Sunday, September 08, 2013

Election 2013 - Why did Kevin Rudd lose Pt II

A picture is worth how many words?

One still image conveying so much. This image conveys more accurately than most, why Labor sunk so low in the polls and lost the election in the manner it did. Leadership shenanigans is how I termed it in the previous post in addition to over 30 other reasons, and while it was not the only one, I suspect the post election analysis will conclude it was the chief reason.

The election result seems to have been set in stone for months, if not years. In the end, a campaign poorly executed that basically told us that most of Rudd's energies over the past 3 years were spent on how to bring down Gillard, instead of planning for an effective anti-Abbott campaign in the event of a second chance.

The party and its chief protagonists deserve the result they got ...

See also: Post of September 7

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Election 2013 - Why did Kevin Rudd lose?

Why did Kevin Rudd lose?
Was it because?
34 reasons and counting …

He largely stopped talking about emissions trading schemes (as the "the great global moral, economic and environmental challenge of our age"), he stopped talking about national desalination plants, urban water funds and solar futures.

He mostly stopped talking about "the education revolutions", “education tax refund”, childcare rebates, petrol and grocery prices and his “watch” schemes.

He stopped threatening the states about fixing hospitals with the warning that if they did not, he would take over the health system by …. Was it mid-2009?

He lived in a world of grandiose statements and white paper pronouncements that, by and large, led to nothing.

His more humane asylum seeker policy, you know the one that led to the lure of fifty thousand asylum seekers to Australia and the deaths of over a thousand in trying to arrive.

He declared, "the reckless spending must stop" and then went on spending without precedent ensuring future taxpayers will spend decades paying it off.

He declared he was an economic conservative in 2006, then after the financial crisis, a “social democrat” and then recently stated, "I am an economic nationalist". He is a man of many contradictory political personalities, contradictory depending on who he is addressing and the time at which he states it. A man with settled beliefs that keep changing! What did you ever really stand for?

As Wayne Swan claimed, he does not hold any Labor values.

The leadership shenanigans of the past 3 years. We recall your words of 2011.

“Nobody should be in doubt about who will lead the Labor Party to the next election” says Kevin Rudd
In a statement that should provide some provisional and much needed respite to Julia Gillard, the Foreign Minister firmly rejected any suggestion that he was once again seeking the Prime Minister’s job.
“Julia Gillard being one of the toughest women in politics will continue to lead us effectively with the full, unconditional and unequivocal support of the caucus”, Mr Rudd told reporters this afternoon.

Your parties (not Tony Abbott’s), empty promises about delivering a surplus

The debt, the ALP has created. The harsh reality is that this government has us in debt to the tune of nearly $300 billion and the servicing cost of this is over $15 billion a year in interest. 

Came off a commodities boom and still debt soured

Of the structural budget balance

We really didn’t know who our deputy PM was, you know, the one before “Albo”.

The one who asked, “If the 2013 Australian federal election is framed as, “Are you better off under six (6) years of Labor then Julia Gillard (now Kevin Rudd) is going to lose in no uncertain terms ….” Was right

The number of people without jobs has gone up by over 220,000 between 2007 and 2013, and the government has classified around 350,000 people receiving unemployment benefits as “non-jobseekers” so that they won’t show up in the official count.

Your Governments attack on free speech

Your predecessor in Julia Gillard contributed because like you, voters could not work her out. Her political identity, her policy substances, her true ideological convictions, values and beliefs were a mystery like Rudd’s. Many elected leaders across the world subvert effective policy creation to opportunism and pragmatism, but the degree to which our Julia has done so both during her rise and, as Prime Minister defies logic and lends itself to questions of a paradoxical nature. We distinctively knew what Hawke, Keating and Howard stood for by the time they became leaders and mostly this was reflected in their policymaking during their tenure as Prime Minister. Conversely, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd presented as a fluid, unconstructed persona, driven only by political opportunism, pragmatism and a misleading appeal to romantic sentimentalities. More here … 

He and the party relied too heavily on unions and their workforces not realising that union density in Australia peaked in the late 1940’s and today it’s a shadow of itself with less than 20% of the workforce belonging to unions in the public sector while over in the private sector the figure is less than 10%. 

