Saturday, December 01, 2007

A New Dawn Has Broken...

Kevin Rudd
Other side of the world
but the same tired agenda
...has it not? Well perhaps not such a new one from a more global perspective.

Amongst the news stories I had clipped away during my hiatus from serious blogging I found quite a lot on the aftermath of the sad demise of John Howard's administration in Australia.

It's not worth revisiting them in detail a week on but from a bird's eye view there is something very tiringly familiar in the the tone of the various headlines that Kevin Rudd's camp have managed to generate in the international press after their election success about the direction he wants to take his country.

Take this, from Sky:
  • "Rudd To Apologise To Aboriginal People"
Yes, a new administration, elected promising real change for ordinary people in fact focusing first of all on a politically correct, but fundamentally meaningless gesture. Yes, treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia was appalling, but Kevin Rudd didn't do it, nor for that matter did John Howard.

Then there's this from the Telegraph:
  • "Calls for Australia's Rudd to hold referendum"

This of course refers to calls for a referendum on becoming a republic. Frankly this is a matter for Australians on which I have very little in the way of opinion. Rudd is a keen republican, which is fine, but, in common with most other leading Australian republicans, he seems to be a little bit reticent about his views on the details of how a democratic presidency should work. So then, a personal commitment to constitutional reform with out clarity on the end point of the changes. Sounds familiar?

Other stories have commented on the firm commitment to remove Australia's welcome, but small and non-critical contingent of troops from Iraq, an issue that is doubtlessly popular with much of the Australian public, but is hardly an earth shattering act of political leadership. On the environment he has promised much the same line on climate change that our own politicians have been asking us to swallow for a few years now. Yes, I'm sure action will be taken, and the changes Australia will make will have the same effect on the the climate as our own, none whatsoever.

Rudd seems like a nicer kind of human being than our own revolting Prime Minister and that may secure him a longer tenancy in Canberra than it looks like Incapability Brown might be offered of Number 10 by the British People. It still looks though, very much the same threadbare, visionless modern left agenda of our own government.

The old left was something I always disliked, but at least they had a substantial dream of the sort of country they wanted to create. It is true that the same critique could be applied to the modern right in our own country to some extent, but at least the core values of the value of individual freedom against an over mighty state guarantees them some relevancy long in to the future. With their former economics thoroughly discredited by the realities that history teaches us, and the idea of campaigning for a bigger state, at least overtly, something of a bygone age it's pretty hard to understand what purpose those that describe themselves as left of centre serve any more.

Sadly my Australian friends, I suspect you are facing just what we have had for more than a decade. More tax for little more benefit than covering up the inadequacies of your ruling classes and ill considered gesture politics. I think Rudd does have a role model for matters more serious than emptying bodily orifices in Parliament and I'm not convinced he has picked wisely.

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