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Three smoke trails from Kevin 747

A week is a long time in politics and no one can be unaware that over the last few days the new again Dear Leader has had some rather mixed blessings , in the first instance he has made that rather audacious agreement with PNG that has been largely lauded as being something that might work. However we have also had the riot and extensive damage of the facility on Nauru which has caused about 60 million bucks worth of damage, with the sort of bad press that Labor has received for years on the “asylum seeker issue the latter does very much take the shine off the former which is starting to show a few cracks anyway as PNG now insists that it will only resettle those who are formally accepted as refugees:

PNG made it clear over the weekend that it was willing to resettle asylum-seekers who were given refugee status but would not do so for those who fail that test, keeping them in detention if no other countries agreed to accept them. The approach could breach the capacity of the Manus Island detention centre within weeks given the current rate of boat arrivals if Labor’s plan does not quickly curtail the people-smugglers’ trade.


So despite some indication that the Rudd scheme may be an effective deterrent its success is far from being a done deal. That said we should not EVER forget that it was Rudd himself who created the problem in the first place with is ill fated decision to change from the successful Howard model in 2008.  Some how I don’t think that Rudd’s culpability will be as easily forgotten as  Labor hopes.

The changes to the way that leadership of the parliamentary party is decided looks likely to be waved through the caucus as well which has to count as a win for the new again Dear Leader but I personally can’t see what has been proposed being a long term benefit to the party.  While it may well make it harder to achieve a coup while the party is in government it also means that the party will be less able to change its leader in the face of incompetence or leadership failure which means that    someone as bad as Gillard will be virtually non  removable apart from electoral defeat or being encouraged  to resign “for the good of the party”.  Like a lot of “progressive” ideas it sounds good in principle but I can’t help thinking that a rule change like this one could end up doing more harm than good .

which brings us around to the reason for all of the frenetic efforts from the new again Dear Leader, namely the desire to be in the best possible position to call the election. The latest scuttle-butt suggests August 31 barely a fortnight sooner than Gillard’s mooted  September 13 but light years away from her utterly hopeless position:


click for source

Thus we find that Labor, instead of giving us the needed concrete changes prior to the election  offer us three illusions. Firstly that they have changed the Carbon tax when they can not get their changes through the parliament. Secondly they are set to make the leadership more difficult to change which has to mean that a bad leader can endure well past their use-by date and finally they are giving the us the illusion that they have found a s9olution to the boats with the less than rock solid deal with PNG.

As I see it the honeymoon is all but over for Rudd and that things can only get worse from here on in because already the contrast between the new again Dear leader and his predecessor are fading fast. Personal popularity of its Dear leader won’t save Labor from the consequences of its misrule over the last six years and while they may loose fewer seats than they would have under Gillard  I still can’t see them winning the election either.

Cheers Comrades



  1. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I think you’ll find that most voters won’t be looking to blame Rudd for causing the asylum seeker problem and, on the contrary, will give him credit for his latest initiative to stop it.

    The upshot of the PNG move is this:

    While Abbott talks about “stopping the boats”, Rudd’s actually gone and done something about it.

    And that’s how most voters will see it.

    Meanwhile, Abbott is still floundering and looking like a gobsmacked mullett. He’s got so used to the easy ride he had with Gillard that all he can say about Rudd is “it won’t work”. Well, that won’t work for Tony. Not anymore – he’s been found out.

    Is the honeymoon over for Rudd? I think not. Keep watching those polls, Iain.

  2. Iain Hall says:


    While Abbott talks about “stopping the boats”, Rudd’s actually gone and done something about it.And that’s how most voters will see it.

    You do understand that oppositions are not in a position to “do” anything about it don’t you Ray? That said I don’t think that is the way that most voters will see the issue at all. they well remember who caused the ongoing mess and blame both Labor and the Greens

    Meanwhile, Abbott is still floundering and looking like a gobsmacked mullett. He’s got so used to the easy ride he had with Gillard that all he can say about Rudd is “it won’t work”. Well, that won’t work for Tony. Not any more – he’s been found out.

    Well I will concede that it has been hard to get clear media air since the revival of Rudd however you miss the point being made by the opposition its not that such a disincentive won’t work but rather that its very hard to trust that Rudd can make it happen properly and that some huge downside is just waiting to be made manifest by Labor’s usual inability to design or administer any of their schemes properly

  3. Tony says:

    It certainly has been a pretty wild ride, if you follow Australian politics, the last couple of weeks hasn’t it fellows ?
    I hope you don’t mind the many comments I have made here. I am not a blogger, and have very rarely stuck my neck out, but here goes again ?

    Short and sweet ? You’re both right ! 😉

    Historically, Labor is great at introducing initiatives, plans and schemes. Also historically, it has proven over the decades, that once it does so, (as Iain stated), it fails miserably at being able to manage them. Labor could have cemented its position in politics, if it had made this decision five years ago ! In my opinion, it is too little too late. But, in the process, Rudd has given labor a chance in the next election, whenever it will be, more than they could have possibly wished for, under Gillard. So in that sense, it’s game on boys ?

    Whether Rudd’s scheme works, I honestly doubt it. But, in the wings is Abbott, with nothing but rhetoric, no plans, just quick sound bytes ? It is a serious problem, and one that neither side of politics, since Howard and the Tampa, have been able to solve. It is difficult to see how they are going to pull it off.

    But, what we now know are the two main policy directions/developments of the next campaign don’t we ?
    Boat people/illegal immigration and poor economic management with a debt level of reportedly over $200 billion ?

    Should be fun to watch how both party machines spin it ?

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Thoughtful comments are always welcome here even if we don’t agree with them 😉

    I understand that Ray thinks that I am a terribly biased barracker for the Coalition but at least I support them because I think that they will do a better job of governing. You see my bottom line is good governance and sound administration, rather than new and novel policy ideas. Labor has proven over the last six years that the former totally eludes them and while they are big on the later they fail to do them with any style or sucess.

  5. Tony says:

    You are correct of course, BUT also in the back of my mind, is a thought from an old economic professor I once had.
    That is ? That you have to get the basics right. (how many times have we heard the pollies state that ?). You do that, and everything else follows by way of course. On the other side of the coin, historically, labor has always been the only party, that has cared for the disadvantaged. Without labor, one wonders how pensions would have increased to above the poverty line ? The libs, under Howard proved they didn’t care did they ?
    Also, without Medicaire, how much would we now be paying for doctors, if we could in fact afford to go to a doctor. There are a myriad of other initiatives, that can be traced back to labor, so their worth is historically there. Again, it is their management of these schemes, after introduction, that has always let them down. A shame.

    It is a pity that they have never learned the concept of easy as she goes ?
    Its either full on, or nothing with them, not balanced management. That is why they always get into trouble fiscally ?
    I can’t wait to hear their explanations, of the massive debt they have wracked up. WFC is my bet, even though it had nearly no effect here. The billions in taxes from the mining boom squandered ? Oh lordy it just keeps going on doesn’t it ? Like that old paint ad ? Keeps on keeping on ?

  6. GD says:

    Ray said:

    I think you’ll find that most voters won’t be looking to blame Rudd for causing the asylum seeker problem

    So you agree it is now a problem? Seems like it takes you and Labor a long time to come around to the conservatives’ way of thinking.

    While Abbott talks about “stopping the boats”, Rudd’s actually gone and done something about it.

    Huh? What a bizarre statement. Ray, as Iain reminded you, Abbott isn’t in government, he is the opposition leader. Last time he was a minister in government, that government did successfully stop the boats.

    His government had runs on the board, Labor has only failure after failure.

  7. GD says:

    As Bolt said, the difference between the left and the conservatives is about twelve months.

    The left eventually adopt the policies of the conservatives. Labor is proving that to be true.

    It would be fine if they could deliver the goods. Unfortunately they stuff it up at every turn, spending far more than necessary and achieving nothing more than unintended consequences.

    The PNG arrangement is a perfect example.

  8. […] Three smoke trails from Kevin 747 (iainhall.wordpress.com) […]

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