Friday, September 11, 2009

Rudd's dishonesty diminishes and demeans him

But I suspect he can't help himself.

After all, this is the man who lied about being forced off the family share-farm within days of his father's death, (and indeed has tried to insinuate that it was the staff at the hospital who were responsible for his death, not his dad who got pissed and then got behind the wheel of a car), or who, after actually telling the truth before the Melbourne Cup in 2007 that he didn't know much about horse racing, rushed back a couple of hours later to tell journalists that he was a "mad punter from way back" and started dropping the names of horses he couldn't name to save his life an hour or two earlier.

Okay, all politicians bend the truth and will try to cast their opponents in the light they choose for them, but Mr Rudd's efforts recently are verging on the obssessive and are just plain and simply untrue.

And he must be fully aware of the extent to which he is rewriting history.

It's either the Coalition as evil neoliberals who were responsible for all the changes that brought the recent financial crisis upon us, conveniently forgetting that the first real round of neoliberal economic reforms were started by the Australian Labor Party under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, or now trying to say that the Coalition did nothing but sit on its hands, unlike the wonderfully vigorous Hawke and Keating years!

Jeez mate, which is it?

As an aside, when Hawke and Keating did set about reforming the Australian economy and helping to set it up for years of unparalelled growth, it did so with bipartisan support from the Coalition.

But when the Coalition became the government and sought to continue this reform, based upon the principles already clearly enunciated by the Labor Party when it was in office, it got nothing but politically motivated resistance from Labor.

Surely not even Rudd will dispute that he inherited from the former government a fiscal position and a framework for prudential regulation of the banking system second to none in the western world.

It is tempting for a political leader such as Rudd to highlight his party's virtues and ignore those of other parties. Last Monday, however, the Prime Minister carried political mendacity to new heights, when he launched Paul Kelly's book The March of Patriots.

His analysis of the economic reform process in Australia since 1980 was partisan, inaccurate and lacked any semblance of objectivity.

In one fashion or another we are all political warriors, but we have a superior obligation to the national interest. That obligation obtains in opposition as well as in government.

No side of Australian politics has a monopoly of either virtue or merit. Each according to its own value system has attempted to improve the lot of Australians.

In failing to acknowledge this last Monday, my successor diminished himself, and not the Liberal and National Parties.

It's a shame that Mr Rudd seems to totally lack both the grace and generosity of spirit that characterises Mr Howard.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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