Kevin Rudd gets far too much credit.
Those who say he is being dragged to the Right - that he takes a more cautious, more conservative approach to appeal to John Howard’s battlers - discount the increasingly obvious reality that Rudd is already there.
Howard-lite, he was dubbed during the election. If anything it’s a fairly flawless reproduction. At least Howard had conviction - Rudd just has robotic rhetoric.
This is not an act. Rudd is typecast as the Australian Prime Minister we know and apparently love: mean, tricky and out-of-touch.
This Prime Minister told us he would help save the world by reducing our carbon emissions, yet takes to global climate change talks laughably weak targets and rich trading permit exemptions for the biggest polluters. And can’t even get that legislated.
This Prime Minister promised a revolution in education that has delivered little more than laptops and school halls rather than the serious investment in state education and radical realignment in school curriculum and study pathways needed.
This Prime Minister vowed to end the blame game in health funding, yet hundreds of millions of dollars still disappear down the black hole of bureaucratic overlap as emergency rooms struggle to cope with the daily intake. If there’s been any improvement in health outcomes it’s hard to see where.
This Prime Minister emotionally apologised to a generation of stolen Aboriginal children while giving hope to the next. Yet Indigenous disadvantage remains devastating and the health and education outcomes for black children are a national disgrace at least on par with the discrimination and neglect of governments past.
This Prime Minister pledged to rebuild Australia with his pork-free infrastructure plan, which has barely topped up Howard’s kitty and failed to invest in the really necessary public transport networks for our congested, car-dependent, disastrously planned, sprawling cities.
And so we come to the refugee debate, the true test of a leader’s humanitarian chops. What a snivelling, miserable failure this Prime Minister has been.
What a cold-hearted coward Kevin Rudd has shown himself as.
Why do we reject the huddled masses?
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