Australia’s Prime Minister is a pale shadow of nothingness

Dissident writer and academic Scott Burchill on the dead heart at the centre of the ruling Labor party in Australia (and the Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard):

Caved in to miners within hours of becoming PM – not prepared to stand up to corporate power in the West, or defend the population’s resources equity

Gushed to Obama – an “honour and privilege” just to speak to him, though we are allies in a (futile) war we are losing
Sucked up to Israel – expressed no concerns about the Dubai passport & identity theft or the flotilla massacre while deputy PM, and will not stand up to Israel lobby as PM
Backed the Afghan war unconditionally – without asking Obama any questions about McChrystal’s dismissal, how long we need to have troops in occupation, what the exit strategy, etc,
Opposed same sex marriage – apparently the state decides which consenting adults can marry, not the adults, though her choice not to marry is hers alone
Copied Howard’s Pacific solution on asylum seekers – substituting East Timor for Nauru, then abandoning it a few days later because the Timorese hadn’t been properly consulted and opposed the idea when they eventually were
Endorsed a government imposed internet filter – then abandoned it a day later because the population opposes it and thinks they should decide what they can and cannot access, not the government
Lost the Government’s two most competent ministers – Tanner can’t stand her and what she did to Rudd, Faulkner opposes the Afghanistan commitment he was charged with implementing

It’s not disappointing because only the naive believed she actually stood for something – principles or good policy, for example. If she did, she would have bailed on Rudd months ago. Concerns that someone from the left had risen to power were always risible – she is hated by her colleagues on the left more than she is by those on the right. She was only on the left of the party for the purposes of factional horse-trading and pre-selection.

What’s more difficult to understand is that like Rudd, she will be rightly criticised for not standing for, or believing in, anything. Sadly, she is actually getting credit for “clearing the decks” before an early election, as if policies are dispensable as long as it is possible to hold on to power. This tells us more about modern Labor than anything. If she is re-elected, what will she do? Manage for the sake or managing? Every other idea and principle has been, or is being, trashed.
Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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