The Labour Government elect in 2007 started with such great promise. But Rudd did not follow through with a double dissolution when his carbon pricing legislation was rejected. The Political party that had the reputation, deserved or not, of being a party of principle showed itself wanting when faced with an opportunity to prove it’s credentials.
The modern Labour party has ditched its principles in favour of vain attempts to beat Abbott on Abbott’s preferred battleground, the gutter. If Labour loses the next election it will be because they did not stick to what they do well: introducing and following through with reform for the benefit of all Australians.
Nowhere has Labour’s failure to stick to humanitarian reform shown more than in its treatment of asylum seekers. This shows more than anything Labour’s willingness to follow Abbott into the gutter where there is no hope of finding any form of sanity.
The latest gaffe by Labour is so silly. Economists have been telling Labour that there is no need to bring the budget back into surplus in 2013. Not only that but there has been warning after warning that to pursue a surplus at any cost could be detrimental to the Australian economy.
The handling of the economy by Labour during the Global Financial Crisis and the on going European crisis was inspired. OK, so we had the help of China. But Labour has shown it has a grasp of the issues and the ability to act accordingly.
Most of the economic decisions made by Labour were a-political in that any competent government of whatever colour would have made similar decisions. Labour has shown itself to be competent managers. And that is the way it should be.
So how did they walk into Abbott’s latest ambush when Labour was told over and over don’t do it? The problem is that the Labour party gets on with governing behind the scene whilst the supposed leader tries to play politics.
That is the problem, trying to play politics instead of letting people see the results of good governance and voting accordingly. Labour is like a well run company producing good outcomes whilst having a clown as the titular head. The people only see the clown.
The Gillard promise of a surplus was never going to happen. There was no need for it to happen. All Gillard did was to give Abbott another free kick.
Looking at the line up of Labour talent they have many potential Prime Ministers who could stand up to Abbott and be real Labour leaders. Just to mention a few we have Tanya Plibersek, Bill Shorten, Nicola Roxon, Greg Combet, Penny Wong, Jenny Macklin and, if he can stop calling people ‘Comrade’, Doug Cameron. There are others.
On the other side there is only Malcolm Turnbull, and my feeling is that Turnbull looks so good only because the others are so bad.
The question has to be asked ‘Is it time for Labour to move on from Gillard and Rudd and return to principle, and choose a leader who can stick to principle?’ Is it too much to ask to have a ‘real’ Labour party and a ‘real’ Liberal party capable of offering policies at the next election and letting the people decide?