I have been reading The Australian lately as a change from The Age. The Australian has been full – day after day and in just about every section of the paper – of bad news and reviews of Our Kevin. The long tall and short of it all is that, if the present Labor government went to the polls right now with Kevin Rudd at the helm, it would get thrashed. The top editorial in The Australian is headed “Kevin’s real problem? He can’t see we’ve changed”. The Editorial opines:
In 2007, Australians voted for Mr Rudd as an acceptable alternative after 12 years of Mr Howard and the Coalition. His early efforts – signing up to Kyoto and offering an apology to indigenous Australians were unthreatening, easy changes. For a time, voters were even prepared to tolerate the Prime Minister’s foray into essays criticising capitalism and backing state intervention. But no longer. The RSPT [resource super-profits tax, aka the 40% mining tax] has proved a vote-changer for people who are not interested in joining unions and want to make their own decisions about spending their money. Labor’s weakening support is not driven so much by individual events such as the home insulation debacle as by a general disillusionment with the Prime Minister. It’s not Mr Rudd’s anger that worries these voters but a sense that he is driven by a residual guilt that makes it hard for him to accommodate the changes in the electorate. It is as if the boy from Nambour who is now worth millions can’t accept that his fellow Australians are equally aspirational. Instead he persists in viewing them through the outdated lens of left-wing ideology, class warfare and economic protectionism. Labor was wrong to see the 2007 win as a vote for the protected culture of the unions who funded the anti-Work Choices campaign. It was wrong to see that win as a repudiation of the Howard economic policies and a call for more government intervention. This misreading of Australia now threatens the future of Labor – and of the nation. Those in the party who understand what modern Labor stands for must decide whether Mr Rudd and Mr Swan have the capacity to listen to what the electorate is saying, and learn from their mistakes. Labor must see the nation as it is, not as it used to be.
That has it about right. In fact, I predicted the current disapppointment at the start of Kevin ’07’s inglorious reign (not that anyone was listening: see “He’s not the Messiah, he’s just our new PM…” from December 10 2007).
The list of grudges is long. The $42 billion give-away in the “Stimulus Package” (“Thanks, that’s really generous, but er, um,…”), then the emissions trading stuff up, then the insulation program disaster, and of course, don’t forget the Schools building program. On the latter point, there is this story in The Australian in their section “Schools Watch”: “First the revamp, then the school closure plan”. Try and get your mind around this (it is second only to the news that our local State Government spent $2 million putting 1 cent on 87,000 pensioner myki cards so that they would work on the trains…):
The 13-student Nagoorin School, an hour’s drive from Queensland’s booming mining hub of Gladstone, will receive a $250,000 library within weeks, using a federal government Building the Education Revolution grant approved last year… The school was given $250,000 for a library, $35,000 for “minor classroom renewal”, $9800 to enclose its front veranda and $5200 for new signage. It has spent funds extending the administration office, repainting the classrooms and buying new furniture.
But Nagoorin is only one of more than a dozen schools — mostly in Queensland — that have already used taxpayer funds on building work, painting, carpets and playgrounds, and yet are now being shut down or earmarked for closure.
This is no joke. It would be funny if it was.
There is a line in Tim Rice’s libretto of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, sung by the character Judas in “Heaven on their minds”, which could be suitably adapted by Government MP’s addressing their leader:
Listen Kevin to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
But it’s sad to see our chances weakening with ev’ry hour
All your followers are blind
Too much heaven on their minds
It was beautiful, but now it’s sour
Yes it’s all gone sour
Ah — ah ah ah — ah
God Jesus, it’s all gone sour
O yes, indeedy. Sour as in Kevin0Lemon.