While I will be watching Four Corners this evening, it’s of interest to me to read Paul Kelly’s precis of the events of APEC week in September 2007 in today’s Oz.
I’m perpetually cynical in matters of politics, regardless of who says what to whom. Kelly nominates ‘a minister’ several times in his column, however the simple fact that he doesn’t name that minisrer, or former minister now, speaks volumes of sodium chloride to me. Only a grain is necessary, so readers will understand if I say that regardless of who actually did say what to whom, it’s clear that in politics, power definitely corrupts.
It’s been well documented by observers and former Liberal party heads, such as John Hewson, that John Howard would never leave office willingly but would be “carried out in a box”. That box turned out to be a dual loss, of both the seat of Bennelong and government on 24 November 2007. What comes out clearly in Kelly’s column, and presumeably would also be portrayed in the Four Corners program this evening, is the inability of the senior Howard cabinet to grasp the nettle of leadership change until it was too late. Even then, the unwillingness to address their own leadership deficiencies was transformed into a complete unwillingness to accept responsibility for the ousting of Howard, knowing at the eleventh hour that Howard himself would not leave of his own accord.
It’s for these latter reasons that I find the existing federal Opposition to be entirely ineffective, and unlikely to regain the trust of the Australian electorate unless and until those festering wounds from the past heal. That healing can only come with the demise of those remnants of the Howardian era which still populate the Opposition benches. The total ineffectuality of the Opposition is noted as I listen to today’s Question Time. Four Questions thus far from Brendan Nelson regarding the already released and detailed emails between Rudd’s office and that despicable Brian Burke, former W.A. premier and convicted criminal. Four questions, and we’ve only exhausted 20 minutes. As I write this, question five was asked. One wonders whether the syntax of each individual email, few in number as they may be, will be examined next?