The Rudd Government is all spin and broken promises
In politics, expectations are a dangerous thing.
Lofty promises conceived in Opposition can come to a crashing halt when met with the reality of Government. The higher you set expectations in Opposition the more it will hurt if you fail to meet them in Government.
It’s sensible for political parties and leaders to be restrained in their promises during campaigns. It’s always advisable to be measured in tone and keep promises limited in scope. State Labor Governments have a shocking record of making expansive promises often geared towards media ready announcements and then failing to deliver on them.
Residents in the North West of Sydney, who’ve been promised a rail line more frequently than Kevin Rudd has flown verseas, understand this better than most Australians. Enterprising Labor Governments have even mastered the ability to repackage existing or previously announced policies as if they were brand new. Take the Brumby Government in Victoria, with its Plan to get Victoria Moving, to solve a transport crisis it has presided over for ten years in Government.
But Federal Labor looks set to post a new record of broken promises and failing to deliver. In the last few weeks, many in the media and more and more Australians have woken up to the Rudd Government’s cleverly crafted spin and glaring absence of action.
Recently a number of metropolitan tabloid newspapers published an extensive list of Rudd’s broken promises. The list ranged across GP Super Clinics, running record surplus budgets, trades training places, four year parliamentary terms, a national broadband network, aged care beds, a child care ranking system, computers in schools, keeping petrol and grocery prices down and taking Japan to court for its whaling
All of these commitments were made solemnly, hand on heart, by Rudd or his frontbenchers during the 2007 Federal election campaign. None have been fully delivered. Remarkably, that list wasn’t even exhaustive.
Remember their promise not to mess with the Private Health Insurance rebate? What about Rudd’s promise to start the process to take over hospitals by mid 2009 if they weren’t fixed? His honest?to?god promise to students that he wouldn’t take away their right not to join or fund a student union? Or what about the spectacular promise to take Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the International Court of Justice?
All promised. None delivered.
Rudd had a tough time on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday, 8 February. One audience member even asked the PM how they could trust him given his failure to live up to his promises. Young Australians are acutely aware of his failure to deliver what he promised, and the obvious condescension and arrogance in his answers did not help one bit. At one point, when talking about obstacles to his ETS, he told the audience “it’s called the helpfully explained it was full of “scientists in white coats who go around and measure things.”
What Rudd is now experiencing is the inevitable consequences of his lofty talk in Opposition and his utter failure to deliver in Government. If he doesn’t show some results soon, there’ll be more political pain to come.