My apologies for not writing sooner, but I have been sick. Two weeks ago I needed to have a contrast injection for another NMRI scan. These injections are contraindicated when you have had kidney problems, as I have had. It may be just coincidence that I fell ill immediately thereafter, with symptoms including fluid retention. Whatever the cause, I appear to be on the upswing.
Rudd For PM
Watching the news at midday, I was surprised at Rudd’s announcement of his immediate priorities. This character has always unsettled me. It seems unlikely that a real Labor ideologue would have a wife who was a successful businesswoman, one who increased her nett worth by using a conservative government’s industrial relation and international economic policies. As well, Rudd himself seemed to be always reading from a prepared script. The questions I asked myself through the whole campaign were: "Who wrote it? Who is the puppet master? How long before we see him sidelined by the Party?"
I was surprised again when Rudd announced his ministry. A lot of the Labor diehards never made it to positions of influence, but instead were sidelined to ministries where good behaviour was almost guaranteed. Others with a high profile were kept in the public eye, but kept harmless. As well, Rudd and Gilliard did not hit the ground running with a two-person ministry as Whitlam and Barnard did in 1972.
Gilliard as Deputy PM has been sidelined. She is so enamoured of her job that she will bend over backward to keep it, and follow Rudd’s directions. Swann may have hopes of economic reform, but a session with the mandarins of Treasury, Finance and the Reserve Bank will leave him emasculated. Garet is where he can do no harm, but can be vociferous about what he isn’t doing. The coup was Rudd appointing a backbencher of Chinese extraction to the ministry. The Chinese believe that any respect you are due falls proportionately with how far from Chinese your blood has been diluted. Rudd has assured himself a decent hearing with the Chinese, who will be a major force in our economy and international relations over the next decade.
A lot of Rudd’s support came from Labor supporters who accepted his announcement that workplace relations would be his first target. By last weekend, he watered this down by saying that the reinstatement of unfair dismissal laws would come first, and the rest would follow as soon as possible. On his appointment today, he said even the dismissal laws would not be reinstated until June 2008, after considerable discussion with business first.
But Rudd did say the first priority was revamping education, reiterating his claim that he would oversee a revolution that would see a clear national hierarchy leading from preschool through to tertiary education. During the election campaign, Rudd ignored the Liberal changes, such as attempting to start a national trades training scheme (impossible when the State TAFEs are Labor-controlled, busy promoting single-term Ph.D. degrees in Advanced Typewriting), or using the excess capacity of high schools to provide alternate trades training (that would have gone down well with the useless ideologues controlling the State Education Departments, who believe we should all be given university degrees with our daily ration of corn flakes).
My objection to Rudd’s policies and implementations that have been so far revealed is that revamping of the health system is truly last on the agenda. With the first major outbreak of PVL-MRSA found just a few weeks ago, there is a clear and obvious danger in not implementing draconian infection control procedures in hospitals immediately. This will be done eventually (for example, I can’t see tourists coming here knowing they will probably leave with a near-fatal and generally incurable infection). The question here is how many deaths will it take?
I asked who was writing Rudd’s script, or who was his puppet-master, or how long before he was sidelined? So far, it seems that Rudd is writing his own script, and taking advice from those who would seek to control him but don’t know they don’t! In public, he is the consummate Labor politician who makes it well-known that he won the election, not Labor (not always the case: in my electorate, Labor could run with Adolf Hitler, and he would still be elected). I do hope he gets MRSA from kissing babies (but please, don’t give it to them instead).
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