Thursday, February 23, 2012

Time to focus on Mr Abbott

Over recent weeks I have been suffering from a rather bad case of lingering flue, complicated most recently by another crash. For those and other reasons, I fear that my writing output has suffered quite badly. I am now looking to rebuild and re-energise.

The Australian media is dominated by the resignation of Kevin Rudd as Australian Foreign Minister and his apparent charge for the leadership. It's hard to escape it. This is one cartoon. It will be completely obscure to any one outside Australia!

I don't especially want to comment on the specifics of the challenge. However, I did want to make a few broad comments.

I pointed to problems in Mr Rudd's style early after he became PM.  These now litter the public criticisms by his colleagues. It may be that he has learned. Certainly his supporters say so. I am inclined to doubt that it affects the basic elements of that style, although it may temper it to some degree.

In a number of posts recently I looked at the way that the internal dynamics of the ALP combined with reporting created its own apparently real world that was in fact divorced from reality. I said that Ms Gillard had to find or create an island of calm in all this. She has not been able to do so. Regardless of the outcomes of any leadership ballot, it is hard to see how the Government can recover. The NSW disease that has afflicted Federal Labor appears to have entered its terminal phase.

In all this, there is one point I made that has not, I think, been discussed.

In talking about Mr Rudd, I said that the administrative structures that supported the Government no longer had the capacity to support his agenda. Subsequent events appeared to support that. I made the same comment with regard to Ms Gillard. Again, there have been problems.

Now that it appears that Mr Abbott could well be our next PM, someone would say that that has been the case for some time, I think it time to subject the coalition policies to the same type of analysis applied to the Government.  

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