If it is true that venom has medicinal uses, the leading figures of the Australian Labor Party must be the healthiest people on Earth.
Entertaining stuff, but one thing keeps bugging me. In about half the articles giving background information on Kevin Rudd I read, I see something like this:
When Gillard, then deputy prime minister, moved against him in 2010, she did so against a backdrop of internal disquiet and profound electoral disappointment.
Rudd had back-flipped spectacularly on an important pre-election pledge to introduce a carbon tax and his sky-high popularity with voters had slumped. (One of the major figures who urged him to listen to the mining and business lobby and jettison that promise was the deputy who would later depose him.)
You would think from that that the righteous planet-protective wrath of the Australian people was directed at Rudd for his failure to fulfil his pledge to introduce a tax (actually an emissions trading regime) intended to retard global warming. Cobblers. He had backed out of laying the tax because the voters loathed the idea. In fact so unpopular was the proposed carbon tax that it also resulted in the ousting of the opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull, from leadership of the Liberal party, he having offered bipartisan support for the scheme. While it is true that voters do despise retreat and will punish a politician who backs down even when they howled for him to do so, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was only politically attractive in the sense that the song of the siren was attractive to Odysseus. Any Australian political leader who began to find that tune catchy had better hope that his Parliamentary colleagues had tied his bindings firmly and plugged well their own ears.
(Ears. Plugged. Rudd. Don’t think that thought – too late.)
Nor has the curse abated since then. One big reason for Julia Gillard’s unpopularity is that she in turn “back-flipped spectacularly on an important pre-election pledge” not to introduce a carbon tax. I studied Australian politics at the University of Tim Blair’s Blog and I know that much. Why doesn’t the Guardian?
Robin Horbury at Biased BBC made a similar observation about a BBC story in July 2010. The link to the BBC story is dead, but, trust me, it was one of many.
Added later: another story from the Guardian exhibiting the same symptoms:
Ms Gillard’s once famously popular predecessor as Labor leader, Kevin Rudd, lost first that popularity and then his leadership partly because he failed to steer through the legislation he had promised to deal with what had earlier been called “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.