The images of federal Labor stuck in voters’ minds ... Ah yes, those images ...

The NSW branch

Just the cost of living maybe?

His Government created gender wars by setting women against men and who will forget the needless misogyny tirade against Tony Abbott.

Or maybe because former treasurer Wayne Swan launched silly class wars that Kevin Rudd attempted to sustain.

You promised a form of politic that was to be, "... a little kinder and gentler" and then broke your own rules by embarking on a fiercely personal attack on Tony Abbott's character during the campaign.

Too many thought bubbles when polls went bad, high speed rail (something spruiked by Labor at every election), and that silly proposal to move the Navy from Sydney to Brisbane at a cost of billions of dollars and the loss of thousands of jobs.

The unbelievably dishonest declaration that Treasury, the Department of Finance and the Parliamentary Budget Office had costed the Coalition's policies and found a $10 billion hole, prompting the Government's most senior economic bureaucrats to come out and say it was not the case.

He flip-flopped on the carbon tax, border protection, car subsidies, foreign investment and even gay marriage – master of populist politics.

He consistently made policy announcements (FBT Changes) without consultation with the industries affected even after promising a “new way” as Rudd 2.0. 

The world-beating stimulus spending that went way over the top. Indeed, why Australia, an economy highly dependent on foreign borrowing, deployed fiscal stimulus more aggressively than most other G20 economies remains a mystery. 

Your own party truly hates you and voters have come to realise this. The you tube video at the link is an embarrassment! Said James Button, Rudd's staffer and speechwriter:
The truth is, Rudd was impossible to work with. He regularly treated his staff, public servants and backbenchers with rudeness and contempt. He was vindictive, intervening to deny people appointments or preselections, often based on grudges that went back years.

He made crushing demands on his staff, and when they laboured through the night to meet those demands, they received no thanks, and often the work was not used. People who dared stand up to him were put in “the freezer” and not consulted or spoken to for months. The prodigious loyalty of his staff to him was mostly not repaid. He put them down behind their backs. He seemed to feel that everyone was always letting him down. In meetings, as I saw, he could emanate a kind of icy rage that was as mysterious as it was disturbing.

He governed by - seemed almost to thrive on - crisis. Important papers went unsigned, staff and public servants would be pulled onto flights, in at least one case halfway around the world, on the off chance that he needed to consult them. Vital decisions were held up while he struggled to make up his mind, frequently demanding more pieces of information that merely delayed the final result. The fate of the government seemed to hinge on the psychology of one man.

Maybe somebody in the know was correct when stating:
“Rudd has never understood what it means to govern. He has never understood that to accomplish something, a minister or a prime minister must design it, think of the risks and take measures to prevent them, assemble resources, map out a plan for implementation, follow through on it, and deliver results. He believes that governing mostly consists of making grand statements.”

He failed to offer a narrative, never mind a Keating-style narrative, any narrative to coherently package a message, an economic agenda or whatever.

All of the above, that's right, a myriad of reasons and suddenly, SURPRISE SURPRISE voters (maybe even the likes of David Koch!), just stopped believing him.

If by chance Penny Wong were to read the above she would probably think; that's your opinion. To which I would add:
and it appears, the opinion of voters Penny.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Australian Federal Election 2013 Two Party Preferred All Polls Average

2 Party Preferred: ALP 48.1 L/NP 51.8
The figures above represent the two party preferred average of all polls taken during since the Rudd 2.0 accession beginning 27 June to 6 September.
In total 36 polls were averaged to arrive at the figures and included ReachTel, Roy Morgan, Galaxy, Newspoll, Essential and Fairfax Neilson.

Monday, August 19, 2013

ALP back at square one

I'm not going to comment on today's Newspoll, what was it:
August 18- Campaign enters week 3, ALP back at SQUARE ONE

Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

Rather or instead, I think this fascinating image says it all ...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Who will Tony Abbott be debating

Turnbull has a say ahead of tonight's first debate ...

Monday, July 01, 2013

Why Kevin Rudd 2.0 will fail

" ... the anti-Rudd dynamisms from within ... are preordained to pounce once the official election campaign is underway ..."

The recitations that have led to the reinstalment of Rudd 2.0 are well documented; there is no need to report them here. Following his resurrection, the early opinion polls will and have, reflected an expected bounce that puts the Government near level pegging with the opposition. However, hold your horse, for this is as good as it is going to get for the ALP.
For Kevin Rudd the resurrection is most certainly about evening the score, but as the saying goes, “Revenge proves its own executioner.” In exacting justice by regaining the top job, he has done more damage to his own than the very person and cluster he is trying to exact revenge upon. Broadly speaking, own refers to the parliamentary Labor party. In the process, much ill will has been generated over 3 years resulting in a destructive undercurrent of vast proportions that will not blow over. For simplicities sake we can refer to them as Anti-Rudd forces.

The caucus is large and divided along factional lines, those within who voted for Gillard or otherwise are opposed to Kevin Rudd remember exactly who it was that sabotaged the 2010-election campaign. They also know that for all of Julia Gillard’s shortcomings – and there were many – our first female Prime Minister did not deserve to be cast aside in the manner she was. More significantly, they cannot forgive the fact that throughout the 3 years and 3 days of her prime ministership she was, essentially combating two, not one opposition leaders. Of the two, Kevin Rudd was the most damaging. His manoeuvrings were not merely orchestrated but systematic enough to starve Julia Gillard and the Prime Minister’s office of much needed oxygen. Apart from poor policy decisions, unfortunate timings, and remarkably bad advising, the polls went further south than they otherwise would, due to none other than Kevin Rudd.

The ousting of Rudd and the actions of the so-called faceless men were, in the first place, bad enough, but rest assured, Kevin Rudd’s actions since, as executed with much intent were worse, and it is easy to decree why. Think Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine in Victoria, be assured, the former did not leave voluntarily, he was forced to quit after being instructed he had lost the numbers in the party room and would face a spill if he did not. The transition then took place smoothly; however, did Ted Baillieu parade as if the alternative leader after surrendering the leadership? Did he constantly undermine the efforts of the new Premier of Victoria? Think also, Bill Hayden and Bob Hawke, it was no easy transition:
By 1982 it was evident that Fraser was manoeuvring to call an early election. Hawke began mobilising his supporters to challenge Hayden's leadership. On 16 July Hayden narrowly defeated Hawke's challenge in a party ballot, but Hawke continued to plot against Hayden. In December, Labor surprised many pundits by its failure to win the vital Flinders by-election in Victoria, further raising doubts about Hayden's ability to win an election. On 3 February 1983, in a meeting in Brisbane, Hayden's closest supporters told him that he must resign. He reluctantly accepted their advice. Hawke was then elected leader unopposed. Later that morning, unaware of the events in Brisbane, Fraser in Canberra called a snap election for 5 March. Fraser had been well aware of the infighting within Labor, and wished to call an election before the party could replace Hayden with Hawke. He only discovered later that Hayden had resigned just a few hours before the writs were issued. At a press conference, that afternoon Hayden, still chagrined, said "a drover's dog could lead the Labor Party to victory, the way the country is". Labor under Hawke won the 1983 election … “ Source
During the election campaign of 1983, I do not recall Hayden acting like a spoilt child in the face of much personal disappointment and frustration; specifically I do not recall him undermining the efforts of the new leader. Not Kevin Rudd, too much self-importance and ego ensured that his own interests were to be catered for before those of the party, hence Rudd Version 2.0 in June 2013.

Revenge, reprisal and seeking justice where one feels wronged is human nature. As we draw closer to the election date, the undercurrent I referred to earlier, will breach the surface and the damage will begin. While humans have evolved much since prehistoric time’s, our instincts to hurt when seeking justice or feel wronged remain. We are as a species flawed and touchy, easily affronted and enraged where emotions are concerned; payback is often a necessary personal release that transcends wider interests, in this case, the interests of the parliamentary Labor party. Certainly, some of us are more evolved than others, but we all remain human, and Kevin Rudd has incited and spurred and brought to the fore, the aforementioned primordial instincts within his own ranks - those very humans of his party and his narrow-mindedness will now guarantee payback or in the least, more retribution.

