Friday, July 30, 2010

Peter Van Onselen is right, if we knew what we know now back in 2007, we'd have re-elected John Howard

Sigh. Three years on and I basically feel ambivalent about being proved completely right by subsequent events.

If the past three years have taught us anything it is that if voters had their time again they would have re-elected the Howard government for a fifth term. As Tony Abbott said yesterday, "when the history of the last three years is written they will be seen as wasted years".

An electorate that had had it too good for too long airily decided it wanted a change and voted out a competent, (though not perfect), government for an opposition leader who cynically and dishonestly marketed himself as a younger version of John Howard.

In Nikki Savva's devastatingly accurate words, some time in 2007 Kevin Rudd slithered into John Howard's skin, only to shed it once it had done its job and got him elected.

Basically, the Labor Party won the 2007 election on false pretences.

The problem for me is that it was all so bloody obvious three years ago. Nothing that has transpired about the character and failings of Kevin Rudd, (or indeed the Labor government itself), has come as a surprise. It was all there to see back then, but few wanted to see. Too many people, especially in the media, wanted Howard gone (for various reasons) and were not going to let troubling reality spoil things for them.

But there's the rub, no? Reality can only be spurned for so long before it crashes the party and wrecks it.

Three years later we are left with what might have been. Essentially the record of Labor is three wasted years and tens of billions of dollars of public debt that is going to have to be paid back with interest.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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