Category Archives: Kevin Rudd
…and so should you!
“For years, everyone had believed that John Howard had promised to leave the prime ministership when asked to do so by his party. In September, the most authoritative voice of the party – a majority of the Liberals in his Cabinet – had asked him to retire. Howard stubbornly refused. Not only had he broken a promise made on a hundred occasions. It was suddenly clear that the promise had been formulated in so cunning a manner that its second half effectively negated its first. This was what one of those who spoke to the recent biographers of the prime minister meant by Howard’s ‘lawyer’s tongue’.”
In the Monthly Comment, Robert Manne presents a balance sheet for the Howard years and provides his final pre-election word on why Australia needs a change of government – on why an ex-mandarin must become the nation’s top banana. Read the rest of this entry »
I wonder if the gentlemen above ever read the magazine on the right, or if they have taken note of such recent books as After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads (Profile Books 2006 — $6.95 at your friendly remainder shop!) It appears a substantial portion of the Right have been embracing reality while we were looking the other way. Just what the implications of this are for the American elections remains to be seen; there are implications for our elections, because there is no doubt that what I am reading in After the Neocons and in the magazine on the right is far more Kevin Rudd friendly than the current Australian government’s ongoing love affair with the failing but horribly dangerous policies of the current US regime. This is not to say all these people are born-again liberals now: far from it. But there is more of reason in what they say and publish.
Fukuyama, for his sins, had been one of the signatories of the Project for a New American Century back in the Clinton era, and we know what that led to. There is a profile of Fukuyama here, and I commend the entire IRC Right Web Program from which that comes.
From the current American Interest: After Bush leads with an article by Barry R Posen.
But what a strange day it became. The syllabus itself turned out to be a model of cultural bipartisanship; for every cricket milestone mentioned, there was a nod to multiculturalism or a reference to Patrick White. Mr Howard modestly omitted the election of his own Government from the digest of “interesting things that happened between 1976 and 2000”, but included the inception of the multicultural broadcaster SBS.
If all that were not enough, the Prime Minister bobbed up last night with the casual revelation that he was planning a national referendum to include a new acknowledgement of Aboriginal Australia in the constitution.
On hearing this, Mr Howard’s culture warriors might well be forgiven for surreptitiously arranging an assessment by the platoon’s medical officer. In terms of reversals, it’s quite a doozy – imagine Shane Warne confessing a sudden fondness for sushi, or Elton John a distaste for sequins. What next? An honorary Howard chair in surfing at Griffith University? An Order of Australia for John Pilger? Vegetarians in the Lodge?
Today, the cultural battlefield will stand silent with genuine, bipartisan bafflement.
Further to Hypocrisy (revised) yesterday:
Only a very very peculiar mind could interpret McClelland’s remarks as showing sympathy for the Bali bombers, let alone ’supporting’ them.
That is from the entry I mentioned yesterday — The next prime minister on The Road to Surfdom. Ken also says:
Well done Kevin, you’ve managed to turn a minor incident into a major story while simultaneously demonstrating yet again that in the shiny new ALP, expediency trumps principle every time.
I am afraid that is the impression you have been wedged into exhibiting, Kevin. And today, showing her “very very peculiar mind”, The Blessed Miranda fulminates, froths, gloats, and ejaculates as follows:
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Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has accused the Labor Party of supporting the Bali bombers, after Opposition Foreign Affairs spokesman Robert McClelland criticised Prime Minister John Howard’s approach to capital punishment.
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Our experienced government (you know that one, of course) knows what to do with people attempting to flee Burma. Because they didn’t go through channels and choose to rot in one of the overcrowded refugee camps on the Burmese border, but were silly enough to try to come to Australia, you may well ask, “What happened to them?” You guessed it. Nauru:
THE Immigration Department has revived using Nauru Island for its Pacific Solution policy by transferring seven Burmese refugees there.
The seven had been held on Christmas Island, but were moved to Nauru on Sunday, the Immigration Department said yesterday. An eighth Burmese refugee who has been detained on Christmas Island remained behind because he is in hospital, but would be sent to Nauru later, a spokesman said.
“It is longstanding government policy that anyone arriving on an excised place will be sent to Nauru,” he said.
The Burmese group were transferred to Nauru, even though two other asylum seekers, who have been detained longer, were not moved.
The other two asylum seekers, a Palestinian and an East Timorese man were also caught outside Australia’s migration zone. But the spokesman said it had not been “worthwhile” to reopen Nauru for one or two people. The Burmese group would now be denied access to Australia’s legal system as a result of being outside Australia’s jurisdiction, he said.
Members of Burma’s Rohingya ethnic minority, they include one asylum seeker who has told of being jailed for more than a year for opposing his nation’s military junta.
Nauru had agreed to accept them, and had issued them special visas while their refugee claim is processed — either by the department or by the International Organisation for Migration, which runs the Nauru detention camp on behalf of the Australian Government. The spokesman confirmed that the camp’s new occupants would be locked up for the time being. Read the rest of this entry »