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July 18th 2010 print

John Izzard

Getting nervous?

The Rudd/Gillard experiment has seen some of the most spectacular and jaw-dropping moments in Australia’s political history. There has never, ever, been a government with such a litany of cock-ups and maladministration.

The whole nation will be a nervous wreck long before the results of this year’s August 21st election are realised. So what we all need to do is to go out immediately and get a great big new box of Baldwin’s Nervous Pills

With the latest opinion polls showing the Coalition at 42 per cent and the Socialist Conservatives (Labor) at 39 per cent, the whole dash thing will most likely rest on the 13 per cent of the vote that the Greens are likely to garner. 

Now, that is something to be nervous about. 

But what is it with this election that has the potential to give us all the heebie-jeebies? Well from the Labor Party’s dance list some of the issues are fairly spectacular. The country’s “hard working” mums and dads have to get their heads around some very tricky issues. 

The Rudd/Gillard experiment has seen some of the most spectacular and jaw-dropping moments in Australia’s political history. There has never, ever, been a government with such a litany of cock-ups and maladministration. There has never been a government with such gall. 

Take illegal immigration. 

Australia sends its’ army to Afghanistan to fight the terrorists and sends its’ navy to stop illegal Afghan boatpeople from landing on our coast. We then let bureaucrats, non-Australians from the UN, decide which of these boat people can come and live here. While our troops are fighting the Taliban terrorists, we also send our navy to intercept illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka. It is estimated that 50 per cent of these people are former Tamil Tigers terrorists. 

And where do the illegal immigrants get the $5,000 to $10,000 to pay the people smugglers for their voyage? Well much of this cash comes from the various ethnic communities in Australia that have successfully got into this county and are happy to send for more of their tribe. 

With the number of illegal people-smuggler-boats expected soon to top 200, little wonder many voters are nervous about Labor’s ability to protect our borders. Time to pop a Baldwin’s. 

Nervous about Labor’s health plans. Understand Labor’s health plans? A word. The health system is run by the state governments. They build the hospitals, employ the doctors and nurses. The federal reform is only smoke and mirrors. 

Nervous about your tax? You should be. 

The massive spend-up that started in 2008 when the “gang of four” took over from the Cabinet, and started to run the country over coffee and a Tim Tam in an ante-room, was the time that the nation got its first big bout of nervous dyspepsia. It was a sort of “a dingo’s stolen my Visa card” moment. 

You don’t spend nearly $200 billion of treasure without the peasants getting a tad twitchy. Particularly when the peasants are the ones who will have to pay back a large chunk of what was borrowed. Enter the great big mining tax. The peasants will love it … except they didn’t! Class warfare didn’t bite. 

The issue wasn’t so much that the Rudd/Gillard/Swan/Tanner super tax was plotted without cabinet discussion, but that it targeted just one industry. One industry would be taxed to help pay back the $200 billion debt. It was an “elegant” new tax, except no one could understand how it worked. 

Where the elegant-new-tax got some people nervous was when the Julia Labor government met with the mining companies to “discuss how much tax they would agree to pay”. If only we all could “discuss with the government” how much tax we would like to pay. Talk about “the workers party”. 

But getting back to the big spend-up, or as Julia would say, “moving forward”—nervously. 

That the $200 billion was wasted on useless pink batts insulation, green housing loans, over-priced and over-rorted school buildings and a yet to be proved really necessary National Broadband Network is bad enough; but the real debate should be looking at what this sort of money could have been spent on. And what a lost opportunity this represents.

As the election gets into its rowdy stride the nervous voters will most likely be reminded as to the method and circumstances surrounding Kevin Rudd’s political execution. It was certainly a back in search of a stiletto. The image of Lady Macbeth, crowning herself, springs to mind. 

There is little doubt that when all the rights and wrongs surrounding his demise, at the hands of Julia Gillard, are considered, there will be some serious considerations raised about her ethical standards. 

Even the most dedicated critics and non-fans of Kevin Rudd were disturbed by the manner of his departure. The old nervousness of times past when the voters knew of the faceless Labor Party hacks and union puppeteers (and rejected them), suddenly returned. Mark Arbib, Karl Bitar and Bill Shorten are not good fashion accessories for Julia Gillard to be wearing. 

From Tony Abbott’s corner the weakness is a clear lack of a philosophical roadmap to guide voters. We really need to hear a clear vision for a future Coalition government. His task will be to weather the hurricane of bile and hatred that the Labor party will unleash in the coming weeks. 

Getting nervous? You should be. 

Baldwin’s Nervous Pills are the only answer.