Saturday, May 9, 2015

UK Elections send a message to Labor

The best leadership I've seen was the Hawke-Keating years in the 1980s and 1990s. True, I hated them at the time but can reflect that they did some great things. Less so, the Howard years. I can't imagine I'll ever think well of Rudyard, turning a $40billion surplus into structural deficit that will take us two decades to correct.

But that's probably the golden age fallacy kicking in. I hope I live long enough to recognise myself as a crusty old fool, and that Ruddyard was good. I desperately want to have respect for Julia Gillard, although I feel Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd might be beyond redemption.

Bill Shorten must get his act together, or get out of the spot. shit or get off the pot. Our current government will be buoyed by the recent UK elections result. Someone had some thoughts about this:

That the result is so different from the polls suggests one or more of three things:
- the “shy conservative” will give pollsters what is the “right” answer, as defined by the media, but in the privacy of the ballot booth will follow his true instincts.
- the Conservatives finished strongly with passionate campaigning with a shirt-sleeved Cameron, with Boris Johnson, the vote magnet now back in Parliament. Labour, on the other hand, ended poorly, with Miliband clowning with Russell Brand and carving his promises in stone.
- the instinct for many voters, when the result seems cloudy, is to vote conservatively (small c).
I'm not impressed by Bill Shorten, but I do think Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese could make a fist of it. The way this is headed, my prediction is that Hockey will bring down a functional budget, the Australian ship of state will grind along in stormy waters, Liberals will campaign on "you need the adults in charge in these tough times", Australia will vote "small c conservative" and Tanya Plibersek's star will rise and fall without her ever becoming PM.

As a leader of the opposition the stress and white anting will reduce her to the same dithering blowhard we saw in Ruddyard, and she'll be gone.

Labor or Liberal the Australian government must realise that we're in the shit and we have some painful years to come - and act accordingly. In the UK, the people just gave their government the opportunity to do something about it.

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