Whither the loud lefties?
by Paul Colgan
Perhaps the lack of bold vision for Australia in the election campaign thus far can be understood by looking at what happened to Kevin Rudd. He was the last mainstream political leader to stand before the country making bold promises about the future, and look where he ended up.
The good ol' days: Protesters at Woomera detention centre in 2002.
John Howard may have been victim of a tired electorate looking for a change in 2007, but he was also hobbled by the thousand pin-pricks sustained in attacks by left-wingers on a range of issues.
The “Howard haters” were angry about the Iraq war, reconciliation, asylum seekers, and climate change. Rudd said he would do something about all of these. In what is now one of the great political parables about the dangers of overpromising, Rudd’s efforts in some of these areas would ultimately prove his undoing.- I tire of this positioning that claims the ALP are somehow centerist. We don't have an example of centerist ALP policy. While they were clearly failing well before Rudd became unpopular too, it was Rudd's mistakes which embarrassed the media into challenging Rudd, and he failed. He failed so badly on the 7:30 report he was rolled within a month. The embarrassed compere tried to claim a victory over Mr Abbott in retaliation, but he hasn't made it stick. Gillard was the brains behind the ALP failures as they lurched left after promising centerist policy in 07, without giving detail. Gillard's abysmal watered down mining tax is still abysmal, but watered down. Her Pacific Solution is no better than when she despised it all those years ago, although it is hers, and so it isn't working. Her health plan is no better than medicare Gold, it is a mere pork barrel, not a reform. The only policy which might be conservative is the Pacific Solution, and she refuses to implement it properly, in much the same way as a failed Victorian Premier once declared "Houses not freeways" then knocked down the houses and put a red light on the motor way so as to not call it a freeway. She is a left wing zealot and the Greens are left of her again. - ed.
Workaholics always end up losing in the end
by Julia Thornton
I make no apology for being lazy. If there’s a corner, I’ll cut it. If there’s a fast way, I’ll find it. If there is a reason not to do something, I’ll find it, use it and then flog it until it’s a mere paste.
I don’t reinvent wheels. I don’t like to do something twice. Tautology is not my thing, except when I’m trying to make a point. So I don’t understand workaholics. I don’t get how someone can get up at 6am, dress, eat and go to work for 14 hours, not break for lunch or a walk around the block, go home, defrost something and sit down at the dining table to start working again, only getting up to put on Lateline.
That is not a balanced life. - It can be a balanced life if it is devoted to service, not personal gain. Rudd's agenda was not to be PM, and he achieved that. I spend as much as sixteen hours a day on my business, but I love it. It is giving me a balanced life too, but then I'm not asking it to pay my bills or have my babies. It is ok to work hard, and to have your work close to your life. But it can be a nightmare too when you don't want to do it, and it doesn't help with your life. When you can't include it in your day to day living .. when you don't go in with the attitude of a servant, but a miner. - ed.
Quality journalism exposes the counter-terror industry
by Mark Colvin
The plummeting sales of newspapers worldwide have brought about an epidemic of soul-searching about the future of journalism: do people still want straight reporting in the age of blogs? Is there room any longer for large reporting organisations like newspapers and network TV News? Above all, who’s going to pay?
Pedestrians walk by a piece of steel from the Twin Towers shaped into a cross next to Ground Zero in New York. Photo: AFP
Whatever the answers to those questions, it’s a good time to be reminded of what journalism can be at its best, and the Washington Post has produced exactly such a reminder. If you read nothing else this week, bookmark this site.
Over two years, two Washington Post reporters have been assembling an investigative series into what they call Top Secret America, and the results are fascinating. - Interesting if true. Maybe the Post is now reporting as Fox has, as the Post should have but didn't for all those years, because the left don't talk about such things. The left's shortcomings include an intolerance to differing views, and so they miss all these things. Yes the collapse of Soviet Union came as a surprise, but they definitely anticipated it too. The stalemate could have lurched on for years or decades more. But the juggernaut of Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul 2 effectively doomed communism while the left were still thinking it was maybe ok to exterminate peoples if they disagreed with established left wing values. The left had despised all three of those people, yet they were effective. No left wing leader has been as effective as any of the three in the twentieth century. - ed.
Craig, let’s discuss your shortcomings over coffee
by Frank Zumbo
Federal Small Business Minister, Craig Emerson has taken the Federal Government’s spin and smear approach to policy issues to new depths. With a debate raging about the Federal Government’s failure to respond to the needs of small businesses and consumers, Craig Emerson took time out to reflect on the contribution being made to the small business and competition law debate by this author.
Craig Emerson, have I got a deal for you. Photo: Kym Smith
It’s extraordinary that a Federal Minister has the time to reflect on the contribution being made by a particular individual. Surely there are better things the Minister could be doing such as explaining why the Federal Government wasted millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on a failed GroceryChoice website.
Perhaps the Minister’s time could be better spent explaining why Australia consistently has some of the highest levels of food inflation in the developed world which is pushing up grocery prices for Aussie families.- None of the ALP in office have been able to stand up for common values. They all come across as poll watchers. They are divided from the top down. They don't know what their policies are, what they are trying to achieve or who is leading them. Under those extraordinary circumstances, Craig may be seen to be doing a bang up job - ed.