Earlier today The Stringer predicted a 56-46 win in the leadership spill between the former close colleagues and confidantes who led the Australian Labor Party to a historic win in 2007 – Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defeated Prime Minister Julia Gillard 57-45.
Prime Minister-elect Rudd has spent the last three years wearing his heart on his sleeve distraught that he was toppled by his once close confidante and running mate, Julia Gillard. He will feel vindicated tonight that his legacy has had some restorative justice after the public hits it has taken from various diminution from various colleagues during the last couple of years.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will return to the backbench which she has not sat on since 2001. She entered Parliament in 1998 and she will not contest her west Melbourne seat of Lawlor. It remains that that she served three years and several days as Prime Minister. Her toppling may well serve to protect her legacy, generate empathy and sympathy, rather than harsh judgments that may have prevailed had she led the Australian Labor Party to electoral decimation on September 14.
The Australian political landscape has been hammered by a “me-generation” of individuals bent on the open-slather pursuit of high political office instead of working together. On one side of the ledger the ugly will to power has exhausted the Australian people. On the other side of the ledger it can be argued that democracy is alive and well in Australia, where even the highest office in the country, unlike in totalitarian regimes, is not a protected species.
It will be a difficult time for outgoing Prime Minister Gillard and others who have dedicated themselves to political careers but despite what hurt they feel it is time that everyone keeps what they can of their promises to resolve the leadership issues and unite with conviction in the national interest – and at long last discuss the big and small questions around policies and future directions, which have languished for far too long.
Asylum Seekers endure various ordeals while neither major political party has any solutions. Insiders in the Australian Labor Party have tried to sell The Stringer the line that the Australian Labor Party is working with a subtle hand in the interests of Asylum Seekers by “processing their applications onshore despite the theatre of offshore detention.” The Stringer queried our insiders that if this is the case why is the “no-advantage policy” being pushed and why are some newly arrived Asylum Seekers flown back for instance to Sri Lanka . A little over three years ago just before Prime Minister-elect Rudd was about to be toppled did an about-face on Asylum Seekers and said “we should not lurch to the right” on Asylum Seekers. But after dismantling the Pacific Solution everything else he did right up to June 2010 coup was a lurch to the right.
In the weeks and months ahead the debate on Asylum Seekers will have to happen if Prime Minister-elect Rudd is to have any credibility. It may be this issue that tests his mettle.
Climate change generated by human activity is evidence-based and the debate on this issue is yet to happen between the Coalition and the Government on the actual facts. More, not less, has to be done to address climate change. Once again this may be an issue that can make up the minds of voters.
The Australian economy has grown by 14 per cent in the last six years but abject poverty is on the rise, homelessness is on the rise, and the median cost of living is on the rise. More has to be done for the poorest, the working classes and the lower-middle classes. Voters are hanging on detailed policies and what will work.
The economy despite its revenue growth and major project building is in a slow decline and the loss of working class jobs are on the rise, whether in manufacturing, retail and various other industry sectors. Underemployment is a rising crisis in Australia and has been grossly under-reported.
Housing affordability has become impossible for most Australians and keeping a roof over ones head has also delivered renters stress. In 1975, 70 per cent of Australians were in some form of home ownership but in 2013 only 30 per cent of Australians are in some form of home ownership. 70 per cent of Australians rent their homes.
Most Australians have no savings and are increasingly vulnerable to un-repayable debt.
More than 100,000 Aboriginal peoples continue to languish in the direst abject poverty. The major parties have to come clean on what they intend to spend on the poorest of our Aboriginal peoples. Debates have to take place on the undisclosed but looming changes to the Native Title processes. At this time ruminations are rife that changes will be crafted to expedite outcomes in the interests for mining companies, developers and pastoralists. The policies have to be laid out before the election on how Aboriginal Native Title holders will be protected. The Leader of the Coalition, Tony Abbott has told The Stringer that there will be changes to the Native Title process but at the time he said he would declare the details of the changes closer to the election. They are yet to be disclosed and it is up to Prime Minister-elect Rudd to ensure this debate happens.
Education policies need to be adequately discussed but also in terms of private schools verse public schools, as there now exists a reductionist agenda to marginalise public schools to the working classes only. Discussion needs to be had on how universities will operate in the years to come and what they need to do to sustain high undergraduate numbers.
The global financial crisis is not over while Australia’s resources boom has failed to deliver sovereign wealth to Australia. Australia’s poor sovereign wealth systems need to be discussed.
Australia’s real debt has to be discussed. The misleading message has been sold to the Australian population that Australia’s debt is 10 per cent, but that is 10 per cent of gross revenue, when in fact it is 40 per cent of net revenue.
Australia’s corporate executives and parliamentarians have enjoyed incredible remuneration hikes again and again while ironically the poorest have been hit hard or stripped bare. At the beginning of the year while parliamentarians reaped lucratively from the Salaries and Remuneration Tribunal, single parents were hit hard, 80,000 pushed off parenting payments. They are still relatively unheard.
Politics should be seen as a calling. As Prime Minister Gillard said “politicians come into parliament with a sense of service.”