Thus, remember this, the anti-Rudd dynamisms from within as referred to above are preordained to pounce once the official election campaign is underway. Exactly how they will execute their actions is subject to speculation, but I would not mind betting that it will not be too dissimilar to Rudd’s actions of 2010 against Julia Gillard involving leaks to riveted journalists. In addition, there will be undermining, betrayals, scheming and ugly power plays. There is a saying, “When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself.”

In the end, this will be a good outcome, not just for the LNP, and not only for those contemplating a career in politics but primarily for all aspiring leaders whatever their calling, for they must understand that dishonesty, treachery and cowardice which leads to sabotaging an organisation cannot be, in the long run, rewarded. The greatest saboteur in its history now heads the party of Chifley, Curtin and Hawke and we, whatever our political and ideological underpinnings must not condone this.

For mine the Gillard –Rudd argy-bargy of the past few years has been demoralising and while traditionally politics is about right, left or centre, sometimes it must simply be about right or wrong.

I predict that the coalition will win the forthcoming election handsomely.


Therefore, it begins:

Chris Uhlmann on the ABC’s, The Drum Friday 5 July, “Labor is sinking and the captains are to blame

Now Rudd has his hand on the tiller again. His language makes it clear that he sees this as simply reassuming what is his by right. And no matter what he said or did behind closed doors to bring down Gillard, we are expected to keep a straight face when he says he won't countenance criticism of her.
The longer he waits to call an election, the more likely it is that the unseemly stench below deck will become obvious.
The level of hatred that has been the hallmark of the Rudd-Gillard years is astonishing and it has not faded. If anything, it's more entrenched. One departing Gillard government staffer asked if I had read the book Perfume, the story of a perfume apprentice in 18th-century France who murders young women to extract their aroma.

"That's Kevin Rudd," he said. "He'd kill you for your scent."

So, as Rudd ponders the election date, he should reflect on how he felt after he had been deposed and wonder if others might wish him harm. The division in his party runs marrow deep.

Blast from the past

The leadership switch may have been refreshing for some, but for many it's an unwelcome deja vu.

Read more:


27 June
ReachTEL Poll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

27 June
Roy Morgan Poll: Labor 49.5, Coalition 50.5

29 June
Galaxy Poll: Labor 48 Coalition 51

8 July
Newspoll: Labor 50, Coalition 50 

14 July
Neilson Poll: Labor 50, Coalition 50 

18 July  - Post FBT changes and asylum seeker deaths at sea ...  
ReachTEL Poll: Labor 49, Coalition 51

22 July - Post PNG Asylum Seeker announcement
Newspoll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

27 July   
Galaxy: Labor 50, Coalition 50

29 July - Post PM Rudd's lightening visit to Afghanistan
Essential: Labor 49, Coalition 51

August 3 - Day prior to election date announcement   
Newspoll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 4 - Immediately after PM Rudd announces election date
ReachTEL: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 5 - 1st official day of election campaign
Essential: Labor 49, Coalition 51

August 6
Roy Morgan: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 6-8 - 1st poll released after end of Week 1 of campaign
Fairfax Neilson: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 10
ReachTEL: Labor 47, Coalition 53

August 11
Galaxy: Labor 49, Coalition 51

August 12
Newspoll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 12
Roy Morgan: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 17
Galaxy: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 18 - Campaign enters week 3, ALP back at SQUARE ONE
Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

August 19 - You have to wonder about this one
Essential: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 22 - The slow but steady rate of drift from Labor towards the Coalition continues: Abbott also closing in as preferred PM
Fairfax Neilson: Labor 47, Coalition 53

August 24
Newspoll: Labor 47, Coalition 53

August 24
Roy Morgan: Labor 48.5, Coalition 51.5

August 26
Essential: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 27
ReachTel: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 1
Galaxy: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 1
Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

September 1
Roy Morgan: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 2
Essential: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 4
ReachTel: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 5
ReachTel: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 5
Essential: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 6
Galaxy: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 6 - This last poll confirms a Labor wipeout
Fairfax Neilson: Labor 46, Coalition 54

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Julia Gillard on delivering a surplus

Like respect, credibility is earned not given, it doesn't just come with the territory nor title, even if that title is, Prime Minister.

In all cases. it must be earned and maintained.

