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February 23rd 2012 print

Peter Smith

Election now!

Bruce Hawker said the Gillard and Rudd stoush has to be resolved because it is “getting in the way of good government”. This is delusional. Anything which gets in its way is beneficial.


This is the worst government in Australia’s history.


The present government paralysis is the second best option to kicking it out. The only problem is that its maladroit legacy will continue to undermine and poison Australian society and the economy unless it is cut off at the source.

Bruce Hawker said the Gillard and Rudd stoush has to be resolved because it is “getting in the way of good government”. This is delusional. Anything which gets in its way is beneficial.

Everything this government touches turns to dross. The list is becoming as endless as the asylum seeker boats now freely breaching Australia’s borders.

Imagine if they were kicked out what opportunities and benefits it might bring. There is nothing like a touch of left-wing government induced chaos to remind people of the virtues of smaller and more competent government.

Tony Abbott would have the kind of opportunity that Thatcher had following the Callaghan mess and Reagan following the Carter mess.

No carbon tax to clobber Australian industry; no new mining tax to stymie new investment and introduce more unmanageable revenue volatility into spendthrift government; no NBN to saddle Australia with a ridiculously expensive, monopolistic, government-controlled, one-size fits all communications network; more control over our borders and perhaps, under Abbott, it might be hoped, a more flexible labour market, less environmental regulation and slimmed down government, leaving scope and room for the private sector to make us all more prosperous.

Everyone remembers the Whitlam government as the second worst in Australia’s history but it would be a mistake to leap to the conclusion that the Labor Party is intrinsically flawed. It managed, after all, to give us the Hawke and Keating governments and the beneficial things that they accomplished. No, we are living through what is hopefully a random and rare event.

A whole group of people have come together, mainly from the unions, at the onetime, all bereft of judgement and commonsense.

This is a group of people who elected Mark Latham to be their leader and fight an election for the prime ministership as recently as October 2004. Julia Gillard was a particular Latham supporter. This was the same Latham who the Labor Party now seems to regard as madder than a cut snake. Over to federal Parliament in 2010 and there’s Anthony Albanese suggesting that Abbott was exhibiting unhinged characteristics by likening him to Latham, the man who he was quite happy to foist on us all as prime minister:

Watching the Leader of the Opposition I could have sworn I was witnessing the ghost of Mark Latham. It was all there Mr Speaker – the jaw jutting out, all the fake aggression, all the machismo…

The Labor member for Bendigo thinks Kevin Rudd is a psychopath and it is plain that many Labor members have distinct concerns and worries about Rudd’s temperament; why else topple a sitting prime minister in his first term whose position in the polls was hardly dire.

Apparently it is okay to put Australia’s foreign relations in the hands of a man held in such disrepute. What harm can he do? So what if he calls the Chinese “rat fuckers”; presumably they can’t understand English.

How do you follow leaders who you believe are deranged and psychotic? Well why not throw in one who combines a unique level of incompetence with an aversion to telling the truth. And there you have it; a Labor Party incapable of electing to leadership someone of sanity and integrity. Maybe it is because they have no-one? The “Mad Monk” looks pretty sound and centred compared with the lot the Labor Party has given us.

None of this would matter if they were running a Labor Party branch somewhere out in suburbia. They are running the country and seem determinedly bent on wreaking havoc; not deliberately, of course, but out of sheer unbalanced bloody-minded incompetence.

The independents must act. Surely they can see what is going on and will put the country before their own self interests. This has gone on long enough: the self-destructive carbon tax; the NBN white elephant; unfettered illegal immigration; wayward leadership by people clearly not fit or ready for office.

Where is Sir John Kerr when we need him?

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics