces than Gillard will ever have, likewise history will not be anywhere near as kind to Rudd and Gillard and their governments than it is to Whitlam. I certainly think that the last five years will go down as the most ineptly governed period  in this nation’s history and we just be thankful that despite the grossest maladministration we still have a very robust economy than can only improve with the return of the Coalition to the treasury benches.

Finally I would like to offer a rather telling aside and it is that I have noticed that even the most rabid of Gillard’s cheer squad have substantially reduced the number of their postings trying to defend the government and commentary has likewise been reduced to a few   “hail fellow well met” cringe worthy responses and then silence. To me it means that even the far left have given up on Gillard as well as exhausted their “abbott Abbott ABBOTT!” rhetoric even though we still have months to go before the election.  I can’t help thinking that come September that Labor will be “the love that dare not speak its name” which is ironic indeed when you consider that Abbott is now holding out the possibility that after the election the party room my reconsider its position on Gay marriage.

Cheers Comrades




  1. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, no one believes Gillard will win the election … you’re right about that part. But you’re wrong about this:

    I certainly think that the last five years will go down as the most ineptly governed period in this nation’s history and we just be thankful that despite the grossest maladministration we still have a very robust economy

    That contradicts itself. If it’s “the most inept” government in our history and if it’s been riddled with gross “maladministration”, how does that sit with your admission that we still have “a very robust economy”?

    I’d suggest the most inept government in our history was Malcolm Fraser’s from 1975 to 1983 (with John Howard as Treasurer). Closely followed by the late Menzies and post-Menzies governments from about 1965 to 1972.

    Gillard comes in 3rd behind that lot, closely followed by Howard. The best government was the Hawke/Keating one from 1983 to 1996, which set up Howard’s early years and made it easy for him. He still managed to do nothing though, like he did with Fraser.

    The problem with this government spins entirely on its validity to be the government or moreover, on Gillard’s validity to be the PM. It was doing fine (very well in fact) until the 23rd of June 2010.

    And I’d suggest that the Abbott government will be no better than Fraser’s. There’s not much point in all this cheering before the event – this is like a slow funeral march and the amazing part is, it’s all self-inflicted.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    The question you have to ask yourself about the economy is just how much control does the government actually have?
    I would argue that since the governments of Hawke and Keating substantially deregulated our economy that no government has anywhere near the level of control of any major element of our economy. Any government (of either persuasion) can at best have only the most indirect influence on any economic activity. Thus its entirely reasonable to argue that in the case of the term of this government that the economy is running well DESPITE Swan rather than because of his tenure as treasurer. The same issue will be evident if and when Hockey becomes treasurer.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    how much control does the government actually have

    You’re ignoring the Rudd/Swan stimulus packages that – beyond a shadow of a doubt – kept our economy going while the rest of the world went into recession. Despite the claims of “waste”, it was good governance and placed Australia in an enviable position. Oh, but the debt it incurred? So what? – all countries have debt. So do the most successful businesses. After all, debt is a necessary tool.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Ray I have a Plasma in the lounge room thanks to Rudd but I don’t think that their stimulus was as influential as you Labor fans claim. Many people just used the money the way I did or used it to pay down the personal debt.

    As for debt I think its fine to carry some debt however I don’t have any sort of indifference to “small debt” because I have seen what happens when small debt is not taken seriously, it tends to grow exponentially until it is an insurmountable. Call it a depression era mindset if you like but I just can’t shift away from my dislike of debt.

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s because you’re not running the country or a large business, Iain. Yes, for individuals, debt can be an issue but for governments and large business it’s absolutely essential. It’s all relevant to income. And assets. We are far from struggling with debt and far from broke.

    Btw, your plasma TV purchase meant that the money you received went to (a) the shop you bought it from (b) to pay wages. In other words, you injected it back into the economy.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    I may not be running a business or the country but that does not make me wrong to be suspicious of debt, As a business owner yourself surely you must think that, what you go into debt for is as important as the the level of debt that has been accumulated? Because it seems to me that far too much of the debt incurred by Labor has not given the nation anything of enduring value.

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    It kept our economy going and people in work, Iain – that’s enduring. We’re also getting a NBN, be it Gillard’s or Abbott’s – and that’s all from debt too. Tell me, what did Johnny Howard ever build of “enduring value”?

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