Kevin Rudd has just this minute been rolled, unopposed as Australia’s Prime Minister. Former Socialist Forum Secretary Julia Gillard has been installed as Australia’s 27th PM.
Rudd’s personal popularity has plummeted since his back-flip on the Emissions Trading Scheme earlier this year. Rudd, watching public belief in AGW steadily dropping in the lead-up to Copenhagen and in free-fall since, could not bring himself to bow to the will of the people and relinquish the religion he so fervently embraced. Instead, like a good little Fabian he… delayed. He announced that any further re-introduction of ETS legislation would not occur until 2013, well after the next election and—in all probability—the one after that.
Then there was the disaster of the Home Insulation Scheme. For those of you not aware, Rudd announced last year a harebrained scheme to spend AU$2 billion subsidising the installation of roofing insulation in over a million Aussie homes. To use less electricity and save the planet, you understand. To oversee this massive undertaking, he appointed the “minister”, former rock star frontman , nuclear disarmament and green campaigner, a nitwit with zero managerial experience Peter Garrett. The results were predictable. Tendering for installation work became a free-for-all, with every shonky back-yard operator in the country with little or no certification to conduct such work getting into the swim. Over one hundred house fires, four deaths and a damning official report later, the scheme was dumped, with an estimated bill for remedial work perhaps double the original cost of the scheme.
The new Mining Tax impost was the last straw. Faced with the massive blowout of their 2008-9 “stimulus package”, they resolved to fleece the one remaining industry Labor saw as a cash cow, with a new 40% “super tax”. Rudd, told by the mining industry that he faced an immediate offshore flight of capital, responded by spending $40 million of taxpayers’ money on a propaganda blitz in the MSM, selling a nakedly party line to a public whose credulity was already seriously weakened.
Gillard’s ascension probably signals little. My country has a (fairly shameful) history of throwing untenable political top jobs to women. Joan Kirner in Victoria, Carmen Lawrence in Western Australia and Kristina Keneally in New South Wales are three recent state premiers thrown into the job mid-term in a government on its way out. And now it has done it federally.
This time next year, it’ll all be forgotten.