In August 2011, Gillard says its incredible to think she won’t give us the surplus saying,

"...the Budget’s coming back to surplus ... There’s no credible analysis on our economic plan that it won’t come back to surplus".
July 2011, she adds,
"The budget will be back in surplus in 2013 as promised".
In May 2012, within the budget papers we read:
The Government is returning the budget to surplus in 2012–13, on time and as promised, with surpluses growing over the forward estimates.
In November 2012 we were still assured it would be a surplus, but just a few short weeks later in December it was suddenly going to be a $1.1 billion deficit.

Then by late April 2013, the PM told us it would now blow out to a $12.5 billion deficit.

And following on, just three weeks later, as Treasurer Swan spells out budget 2013 and we find it's a deficit of over $19 billion!

Otherwise said, around $7,000,000,000 went astray in 3 weeks.

Julia Gillard has done little to earn anything but a loathing for her incapacity, the folly of her ways.

Credibility you ask? Please spare me ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Little Book of Big Labor Waste

No need for me to cover anything just read the book.

Download here or go here

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Australia's Financial Situation

A prominent and highly successful financial guru wrote this short piece about budgetary plight.

You probably heard Julia Gillard’s speech yesterday saying how bad our financial situation had become, which is in stark contrast to Wayne Swan going about saying we’re doing better than everybody else. As I’ve said many times at seminars, it’s a bit like a one armed man saying I’m better off than a man with no arms at all.

The harsh reality is that this government has got us into debt of nearly $300 billion and the servicing cost of this is over $15 billion a year.

The incoming government has an horrendous task, they first have to bring the budget back to surplus and then make that surplus big enough to pay back $300 billion. It would take 50 years at $20 billion a year. Looks like our great grandchildren will be paying it.

There was one point that has not been highlighted. The government’s revenue has NOT fallen - it is simply less than they expected. The problem is that expenditure has not been cut to match the fact that receipts were less than budgeted for, even though they are more than last year’s.

Click here to find out who

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Real Cost of Government Debt

..." the cost of servicing the existing debt is nearly $14 billion annually or otherwise, the equivalent of $38 million dollars a day in interest charges..."

The level of Government debt stands at just over $274.6 billion and while it is very high, the figure does not surprise me given that last August I noted that it was just shy of $245 billion. While defenders of present debt levels will argue that it is small in terms of GDP ratios, this line of argument provides little comfort given yesterday’s deficit news.

I have several concerns; in the first case, its rate of growth is alarmingly high, having risen a confounding 75% in the past two and a half years. I am also becoming uneasy about the cost associated with servicing this debt. 

Federal borrowings come at a price in the form of interest by taking an ever-increasing slice of revenues. Even when we account for our record low rates, the cost of servicing the existing debt is nearly $14 billion annually or otherwise, the equivalent of $38 million dollars a day in interest charges.

If the Government had been more prudent (smart) and, for example, limited debt growth to half present levels, then the interest saved in just 3 years would amount to around $21 billion.

NDIS and Gonski Reforms

Now some perspective, this saving would pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) $6.8 billion and the Gonski reforms $6.5 billion and still leave around $7.5 billion in change. Moreover, the two reforms paid without any levy or money from States and Territories. I am not advocating for either of the two reforms however, the citation drives home my point.

More disturbing still, the cost of servicing the debt is on track to rise to as high as $20 billion by 2016 in line with further projected increases in debt. All the while, I am assuming -perhaps incorrectly- that existing interest rate levels will remain low indefinitely.
To think, we had zero debt as recently as 2007.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Baroness Thatcher's granddaughter - Amanda Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher's granddaughter Amanda Thatcher reads Ephesians 6.10-18 inside St Paul's.

Have we heard the last of Amanda Thatcher? Given she said, 'It's sort of in the blood' one like me would hope not. Just perhaps the bloodline would pilot her into a career in politics like her grandmother, Baroness Thatcher.

Further reading: 'It's sort of in the blood': Thatcher granddaughter captivates at funeral

Friday, April 05, 2013

IPA: Fighting for Freedom

A must see video produced to celebrate the Institute of Public Affairs' 70th anniversary, sees Dr David Kemp explaining why the organisation, founded in 1943, is needed today more than ever before.