Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Rudd’

Will the real Kevin please stand up?

February 10, 2009

Janet Albrechtsen nails it once again:

True prime ministerial character can never be judged before taking office or in the honeymoon period that follows. It emerges over time in shaping policy and responding to events. Worryingly, the emerging Kevin Rudd persona has at its core the convictionless pursuit of power.

It is difficult to construct a firm set of Rudd principles. As Prime Minister, he has mastered the art of slippery politics. He speaks with hyperbole to suggest conviction that, on closer scrutiny, is not there. He darts from one piece of Rudd rhetoric to the next, only to move away from each of his sweeping pronunciamentos with alarming speed.

There are two tests of political conviction. The first is one of consistency, delivering on promises made and adherence to core beliefs over time. The second test of conviction is courage: whether a politician has held beliefs before they emerged as the orthodoxy or simply jumped on a bandwagon only when it was popular and safe to do so.

So who is the real Rudd? You be the judge.

Read the whole thing.

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Misguided, would-be messiah

February 7, 2009

Tony Abbott nails Rudd in an op-ed in The Australian:

“The past 30 years have witnessed perhaps the fastest and greatest increase in prosperity in human history. If nothing else, Rudd has surely not missed the movement of hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants into the middle class. Of course, there have been big problems with the Chinese economic miracle just as there are now serious problems (although far less systemic) with the world economy. What Australia needs, though, is a leader with a sense of proportion about the present difficulties and a measured plan for dealing with them, not a would-be messiah with apocalyptic visions of a new world order.

Greater exposure to market forces over the past three decades has eventually led to more jobs, higher pay and much greater wealth. Not everyone has been equally able to make the most of these opportunities so there is always a big constituency in favour of wealth without effort and success without merit. That’s why it’s so dangerous to pander to it by pretending, as Rudd does in his essay, that bigger, more intrusive government could have avoided mistakes that almost no one saw coming.

If you don’t understand a problem, you can’t properly deal with it. As Rudd’s essay makes plain, he has confused a cyclical (if severe) downturn with a fundamental crisis of capitalism. Especially with the benefit of hindsight, it’s now plain that serious mistakes were made in the US home loan market. This has compounded the bursting of an asset price bubble with consequent flow-on to business decision-making and jobs.

In a market economy, cyclical downturns are as inevitable, if not necessarily as predictable, as storms in winter. You batten down the hatches but you don’t conclude that the sky is about to fall in. Rudd, by contrast, says that the rules have changed; that government spending and government regulation that would not have made sense before makes sense now. It’s on this basis that he’s shifted without any specific justification from being an “economic conservative” to a born-again socialist and without any embarrassment from a forecast budget surplus of $22billion last May to a deficit of $22 billion just eight months later.”

I advise you to read the whole thing.

Update: Full article can be found here. Oops!

Australian Prime Minister calls for Ultra-Keynesian New World Order

January 30, 2009

In the lead up to the 2007 Australian Election, Kevin Rudd – Australia’s Obama – pledged he was an “economic conservative“. Now, one year on, the truth comes out.

Having already broken his promise to cut taxes, in an essay to be published in the next edition of leftist-magazine The Monthly, Prime Minister Rudd has launched an unprecedented attack on the free market, positioning himself far to the economic left of even Labor Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.

An extract from today’s Sydney Morning Hearld on the article reads:

“The time has come, off the back of the current crisis, to proclaim that the great neo-liberal experiment of the past 30 years has failed, that the emperor has no clothes,” he writes of those who placed their faith in the corrective powers of the market.

Mr Rudd writes in The Monthly that just as Franklin Roosevelt rebuilt US capitalism after the Great Depression, modern-day “social democrats” such as himself and the US President, Barack Obama, must do the same again. But he argues that “minor tweakings of long-established orthodoxies will not do” and advocates a new system that reaches beyond the 70-year-old interventionist principles of John Maynard Keynes.

“Neo-liberalism and the free-market fundamentalism it has produced has been revealed as little more than personal greed dressed up as an economic philosophy. And, ironically, it now falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself.”

I repeat: “advocates a new system that reaches beyond the 70-year-old interventionist principles of John Maynard Keynes.”

In a little over a year, Kevin Rudd transformed from an economic conservative, to an unabashed socialist, dreaming of government interfering in every aspects of our lives.

He began by regulating what we drink. Then censoring what we read. He is forcing us to join unions. And now, it would seem, a new world socialist order is his plan.

Change indeed.

Update: You can read the first 1500 words online here. It begins “From time to time in human history there occur events of a truly seismic significance, events that mark a turning point between one epoch and the next, when one orthodoxy is overthrown and another takes its place…” Not one for hyperbole is he?

Update 2: To his credit, Rudd does not embrace protectionism. Not that that’s suprising considering the overwhelming bipartisan consensus that thinking rationally on this issue has at home.

Update 3: I recall that Alex Hawke MP, Federal Member for Mitchell “was once thrown out of [a high school] class for telling a teacher there was more to economics than Keynes.” I fully expect him to deliver the same message – in the same style – to Prime Minister Krudd.

Update 4: “Ironically, it falls to social democracy to prevent liberal capitalism from cannibalising itself”: Does this remind anyone else of “We had to burn down the villiage in order to save it”?