Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is Chris Uhlmann the most insightful political reporter in Australia?

Naturally enough, given my views on the subject, I sat up and took notice when Uhlmann clearly displayed a degree of specticism about climate change one rarely sees in the Fourth Estate, especially from the Ultimo Soviet.

But he clearly saw through Kevin Rudd, just as I did, before the last election.

Isn't it funny though, when you watch the video, how John Howard just as clearly set out Rudd's hypocritical opportunism on Iraq, and yet gets at best a neutral reaction from the worm.

Oh dear, I do miss him.

Chris Uhlmann recalls what turns out to be the most prescient question asked of Kevin Rudd during the 2007 election debate:
Mr Rudd, your troop withdrawals are heavily qualified. And, on other issues, your party labelled the Medicare safety net a sham, and then supported it.

You said the Commonwealth land release was a marginal issue in making housing more affordable and then you adopted it. You oppose capital punishment always and everywhere, except when it’s inconvenient.

You often accuse the prime minister of doing anything and saying anything to get elected. What do you actually believe in, Kevin Rudd? What won’t you qualify or jettison to get elected?
Adds Uhlmann:
In the minds of some of his own, that question has now been answered.
Uhlmann modestly fails to note that he himself asked the question. Didn’t need to, really. Which other press gallery journalist saw through him back then?

He checks what Labor MPs now think of their policies-overboard leader:
Some say they have sustained little electoral damage from toughening the stance on asylum seekers and shelving emissions trading. They say any hurt has been done on the left and most votes lost to the Greens will return through preferences.

One said the about-face on emissions trading had done no damage at all. The public would recognise Labor had tried for two years to get its policy up and had been thwarted by the Coalition and the Greens. The argument that Labor could have an emissions trading scheme this year, if it called a double dissolution election, was one for the chatterati. Real people didn’t know what that was, and didn’t care.

Another thought the emissions trading climb-down was only tricky because the language used to sell the need for action on climate change had been “over-hyped”. It was a short-term problem.

Then there are those who rate their response to the policy U-turns from “disillusioned” to “outraged”. They were more focused on long-term damage to the Labor brand. One MP wondered how his party differed from the Coalition.

“Why are we involved?” he said.

A lot of anger was focused at the party’s NSW right wing, which is seen as the workshop where this “cynical brand of politics” is fashioned… “Look at Bob Carr,” one said. “He was master of the daily news cycle and his government was a disaster.”

There was an old-world notion in the ranks of the disillusioned that words should count.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

No comments: